You don't have to be a fan of Greta Thunberg to know that the environment and the living things that inhabit this environment are in serious danger. And because of this, we should give a damn in how we live our lives, the companies we support, and when it comes to gift-giving we should give presents that are sustainable.
Sustainable gifts have come a long way. Where once upon a time trying to find a gift for the environmentalists in your life consisted of giving them something that they could recycle or had been recycled wasn't exactly easy, companies and brands have gone to great lengths and become really creative in how they produce products that aren't just sustainable, but beautiful too. Who would have ever thought 20 or 30 years ago that bamboo, one of the fastest growing plants, could have been made into tote bags or even clothing? Probably not too many people.
As the environment becomes more and more of a priority for many of us, choosing gifts that are earth-friendly is a great idea. If you want to make your environmentalist friend(s) on your gift list super happy with some pretty killer sustainable gifts, then here are 11 to choose from or, at the very least, inspire similar gifts.
1. WWF Symbolic Adoptions
For the animal-lover in your life, there's no better gift than the World Wildlife Fund's symbolic adoption. For $55, you can "adopt" an endangered species for your friend. While your friend won't get the pygmy elephant, or whatever other adorable animal you choose, delivered to their door, they will get a plushie version of the animal, an adoption certificate, a photo, a species card, and a nice bag to put all the goodies in — and of course that donation goes to protect endangered wildlife.
2. grünBAG Green A-Clutch
Vegan, sustainable, and made of recycled materials, grünBAG bags are, for lack of a better word, awesome. From looking great, like the clutch above, to backpacks and messenger-style bags that are practical and sturdy, no matter what type of bag your friend prefers, grünBAG has a bag for them.
3. Nozomi Project's Rumi Necklace
The Nozomi Project puts broken pottery to good use with stunning jewelry. Created in Japan, the company makes earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, and more with broken bits of pottery that are donated to them from all over the country. If pottery is going to be beautiful during its lifetime, it should be just as beautiful, if not even more beautiful, in its afterlife, too.
4. Aria Travel Kit
When it comes to sustainability, Aria's Travel Kit really nails it. As an avid traveler myself and someone who tries really hard to be as environmentally conscious as I can be, I never go on long flights without this kit. The moisturizer, toothpaste, and lip balm as are all homemade; the deodorant is 100% all natural, and the bamboo toothbrush isn't just sustainable, but biodegradable, too. The kit is small, which is ideal for those who like to travel light, and it includes a couple extra pockets for important things like a passport or a portable phone charger.
5. Foria Holiday Intimacy Collection
Since we all have that friend who can't get enough of CBD products, I'd be remiss not to include Foria in this gift guide. Not only is Foria dedicated to creating CBD products that aid in female sexual health, but everything is organic and sustainable. It's also a great introduction to CBD for those friends who haven't tried it yet.
6. Klean Kanteen Reusable Straws
According to Klean Kanteen, Americans use 500 million straws a day. I'm no mathematician, but that's a boatload of plastic. But if you happen to have one of those friends who prefers all their beverages with straws, then the perfect gift for them are these stainless steel straws by Klean Kanteen. Each of the four straws comes in a different color and there's a handy-dandy brush to make sure they stay super clean so they can be used over and over and over again — unlike those plastic straws that are continuing to damage our beautiful Earth.
7. Bamboo 5 Piece Mineral Makeup Brush Set
When it comes to sustainability, bamboo is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Not only does it grow really fast — so don't worry; pandas still get their fair share — but it pretty much takes care of itself in that it regenerates from its own roots and doesn't need to be cared for the same way other plants do. That's also why those of us who don't have a green thumb can actually keep bamboo alive. So if you have a friend who loves makeup and loves to being environmentally responsible in their choices, Ecotools is a perfect gift for them.
8. BAABUK Yves Slippers
Made in Nepal with wool from New Zealand and designed in Switzerland, BAABUK are the very definition of sustainability. Because each artists who make the slippers bring their own technique and vision to their process, no two slippers are the same. Even the latex soles to prevent slipping and siding are natural and attached to the slippers with sustainable glue that's harvested from rubber trees. And if there were ever a time to get someone slippers for a gift, it would definitely be this time of year — well, at least in the northern hemisphere.
9. Silicone Tea Infusers
Since reusable coffee pod filters exist for coffee lovers, what about tea lovers? Well, finally tea lovers now have their chance to get in on the action of being not just tea lovers, but environmentally sound tea lovers, too, thanks to this six pack of silicone tea infusers. They're also colorful to boot, so no one can accidentally swipe Meg's Earl Grey tea. No sense in getting into a ruckus over tea!
10. Clay Eco-Friendly iPhone Case
If one were to ask a room full of people how many of them have dropped their phone, every hand in the room would go up. If the same question was asked, but with the caveat of how many of those phones actually broke upon impact, it might be safe to assume at least half would have been broken. Just because you walk around with a shattered screen and it still technically works, doesn't mean it's not broken. My point? Phones break, fairly easily actually, so a phone case is always a great idea.
But while the majority of cases out there are made of plastic and just won't do for the environmentalists in the world, Pela is different. As the first two lines of their mission statement read, "Here at Pela we have a big, hairy audacious goal. We want to create a waste free future."
One of those products is their eco-friendly, sustainable phone cases that are 100% compostable. And, if that weren't enough, every purchase of a phone case gives back to the community in one way or another. For example, a purchase of the Ripple Effect edition Pela phone case will result in access to "one year of clean water, to a person in a community in Kenya."
You can even track your impact to see where the water is going and how it's being used at TYI.org/Pel.
When you come across a brand of clothing that's sustainable, environmentally conscious, and truly gorgeous, you've literally hit the jackpot. Sézane, one of my favorite boutiques in Paris (they also recently opened another boutique in New York!), has it all.
Not only are their clothes beautiful, but they're made of natural material, OEKO-Tex certified, meaning all fabrics are free of specific harmful chemicals, making them safer for humans and the environment.
Their packaging is made from 100% recyclable materials or from sustainably managed forests, and all their factories are audited and monitored to make sure everything is up to industry standards and ethical codes. If you or your environmentalist friend ever wanted to flawlessly pull off that "je ne sais quoi" that the French have mastered, Sézane is a great place to go to do just that.
Now you have quite an eclectic list of sustainable gifts for the environmentalist on your list. There's definitely something for everyone on it!