Gift giving is never stress-free. The good news is, you can show thoughtfulness by getting eco-friendly gifts that are made from environmentally safe materials. When it comes to environmentally friendly gifts, you may not have to spend anything if you are crafty.
For example, you can make a bracelet out of yarn scraps threaded with thin wire and leather. Add beads and charms, and you have a completely unique gift to give a friend. Hello Natural offers four ideas – a 3-color braided bracelet, gold leaf bracelet, chain and cord bracelet, and yarn circle bracelet with instructions on how to make each one.
Different organizations cater to wildlife. For example, the National Audubon Society enables people to support wildlife conservation by adopting animals. They receive a stuffed toy version of the same creature they have donated to help. The Nature Conservancy offers items like this in its gift catalog. It also offers various levels of membership that enables participants to receive animal toys, bookmarks, and certificates.
Eco-friendly Kids’ Gifts
Toy stores aren’t often seen as green and ethical, but there are great gifts for children that are environmentally friendly. One is liquid glass. It is made of an inert non-toxic synthetic rubber. The putty can be rolled into a ball or molded into a sculpture before the user stores it in an included tin. Plus, it’s made in the U.S. The product can be purchased from Uncommon Goods.
Other gifts for children include wooden dollhouses and furniture, mazes, rocking horses, walkers, and toys such as the Eco-Friendly Park’n Go Garage. Activity clocks, fire engines, wax crayons, lunch boxes, bags, bean bags, and even miniature pianos made of sustainable materials are available as well. You can even find long-sleeve shirts and cotton backpacks for those headed back to school. In fact, one startup in California has started recycling billboards to turn 20,000 pounds of vinyl per month into durable, waterproof backpacks, totes, cell phone cases, and laptop sleeves.
Even eco-friendly toys for toddlers are sold. Wooden stackers are suited for children as young as 18 months. There’s even a small bench with a xylophone that slides out. Natural Alternative Therapies also sells a naturally made orchard-based board game, shape sorter, and dog on wheels.
Eco-Fashion for Men and Women
One idea for a gift is a pair of organic cotton, nylon, and spandex socks, which include low-impact dyes and recycled paper packaging. There is an eco-mock pullover made of organic cotton and recycled polyester. The shirt is designed via a water-conserving process and is designed to look like sportswear. Another sock brand spins yarns from clothing and textile waste that’s broken down and re-spun. These are manufactured to withstand hiking and other outdoor activities. No water or dyes are used in the production process.
They also have dresses in the eco-friendly apparel department that is wearable at an office or for a casual getaway. It’s made of cotton, Tencel, and spandex. A silk top available from Amour Vert can be worn with jeans or at a dressy cocktail party and features a relaxed fit. Wool sweaters, organic cotton t-shirts, wool button downs with wrinkle resistant fabric, and sustainable, locally produced leather shoes fit the bill as well.
Suited for urban commuters who travel by bike, the Nau Plaid Jacket is water resistant and warm, made of mostly recycled wool with a recycled polyester taffeta lining. Its wide collar folds up for when it gets chilly outside. Its rounded cuffs come in handy as well, covering the wearer’s wrists while steering. The Pact Hoodie follows a similar idea: this cotton piece comes from a product not exposed to any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. It comes in men’s and women’s sizes and contains no bleaches.
Additional Eco-Friendly Gifts
With fashion, there’s plenty to go around, but the choices of gifts that are good for the environment extend well beyond that. Alder New York sells a beeswax gift set with pomade, lip balm, and other personal items. There are no synthetics used and the items are made of all-natural materials. Plus, the gift box and aluminum package are recyclable.
A cell phone case made of plant material is now available. That from the Pela brand has recycled content and a starch-based elastomer. The product is 100 percent compostable and biodegradable. There’s no packaging to clog landfills either and the item is shipped worldwide at no cost.
For those into yoga, Nomadix has a perfect gift. They make a combo yoga mat/printed towel is made from recycled bottles. Ideal for travel, it’s lightweight and anti-microbial. Plus, it dries quickly.
Other items around the house, such as teapots, make great eco-friendly gifts for 2017 as well. All-natural teapots are made in India, showcasing the work of local artists. The materials to make them are obtained from nearby. They do not use potter’s wheels, which makes mass production impossible. They can be ordered from Terra Klay, a retailer of handcrafted earthenware. The company has a full range of similarly made pots and cups in addition to traditional types of teas.
Coffee enthusiasts can also get in on the eco-friendly trends. French Presses from Portland Press are built with steel, wood, glass, and wool in the Pacific Northwest. Parts can be replaced without ordering a completely new product. The design is complemented by a handmade wooden lid, among other replaceable components that make up this easily assembled press.
These, of course, just scratch the surface when it comes to the eco-friendly gifts out there. Recyclable items and products made from all-natural materials can be found just about anywhere on the web.
Sources: Treehugger, Helloglo.co, Gifts.nature.org, Theultimategreenstore.com, Natural Alternative Therapies, Alternative Apparel, Forbes, Terraklay.com