When it comes to gift-giving, we all want to find the perfect present that shows how much we care. But sometimes it can be difficult to find a gift that is both unique and sustainable. If you’re looking for ideas that will help the environment and won’t break the bank, look no further!
We know that you want to find the perfect gift for friends, family members and colleagues. We also understand how difficult this can be when trying to find something eco-friendly and ethical.
- Gifts of service are personal and memorable.
- Consider giving a gift of your time, energy, or expertise.
- Gifts that don’t require packaging are often more appreciated by older folks.
- Experiences make great gifts because they offer lasting value with minimal impact on resources.
- Antiques and collectibles have time-earned intrinsic value as well as the added appeal of history and sentimental value.
- Battery-free and plastic-free gifts are more eco-friendly.
- When buying souvenirs while traveling, be sure to ask if the item is made from an endangered animal species.
Should You Buy Ecofriendly Gifts?
Thanks to global awareness of the impacts of plastic on our environment, many people are interested in starting to live sustainably. Although making a drastic lifestyle change is never easy, many of us are striving to make a difference and even the simplest of improvement towards reducing waste is a positive development.
Fortunately, there are a lot of products available to assist individuals with making the progress to making less waste. These items can help eco-conscious individuals and those who want to make a switch to a more green lifestyle in their everyday routine to experience sustainable living and make a tangible difference towards our planet.
Plastic waste is increasing by the day. These wastes are piling up in our landfills and floating in our oceans. Unfortunately, it would take hundreds of years before plastics start to break down which means that the plastic you have thrown many years ago still exists today.
Anything related to plastic has implications for our environment – from its production to transportation to disposal. We have been dependent on plastic products for so long which makes it difficult for us to make a change toward sustainability. But in our own ways, little by little, by sharing and spreading awareness about sustainable living through gift-giving, we are moving in the right direction.
Giving eco-friendly or zero-waste gifts on special occasions could serve as an inspiration for the recipient to make a lifestyle change and for the better. These gifts could also be the final push people who are close to you need to make a switch to an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Even the smallest change can make a huge difference, making an expanding influence of other positive changes in their daily lives. For instance, ditching plastic toothbrushes for their bamboo counterparts is a simple way for saying no to plastic waste.
When buying eco-friendly gifts, think about recipients and their lifestyle. If they are your colleagues and they love to eat fast-food during lunchtime, buy them a reusable food container which is more eco-friendly than single-use plastic.
This makes for a good gift because it will encourage the recipients to eat healthy and allow them to enjoy their favourite snacks and home-cooked meals at work. If they love the outdoors and have an active lifestyle, you can never go wrong with a reusable water bottle to keep them hydrated while on-the-go.
Natural and organic personal care products are also among the most popular eco-friendly products that make for fantastic gifts on any occasion. Conventional personal products like soaps and shampoos are chemical-laden and contain too many toxic ingredients that could be dangerous to our bodies.
Gifting natural personal care products would allow the recipient to try out these eco-friendly products and might just convince them to make the switch. Likewise,you can also gift them with eco-friendly and vegan-friendly perfume from Pacifica Perfume.
Always keep an open mind when giving away eco-friendly gifts. Not all people share your beliefs and giving sustainable gifts could open avenues for discussion about the current state of our environment.
Our Top Tips For Sustainable Gifting Include:
- Choose sustainable gift options
- Avoid disposable items
- Go for gifts that have a long-term use
- Think about the recipient’s lifestyle and interests
- Shop secondhand whenever possible
- Wrap gifts in recyclable materials
- Support eco-friendly businesses
- Give the gift of experience instead of things
- Plant a tree or donate to an environmental charity in the recipient’s name
- Make your own recycled wrapping paper and gift tags
- Write a heartfelt, handwritten message to show you care!
Choose Sustainable Gift Options
Whenever possible, try to choose gifts that are made from sustainable materials. This includes things like organic cotton, bamboo, wool and recycled paper. Not only are these materials better for the environment, but they also tend to be of a higher quality than their conventional counterparts.
Recycled materials are a great sustainable gift option. An eco friendly gift should really reduce plastic waste but can also be used to help people on their first steps to a sustainable lifestyle.
At Baba Me, we always advocate taking small steps towards sustainability, and giving a zero waste kit could be one of the best eco friendly gifts you can give!
Avoid disposable items
Disposable gifts are often seen as being more convenient, but they’re actually not very good for the environment. Items like one-time-use coffee cups, plastic straws, and water bottles will end up in landfill, so it’s best to avoid them if possible.
But also consider the packaging these gifts come in. Whilst using packing made from recycled materials is a good step, giving a completely plastic free gift is even better.
What is the use of a gorgeous sustainable water bottle for eco friendly gift ideas if it comes in plastic packaging! I used to love giving gifts in reusable bags made from recycled bottles, – a double gift bonus!
Go for gifts that have a long-term use
One way to make your gifts more sustainable is to choose items that can be used over and over again. This could be something like a nice reusable water bottle, a stainless steel straw or a set of unpaper towels to replace the paper towels. Not only will the recipient appreciate the gift, but it will also help to reduce their environmental footprint.
Whilst everyone appreciates some lovely food goodies, food waste is a huge issue, so don’t be tempted by those cute packaging materials if the food won’t be used. Gimmick foods just often increase food scraps.
Also, try and think about gifts that are practical and easy to clean, especially for families. Having something which is dishwasher safe will stand the test of time!
Think about the recipient’s lifestyle and interests
When choosing a sustainable gift, it’s important to think about the recipient’s lifestyle and interests. For example, if they are an avid hiker, then a recycled hiking backpack would be a great option. Or, if they love to cook, then a set of bamboo cooking utensils would be perfect.
For some people, finding gifts made from natural materials is easy. However, there is always the awkward aunt Aggie who makes giving eco-friendly gifts seem like a burden! Whilst the gift recipient may not seem like they want sustainable gifts in their lives, you can think creatively about how to incorporate sustainability into your present.
So they don’t want reusable water bottles or a shampoo and conditioner bar, how about some sustainable wine? Or some cruelty-free skin care in minimal packaging (ditching those single-use plastic bottles!). Thankfully more and more companies are going plastic free and providing their ware in more eco-friendly packaging.
Shop secondhand whenever possible
One of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact is to shop secondhand. This could mean buying an item from a thrift store, shopping on sites like eBay or Craigslist, or even borrowing items from friends or family members. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be helping to reduce waste.
You might think that not everyone will appreciate secondhand gifting. However, who could resist some gorgeous homemade gifts made from second-hand goods? One of my favorite presents was a handmade natural candle, made in an odd china mug, bought from eBay.
Also, vintage clothing and gifts are not only an eco-friendly product, but by reusing old clothing we are being very earth friendly! For the eco-conscious, buying used should always be the first step when buying!
Wrap gifts in recyclable materials
Instead of using traditional wrapping paper, try to find eco-friendly alternatives that can be recycled. This could include using old newspapers, magazines, or even fabric scraps. If you’re feeling creative, you could even make your own wrapping paper out of recycled materials.
As I said, I used the sustainably sourced Rex London bags made from recycled water bottles to gift eco-friendly gifts to my family last year. It was a total win-win situation. Not only do we find a market for used plastic water bottles, but we can save a lot more single use plastic bags!
Many use old scraps of fabric to wrap presents in a Furoshiki wrapping style, it’s very on-trend!
Support eco-friendly businesses
When possible, try to support businesses that are environmentally friendly. This could mean buying from companies that use sustainable materials, have a low carbon footprint, or give back to environmental causes.
As a former small independent eco shop, I can’t stress how important it is to shop small. Yeah, we all know we can hop along to the big box store and with one click, have Christmas delivered in a box. But think of all those small mom-and-pop stores where you can get a great gift, and shop small!
Give the gift of experience instead of things
Giving the gift of an experience can bring fun, learning, and memories that hold value for years.
One of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact is to give the gift of experience instead of things. This could include tickets to a concert or a play, a gift for a food class, for a spa day, or even a voucher for a yoga class. Not only will the recipient appreciate the gesture, but it will also help to reduce your carbon footprint.
When looking at the gift experience, it’s important to look at the ecological footprint of the gift you are giving. For example, a voucher for a yoga class combined with a yoga mat is going to have a much smaller ecological footprint than a Formula 1 racing experience.
Plant a tree or donate to an environmental charity in the recipient’s name
If you’re looking for a sustainable gift that will have a lasting impact, then consider planting a tree or donating to an environmental charity in the recipient’s name. This is a great way to show you care about the planet and the future of our planet.
There are a number of ways to plant a tree, including through organizations like Trees for Life or Plant a Tree Today. Alternatively, you could make a donation to an environmental charity such as Greenpeace or the World Wildlife Fund.
Whichever route you choose, be sure to let the recipient know about the gift so they can appreciate the thought behind it.
If you’re feeling creative, you could make your own recycled wrapping paper and gift tags. This is a great way to personalize your gifts and reduce your environmental impact at the same time. All you need is some old newspapers or magazines, a pair of scissors, and some glue.
Hopefully, these sustainable gift ideas for girlfriends have inspired you to make some eco-friendly choices this holiday season. Remember, every little bit counts when it comes to protecting our planet. So don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box!
Are Ecofriendly Gifts Expensive?
Many people are still on the fence about buying eco-friendly gifts or eco-friendly products in general because of their price tag. Generally, eco-friendly gifts cost more than their conventional counterparts, gifts that are made from synthetic materials like plastic.
However, with the growing demand for eco-friendly gift items and improvements to their manufacturing process, you can find many eco-friendly gifts that are reasonably priced. We firmly believe that eco-friendly gift-giving should not break the bank because there are many affordable yet amazing gifts that have minimal impact on our environment.
Most people are under the impression that eco-friendly products are expensive. So when it comes to gift-giving, they end up buying the usual gifts instead of eco-friendly ones because they think going eco-friendly is beyond their budget.
Modern consumers who want to reduce their waste and want to make a difference should see items beyond their price tag. Sure, you will be spending more if you go the greener route but if it is something that reduces your waste and helps you live sustainability, then they are totally worth it.
Yes, if you are going to give an eco-friendly item as a gift it will cost you more but not as much as you think. One of the main reasons why eco-friendly items are more expensive than plastic is because of their manufacturing process as well as supply chain implications.
Take organic agricultural products as an example. Conventional agricultural practices require using high amounts of pesticides, water and insecticides to grow crops in mass quantities for a short period of time which results in selling the product for less.
However, the impact of this kind of agricultural and production process is enormous. The chemicals usually found in insecticides and pesticides affect the soil, water source, biodiversity as well as farmers.
Producing eco-friendly products means avoiding the use of harmful chemicals such as insecticides and pesticides when growing crops. Environmental-friendly approach to farming leads to employing more people to do manual labor such as weeding and clearing. Pest-damaging crops are also an ever-present possibility since insecticides are not being used to grow crops.
Most eco-friendly products are manufactured using fair trade practices and other ethical standards. Under fair trade, people who work to produce the materials of the products as well as the people who make the products themselves are paid living wages and are treated ethically.
Furthermore, these companies also invest in infrastructure projects like schools, health care clinics, clean water supply, and more.
Knowing how eco-friendly items are manufactured and produced is important to understand why you have to pay more for these items that you would if you buy their plastic counterparts. But the price tags on these items should not prevent you from sharing and encouraging others to live sustainably.
Most eco-friendly products make for fantastic gifts for any occasion and their price tags are totally justified. However, you should still be cautious and wary about products that are being marketed as “natural” or “eco-friendly”.
These shady companies often slap buzzwords on the packaging of their products to appeal to environmentally-conscious consumers even though their products are not entirely eco-friendly. Before buying anything eco-friendly, make your own research about the company making the product, their eco-credentials, and their practices.
Eco friendly gift ideas
1. Give the gift of zero waste picnics.
A hamper (or reusable shopping bag) full of reusable picnic treats make great eco gifts for eco-warriors in your life. Stainless steel straws, bamboo cutlery, washable sandwich wraps or snack bags and a reusable bottle all make great gifts. And the best thing about this present is you can spend as much or as little as you like.
2. Help make their kitchen plastic free.
Again this is a great eco gift that you can personalise to your recipient and your budget. We love the coconut scourers or dish brushes to replace plastic sponges, reusable wipes to get rid of the need for paper towels, wax wraps to replace cling films and cotton produce bags that can be taken to the shops and keep food fresher for longer in the fridge.
3. Waste free bathroom essentials.
Everyone needs a toothbrush and we use them every day. Plus they only last for a few months before you need to replace them. This makes a simple bamboo toothbrush a great eco gift for anyone that is trying to live a greener lifestyle. In a similar vein, an eco-friendly safety razor makes a great gift. Although you’ll have to know them well enough to know if they’d use it.
Other great bathroom essentials include bar soap (we love Agnes and Cat soap on a rope or grown-ups and Daisy Rainbow duck soaps for kids), plastic-free bath melts, shampoo bars and moisturising lotion bars.
4. Cosy gifts for eco-friendly snuggling.
Sometimes it’s nice for a gift to be about indulgence and luxury rather than explicitly about saving the planet. But luxury doesn’t have to mean ethics goes out the window. Soy wax candles in glass jars that smell amazing, super soft throws made from recycled bottles and ethically made bamboo socks all make great gifts for eco-warriors depending on your budget.
5. Gift an experience.
Of course if you’re really trying to be as eco-friendly and ethical as you can be then buying stuff isn’t always the answer, especially if it’s something you’re not 100% sure the person will use. Instead, why not treat them to a meal at an ethical restaurant, an organic veg box, a picnic in the park, or a subscription for something you think they’d love.