I’m a big fan of gift-giving but have had to reign things in as I try to minimize waste. After all, many gifts simply become tomorrow’s trash. These days, I tend to favor consumable gifts, like homemade baked goods, granola bars in Mason jars, and good old homebrew.
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For friends and family farther afield, though, it’s nice to send gifts that have a positive impact beyond the fun of giving and receiving gifts. Here are 8 climate-friendly gift ideas for any occasion that can be bought online and, in many cases, shipped worldwide.
Highlights: Different tiers are available to pick precisely what you’re looking for, and tree planting gifts come with interactive digital forests to see where your contributions are going.
Perfect for the zero waste warrior in your life, Ecologi offer three levels of giving corresponding to being Climate Positive for 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. Designed to offset the average carbon footprint of a person in North America, these gifts include tree planting (36, 72, and 144 trees!) and carbon offsets via Ecologi’s impressive network of certified humanitarian and biodiversity protection projects.
Looking for something for the treehugger in your life? Gift them a forest! Or, rather, a mini woodland of 100, 250, or 500 trees. At each level, Ecologi works with their tree-planting partners to ensure trees are planted in the most climate effective places worldwide.
Highlights: The Ultimate Green Store has an incredible selection of recycled glassware with something available for nearly anybody.
Looking for a climate-friendly way to raise a glass? The Ultimate Green Store has an impressive choice of recycled glassware that in turn can be recycled to save raw materials and energy. Made from wine bottles that would otherwise be thrown away, these upcycled glasses come in varying shapes and sizes and are attractive, robust (wine bottle glass is annealed, making it more durable), and eco-friendly. From water glasses to wine goblets, glass pitchers to pint glasses, these are a great choice for a climate-friendly gift, especially for new homeowners.
Highlights: If you can’t decide on one specific thing to offer as a gift, this gift box covers multiple at once! Each box is filled with items from companies that have eco credentials and/or business practices you can feel great about.
Can’t decide on a climate-friendly gift? How about this Eco Living Gift Box to get them started on their sustainability journey?!
The items in this box let you ditch the plastic and store food safely, and then wash up afterward without using toxic chemicals. There’s a bamboo utensil set, resalable sandwich bag, Swedish dishcloths, reusable straw and cleaning brush, natural food storage wraps, stainless steel lunchbox, and handmade green tea and eucalyptus soap.
Many of the items are made in the USA by B Corps, using either recycled materials or sustainable natural and organic materials. Several of the brands whose items are included in this gift box have a take-back program to repurpose the items at end of life. And, like all EarthHero purchases, this gift box is shipped carbon-neutral, thanks to emissions offsetting via Carbonfund.
Highlights: This pair of gloves is made from 100% recycled polyester and allows you to use your touchscreen devices without taking them off.
Next time you’re out in the cold scrolling through the latest stats on global temperature rise, you’ll be glad you’re sporting these touchscreen gloves made with 100% recycled polyester (Repreve). Every pair of gloves helps keep plastics and waste textiles out of landfill and waterways, while keeping your hands nice and cozy – and they’re waterproof too!
Highlights: Made with GOTS certified organic cotton and hemp, moldable, and a fantastic way to cut down on plastics that’ll only be used once before being thrown away.
Want to share your love of beeswax wraps with your vegan friend? Ditch the beeswax and go for Khala & Company’s Reusable Vegan Food Wraps made with GOTS certified organic cotton and hemp infused with sustainably sourced soy wax, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and tree resin.
Moldable with hand-warmth, just like beeswax wraps, and a great way to cut down on single use plastics, these wraps can be used for many months if not years and are 100% compostable at end of life. They’re handmade in Boulder, Colorado, by a company that partners with 1% for the Planet. Khala cloths are certified by Green America and the wraps are packaged using sustainable materials that are recycled and recyclable.
Highlights: The perfect primer on reducing waste in the home by an author that produces just one quart of garbage a year.
The original zero-waste book, Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson offers inspiration and an easy step-by-step guide to anyone wanting to streamline consumption and resource use. Bea and her family of four produce just one quart of garbage a year, saving time, resources, and energy, and she explains how in this relatable, engaging book.
Even better, the book is printed on chlorine-free FSC certified recycled paper and printed with soy-based ink with a non-toxic binding!
Highlights: Keep your old clothes, linens, pillows, rugs, and more out of landfills using these boxes that you can simply fill and send away for recycling with a pre-paid shipping label.
A great companion gift for the Zero Waste Home book, this TerraCycle Fabrics and Clothing Recycle Box can help keep old clothes, linens, pillows, rugs, and bags out of the trash and give them a new lease of life. TerraCycle offer three sizes of boxes that you can stuff full of clothing scraps, fabric scraps, and other textiles that are no longer usable but shouldn’t just end up in landfill. Simply fill the box and send it back to TerraCycle using the pre-paid shipping label.
And if all else fails, there’s always socks.
Highlights: Comfortable socks made with organic cotton that enable the planting of 10 trees for each pair sold.
Ah, socks – the traditional gift for when you have no idea what to buy someone. Make this sock-gifting intentional and climate-friendly though with Socks That Plant Trees. They keep toes warm and help cool the planet because every pair sold gives $1 to Trees for the Future, enabling ten trees to be planted. Trees for the Future is a non-profit focused on reforestation, and you’ll be happy to note that the socks themselves are made with organic cotton.