It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And with a little planning and creativity, you can make it a wonderful time of year for our planet, too. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite eco-friendly gifts for everyone on your shopping list (or for yourself — we won’t tell).
For the techie
What do you get the person who always has the latest gadgets? How about a portable solar panel to charge all those gadgets?
Grouphug’s window solar chargers make it easy to harness the power of the sun at home. The solar panel hangs in the window and stores solar energy that you can use to charge devices. It has a place to plug in USB cables to connect phones, smart watches, headphones, bike lights, and more. Not only is the window panel a pretty cool piece of tech, but it’s also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint at home. Members of the Arcadia community get free shipping on Grouphug window panels with code ARCADIA2021.
For the foodie
If you know someone who loves to cook at home, a subscription to a compost service or a CSA box could be a great gift. Composting services will pick up your food waste if you can’t (or don’t want to) start a compost pile at home. There are several services available — search local options here.
CSA, or community-supported agriculture, subscriptions are a way to get fresh, locally grown produce, either for pick-up or straight to your door. One that we love is Tomato Mountain, which serves the Chicago area, but there are hundreds of CSAs across the country. Find out more and search for subscriptions here.
If you have an aspiring foodie or home chef in your life, you could also get them started on an eco-conscious meal kit service like Green Chef, which delivers organic ingredients in eco-friendly packaging. You can customize meals for a plant-based diet, and all the ingredients come pre-portioned to reduce food waste.
For the friend whose outfit is always on point
There’s no shortage of sustainable clothing companies out there. Brands like Reformation are working to break the fast-fashion cycle with sustainable practices and materials (bonus: get a $100 Reformation gift card when you join Arcadia).
You might also think about browsing thrift shops and secondhand stores. There are a lot of great secondhand clothing websites where you can find quality pieces. Or opt for a gift card and let your friend choose!
For the young climate activists in your life
We’re firm believers that it’s never too early to start learning about climate change and clean energy. Check out some of our favorite books to teach kids about climate matters.
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For the new homeowners or renters
Moving into a new place is exciting! Set your friends up with eco-friendly cleaning products (e.g., from Blueland or Grove Collaborative). Or give them some easy zero-waste swaps for their kitchen with reusable silicone bags and beeswax wrap to replace plastic products or reusable paper towels and cloth napkins to replace paper products.
For the person who has everything
We all have those people who are really difficult to shop for. Either they buy things for themselves or they seem to already have everything they need. Can we humbly suggest clean energy? Sign them up for community solar — not only will they get guaranteed savings on their power bill every month, but they’ll be doing something good for the planet by reducing the need for fossil fuels. That’s like two gifts in one.
For the person who always says, “I don’t need anything”
We all know these people, too. If you still want to get them something but they don’t want a “thing,” why not donate in their name? Make it to a cause they care about, or support a climate justice organization helping members of their community. It’s as easy as searching “climate justice [location]” to find the groups working on the ground. This is one of our favorite eco-friendly gifts for any occasion.
It’s also worth remembering that gifts don’t have to be new all the time. Browse secondhand stores and websites — you can find great deals on everything from gently used outdoor gear to furniture and decor to previously loved books that need a new home. And hey, there’s no rule against regifting something you’ve received but aren’t going to use. If you know someone who can give that item the perfect home, pass it on to them.
You can also get creative and crafty with your gift-giving. Are you a plant person? Gift cuttings of your favorite plant. More of a baker? Deliver homemade treats. And who says you have to give tangible things, anyway? Experiences make great gifts, and you’ll make new memories to boot.
Disclosure: Arcadia has commercial relationships with some of the brands in this article, including Grouphug, Tomato Mountain, Green Chef, and Reformation. Arcadia has not received compensation for this article by any of the brands mentioned in it.