Still Need Last-Minute Gifts? 10 Sustainable Gifts To Give This Holiday Season

December 20, 2021

Happy Holidays! Often times, there are people in life who are unaware of what to get those who are Earth-lovers and settle for the impersonal choice of gift cards. That, or they accidentally choose gifts that are marketed in green-washing techniques and therefore are not actually kind to the planet. In order to help reduce this kind of shopping stress, I have curated a list of items to purchase for not the only sustainable savvy people in your life, but every person in your life! These products are eco-friendly, reusable, and zero waste. Happy shopping!

Aplat Large Reusable Bowl Cover

Are you looking to ditch plastic wrap and tinfoil? This bowl cover is reusable, biodegradable, and produced with zero-waste manufacturing. This kitchen product is perfect to use throughout the entire year, but especially during the holiday season! Consider using it to cover up your pies, casseroles, and other dishes that may be eaten in your kitchen. It is microwave safe and can be thrown in the washing machine once it gets too dirty. At the end of its life, it can be cut into smaller pieces and tossed into a backyard compost bin.

Holiday Organic Natural Seasonal Deodorant

Looking for a new deodorant that is both beneficial to your body and the planet? Little Seed Farm makes aluminum and baking soda free deodorant in glass jars that can be reused or properly recycled in leu of the single-use plastic tubes that deodorants are typically stored in. They even have a special holiday edition scent with hints of white chocolate, peppermint, and vanilla. This product also guarantees sustainable and cruelty free production with clean ingredients and is shipped zero waste.

New hand and body soap is a gift that keeps on giving! The Nada Shop is a Southern California-based retail shop with zero-waste and plastic free household and lifestyle products. Their products are curated by their own brand and are available for refill in shop store in order to reduce the waste of containers. Their products are biodegradable, vegan, and made with clean, natural and organic ingredients. Their amazing hand and body soap comes in four scents: lavender, clary sage & fir, lemongrass, and geranium. You can purchase the product in either a glass or aluminum bottles and be at ease knowing that it will be shipped in recyclable materials. Don’t need any soap? Check out their other refillable products online!

Lush Shampoo Bar

Lush Conditioner Bar

Shampoo and conditioner bars are perfect for zero-waste newbies as well as experienced environmentalist. Many different brands sell these products, but my personal favorite brand is Lush. There are several locations worldwide but products can also be shipped online with low-waste shipping methods. Shampoo and conditioner bars are an excellent way to reduce waste and last much longer than typical plastic-bottled hair care products. Lush also sells convenient metal and cork tins to store the bars in. With many different scent choices to choose from, you are sure to find one that is well suited for whomever you please!

Silicone Baking Cups

Catching up on baking this holiday season or know someone who loves to bake all year long? These silicone baking cups are a perfect substitute for single-use paper cups used for muffins and cupcakes, and is an excellent tool to use for small snacks as well. They are both dishwasher and freezer safe and do not contain harmful chemicals that can often be found in typical molds. These are a perfect stocking stuffer for everyone!

Swedish Holiday dish cloth

Swedish Dishcloths are currently a major fad in the world of zero-waste. They are an excellent alternative to paper towels or paper napkins which can be very wasteful. Purchasing this product will not only save the planet by reducing paper waste but also save whomever receives it a copious amount of money as they will not need to replace it for a very long time. They can be used over and over again and are machine washable. With these fun holiday designs, it is a perfect gift to add to your list this year!

Recycled Bamboo Charcuterie Platter

Everyone loves a good charcuterie board, especially during the holidays and purchasing this recycled bamboo platter ensures that your food will be served on an up-cycled dish! This particular charcuterie board is made from recycled bamboo chopsticks which allows the chopsticks to have a second life before they are thrown away. This product is also shipped in recycled packaging and made without any toxic glues. This gift can be used for years to come and is an extremely sustainable gift option!

Organic Plastic-Free Hair Ties

This gift option is perfect for people with long hair, a hair tie with only natural ingredients such as natural cotton and rubber. Additionally, since these hair ties are sourced so well in fair trade manufacturing, purchasing KOOSHOO products, means caring for your skin, the families and communities growing crops, and our planet. At the end of its life, this product is 100% compostable. Plus, with the festive colors collection, it is a perfect Christmas gift!

All Birds Sneakers

Though a little more on the expensive side, products from allbirds are a wonderful gift this season. They sell both shoes as well as clothes, both of which are extremely sustainable. Allbirds guarantees that their workers are treated with dignity, fairness, and an elevated regard for their health and safety. They use natural materials such as wool, tree, sugar, trino, and trinoXO and they are actively working towards a carbon neutral brand by 2030. Allbirds is measuring everything that contributes to their carbon footprint from the factory floor to the lights in headquarters. They are also aiming to eventually be climate positive and are offsetting all emissions to operate as a carbon neutral business. I personally have a pair of the shoes myself, and love them. Plus, every time they get dirty I simply toss them in the washing machine and they come out looking brand new again. They are a perfect gift for anyone!

Plantable Greeting Cards

Finally, this gift can be added to an already purchased present, or can stand alone. These greeting cards are not only cute, allow you to tell people how you feel or that you miss them, but the receiver of the card can plant them and see wildflowers grow! That’s correct, these cards are plantable, and writing on them does not affect the soil. With several different options to choose from, there are cards for every occasion or relationship. The cards are made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials from businesses and schools, so there were not any trees harmed in the making. The cards are also printed with 80% water-based inks and the remaining ink is pigments which have been tested to again guarantee to not be harmful to the soil or flowers. To plant them, follow these instructions:

  • soak the seed paper in water overnight.
  • loosen the soil (outdoor) or fill a pot with potting soil (indoor).
  • remove a light layer of soil and place the seed paper.
  • add the light layer of soil back over the top of the seed paper to retain moisture.
  • water generously, especially for the first 4-6 weeks.
  • enjoy your wildflowers!

Overall, these products are all great zero-waste and reusable products to add to any shopping list-not only for the holidays. Also, the links provided also have several other products to view that are not included above. These are sure to make any earth-lover happy as well as help introduce more of a zero-waste lifestyle to someone who does not know where to start. Happy shopping and have a sustainable holiday season!

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Photo: respective brands

Abbey Serio
Abbey is a recent college graduate based in Southern California who is extremely passionate about sustainability and zero waste. She has been vegan for over 4 years and loves animals. In her free time Abbey can be found hiking, reading, listening to music, experimenting with new vegan recipes, gardening, and spending time with friends and family. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


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