The end of term is a great time to show your child’s teacher how much you appreciate them for all that they do for your little one throughout the school year. Very often, teacher gift ideas come with lots of plastic waste and can be a bit thoughtless. Sustainable teacher gifts will stand out from the crowd, letting you treat that special teacher without harming the planet.
If you want to treat your child’s teacher to a special little something and you’re looking for a cool idea, read on to discover the best sustainable gifts that will put a smile on any teachers face!
Why Buy Sustainable Gifts?
If you’re passionate about living an eco friendly lifestyle, it’s not surprising that you would want this to give eco friendly gifts. Not only does this keep your conscience clear, but it also teaches your children the importance of making wise gifting choices to protect our planet.
We can’t force anybody to make zero waste swaps, however gifting is a great way to encourage someone to try something new- and it won’t cost them a penny!
If you’re an eco warrior yourself, you’ll have become familiar with how much more effective sustainable products can be compared to traditional, mass-produced alternatives.
Many of the more sustainable options are produced by small businesses, using higher quality ingredients/materials and in smaller batches. So, by giving a sustainable gift, not only are you doing your bit for the planet, but you are also spreading the word for small businesses, and introducing your recipient to some fabulous new products they had perhaps never considered before.
Start with Plastic Free Packaging
You might have a bunch of cool ideas as to what to gift,but take a moment to think about plastic waste! Many of the convenient gift sets you spot in your local shop are heavily packaged in wasteful single use plastic- which you are paying for!
Make up your own gift set instead- this is especially helpful if you have a few teacher gifts to pick up. Bulk buy items like lip balm, soy candles or bath bombs to get extra discount. You can the make up individual gifts in paper bags or, even better, a reusable jute bag. An organic cotton or jute bag made from waste or recycled material doubles as a gift in itself!
Handmade Cards and Gifts
Approaching holidays can leave some parents stressing about money, and expensive teacher gifts just aren’t an option. Fear not, you can give the perfect gift without breaking the bank!
The best teacher gifts are made with love-making homemade gifts or a handmade card the most precious of teacher gifts. And, major bonus, homemade treats can be some of the most sustainable gifts you could think of!
A hand made card suits every budget and makes a seriously cute gift from elementary school kids. Your little one will just love drawing a beautiful picture for his favourite teacher! Add a little extra charm by decorating with recycled materials- coloured fabrics or papers, buttons or even leaves or small pebbles.
If you’re a creative person, you might be interested in learning how to cure your own soap!
Baked goods are another great option and your kid will have great fun too. Again, this is great if you have many teachers to make up gifts for- a hand decorated, homemade cupcake along with a handmade card is a beautiful little gesture.
Eco Friendly Teacher Gifts
While it’s great to be passionate about reducing waste, it’s important to be mindful that not everyone will be as committed to a zero waste lifestyle as you are. Not everyone will be interested in natural deodorant or solid shampoo.
When it comes to gifts for teachers, it’s best to stick to “safe” gift ideas which would be appreciated by most. These great ideas are a safe bet but still have eco credentials:
- Reusable water bottles to stay hydrated on long school days!
- Natural Soap Bars
- Plastic Free Bath Bombs and other self care products
- A reusable sandwich bag
- Eco friendly school supplies
- Reusable Coffee Cup
- Fairtrade Chocolate
- Handmade products from local small businesses
- A gift certificate for local coffee shops
Food and Drink Gifts
Just like most of us, teachers will love the opportunity to treat their family over the holiday season, making gift certificates for local restaurants or coffee shops a great idea.
If you want to skip tubs of sweets and bottles of wine, why not gift a box of locally produced chocolates or fudge, or, better yet, make your own? Family and friends, as well as that special teacher, will love it! Planet friendly and delicious- you can’t go wrong!
If you will be baking, it’s a good idea to source some simple, plastic free packaging like cardboard boxes to store your bakes.
Sustainable Gifts for Male Teachers
Our top recommendations for male teachers include reusable bottles and coffee cups, organic cotton socks, or delicious fair trade chocolate.
But Male teachers enjoy self care products just as much as female teachers do!
Eco friendly versions of typical male toiletries, like shaving soap, beard balm or hand cream are a great option. Hand made products made with natural butters and oils are likely to impress!
Zero Waste Gifts
There are zero waste gifts out there to suit just about any occasion or recipient!
Most teachers will appreciate chemical free, natural self care products like soap, bath bombs and hand cream. Eco friendly versions are typically scented with essential oils and smell lush. Choose plastic free products, or those packed in paper, glass jars or cardboard. Avoid products with ingredients like palm oil, parabens and sulfates.
You will often find locally produced goods at fairs over the holidays.
Little things like plantable pencils and gift tags add a cute touch and can be used in education as a class project. The children can benefit not only about life cycles but also a little more about zero waste alternatives!
If you know your child’s teacher to be particularly interested in a zero waste lifestyle, reusable straws, a coffee cup or bottle or even reusable sandwich baggies are also great ideas. These can be used throughout the school year and can even save your child’s teacher some money!
Reusable jute shopping bags are a very simple gift idea which should be appreciated even by teachers who aren’t necessarily eco conscientious.
Eco Friendly gifts for Christmas
Christmas can be an expensive time of year, and eco friendly teacher gifts can add even more expense- especially if you have more than one teacher you’d like to give a gift to.
But remember- a teacher gift doesn’t need to be expensive, in fact it doesn’t need to cost very much at all! Most teachers won’t expect a gift at all, though the pressure can be high if other parents are sending in gifts.
Our top tip is to keep it simple- a plastic free bath bomb and a small fair trade chocolate bar will look super cute in a mini jute bag and not to mention will cost very little. You could even look in to making your own bath bombs, with basic ingredients like bicarbonate of soda, citric acid and essential oil.
Is a Gift Certificate an acceptable gift?
Gift certificates can appear a bit thoughtless, but, if you are really stumped for ideas for your child’s teacher, a gift certificate can be a great idea. Gift certificates mean that your child’s teacher can shop for their own gift, which ultimately prevents waste and ensures they get a teacher gift they love.
Do check in on your school’s policy though as gift certificates can be considered similar to cash.
Christmas can be a seriously stressful time of year, so if you are really stressing about gifts for preschool teachers, gift certificates can be a tempting option.
Consider picking up certificates from local small retail businesses or food/drink establishments that will value the extra support.
Sustainable Teacher Gifts: The Bottom Line
When it comes to treating school teachers, stick to a budget and keep it simple. The teachers are there to teach your kids and most won’t at all expect a gift.
Teachers love handmade gifts, and your children will have lots of fun lovingly creating the perfect gift. Even if you don’t want to hand make soap or bath bombs, you can curate your own gift sets by picking up some eco friendly self care, stationery or on the go products.