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35+ Sustainable Gifts for Ethical and Eco-Friendly Gifting

Sustainable gifts

Why not consider sustainable gifts this year? Finding the perfect gift for your dad, mother, grandma, partner, sister or friend can be a mammoth task, especially if you want to make sure they use it for years to come. Unfortunately, many gifts will end up in landfill, with a recent study saying the most common unwanted gifts are novelty items, candles, pamper products, pyjamas, slippers, underwear and socks. Don’t get me wrong, some people would love to receive some of these items, so knowing the person well is important, otherwise, it might be wise to opt for a gift voucher instead.

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If you put your feelers out early, gift-giving can be a fun and rewarding experience, as there’s nothing better than that look on someone’s face when they receive something they truly wanted. That look of complete delight that lets you know that your research and hard work has paid off makes all the sleuthing and effort worth it.

The act of giving is where the rewards come in, the joy that it brings to those you’re giving to is what it’s about. So if a gift does not bring joy for many years, then perhaps making a donation in the person’s name might be a better option.

Here is our list of sustainable and eco-friendly gifts for 2020 covering gifts for the home, gardening gifts, sustainable fashion items, experience gifts and gifts for foodies:

Sustainable Gifts For the Home

Whether someone is moving into their first home or have been living independently for a long time, there’s always something they still need to make their living space more comfortable. 

Sustainable gifts for the home is a good idea for couples or anyone taking the leap to move into their first apartment or house. We’re definite fans of buying items that will last in this department.

Hand Blown Crystal Wine Glasses

Glasses are always a reliable gift as breaking one is inevitable so they do need replacing from time to time. Every home can do with a set of beautiful crystal glasses for special occasions or even every day.
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Stovetop Espresso Maker

This sustainable and low waste espresso maker is a must-have for any coffee lover. It creates a lot less waste than a coffee pod or filter option.
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7 in 1 Cooker
An instant pot is a must-have in any zero waste kitchen. It’s an incredible time-saver and helps to encourage home cooking. This 7 in 1 option is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute/browning, yoghurt maker, steamer & warmer.
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SodaStream
SodaStream is a handy low waste product that helps to reduce single-use plastic at home. It’s especially useful for couples and families who enjoy fizzy water. You can also get a range of flavoured syrups that any family will love.
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100% Cotton Bed Set
There is nothing like the feeling of crisp cotton bedsheets when you snuggle in. These bedding bundles from BedFolk is ethically woven and entirely free of harmful chemicals and synthetics.
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Orchids
Instead of buying flowers these a beautiful orchid is low maintenance and will bring joy for many years to come. You only need to water them once a week and make such beautiful flowers that last 30-35 days. Most orchids bloom once a year and if you buy it for a special occasion it’s likely to bloom at the same time the next year. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
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Countertop Compost Bin
This countertop compost bin will fit beautifully on any kitchen worktop and is perfect for odourless storage. It has an integrated charcoal filter and provides ample space for collecting food waste to move into a larger compost bin.
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Eco Living Composter
A beautifully designed eco-living composter makes a lovely gift for anyone who’d like to try their hand at composting. Simply add food waste, soil and a few wrigglers and you’ll be making wonderful compost in no time. It’s plants powered by nature.
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Stainless Steel Gravy Boat
A gravy boat is one of those things that you don’t buy for yourself. It goes on a wedding gift list as a somewhat throwaway item, but these little gadgets are massively useful and a stainless steel one won’t ever break!
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Pyrex Bakeware
Pyrex bowls last a lifetime and is a sustainable food storage and/or baking solution. You don’t need to be a master chef to find use out of these kitchen staples.
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Butter Dish
This is another practical item that is often overlooked. Whether you prefer real butter or vegan butter that doesn’t matter, but a butter dish is always handy in the kitchen and on the table.
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Eco-Friendly Gardening Gifts

Whether your gift recipients live in an apartment or home, having greenery to cheer them up is always a stellar idea. Growing vegetables, herbs or even decorative plants is good for the mind and the planet. 

A garden, however big or small. Indoors or outdoors can bring a tremendous amount of joy. It’s so rewarding to see things grow and prosper and especially those edibles that can be served up for dinner. Gardens are good for the soul and is a noble way to de-stress and put things back into persepective.

Gardening Books
Knowing how to grow vegetables and herbs is a helpful skill to have. Urban Gardening by Kevin Espiritu is a substantial guide to creating a beautiful garden for modern-day urban living.
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An Organic Non-GMO Herb Starter Kit
Not only can herbs bring beautiful flavour to any dish, but it’s also a good way to help reduce plastic at home. This starter kit offers non-GMO seeds for toxin-free and organic gardening.
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Gardening Tools
A durable set of gardening tools can last a lifetime. This stainless steel set can be used indoors or outdoors and is great for beginners.
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A Beautiful Watering Can
Help keep the greenery watered and healthy. Who says sustainable living can’t be done in style with this beautiful brushed copper watering can.
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Sustainable Fashion Gifts for the Fashionista

Fashion has a terrible reputation when it comes to sustainability, but there are a few companies who are changing things for good. These are our favourite ethical fashion options for men and women. When it comes to fashion based gifts, opting for classic lines that will stay on trend season after season makes it a beautiful sustainable gift option.

A Timeless Watch for Her
A classic watch can truly last a lifetime. Nordgreen makes watches for men and woman and gives back by donating to a range of causes including health, education and the environment.
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A Timeless Watch for Him
This rugged yet classicly stylish watch for him is a must-have. Choose to donate to a range of causes including health, education and the environment with Nordgreen.
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A Classic Tote for Her
Every woman needs a classic tote, what makes this one special is that it’s made out of decommissioned firehose making it a truly sustainable gift option. 
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A Versatile Messenger Bag for Him
This beautiful messenger bag is made out of decommissioned firehose and is perfect for any modern man. They come in a range of colours he’s bound to love.
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Experience Gifts They’ll Never Forget

Memories do last a lifetime, which is why an experience gift is a special eco-friendly option – depending on the experience of course. Whether your gift recipient is an adventurist or enjoys a quiet outing with family there is an option for everyone.

Spend some time together and create memorable moments that will stay with you. The true value of life is in our relationships with friends, family and loved ones. These are the things that make life worth living. Nothing strengthens a relationship like going on an experience or an adventure together.

Experience gift

A Treetop Ziplining Experience
Get the whole family to fall in love with the great outdoors with a treetop ziplining experience. 
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sustainable-spa-day

Spa Day with 25 Minute Treatment and Afternoon Tea for Two
Treat your favourite couple to a well-deserved spa day at a location of their choice.
Red Letter Days
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Three-Hour Beekeeping Experience at The London Bee Company
Visit the London Bee Company for a tour on sustainable beekeeping.
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Gifts for Foodies and Aspiring Chefs

Cooking beautiful food at home is very rewarding and can be good for the waistline (depending on what you cook of course). Spending time with friends and family around the dinner table is so rewarding. Perhaps this could be a hint if you’d like them to cook for you more often, but nonetheless, it’s a gift that will be used over and over again. These gifts for foodies will be an amazing addition to their culinary arsenal.

A Chef’s Knife Set
A good quality knife set is a must-have for any aspiring chef. This set from Wusthoff is a considerable gift that will last a lifetime.
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Blue Zone Cookbook
The Blue Zones Cookbook draws on the culinary traditions of world regions associated with living to over 100.
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The Zero Waste Cookbook
A complete guide to zero waste cooking. Learn how to make food taste better and stretch further to reduce waste in the kitchen. 
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Cast Iron Skillet
Chefs and home cooks alike swear by this cast iron frying pan from Le Creuset – its satin black enamel interior makes caramelising easy work.
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Cast Iron Tortilla Press
This heavy-duty cast iron tortilla press makes for easy and even pressing and comes with a Lifetime Warranty. It’s perfect for those who love Mexican food.
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Sustainable Gifts for Fitness Enthusiasts

Staying fit and healthy is an important part of a sustainable lifestyle and a healthy mindset. Exercise is good for the body as well as the soul. Whether your person loves yoga, an adventurous bike ride or a vigorous workout in the gym. There is something for everyone. But some activities can involve nasty materials and lots of plastic so look out for those hidden stumbling blocks.

Here are a few beautiful options for eco-friendly exercising:

Cork and Natural Rubber Yoga Mat
A non-toxic and plastic-free yoga mat that contains absolutely no PVC. Cork gets even more traction and grip and is 100% biodegradable.
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Bamboo Leggings
These leggings are made from sustainable bamboo fabric so it’s extra durable and super comfortable.
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Bamboo Hoody
A super soft and breathable bamboo fabric hoody for a relaxed and comfortable workout.
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Allbirds Women’s Wool Runners
Runners made of sustainable wool is the perfect workout companion. These beauties are machine washable and is ethically made from Merino wool. 
Allbirds
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Allbirds Men’s Tree Dashers
This lovely looking shoe from Allbirds uses natural materials for serious performance. It’s a neutral cushioned running shoe with light stability. 
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Zero Waste Makeup and Natural Skincare

Looking after your skin is a year-round job. A toxin-free and low waste skin and beauty routine is an absolute must and makes the perfect gift for a special person. When buying skin care products you don’t want to give them something that could cause damage right? Clean skin beauty that is cruelty-free is where we start. Here are some of our favourite beauty gift sets.

REN-Skincare

REN 24/7 Glow Duo
Unlock your glow in two easy steps. This bundle from REN skincare combines two must-have radiance products. Gently exfoliate with the Ready Steady Glow AHA Tonic and even skin tone with the Dark Spot Sleeping Cream.
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Love the Planet Makeup

Love the Planet Zero Waste Makeup
Switch to zero waste, vegan and cruelty-free mineral makeup with this handy little starter kit from Love the Planet. Choose from a range of foundations, eye shadows and more.  
Love the Planet
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The Ultimate Aurelia Experience
Discover the perfect natural skincare routine with the Ultimate Aurelia Experience collection. Aurelia offers advanced natural skincare with powerful probiotic technology and botanical extracts.
Aurelia Skincare
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REN Scent to Sleep Gift Set
Bring calm to any bedtime routine with this frankincense-scented V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream that is formulated with antioxidants to combat premature ageing and deeply hydrate skin.
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Related: Gift Ideas for Her and Holiday Gift Ideas for Men

Closing Thoughts on Sustainable Gifts

When it comes to buying sustainable gifts the most important thing is to buy something that someone will love and treasure for years to come. If you’re unsure, why not go with a gift voucher from these wonderful brands instead? Or perhaps donate in the person’s name to a charity. 

The idea behind sustainable and eco-friendly gifting is to buy something from a sustainable brand or eco-conscious company that won’t end up in the back of a cupboard or be chucked in a landfill. For this reason, however fun they might be, we won’t’ recommend novelty gifts or single-use items.

If none of these appeal, the gift of time is always a good option. Spend time with someone, as it’s these experiences that they will remember and treasure. It’s not always about the money you spend it’s about the thought that has gone into and the process of giving instead.

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