20 Best Sustainable Gift Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

sustainable gift ideas

You’re likely looking for sustainable gift ideas for a loved one who is already environmentally conscious. It may be that you would like to encourage someone close to you to move toward zero waste or to take the next step in their journey toward it. If you want to be more conscious about your choices, maybe you’ll want your gifting to reflect that. No matter what your reason is, you are in the right place!

Environmental concerns are leading us to be more aware of the problems associated with accumulating waste. Modern gifts are primarily intended to distract us from everyday issues and have a short-term effect. Those temporary pleasures of life, all too often, collect dust on our shelves and eventually find their way to the trash.

As a result, we have compiled a list of sustainable gift ideas that will enhance your relationship with your loved ones while ensuring that you don’t produce more waste for our planet. Everyone will appreciate these gifts, but those who are already living zero waste lifestyles will be especially grateful. It’s hard to beat a thoughtful, affordable, and eco-friendly gift.

What are Sustainable Gift Ideas?

sustainable gift ideas

Even without considering sustainability, finding the perfect gift for someone deserving is a gift in and of itself. After giving away one of your “treats,” you’ve probably heard this same cliché about eco-friendly gift giving: “What counts is the thought.” Recycled wrapping paper is another option, as well as plastic-free gifts. Taking care of the environment and reducing your carbon footprint can make a significant difference.

Presents made from plastic-free materials can be recycled, biodegradable, or eco-friendly. During their natural decomposition, these materials are beautiful to look at. It is almost impossible to find any trace of them.

Consider giving the gift of natural fabrics, such as bamboo, wool, cotton, hemp, cashmere, and linen, if you’re looking for something special. Alternatively, you can opt for recycled gifts such as metal, wood, glass, or paper.

The Best Sustainable Gift Ideas for your Loved Ones

sustainable gift ideas

Sustainable gift ideas can cover a variety of options, from tote bags, reusable water bottles, and reusable food containers to experiences, like workshops, cooking lessons, or contributions to environmental causes in the name of the recipient. By fostering a culture of reuse, repurpose, and waste reduction, sustainable gift ideas promote sustainability, promote mindful living, and advocate for a healthier planet.

1. Sustainable bamboo homeware

As a fast-growing material, bamboo is often considered a sustainable material. The harvesting of bamboo cannot always be considered sustainable, however. FSC-certified bamboo products and brands can be helpful if you are looking for bamboo products.

Sustainable gift ideas made from bamboo homeware are great if you’ve found a brand that focuses on sustainability. If you’re looking for items for your home, you might consider bamboo cutlery, stationery, lunch boxes, or anything else you may need.

2. Personalized reusable water bottles

Give your loved ones a customized reusable water bottle to encourage them to stay hydrated and help reduce the amount of plastic in the world. Now you can choose from a variety of stylish options, from the one that keeps drinks cold for several hours to the ones that have built-in straws for easy on-the-go drinking. Additionally, they are always practical and useful.

Personalized reusable water bottles combine sustainability and personalization. You can reduce single-use plastic consumption by choosing a custom bottle that reflects style. They offer long-lasting hydration through materials such as BPA-free plastic or stainless steel. Colors and logos can be customized, as well as names, images, or logos, making them ideal for sustainable gift ideas.

Aside from promoting greener options to disposable bottles, they promote hydration habits. A personalized reusable water bottle supports a greener lifestyle by reducing plastic waste while providing a practical, everyday accessory to showcase individuality.

3. Homemade sustainable gift ideas

DIY sustainable gift ideas guarantee you have a truly unique gift while controlling all materials that are used in their making – reducing waste. Consider seeking out the assistance of an expert if you’re not into crafting. Here are a few ideas for homemade sustainable gift ideas, whether you make them yourself or enlist someone else’s help:

  • Wall decor: Make a simple but effective wall hanging by sewing in a message, shape, or another design on an old tea towel or some leftover fabric. You can reuse textiles in this way to make useful home decorations.
  • Indoor plants: They are a great way to bring nature indoors and make a thoughtful gift at the same time. The plants improve air quality and add a touch of greenery to any room. Consider succulents or snake plants as easy-care plants. Considering the size and space the plant will take is also important.
  • Soap salts: Plastic is often used in the packaging of bath salts. A glass jar, salt, baking soda, and essential oils can be used to make your own. An alluring aroma can be created by adding dried flowers.
  • Homemade lip balms: Lip balms made from natural ingredients provide nourishing benefits and can be customized to meet the needs of the individual. By making your lip balm, you can control the ingredients, ensuring that they are natural and safe for your skin.
  • Candles: Natural ingredients and customization are just a few of the benefits of homemade candles. By making your candles, you can personalize scents, designs, and colors according to your preferences. This is also a cost-effective alternative to buying candles in stores.

Don’t be afraid to get creative! DIY sustainable gift ideas can be a thoughtful and practical gift that promotes sustainability as well. Additionally, it’s a great way to do something meaningful to escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

4. Sustainable chocolate

Global chocolate production is plagued by several huge issues, such as slavery, child labor, and deforestation. Thankfully, some chocolate brands fight for change within the industry. The company strives to make chocolate that is ethical and sustainable.

Sustainable chocolate brands should have Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance certifications when searching for them. As a result, they follow sustainable and ethical practices. These are great sustainable gift ideas for loved ones. 

5. Handmade soap

Skin-nourishing ingredients and customizable options are two of the benefits of handmade soap. When you make your soap, you can control the ingredients, avoid harsh chemicals, and add moisture with olive, coconut, or shea butter oils. Gather essential materials, such as fragrances, oils, water, and lye, to make handcrafted soap.

Saponification begins with the careful mixing of lye with water, followed by the addition of melted oils. The mixture should be scented and colored as desired, then poured into molds and allowed to cure for several weeks.

As well as providing effective cleansing, handmade soap can be customized with various scents and textures to meet specific skin needs, including sensitive or dry skin.

6. Handmade or upcycled jewelry

Find unique, upcycled, or handmade jewelry at local craft fairs or artisans. It is often the case that these pieces are more meaningful than mass-produced alternatives because they have a story behind them. As a thoughtful, eco-friendly gift option, artisanal jewelry stands out for its repurposed materials, ethically sourced gemstones, and intricate designs.

Learn more about the piece’s inspiration or the crafting process by contacting the artisan. An added layer of connection to the gift can be created by sharing this additional information with the recipient.

7. Eco-friendly phone case

This might not be the first thought that comes to mind, but these phone cases are great sustainable gift ideas. If you are stuck on which gift to get a loved one, you can get them a high-quality, eco-friendly compostable phone case. These cases are environmentally friendly and also stylish and trendy. Choose from a variety of designs, colors, and sizes to match their phone model and preferences.

When dropped or knocked, phone cases help to protect mobiles from damage. Plastic-free ones are hard to find, however. In addition to being plastic-free, biodegradable, and available in multiple colors, eco-friendly phone cases are also excellent sustainable gift ideas.

8. Takeaway coffee cup

Do you know any coffee lovers who are eco-conscious? The perfect gift for them could be a reusable coffee cup if they don’t already have one. Even if they have one, you can get them a sustainable alternative. This can serve as the perfect gift because you’ll be helping them live healthy and eco-conscious lifestyles.

Cutting down on waste can be simple and effective with a reusable cup. We use up billions of disposable coffee cups yearly! Bringing your takeaway cups can earn you extra loyalty points at some coffee shops. You can get free coffee this way.

9. Bird feeder

Eco-friendly bird feeders make lovely sustainable gift ideas for gardeners. You can get handmade bird feeders from an independent store if you know of one. Buy local gifts to support small businesses while reducing your carbon footprint, instead of buying mass-produced items online. It is still possible to get a gift like this for someone who does not have a garden. A small bird feeder can be attached to a window sill or a window.

10. Reusable shopping bags

Single-use plastic shopping bags have a negative environmental impact, which is why custom reusable shopping bags are a great way to reduce this problem. Custom shopping bags are great sustainable gift ideas because they are made of durable materials such as canvas or recycled fabrics, which can be customized using stencils, fabric paint, or embroidery to reflect an individual’s style or message.

These bags are suitable for grocery shopping or daily use because they are sturdy, washable, and spacious. Minimizing disposable bag use reduces plastic waste and contributes to a greener lifestyle. A custom-made bag also promotes eco-consciousness while demonstrating unique designs. Reusable shopping bags are a practical and environmentally friendly way to reduce carbon emissions while also expressing individuality.

11. Organic cosmetics

Soaps, perfumes, and other cosmetic products are also popular and rather generic presents. Buy more sustainable beauty products to take this idea even further. Nowadays, you have so many options. There are a variety of bio-based products on the market, such as soaps, mascara, lip balms, and even toothbrushes that are zero waste. In addition, cosmetic providers are increasingly offering these products in eco-friendly packaging. You can give them to anyone and they will love them, won’t they?

12. Yoga session

You can also give someone who enjoys sports an excellent gift by enrolling them in yoga, aerobics, or any other guided workout. A healthy habit of regular exercise can also be established through this exercise. It’s a great opportunity to bond with the recipient of this gift in a normal year. Although many providers offer these services over the Internet, they can also come in handy during quarantine times. A great yoga exercise is the perfect way to get your body moving when you are cooped up at home.

13. Home compost bin

In recent years, indoor composting has become more popular than ever. Now, even city apartments can compost their bio-waste without a big garden. The composter bin is therefore one of the most popular sustainable gift ideas right now. It is sustainable because it closely follows the concept of taking from nature and repaying it. As a result, it makes a perfect gift for everyone interested in participating. 

As much as 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste, which emits methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas. Our waste can be transformed into soil that is rich in nutrients by composting. In addition to preventing these emissions, composting also offers many other benefits, making it a great gift idea for cooks. 

Your loved one will appreciate the ability to compost, whether that’s through a subscription service, revolutionary compost, or just a simple kitchen bin. Composting food waste feels good instead of throwing it away. The fertilizer will benefit their garden, too, if they have one!

Read More: A Beginner’s Guide to Composting: Turning Waste into Nutrient-Rich Soil

14. Zero waste clothing

Fashionistas in your life will love some of these great sustainable gift ideas – just make sure the clothing is made from eco-friendly materials. You can give a brand-new, eco-friendly gift by purchasing second-hand clothes, but if you want something brand new, consider these options:

  • Mahabis footwear: Several organic and sustainable materials are used in the production of these slippers, including recycled, recyclable, and organic materials. Additionally, a new tree is planted for every pair you purchase.
  • Sustainable wool scarves: A company called Sheep Inc. produces merino wool scarves that are naturally carbon neutral. Using solar-powered, zero-waste machines, these farms in New Zealand source this wool.
  • Finisterre beanie: Besides being soft and warm, these fibers can also be recycled multiple times, so they can be used over and over again.
  • Organic clothing for kids: Organic cotton and other sustainable materials are used in the manufacture of eco-friendly children’s clothes by many brands. These are ideal sustainable gift ideas for loved ones.
  • Patagonia: The brand uses recycled and sustainable materials, supports environmental non-profits, and offers a repair and reuse program, so buying clothing from Patagonia helps the planet in many ways.

15. Natural deodorant

By avoiding potentially harmful chemicals and effectively controlling odor, natural deodorants deliver an effective alternative to conventional antiperspirants, making them great sustainable gift ideas. Several ingredients, including baking soda, arrowroot powder, coconut oil, and essential oils, are used to make natural deodorant. 

Create a paste by mixing these ingredients. As well as moisturizing, coconut oil absorbs moisture and neutralizes odors with baking soda and arrowroot powder. Fragrances and antibacterial properties are provided by essential oils. Clean a container and store the mixture there.

The use of natural deodorants reduces the chance of skin irritation and allows the body to perspire effectively without added aluminum and synthetic fragrances. The use of natural ingredients promotes odor control that is healthier, more environmentally friendly, and less irritating to the skin.

16. Blends of herbal tea

This gift is great for tea lovers! Different dried herbs, flowers, fruits, and spices are used to craft herbal tea blends that offer diverse flavors and health benefits. Creating herbal teas allows you to customize them to fit your tastes and health needs.

Choose dried herbs such as peppermint, hibiscus, chamomile, or lavender, and combine them in proportions that suit your needs. Combine flavors to create unique tastes, and use herbs to boost immunity, relieve stress, and enhance digestion.

Advise them to store the ingredients away from light and moisture in airtight containers. Herbal blends should be steeped in hot water for a recommended duration of time to extract the flavors and health properties. The enticing flavors and natural ingredients of homemade herbal tea blends promote wellness.

17. Upcycled handmade jewelry

Repurposing materials into unique jewelry is a symbol of creativity and sustainability and an ideal sustainable gift. Recycle old or unused items such as buttons, beads, scrap fabric, or broken jewelry to create upcycled jewelry. 

Using wire or thread, string beads onto pendants or earrings, and arrange buttons into pendants to create stunning accessories. Assemble the pieces with wires, pliers, or glue. The versatility and unique styles of upcycled jewelry allow for endless customization while reducing waste at the same time. 

Repurposing discarded materials and crafting jewelry from these items contributes to both environmental conservation and the creation of one-of-a-kind accessories. In addition to making meaningful gifts, these handmade pieces serve as a reminder that fashion can be sustainable and creative.

18. Artwork

An item made by hand is a great idea if you want to give a gift that lasts and (hopefully!) won’t be wasted. I consider original art to be one of the best sustainable gift ideas. The reasons are as follows:

  • Giving away your work is ideal. If you’re able to deliver the gift in person, there will be no need for much transportation. Recycled paper is another option for making it earth-friendly.
  • Gifts can be completely customized for the recipient. You could draw a bicycle for them, for example, if they like cycling.

Those who aren’t artistic should not worry, though! Online, you can purchase a wide variety of eco-friendly handmade artworks. You can start on Etsy. Many people will sell art there for reasonable prices, so you should be able to find what you’re looking for there.

19. Remover pads for reusable makeup

In addition to reducing waste and promoting sustainability, reusable makeup remover pads have numerous advantages. This eco-friendly alternative to cotton pads is made from cotton, bamboo, or microfiber. Due to their reusable nature, they reduce environmental impact through reduced disposable waste, resource conservation, and reduced carbon footprints.

Aside from being gentle on the skin, they are often soft and hypoallergenic, suitable for a variety of skin types. Easily cleanable by hand, these pads provide an economic and sustainable solution over the long term. Users can benefit from skin-friendly makeup removal while contributing positively to environmental conservation by using reusable makeup remover pads.

20. Vegan recipe book

Anyone trying to eat more sustainably can benefit from vegan recipe books as thoughtful gifts. Vegan meals can still be enjoyed by people who aren’t fully vegan. From breakfasts to party food, and weekday meals to sharing plates, there is a wide variety of cookbooks with recipes. Vegan recipe books focus on simple and delicious vegan recipes. When possible, it is also a good idea to buy second-hand books rather than new ones.

Vegan meal prep kits reduce single-use packaging and facilitate mindful eating while reducing waste. Whenever possible, choose reusable containers for these kits, such as snack bags, stainless containers, or glass jars. Use bulk or package-free items to reduce waste when dividing ingredients for planned meals.

Also include eco-friendly utensils, cloth napkins, and reusable cutlery. Reusable containers eliminate disposable packaging and reduce food waste. It’s easy to transport homemade meals, snacks, or leftovers with these kits, which streamline meal preparation.

Final Thoughts

It’s not necessary to add to the waste pile when you give gifts. Give the gift of sustainable living with these sustainable gift ideas this holiday season. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making your loved ones happy while promoting eco-friendliness, from reusable water bottles to experiences to homemade gifts. Make a positive impact on our planet this year by spreading the joy of sustainability.


What are sustainable gift ideas?

A green gift leaves a smaller environmental footprint during a time of year when it’s easy to overdo things. Eco-friendly and socially responsible spending can be done in many ways.

Why choose zero-waste gifts?

Sustainable gift ideas promote waste reduction and an eco-friendly lifestyle. Your ideals and principles will also be conveyed convincingly with their help.

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