This holiday season will likely look a lot different for most of us due to the on-going pandemic.  Many of us may not be able to carry out the same festivities or see some of our loved ones this year.  However, thoughtful gift-giving can be a way to connect still with those we can’t see in person.

You may also be thinking of taking a more conscious approach to the holidays and stumped on what type of green gifts to give your loved one. Truthfully, the most ethical and sustainable option is to make something yourself, but who has time for that in 2020? Especially when there are tons of green gifts that can help someone maintain or learn more about eco-friendly living.

From eco-beauty products to sustainable household items, this guide will help you decide on the best green gifts to give this year!

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GREEN GIFTS IN BOOKS

Sustainable books

When in doubt, knowledge is quite possibly one of the best green gifts you can give. Sustainable and conscious living can seem intimidating, especially for those just starting out. A great introduction to the topic would be The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide, which details actionable steps you can take to cut down on your carbon footprint and help save the planet. In supplement to this, The Lady Farmer’s Guide to Slow Living explains how slow living can help humans restore our relationship with nature. 

It’s crucial for kids to understand environmental issues as well. A great green gift for kids would be The Plastic Problem developed by Lonely Planet. This workbook shows children just how much plastic we produce, and provides actionable steps to reduce plastic consumption. 

101 Ways to Go Zero Waste would be a perfect gift for anyone that is already somewhat familiar with sustainability and waste. Written by zero waste blogger Kathryn Kellogg, this book is the ultimate low waste blueprint needed for sustainable living.

Sustainable cookbooks

A major part of green living starts with what’s on your plate. That’s why a cookbook is a perfect gift to help someone cut down on their carbon footprint and food waste. 

Much of green living starts with what’s on your plate. That’s why cookbooks are a perfect gift to help someone develop more sustainable eating habits. To start, eating more plant-based is a great way to cut down on your carbon footprint. This Plant-Based Cookbook provides a ton of creative recipes for vegans and those looking to incorporate more plant-based meals! 

You may have heard of Blue Zones, which are regions known for the happiest and healthiest people in the world. Research shows that this is because of mostly a plant-based diet, with some fish and dairy. This Blue Zone Cookbook is the perfect gift for someone looking to get healthy for themselves and the planet. 
Lastly, a major aspect of sustainable cooking is cutting down on food waste. That’s why this Zero Waste Cookbook shows you meals to make from scratch that have minimal waste. Chapters include fruit, veggies, bread, and even dairy, which will challenge the way you cook in the kitchen.

Shop all of these sustainable books below:

GREEN GIFTS FOR THE HOME

Reusable bags and wraps

What would go great with a zero waste cookbook? These organic cotton reusable zero waste bags made out of organic cotton. I have this exact set of 6 bags, which I bring with me every time I go to the grocery store or market. They are great to store fruit or veggies, and can be washed and reused!

Instead of using plastic or foil wrap, check out these reusable beeswax wraps you can use instead. I have a similar set of these, and they are great for storing cheese, covering leftovers, or even wrapping up a sandwich to go! Also, I love that I can easily clean these and carry them with me easily. 

bamboo utensils and toothbrush

Perfect for when you are on the go, check out this zero waste utensil set. Made out of bamboo, the set contains a fork, spoon, knife, chopsticks, and a reusable straw with the cutest carrying pack. I have one of these myself, and I never travel without it!

One last sustainable swap is to switch to a bamboo toothbrush with activated charcoal, which is a 100% natural toothpaste and teeth whitener. All you have to do is get a little bit of powder wet, which turns the charcoal into a paste. So many people swear by charcoal as a toothpaste alternative, so don’t knock it until you try it!

Reusable filtered water bottle

A reusable water bottle is one of the first sustainable essentials that usually comes to mind. This purifying thermal water bottle uses UV light technology to purify water from inside the bottle, and comes in a variety of colors. Currently it’s on sale for 30% off!

Alternatively, check out the Lifestraw filtered water bottle. The durable, BPA-free water bottle filters out 99% of bacteria. This is a perfect water bottle for those that do a lot of hiking or traveling, and it also comes in three different colors. 
However, the original Lifestraw is a perfect eco-friendly stocking stuffer. The straw works in the same way that the water bottle does, and filters 99% of bacteria while on the go or in remote locations. It’s been a lifesaver for me when traveling! Otherwise, you can check out the Lifestraw home water filter pitcher.

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GREEN GIFTS IN BEAUTY

Clean makeup

When it comes to clean make-up, I can say through much trial and error that Tarte is my favorite. Known for “high performance naturals”, all of their products are free of toxic paraben chemicals. Of course, their products are also vegan and not tested on animals. 

This shape-tape concealer was voted the best concealer in the USA! I can definitely stand by that statement, as I’m loyal to this product for life! I also will never use another foundation after discovering this talc-free airbrush powder foundation. The coverage goes on super smooth and gives a natural airbrushed finish. It lasts me for at least 6-7 months, and they offer a wide range of shades for all skin tones. 

I also use this toasted eyeshadow palette almost every day. The warm colors are perfect for fall and the holiday season, and can be used to make a natural or glam look. I’ve had this set for over a year now and it’s still going strong! 

As someone with sensitivity to some harsh chemicals in mascara, I really love Tarte mascaras. They extend my lashes without making them look clumpy. I’ve gotten lots of compliments and had people ask me if I wear extensions. You can check out my favorite big ego mascara here
Tarte also offers a selection of holiday sets that make for a perfect green gift. They carry a range of eco-friendly skincare products as well as mini travel-sized products that make for stocking stuffers. I also love their long-lasting lipsticks that never smudge!

Shop all Tarte products below:

Eco-Friendly Haircare

When it comes to green gifts, you can’t go wrong with some eco-friendly hair products. I have used this lavender + argan oil shampoo and conditioner set for a couple of years now, and love how smooth it makes my hair! The brand Love Beauty and Planet keeps sulfates and parabens out of their products, and all the packaging is made from recycled plastic. This shampoo and conditioner set is specifically for dry and damaged hair. 

Another awesome eco-friendly stocking stuffer idea would be these eco-friendly shampoo bars. These shampoo bars are made with coconut butter and peppermint, which are made to keep the pH balance in your (natural or colored) hair. One tiny shampoo bar is equivalent to three bottles of liquid shampoo! This shampoo bar is specifically for dandruff. 

Eco-friendly Skincare

There are a lot of skincare products out there filled with harsh chemicals, which aren’t always great for your skin or the environment. That’s why Farmacy focuses on providing skincare “rooted in science with farm-sourced ingredients raised in nature.” All of their skincare products are paraben, phthalate, and synthetic fragrance free, and also cruelty free of course!

This greenhouse gift set is a plant-based formula meant to hydrate dry, winter skin. This farmer’s market kit offers a mask, serum, balm, and moisturizer is a best-seller for replenishing the skin. Plus, Farmacy is donating 5 meals per gift set sold to Feeding America this holiday season.

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GREEN GIFTS IN APPAREL

Sustainable activewear

Know someone who prefers activewear with lots of funky prints? You need to check out Wolven Threads then. This sustainable brand specialized in swim and activewear in a variety of patterns.The best part? The breathable, and comfortable fabric is actually made out of recycled plastic! These psychedelic leggings would be the perfect gift for the yogi or pilates enthusiast in your life.

Another alternative for sustainable activewear is Summersalt, which offer eco-friendly lounge and activewear in a combination of classic prints and colors. The moisture-wicking fabric is built to absorb moisture with a soft, breathable texture. Sizes range from XS to XXL, and are perfect for working out or lounging around the house. Shop Summersalt here.

For years I struggled to find the perfect pair of eco-friendly leggings, until I came across Girlfriend Collective. This female-founded activewear brand embodies what it means to be inclusive and conscious. All of their leggings and sports sets are made out of recycled plastic. They offer a range of sizes from XXS to XXXL, and even maternity leggings. The comfy fabric in a range of colors is what makes these leggings my all-time favorite!

Shop Girlfriend leggings below:

Sustainable casual and occasion wear

Reformation is my favorite sustainable brands when it comes to feminine, versatile pieces. The brand is known for their occasion wear dresses for weddings and the holiday season. They carry other blouses and bottoms too, with sizes ranging from petite to plus size. Though some of their pieces are a bit on the pricier side, the brand always has a site-wide 30% off sale for black Friday! 

This eco-friendly brand is also known for their basics. I absolutely love their basic dresses and shirts, all of which have lasted me for several years. The tencel material they use is extremely durable and comfortable. Reformation also carries jeans in a variety of styles that many people swear by.

Sustainable sneakers

Veja is the brand of sneakers that all the “it girls” wear on Instagram, but for good reason. This French company makes sneakers made from sustainably sourced leather and recycled plastic. All of their shoes are ethically made in Brazil, and you can find these sneakers in many major retailers across the country. 


The shoes come in a variety of versatile styles. These 3-lock velcro sneakers are a hip take on the classic white sneakers. These black mesh sneakers complete the look with a sporty-chic finish. FYI all of the current size guides with Veja recommend sizing up.

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GREEN GIFTS IN SUBSCRIPTIONS

Organic meal service

Thinking of that certain someone who is super busy, and also extremely hard to buy gifts for? Consider gifting them this organic meal subscription service. Sun basket delivers responsibility sourced, USD meals to your doorstep. The compostable and recyclable packaging makes it an eco-friendly alternative to other meal subscription services. 

Plus, Sun Basket offers a variety of meals for those with dietary restrictions. For example, they offer gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, and mediterranean diet options. These are either pre-prepared or ready in minutes by heating them in the oven or microwave. 

All of the produce is organic, and the meat and seafood is sustainably sourced. Plus, Sun Basket partners with Feeding America to donate excess food to food banks across the country. 

Learn more about this ORGANIC MEAL SUBSCRIPTION HERE.

Sustainable coffee subscription

If you’re looking for green gifts to give to men, start with a sustainable coffee subscription. Driftaway Coffee is a monthly coffee subscription service that works directly with fairtrade and organic coffee farmers and roasters across the world. Not only this, but the company is carbon neutral and the boxes come in compostable packaging. 

This subscription services allows you to customize your box based on whole bean, ground, or cold brew bags. BUILD YOUR COFFEE SUBSCRIPTION BOX HERE

Alternatively, Drink Trade Coffee works with a variety of sustainable coffee companies, and you can take their on-boarding questionnaire to find the perfect roast for you. They offer 30 percent off your first order, and always offer free shipping. Plus, you can purchase coffee equipment, like grinders and kettles, to go alongside your subscription gift. BUILD YOUR COFFEE GIFT BOX HERE. 

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