These eco friendly ideas make great gifts on their own, or thoughtfully curated into sustainable gift boxes for friends, colleagues and neighbors.
Eco Friendly Tech
Tech products are notoriously difficult to recycle. Here are some eco friendly options.
Nimble For Good. Eight day fast portable charger, made from plant bioplastics and recycled aluminum. They don’t use plastic packaging, and they offer free recycling for your old tech.
The Nimble can charge four devices simultaneously, and supports up to ten full phone charges.
Check out more great eco friendly tech + audio gifts at Earth Hero made with sustainable, upcycled materials. We especially love their selection of beautiful wood device chargers and stylish bluetooth speakers.
Reusable water bottle
Chic. For great looks and functionality, check out the S’well line for designs that range from urban chic to pretty — to earthy. The triple-walled insulation keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12.
Every day. Glass is my personal favorite. Try the line by purifyou. These bottles are glass with a truly easy to grip silicone sleeve, BPA, pthlalate, PVC, cadmium free, won’t leach weird tastes into your water (as happens with metal and plastic bottles), and as a bonus, they’re fine to throw in the dishwasher. They come in different sizes, with different sleeve colors.
So, why is this my favorite choice? For me, taste is everything. I don’t like the faint taste of plastic or metal in my water, and I find that I unconsciously avoid drinking out of a bottle where the water tastes like metal or plastic — which defeats the purpose of having a handy bottle of water. I also love the sleeve design, which makes these bottles very easy and secure to handle (because you really don’t want to be dropping glass). I also appreciate that I can put these in the dishwasher, and that they are see through, so I can feel confident they are really clean. You give up the dishwasher option with the double wall insulated stainless steel bottles, for instance, which have to be washed by hand.
Hiking + outdoors. If you’re buying for a outdoor enthusiast, there are designs specifically for hiking. I use the wide mouth BPA free Nalgene bottle for hiking and camping. I also use this bottle when I’m traveling. I bring it to the airport empty, then fill it once I’ve cleared security. It comes in a narrow mouth version, but the wide mouth is much more practical…mainly because it’s easy to fill, especially when you’re on a flight and you ask the cabin crew to refill it — you’ll appreciate having a wide mouth design.
These are very sturdy. I take the lid off, then loop it through one of the straps on my backpack and then screw it shut. Even with a full bottle, it stays secure. I’ve hiked all over California and traveled for months at a time across Europe and SE Asia with the same bottle strapped to my backpack.
Jet set. Speaking of travel bottles, if you’re buying for someone who camps or travels to places where the tap water isn’t safe, they will really love a bottle with a built in filter. I like the LifeStraw Go Water Filter bottle. The built in filter removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, plus it filters out debris and sediment, which removes off tastes and odors. When you’re traveling, you often have little choice but to buy bottled water, since it’s an issue of safety, not preference. Many of the countries that have unsafe tap water also don’t have great (or any) recycling programs and tourist destinations end up dealing with heaps of plastic bottles. Imagine how many plastic water bottles you could avoid on a two week vacation with just one of these filter bottles? It’s a simple, thoughtful change with a significant impact.
Kids + dogs. The last two categories of water bottles to consider are for kids and dogs. There are a variety of styles and designs for kids, which are smaller and have grips for smaller hands. Some even have auto sealing mechanisms so the lids don’t come loose and spill. For people with pooches, there are BPA free bottles with handy built in drinking scoop cups.
Reusable Restaurant To Go Container Sets
Silicone. Our favorite choice is collapsible silicone. Why our favorite? These win because they’re practical, which means they’re most likely to actually be used. We like these because they’re lightweight and the bowls collapse down to a third of their full size when not in use, making them really easy to carry and store. These are so handy, it makes up for the fact that they are not the most stylish choice.
These containers are non toxic, BPA, phalate and cadmium free. They have airtight lids and can go in the dishwasher, freezer and microwave. And we love silicone because it’s non reactive and won’t impart any flavors to your food, and it’s naturally non-stick, making these super easy to clean. These are so convenient, you’ll want to get a set for yourself! And not just for takeout, but they’re fabulous in the kitchen (they save a lot of space in your cabinets since they collapse down), on road trips and camping.
Stainless Steel. Definitely one of the best looking options on our list are tiffins or stainless steel bento boxes. These come as traditional stacking Indian tiffins, two tiered ovals, partitioned rectangles and even hand painted pyramid tiffins.
Stylish insulated tiffins with carrying case
These look beautiful and are very functional, keeping food separate, warm and the carrying case is a practical addition that keeps your hands free.
Natural Skin Care + Beauty
Everyone loves indulgent skin care made from natural ingredients. Here are some of our current favorite picks.
Farmstead Apothecary. All natural, 99% organic and made with flowers, herbs and plants, this body lotion is made from only 8 ingredients, is vegan, cruelty free and is scented with real fruits. They don’t use alcohols or other drying agents and this rich lotion is loaded with nourishing vitamin E and radish root ferment.
They use biodegradable + recycled plastic packaging, and their ingredients are ethically sourced.
Bamboo Biodegradable Toothbrushes. Normally toothbrushes are not the first place your mind goes when filling a gift box, but this may be the perfect opportunity to let someone try an alternative to regular plastic brushes. Did you know that around 1 billion toothbrushes are thrown away in the US every year? Get one step closer to replacing unnecessary plastics in the bathroom and self care routine. These are made with sustainably farmed bamboo and BPA free soft bristles, infused with activated charcoal for naturally whiter teeth.
Xylitol Chewtab Toothpaste. Tablet toothpaste? Yes! These are 60 tabs to a jar, and they come in a refillable glass container. You just pop one in your mouth, chew it up a bit and then brush. No flouride, no silica, no abrasives at all. But what it does have is a whopping 60% non gmo xylitol, which is a proven plaque fighter.
Healthy Cuticles + Nails. Here’s a cuticle treatment any cook will appreciate to keep their hands in good shape after all that cleaning and hand washing. Made with simple, natural and effective ingredients.
Ancient Greek Remedy Foot Balm. This luxurious and potent foot treatment is a blend of raw organic oils, lavender and vitamin E. It’s GMO, gluten and paraben free, full of antioxidants and the perfect solution for rough, cracked or peeling skin.
Flora Fix Balm. This organic multi use balm is packed with nourishing botanical oils + bio fermented young coconut extract — creating a balm rich in amino acid peptides, vitamins and minerals to protect, sooth and heal.
Wool Dryer Balls. These are a great eco friendly replacement for laundry fabric softeners. They’re made of wool, hypo allergenic, fragrance and chemical free, reusable and they reduce drying time up to 40% — cutting your energy bill.
They leave your laundry smelling naturally fresh, but many people like to load them with essential oils before tossing them in the dryer. We agree! For a perfect stocking stuffer, pair a set of dryer balls with a few all natural essential oils.
Sanari Organic Candle Gift Set. These natural candles are infused with certified organic essential oils in a fair trade vegan coconut/non gmo soy wax blend, hand-poured into reusable wine glasses in small batches in Los Angeles, California. No petroleum, synthetic dyes or fragrances.
Use the coupon code ETHICALFOODS to get 10% off your purchase.
But a personal favorite are unscented pure bees wax pillar candles. They give off a gorgeous warm glow as well as a subtle, equally warm, earthy and luxurious scent of honey. It’s not from any kind of added perfume, it’s just the wonderfully natural scent that comes from pure bees wax. I would choose these over scented candles every time.
Zero Waste Kits
Here’s a handy reusable kitchen starter kit.
This starter kit contains one of our favorites: silicone food storage bags. These are our preferred replacement for plastic zip lock style bags (you can read our review here). You also get a few different sizes of reusable bees wax wraps, which are used similar to plastic wrap. Just click on the image to check it out.
How about a boxed and ready to gift Green Kitchen Gift Box.
The Green Kitchen Gift Box features products from several of our favorite brands, with reusables that help to reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill. The box includes: One
Use the coupon code ETHICALFOODS and get 10% off your purchase.
We’re not big fans of unnecessary kitchen gadgets and appliances, but we’ve found some so useful and even essential to making healthy food at home, reducing food waste and packaging, and living a greener lifestyle.
Masticating Juicer. Unlike centrifugal juicers, masticating juicers get the most out of delicate fruits, like berries. You can also use it to turn nuts into nut butter, make soy milk, baby food and it also can mince herbs and garlic. They say you can grind coffee with it, and even extrude pasta, though we’ve never used it for those purposes.
Food Dehydrator. We use these all the time to preserve medicinal and culinary herbs, as well as garden fruits and vegetables. You can also use these to make all kinds of healthy, nutritious snacks from whole foods. We particularly appreciate the square design, as it gives you more usable space without being any bigger than the round dehydrators.
Simple Fermentation Kits. An easy to use fermentation system will get any home cook into making pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi and more. Fermented foods are packed with probiotics and nutrients, and create an added dimension of flavor to dishes. Once you learn how easy it is to ferment, there’s a whole new world of culinary creativity and taste combinations to explore.