You and your friends are dedicated to going green in every aspect of your lives, from recycling and composting to reducing your carbon footprint. So why should gifts be any different? If you’re looking for the best environmentally friendly presents, check out these green gift ideas.
Clothing and Accessories
It may seem difficult to find stylish and eco-friendly clothing and accessories, but it is possible if you look in the right places.
- Fair Indigo: Clothing and accessories company Fair Indigo is dedicated to selling products that are sustainable, environmentally friendly and fair trade. They passionately promote fair wages and safe work environments, not sweatshops, around the world. You can buy your friend dresses, jackets, blouses and footwear made from organic, natural-fiber materials like sustainable alpaca fleece.
- The Ultimate Green Store: Give the gift of a comfy night’s sleep with green pajamas and bathrobes. The Ultimate Green Store sells recycled, organic and natural products that are produced sustainably and responsibly. Their pajamas are made with soft organic cotton, and their bathrobes are woven with organic cotton and bamboo fibers to provide a breathable, fast-drying and skin-sensitive texture.
- DIY Accessories: Get crafty by making your friend a DIY bracelet, purse or other type of accessory from upcycled materials. For example, you can make woven bracelets out of unused yarn scraps or a leather bracelet out of an old belt. Use leftover fabric to sew together a purse or reusable shopping bag. Or take an old leather jacket and turn it into a purse or wallet.
There are tons of gift options in this category to fit any style — think everything from recycled flip-flop doormats to sustainable furniture, decorations and kitchen items.
- Bambeco: You can find almost any type of home product at this environmentally friendly store. They sell barware, flatware, sofas, cabinets, pillows, art, mirrors, picture frames, candles, towels and so much more. Even with all of these options, they are dedicated to making all of their products in an environmentally conscious and fair way. Their three core causes are forest preservation, water conservation and fair wages, which is demonstrated in the 20,000 trees they’ve planted, 300 million gallons of water saved and 10,000 people employed in safe jobs.
- VivaTerra: As its “long live the earth” name implies, VivaTerra is dedicated to finding products made by artists throughout the U.S. and the world that are made with all-natural ingredients and with reclaimed or recycled materials. Some great home-based gifts you can find include pillows, rugs, candles, mirrors, recycled glass vases, and plenty of kitchen and bath items.
- FTD: The brand works only with certified fair-trade flowers. They’re committed to supporting human rights and fair labor standards and only work with growers and suppliers who do the same. With flower arrangements and other novelty items to choose from, you’ll be sure to find a fitting gift.
What brings the environment to mind more than a lush, flowering garden? Here are a few great outdoor gifts, whether your friend has a green thumb or not.
- Terrarium: If your friend loves the idea of a garden but never remembers to water his or her plants, go for a super low-maintenance option. Reuse a glass jar and fill it with pebbles or recycled glass pieces, potting soil, moss and small plants that won’t grow too tall, like succulents. Be sure to keep similar types of plants together (don’t mix cactus and tropical plants) so they require similar amounts of water and sunshine. Inhabitat has a great step-by-step guide if you need help constructing your terrarium.
- Seeds: Help your friends start a garden by giving them seeds for their favorite types of flowers, herbs and vegetables. Start with some that are easy to grow, such as rosemary, basil, forget-me-nots, daisies and ivy. If you want to go even further, volunteer yourself for a day to help them plant their seeds and get their garden in a good place to thrive.
- Vermicompost: Now that your friend has a growing garden, give him or her a way to keep it that way. A vermicompost (or compost that uses worms) is an environmentally friendly way for your friend to fertilize plants, flowers and vegetables without using chemicals. He or she can reduce the amount of trash produced by feeding it to the worms. Your friend can put leftover fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, eggshells, newspapers and paper towels into the compost instead of a landfill. A vermicompost like Can O Worms uses 100 percent recycled plastic to house the worms, trash and resulting compost without having to worry about it smelling (it really doesn’t) or getting the surrounding area dirty.
Going green isn’t just a sometimes kind of thing. If your friends are passionate about saving the earth, help them do so with environmentally friendly gifts. Reuse, upcycle and recycle whatever you can to make them green jewelry, clothing, accessories and home decor, or, if you’re not great at DIY, look for brands whose values match theirs.