It’s the most wonderful time of the year!… to mass consume junk that will destroy the planet. KIDDING. Not really…
Yet, the holidays don’t have to be quite as unsustainable if we give gifts that people will actually love AND use. Over the years I’ve received some great gifts that have helped me live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. So, I curated some of my favorite sustainable products, along with my frequently requested favorite natural beauty products into the ultimate holiday gift guide.
I won’t be coming back state side for the holidays myself, as I will be staying here in Dubrovnik, Croatia for Christmas. But I do hope my eco-friendly holiday gift guide will help make your season a little more magical and sustainable.
Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Guide
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Eco-Friendly gift ideas
1.Recycled tote shopping bag
Last Christmas my aunt gifted me with a recycled tote bag with a mermaid on it, and of course it was exactly what I needed in my life. It has actually been one of the most practical gifts I’ve ever gotten, because I still use it almost everyday. I take it with me whenever I go grocery shopping or to the farmer’s market. It also double it as a carry-on travel bag because it is super durable.
These similar tote bags featured above are made from 95 percent post consumer recycled material and have great reviews. Above are a few to chose from, but I think you already know which one is my favorite.
2. LifeStraw water filter for hiking and travel
I couldn’t complete this eco-friendly holiday gift guide without a LifeStraw, a gift my sister graced me with last year. This is a gift I probably won’t have thought of for myself, but now I’m so grateful I have it. LifeStraw is basically a reusable straw and intense water purification gadget that filters 99.9999 percent of water born bacteria. So, you could literally turn toilet water or a dirty stream into an ice, cold glass of water. I have used mine all over Europe (in hotels, airports, and also during hiking trips).
This is a perfect gift for any outdoorsy person who likes hiking, camping, or someone who may need this while traveling overseas.
3. Zero waste bamboo products
When I was in college, reusable bamboo products were all the rage for sustainability nuts like myself. Did you know that tooth brushes account for over 50 million tons pounds of waste each year in the U.S alone? And 6 million tons of plastic utensils are discarded every year? YIKES.
The help of these reusable guys could really go a long way. All of the products are biodegradable and perfect for bringing with while traveling. Also, they all would be unique stocking stuffers!
4. Plant-based cook books
It’s no secret that a plant-based diet has enormous benefits for animals, the environment, and your health. But sometimes the whole “vegan” lifestyle can seem rather intimidating. While I am not fully vegan, about 70 percent of my meals are completely plant based (I’ll only have chicken or fish about once a week). Getting creative with some of these recipes has made this transition a lot easier for me, even while living in Croatia where this is more difficult.
I am a loyal (recipe) follower of the Minimalist Baker, as all of the recipes take less than 30 minutes or require less than 10 ingredients. Not to mention all of her recipes are plant based and mainly gluten free. Her recipes are perfect for someone like me who doesn’t have a lot of patience to make complicated recipes. I’ve used Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*CK while cooking with friends, and read about the No Meat Athlete Cookbook in Sports Illustrated.
A plant-based cookbook would be really helpful for a friend or family member with high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease… or someone who’s looking to dabble in a vegan lifestyle!
Natural beauty product gift ideas
1. Lush shampoo and hair products
The never ending saga of trying to find the perfect shampoo is actually the worst. That’s why I really wish I would have found Lush’s “honey” Shampoo bar sooner. My hair gets really oily at the roots, and dry at the ends, but the shampoo bar leaves my hair feeling clean, fresh, and not too dry. I usually can make my hair last up to 4 days between washes and one bar lasts me almost two months. I’ve also used the sea spray previously for really natural looking beach waves and the dry shampoo while traveling. I did try the lush conditioner bar, but it didn’t work at all for me, so I really wouldn’t recommend it.
These would also be great stocking stuffer ideas, or bundled up as a natural hair-care gift!
2. Tarte cosmetics
As someone who doesn’t want to put a bunch of harsh chemicals on my face, I’ve been using Tarte for almost 10 years now. All of their products are paraben, vegan, sulfate, AND cruelty free, yet very high performance and glam. I’m obsessed with all of these products above, especially the shape tape and lip paint (never go a day without them!)
These gifts are perfect for a bundled beauty package, or honestly, for yourself! #treatyoself
3. Alba skin care products
Last but not least on my eco-friendly holiday gift guide is one of the only brands I’ve grown to trust for my skin. I first grew to love Alba when I would sneak into my mom’s bathroom and take her lotion until I realized I should probably just buy some myself. I then started trying a few other facial products, such as this facial scrub and face wipes/ eye makeup remover. These products work really well with sensitive skin like mine, and are pretty affordable.
All of these together would make a nice bundle for someone who likes natural skincare products, as they are all paraben, toxin, and cruelty free!
What are your favorite natural beauty or eco-friendly products? Tell me below in the comments!
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