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 great idea for couples or anyone taking the leap to move into their first apartment or house. We’re great fans of buying items that will last in this department.
Hand Blown Crystal Wine Glasses
Glasses are always a great 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.
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.
SodaStream is a great 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.
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.
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!
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.
Eco Living Composter
A beautifully designed eco-living composter makes a great 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 great compost in no time. It’s plants powered by nature.
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!
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.
Eco-Friendly Gardening Gifts
Whether your gift recipients live in an apartment or home, having greenery to cheer them up is always a great idea. Growing vegetables, herbs or even decorative plants is good for the soul 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 great way to de-stress and put things back into persepective.
Knowing how to grow vegetables and herbs is a great skill to have. Urban Gardening by Kevin Espiritu is a great guide to creating a beautiful garden for modern-day urban living.
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 great 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.
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.
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.
Elvis & Kresse
Experience Gifts They'll Never Forget
Memories do last a lifetime, which is why an experience gift is a great 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.
Gifts for Foodies and Aspiring Chefs
Cooking beautiful food at home is very rewarding and can be great 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 is a great addition to their culinary arsenal.
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 great options for eco-friendly exercising:
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 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.
Love the Planet Zero Waste Makeup
Switch to zero waste, vegan and cruelty-free mineral makeup with this great little starter kit from Love the Planet. Choose from a range of foundations, eye shadows and more for.
Love the Planet
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.
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.
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 great 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 experience 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.