Choosing seasonal gifts doesn’t have to cost the earth. Here is our yearly roundup of gifts that give back while bringing joy. Each one features sustainable materials or an earth-friendly purpose that helps reduce impact while increasing enjoyment.
There’s almost nothing that the scent of fresh lavender can’t fix. Intensely aromatic and super sweet, the smell of lavender has a relaxing effect. Its flowers are also edible and can be added to baked goods, ice cream, teas, and more. This complete kit makes it easy to grow lavender from the window sill or desktop.
Anyone who composts knows that the container where you store your food scraps can get a little smelly. Not any more. The ceramic compost keeper comes with a tight-fitting lid and filter to help diffuse odors. The stainless steel handle makes it easy to carry to your compost bin or pile. Gardeners and environmentalists alike will appreciate this thoughtful gift. It also comes in a blue and white decorative version.
Great reviews: WORTH IT!!!
“I have used old coffee cans and bowls, etc. Purchased this item for a Christmas present for myself. It controls the smell and looks a lot better than a plastic coffee can.” –Tonia B.
This classic apron made from 60% hemp and 40% organic cotton will be a hit with anyone who likes to cook. The durable material comes with an adjustable neck strap and large front pockets to hold tools and recipes. Hemp has four times the durability of other natural fibers. It’s also naturally anti-microbial and mildew resistant, which makes it great for the kitchen. Give as is or add a DIY design of your own.
Great reviews: Fantastic Quality
“Very happy with the amazing quality of the hemp fiber. The apron is very easy to clean and dries surprisingly quickly compared to other aprons. Overall great product!” –Nathan K.
Anyone who wants to reduce their impact will love this convenient set of bulk food bags designed with the earth in mind. Made from Oeko-tex + GOTS certified organic cotton hemp fabric, these bags are perfect for toting to the bulk foods section of your grocery store or to the farmer’s market. Three different sizes make them ideal for everything from grains and beans to produce and bread. They are handmade in Canada.
Great reviews: Cute and sturdy.
“These bags are great! They’re cute and they hold my go to bulk items very well. Thanks!” –Alana I.
Gifts don’t get more useful than this: these bamboo bath towels are made from 100% viscose from certified organic bamboo and are super soft. They’re naturally antibacterial and three times more absorbent than traditional cotton towels. Since growing bamboo requires less energy and water than other trees used for fiber production, these are an excellent environmental choice. They’re also fully biodegradable at the end of their lifespan, making them safe for municipal composting programs.
These amazing little lights shaped like sunflowers make a great gift for children and adults. Designed by the UN’s Goodwill Ambassador for Climate Action, these LED lamps feature the world’s most efficient solar light: 5 hours of charging produces 50 hours of light! Perfect for camping, playtime, outdoor exploring, and more, the light comes with two brightness settings. Plus, when you buy a Little Sun, a portion of your purchase helps bring light to developing nations lacking reliable power. Your gift comes with a lanyard and a booklet explaining how this gift gives back.
Great reviews: I Love Little Sun
“I think Little Sun is a beacon of hope in our world. I own three, had already given two away and bought two more to give as gifts to my grandson and his companion to use when they go camping in their kayaks. Their light is brilliant and they do not have to be hand held.”
Nothing quite compares to the smell of beeswax. These festive little candles emit a subtle, honey-like fragrance as they burn. Share a holiday glow with friends, family, or co-workers when you choose one of three colors and sizes that burn from 24 to 50 hours. Add to a gift basket or give alone. Cotton wicks complement the natural, paraffin-free materials.
Great reviews: I love all of your products!
“The beeswax pinecone candles smell wonderful! They are also very pretty and will be perfect for any time of year including Christmas. I love your other candles as well and plan to order more.”
Get into the spirit by giving something useful that reflects the season. Knit in the USA using recycled cotton thread, these cute socks will keep feet warm and comfortable all year round. They are machine washable and colorfast, along with being certified free of harmful toxins. They also come in baby sizes. If you prefer non-Christmas varieties, try out these other colors.
Great reviews: I bought these as a Christmas gift
“I bought these as a Christmas gift for my daughter. She loves them. I purchased 2 pairs (recycled cotton) last year for my wife, and another 2 pairs for her and her sister this year. They make great gifts and seem to be loved by all… thanks.” –Kenneth B.
Break out the bold and beautiful colors: it’s craft time! Little hands will love this soft and pliable, all-natural alternative to modeling clay. Parents will love the worry-free playtime free from dyes and metals. This non-toxic dough is colored with organic fruit, plant, and vegetable extracts. Plus the dough won’t dry out! Simply add oil to dough left out over night and it’s good as new.
Instead of recycling this season’s cards, why not plant them? Send unique greetings to friends and family this year using these grow-a-note snowflake cards. Each holiday card is implanted with flower seeds that your loved one can plant once the season is over. The card includes a seed list and instructions on its reverse. Each card is a gift in itself. They also come in different designs.
Anyone who likes to sew can whip up this simple stuffed animal in a matter of hours. Each kit includes reclaimed wool fabric pre-cut into pattern shapes, along with needle, thread, stuffing, eyes, and instructions. When the penguin is finished, turn the box into an igloo home! Recommended for ages 8 and up, this little kit includes everything you need to make the perfect bedtime buddy. You can also get an owl variety. Made in Canada from 100% reclaimed fabrics.
Stash your toiletries while traveling or at home. These little pouches are made from durable cotton striped fabric known as Hickory Cloth. They are fully lined with hemp denim and feature a cork zipper pull for ease. Choose from two machine-washable sizes.
Great reviews: Great!
“Love the striped organic cotton fabric. It feels really durable. I got the larger size and it’s compact enough to keep in my purse.”
Help someone in your life ditch the plastic that comes with eating on-the-go. This portable utensil set can be tucked into a purse or briefcase and produced instantly when needed for takeout. It’s also handy for camping or picnicking. Plus, the smooth bamboo is wrapped in a soft cork case to protect from dirt and germs. Finished with natural, food-grade oil for a long life, this set is fully compostable at the end of its lifespan.
Great reviews: Way better than a plastic utensil
“It’s really stiff and strong so it lasts way longer and it just feels better to use in your mouth and hand. It’s really a great product.” –Sandra M.
Save energy and space with a modular power ecosystem that allows you to charge a flashlight, headlamp, speaker and lantern all with a single rechargeable battery. The all-in-one power bank is also power on-the-go for your phone, tablet, or GoPro. Start with one component and add over time to increase energy efficiency and ease. The Knog power system is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, cyclists, and general adventurers.
Inspire hours of open-ended creative play with this unique kit. Made from natural materials like moss, bark, seashells, and wood, the kit has been carefully crafted for ages 8 and up. A glue gun and glue sticks are included to provide an easy way to assemble the house. Then it’s up to little hands to decorate with the embellishments provided for a truly unique toy.
Great reviews: DIY Fairy Fort = Best Solstice present ever!
“We got this for our 6 year old. She had wanted something similar to it from the Magic Cabin catalog, but that one was close to $200! This one gives you the necessities plus several extra pieces for fun, and you can go out and search/find and cut all the other little fabulous pieces of nature that you want to add to it over time! My husband and I, and our older daughter, helped her put it together, but where everything went was her idea. She loved putting it together and has loved playing with it since! It’s all very easy, fun, and creative! So glad we were able to find an affordable alternative!” –Sarah