Give green with eco-friendly picks

Last Updated August 2020

If you want to go one step above sustainable ordering this holiday season, you can also pick out sustainably made products to give as gifts.

Whenever possible, opt for products made from natural materials, like cotton or bamboo. If you have the option for something made from recycled materials or fabrics, choose that. Look for energy-efficient or smart electronics that cut down on energy consumption in the long run. Rather than purchasing bargain items that will need to be replaced, invest in well-made, durable products that will last. 

Here are some of our top green gift picks this year:

A well-made watch that lasts a long time

This attractive stainless steel watch with an embossed faux-leather band is solar powered and charges in natural or indoor light, so it never needs a battery.

Something for the kids

$27.99 at Amazon

These toy trucks are made from recycled milk jugs and they’re BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free, so they’re safe for your child and for the earth. It’s also dishwasher safe and easy to clean.

Make smart lights smarter

If you’re shopping for someone with a smart home setup, this motion sensor will pair with their smart lights, reducing their energy consumption (and their energy bill). The device turns off lights when no one is in the room. It also detects day and night and dims lights accordingly. 

Cut down on paper consumption

$129.99 at Amazon

E-readers are eco-friendly because they house hundreds of books electronically, which cuts down on paper consumption and printing emissions. 

Trendy shoes

$95-$115 at Allbirds

These are some of the trendiest shoes of 2019, and they’re made from sustainable materials that create less waste and pollution. Allbirds have also been called “the world’s most comfortable shoe,” and our testing has determined that’s true.

Better beauty products

$39 at Ulta

Cruelty-free cosmetics are beloved by makeup wearers, and Tarte makes all types of beauty products from lip gloss to eye shadow to concealer and more. Consider putting together a cruelty-free makeup kit for a great gift.

A smart thermostat to prevent energy waste

A smart thermostat makes a great gift, especially for someone who might not buy one for themselves. It optimizes temperature settings to save energy, automatically turns down when no one is home, and self-programs after it learns the user’s patterns. 

An eco-friendly hair product

Not only is this natural dry shampoo gentle on hair, but it’s also gentle on the earth: it contains all-natural, cruelty-free ingredients with no propellants, and its container is made from recycled ocean plastics. 

Save the turtles

Reusable straws make a great small gift or add-on, and they’re useful for those who drink a lot of iced coffee or tea but who don’t want to throw away a plastic straw every time they indulge.

Make utilizing leftovers easier

$18 at Amazon

This is a simple, practical present that’s both environmentally and economically friendly. It’s especially useful around the holidays to wrap up leftovers and will last many more uses afterward.

Cut down on the cans

For the person on your list who always seems to have a sparkling water in hand, consider buying them a SodaStream; it will cut down on single-use aluminum cans while fueling their fizzy-water obsession.

Pack a lunch

This durable, waxed canvas lunch tote has the classic appearance of a brown paper lunch sack but is reusable, making it a perfect gift for the person who likes to bring their lunch to work or school. It’s also totally plastic-free, making it doubly eco-friendly.

An all-purpose bag

Not only is BAGGU a trendy brand, but this spacious bag is also incredibly useful; it’s the ideal everyday tote, with easy-to-carry handles and an adjustable strap. This makes it simple for people on the go to grab groceries without using plastic or bringing extra bags along.

Carbon-reducing coffee beans

$13.58 at Amazon

Tiny Footprint markets its beans as “the first carbon-negative coffee in the world.” What does that mean? For every pound sold, the brand promises to donate a portion to reforestation efforts in the Amazon — so get a bag for the conscientious coffee drinker in your life. 

For the outdoorsy types

The ideal gift for someone who likes camping, tailgating, or any form of outdoor cooking. This portable oven is solar-powered and compact, so it’s sustainable and convenient.

A waste-free snack bag

Ziploc bags are undeniably convenient, yet undeniably wasteful. That’s what makes these reusable silicone food bags such a great gift: they offer the convenience of a Ziploc bag but are significantly less wasteful; plus, they’re dishwasher safe, so they’re easy to clean. 

Keep drinks hot on the go

Whether this gift’s recipient likes to brew coffee and tea at home or grab it from a local cafe, this mug will come in handy for all their portable drink needs and will cut down on single-use cups. It also keeps drinks hot for hours so they can enjoy their beverage over the course of the morning.

Never use wasteful produce bags again

$24.99 (down from $39.99) at Amazon

Taking reusable shopping bags and boxes to the store is a small step that can make a big environmental impact over time. These three reusable boxes feature durable handles and reinforced bottoms so they can accommodate a stash of heavy items, plus they fold for easy storage.