These Holiday Gifts are Cute, Eco-Friendly, and On Our Shopping Lists!

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, and the overall force of the holiday season, consumers go crazy around this time of year, dishing out all their money in search of the best presents for their loved ones. Now, I don’t have any problem with looking for just the right gift for your family and friends, but shoppers tend to get ahead of themselves, buying gifts that no one will use and just cluttering everyone’s closets. This form of excess is not only bad for the gift receiver as they are just left with more items to throw away, but it is also detrimental to our environment. This holiday season, I put together a list of sustainable and useful gifts that everyone can use, but that will also not harm the environment. Even if they don’t like the gift, at least it will have made a difference in some way! Here are some of my favorite sustainable gifts for friends, family and coworkers!

 

1. Reusable Swedish Dishcloths by Three Bluebirds —$6.95/ each

I found Three Bluebirds last Christmas at the NYC holiday markets where I bought two of their adorably designed dishcloths. This year, I am a return customer and can vouch for their effectiveness. What I love about them is that they are super absorbent and can replace all your paper towels. As a college student, the last thing I want to spend my money on is home toiletries, so this is a great money saver. I typically have two on hand for my dishes—one for the washing, and one for the drying. These dishcloths can be put in the dishwasher or in with your laundry when you feel it’s time to clean them so their care is super simple. You do not have to worry about their designs peeling off, they will stay in tack! Here are some cool facts about this product:

  • 3,000 tons of paper towels end up in our country’s landfills every day.                                                 ​
  • One Swedish Dishcloth replaces 17 rolls of paper towels.
  • It absorbs 20x its weight.

  • It is far more hygienic than a sponge and won’t crumble or pill.

  • It air dries quickly, so it doesn’t breed bacteria or smell.  

 

2. Tea Cantina by Welly — $29-$35.00

 

Image by Welly

For tea enthusiasts or just water drinkers (aka humans), you can buy this Welly bottle made out of renewable resources. The bamboo makes this bottle not only sustainable, but chic! It’s my pet peeve when people buy plastic water bottles when plastic is not degradable and is getting caught up in oceans. Grab one of these for that friend or family member who still has not made the switch.

 

3. Eco-Friendly Tote Bags on ECOBAGS - $14.00

 

 

I cannot emphasize how useful these bags have been in my life! From grocery shopping to carrying my school books, you won’t need any other bag in your life. I can’t stand coming back home from a grocery shopping trip and having to look at all the plastic bags that will eventually go clog up a landfill or pollute our oceans. Instead, grab your products and bag them yourself in this stylish tote. Worried about not fitting all your groceries in? This is also a good self-check on your spending habits. I find I don’t buy as much knowing that I have less space, which is cost-effective and you put back the tub of ice cream you don’t need. Try it out!  

4.  Sustainable & Natural Skincare Products from Oil + Water - Prices Vary 

Image by Oil + Water 

We all love pampering ourselves, well at least I do, anyway. So why not buy some lush, natural products that are good for the environment and your body. Located in Brooklyn, New York, you can take a day-trip over to their shop to hand-pick your favorite smelling products. Or order online and use this code I found on the net (MYGREENCLOSET for 15% off.) You’re welcome!

 

P.S. Sentrel Natural Beauty also has an online shop with products that are good for the environment and for your body.

 

5. Gift Cards — Prices Vary

Image by Congerdesign

Now, although this is not a sustainable gift per se, in some ways it’s a great alternative for the indecisive shopper. Hear me out— if you are thinking about buying a gift for someone and you are unsure of what to get them, and if they are going to like it, just get them the damn gift card! So many people are opposed to this option (I’m not sure why) but in reality, you are saving your loved one a trip to the store to return, or back to our original problem—they are just going to throw it to the back of the closet and add to the mass-consumer mass-pollution problem. Trust me, everyone likes picking their own items out at the end of the day. This gift is only unacceptable when it comes to your significant other— for them, keep thinking.

 

Have fun this holiday picking out your favorite sustainable gifts for your loved ones—the environment will thank you later for it. Or, maybe you’ll thank yourself when we finally dig ourselves out of our approaching apocalyptic reality. Happy Holidays!