The 15 Best

Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Gift Ideas:

Holiday Gifting with Our Home Planet in Mind 

by | Dec 12, 2019

The holiday gift season is surely upon us. And while the key to many of our environmental woes can just be consuming less, consuming smarter can certainly be a step in the right direction. 

We may not be able to get our parents to stop using Keurig cups to brew their morning coffee, but we can send a subtle (or not so subtle) message with the gift they open up, stressing the care that must be taken to preserve the livelihood of this planet we call home. 

And so, for this gifting season (and the gifting opportunities that may arise afterward), we at Grow Ensemble wanted to arm you with a list of wonderfully eco-friendly gifts and sustainable means to show your loved ones, friends, and colleagues you care. 

Take a stand against the fast fashion and landfill fueling this gift season with our list of eco-friendly products, gifts and ideas curated (and commented on) by our Grow Ensemble team. 

Happy gifting!

gift.


Grow Ensemble’s Planet Friendly Gift Ideas for the Eco-Conscious Giftees & Gifters!

1. Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Straw Set — (Under $15)

Of course, Klean Kanteen is probably best known its line of insulated water bottles, but let’s not forget, they are in the business of ridding the world of single-use plastic. And from all angles, it’s an explicit problem—Americans use 500 million straws every single day! 

Klean Kanteen has committed to offering a solution. Get these stainless steel reusable straws for that friend who loves the ocean and the planet as much as you do. 

We were lucky enough to have interviewed Klean Kanteen CEO, Jim Osgood, this year — listen in for a chat about Klean Kanteen’s mission to do away with single-use plastics. 

Get them at KleanKanteen.com or Amazon.

2. KeepCups’ New Thermal Reusable Coffee Cup — (Under $30)

KeepCup originally created the first ‘barista standard’ reusable cup and has since taken that to the next level with the recent release of their thermal cups—built to reduce splash and keep your drinks warm. 

I love my KeepCup, especially for travel as the 12 oz is small and easy to pack. Of course, they are BPA-Free, made from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel. 

Gather some KeepCups for the friends who loathe those to-go cup plastic containers but still love themselves a coconut milk latte. 

Visit KeepKup’s website, or Amazon.

3. Fill it Forward with The Cupanion Bottle — (Under $20)

Another innovative take on reuse, with Cupanion’s Fill it Forward initiative, you and your secret Santa’s can play a part in both tracking your environmental impact and ensuring more clean water is available to those who are in need. 

With each Cupanion bottle, you receive a tag that you can scan with every refill via their Fill it Forward app. This tracks your footprint, sends a cup of clean water to someone in need, and keeps you focused on hydration! 

A seemingly simple bottle, but an excellent story and sentiment to share in gifting!

Get one at Cupanion.com

4. Clean up the Planet with a Reusable Shopping Bag from EcoBags — (Under $10)

Support a Certified B Corporation, Women-Owned & run company, and encourage your giftees to kick the plastic grocery bags to the curb with a tote from EcoBags. Made from recycled canvas it’s durable and folds up easy, while also retaining that classic tote look we all know and love. The produce bag you could also take to the beach. 

Check them out at EcoBags.com or Amazon

5. Refill, Reuse, and Rejoice’ with Plaine Products’ Stocking Stuffers Gift Set  — (Under $20)

 

We love Plaine Products. Especially after the CEO, Lindsey McCoy joined us for a podcast to discuss how in under 2 years, Plaine Products went from launch to diverting well over 50,000 plastic bottles from landfills in 2018 and now 100,000 in 2019 alone! 

The concept is simple and perfect for your sustainable familiars who you think deserve a little sumpthin’ this holiday season.  

  1. Order your preferred products from Plaine Products (change the lid you get with a pump)
  2. When you bottle runs dry, order a refill (or subscribe and they’ll send you refills automatically.) 
  3. Once a bottle is empty, a quick rinse and pump switch, then use your return label to send it back! 

Zero-waste in the process! PLUS, use the code “Grow” for 20% off your first order. 

Get these at PlaineProducts.com or Amazon (The “Grow” coupon does not work on Amazon) 

6. Give Thoughtfully with the Highly Functional but Surely Coveted Natural Lip Balm —  (Under $20)

If you think someone might be disappointed receiving a set of lip balm, why are people always stealing them!?! People turn into sharks around a good lip balm, and NOT the good kind of sharks. Two brands we love, both for the high-quality natural ingredients they use in all their skincare and home good products, and their various commitments to sustainability and consciousness with their means of production, are Dr. Bronner’s & All Good Products. 

Made with organic beeswax and oils, you can’t go wrong with Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint lip balm. A little fire on the lips, but surely welcomed. 

Visit Dr. Bronner’s, or Amazon

Or, All Good’s “All Good Lips” offers another delightful option for keeping lips hydrated and protected.

7. Let Your Sustainable Gift Giving Light a Fire, with Keap Candles

Do you enjoy a house flush with lit candles? Do you also always wonder what to do with the candle once it’s burned out? Always coming in some sort of glass, or something…without making candles on your own, they’ll inevitably end up in the trash! 

That’s why Keap Candles created their Zero-Waste candles, easy to be repurposed and reused (just return them), with scents crafted by a master perfumer (didn’t know that was a thing, to be honest, but I’m also happy about it). 

Check out their “Scent-to-Home” sampler as a great zero-waste gift for $12 and a good story. 

8. Give Foodie Friends the Gift of Upcycled Pancakes — (Under $10)

These pancakes come from beer! 

Grain4Grain, a San Antonio based company, takes used grains from microbreweries to recycle them and turn them into a flour. To date, these folks have been responsible for upcycling over 60,000 lbs of grain and feeding over 2250 families in the San Antonio area through their donation program. 

Both sustainable and socially impactful. 

Find their waffle and pancake mix at Grain4Grain.com and listen to our podcast with the CEO & Co-Founder, Yoni Medhin, here.

9. Support Sustainable Fashion & Shoes, & Give the Great Gift of Comfort with AllBirds  (Under $100)

Have you heard of Allbirds? Of course you have. 

Allbirds has exploded onto the shoe scene this last year, and for good reason. My pair of wool runners call to me often as I head out the door and my feet always thank me. 

Underplayed however, is AllBirds’ leadership as a sustainable and responsible business. A Certified B Corporation (how cool?!?), AllBirds went completely carbon neutral in 2019. 

Not to mention, their materials have been intentionally and consciously sourced and utilized from start to finish. 

On their site, you’ll read ‘Our sheep live the good life,’ and with that fun, familiar, and playful branding, I can’t help but believe it. As well, their packaging is made up of 90% recycled cardboard, giving every box out there a second chance. 

There’s lots to love about AllBirds, like how much your special someone will love you! 

Find them at AllBirds.com

10. Give Your Friends a Cleaner, Plastic-Free Way to Stash, with Stasher! ($10 – $50)

Down with Ziploc! 

I used to cringe when my mom would rinse out plastic bags and keep them on the sink faucet to dry. For some reason, there was something that didn’t sit right with me with those dirty plastic bags. But maybe, it was my mom’s OG attempt at using a little less…respect mom, respect. 

Anyways, help a friend not worry about dirty plastic bags on their sink faucet anymore, and maybe more importantly save them one of those moments when they need to go to the grocery store JUST for plastic bags! 

Kidding but not really, help a friend stash those leftover roasted veggies responsibly with Stasher’s reusable bags. 

Find them at Stasherbag.com and Amazon

11. Gift a Classic (T-Shirt that is…) from Tentree & Forests will Flourish — ($30-$50)

Tentree is a Certified B Corporation with a dedication to the trees. For every shirt sold, they plant ten! Warms my Washington state born heart. 

 These shirts are ecologically produced with organic cotton, recycled polyester, and TENCEL (a wood pulp fiber), and they’re damn soft. 

Men’s or women’s classics, this “green gift” will keep the thank yous coming all year long, just like an evergreen keeps its leaves…all year long (was that bad?). 

Find a “T” & plant at tree (or 10) at Tentree.com or Amazon

12. Get a Colleague Composting with Full Circle Home’s ‘Fresh Air’ — ($30 – $40)

 

 Have friends who don’t have the yard of their dog’s dreams yet? Maybe I’m projecting here…

Really though, for the pal of yours who would like to do their part to reduce food waste but dwells in the city, Full Circle Home’s ‘Fresh Air” Kitchen Compost Collector may be the ticket to get them started. 

Easy to clean, designed for reducing odor and preventing a radical kitchen fly takeover, this is an exceptional indoor compost solution, from a wonderful company! 

 Thanks to Stasher, for the idea to add this to our list! 

Find it at FullCircleHome.com

 

13. Send a Subtle Signal with the BogoBrush ToothBrush — ($10-$15) 

 

For the friends of yours for whom an Altoid just won’t do…there’s the Bogobrush toothbrush. 

Free your friends to fight plaque and pledge their allegiance to preserving the planet, at the same time. 

I was delighted to find the Bogobrush listed in The Social Impact Holiday Gift Guide for Conscious Consumers from Cause Artist. 

This brush is biodegradable and compostable! With a handle made from a bio-composite material, it can be tossed into a backyard compost pile, a curbside organic waste bin, or one of Full Circle Home’s kitchen compost collectors (bundle gift anyone??). 

Check it out at Bogobrush.com

Non-Traditional Gifting…The Most Eco-Friendly Gifts of All? 🤔

 

14. Give Good with Phin — ($ up to you!) 

 

 What better eco-friendly gift is there than the opportunity to support organizations that are doing the hard and important work of advocating for, and preserving our natural lands and waters. 

Phin is a social good platform where companies can pay donations to great causes that members of the Phin platform can choose. 

If you are a part of a business or organization that is looking to find ways to thank its community, consider connecting with the folks at Phin to help facilitate your giving. 

You pay the donations, your giftees choose the cause that’s most important to them.

Learn more at Phinforgood.com, and listen in to our podcast with the Founder, Doug Lessing

15. Offset Holiday Travel with the Gift of Carbon Neutrality 

 

Use Native Energy’s calculator to determine the rough carbon footprint of you and your family members this holiday season or maybe this previous year. 

Homework done, you’ll get a figure for the number of tonnes of carbon you’ll need to purchase to counteract your personal carbon footprint. 

Each purchase with Native Energy goes to build clean energy and carbon-reducing projects. 

Have your family reminiscing a year from now…”remember when our Christmas was carbon neutral? That felt nice, didn’t it?”  

Thanks for the folks behind Oliver Russell’s Purpose Post for this tip for holiday gifting! 

And with that, happy holidays! 

Have any other thoughtful gifts for keeping gift giving green?

Cory Ames

Cory Ames

Founder & CEO, Grow Ensemble

Cory is from Spokane, WA in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, but now resides in San Antonio, TX. He lives with his wonderful girlfriend, who attends law school at St. Mary’s University, and their dog, Milou, who routinely chews up their house plant collection and pretends like nothing happened…

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