Looking for the best products to gift — and to get — this holiday season? Check out Underscored’s Holiday Guide here.
If you’re concerned about all the waste the holiday season brings, whether it’s the carbon emissions of shipping, plastic packaging of gifts or unwanted presents thrown in the trash, you’re not alone. This year, you can easily cut down on holiday waste by changing the way you gift.
By using leftover boxes, paper bags, unbleached twine and recyclable tape, you can cut down on wrapping paper that would end up in a landfill. Or, if you don’t have spare wrapping materials, try putting your gift in a tote bag and voila, two gifts in one. However you’re gifting, you’ll want to make sure your gift is sustainable too, so from eco-friendly fashion to simple household swaps, we’ve compiled our favorite sustainable gifts perfect for convincing your friends and family to reduce their waste.
Perfect for any household, this 10-pack of reusable, ultra-absorbent Swedish dishcloths is one of our favorite eco-friendly gifts of all time.
You can stop using single-use plastic bags with this nifty four-pack of Stasher’s silicone, reusable bags. These bags are a kitchen miracle and can be microwaved, frozen, boiled, put in the dishwasher and even used in the oven. We tried them out ourselves and won’t ever go back to normal Ziploc bags.
Another option for storing leftovers or even bringing to the office as a lunchbox, this stainless steel container is airtight and leak-proof, so you can even throw a tin of soup into your bag without a worry. It’s available in seven different sizes ranging from 8 centimeters to 26 centimeters.
Composting is an easy way to drastically reduce your household’s carbon emission. Just collect your food scraps in this bucket — which features a charcoal filter to keep the smells at bay — and dump them at your local composting site.
If you know someone who still uses plastic water bottles, help them make the sustainable switch with this Hydro Flask. It’s stylish and can keep your drinks hot or cold for hours on end. Want more ideas for reusable water bottles? Check out our full guide here.
Once you realize how much single-use plastic is in your kitchen, you’re going to want to find as many alternatives as possible. Bee’s Wrap, a replacement to plastic wrap, is made from organic cotton and beeswax and can handle all your storage needs. Read our full review here.
Trying to cut down on paper waste? You need a bidet. The Tushy Classic 3.0 is our pick for the best bidet attachment, as it’s easy to install and use. But if you really want to cut down on toilet paper, you’ll want a bidet with a dryer. Check out which dryer-equipped seats we recommend in the best bidets of 2021.
If you know someone who doesn’t know where to start their sustainable switches, check out this Zero Waste Oral Hygiene Kit from Package Free. It comes with a zero-waste toothbrush, dental floss and even a tongue scraper so they can stop using single-use plastic.
Girlfriend Collective is one of our favorite sustainable fashion brands, since it uses recycled water bottles to make clothes and features ultra-inclusive sizing. Check out these compressive high-rise leggings that belong in every eco-conscious person’s closet.
Traditional sponges shed microplastics into the water as you do your dishes and they get mildewy and gross lying on the counter. Switch to this eco-friendly dish brush, which has replaceable, compostable heads with bristles made from tampico fiber.
Your tech can be sustainable too with Pela’s various compostable cases. Made from a proprietary material that includes bioplastic elastomer and flax straw, these cases will protect your phone while still being stylish and sustainable. Plus, Pela has plenty of case options for both iPhone and Android phones.
Cotopaxi is a certified B corporation and produces stylish, color-blocked fashion and gear. We’re partial to its 28-liter travel pack, which is the perfect companion whether you’re a college student or jetsetter.
Allbirds crafts its shoes from all sorts of planet-friendly materials, including plant-based leather and ethically sourced wool. Plus, the sneakers are machine-washable and stylish to boot.
Everlane puts a lot of pride in producing what they call “Clean Denim,” which is made with organic cotton and produced at some of the world’s cleanest factories. We love the look of these classic Cheeky Jeans, which are available in three different hues and tons of sizes.
Patagonia has roots in activism and environmentalism and those core values are evident in everything the brand produces. This stylish fleece is made from 100% recycled polyester and is Fair Trade Certified sewn.
Another Girlfriend Collective essential, this racerback bra is available in 10 colors and 11 sizes.
Rothy’s has been making shoes and other accessories out of plastic bottles for years now, but its signature shoe never goes out of style. Check out this pointed flat, which has tons of color and size options.
Naadam makes gorgeous, sustainable, 100% cashmere sweaters — and they’re only $75. Need we say more?
For anyone who’s got an Apple Watch, upgrade their setup with a compostable band from Pela. Available in sizes that fit 38-millimeter, 40-millimeter, 42-millimeter and 44-millimeter watches (plus ones for Fitbits too) along with nine colors, there are plenty of options to fit both their watch and their personality.
Cariuma makes shoes out of earth-friendly materials and even plants two trees for every pair you buy.
Whether you’re eating lunch at the office or getting fast food on the go, it’s always a good idea to have reusable cutlery on hand so you don’t have to use disposable plastic ones. This set even comes with a clip so you can keep it on your backpack or keys for easy access.
This fleece hoodie from Everlane is made with 100% recycled polyester and is the coziest winter layer you could ask for.
Pela also has compostable AirPods Pro cases for the tech-head in your life. The brand has options for Pro, 1st- and 2nd-generation, as well as 3rd-generation models.
Stay cozy all winter long with this beanie made from 90% recycled water bottles.
Looking for a winter coat? This one from Everlane keeps things eco-friendly with a 100% recycled outer fabric as well as 100% recycled PrimaLoft insulation.
This top from Reformation is made with organic cotton, spandex and Tencel Lyocell, a fabric derived from eucalyptus trees.
These sunglasses are made with 33% less carbon dioxide, 34% less water and 82% less waste than traditional sunglasses. Plus, once you’ve gotten your use out of them, you can send them back to Pela to be upcycled in the brand’s Pela 360 program.
Nothing pulls an outfit together quite like white sneakers. But this pair from Thousand Fell are much more sustainable than your normal kicks. Featuring a recycled upper, recycled rubber insole, recycled laces and other planet-friendly materials, when these shoes are at the end of their life, you can send them back to Thousand Fell through its Recycle Now initiative, which gives you a $20 credit for each pair of sneakers you recycle.
Package Free Cotton Large and Net Medium Produce Bag Bundle ($22; packagefreeshop.com) One huge way to cut down on single-use plastic waste is to use reusable produce bags when you go to the supermarket. Shop in the produce section, avoid anything pre-wrapped and stash all your fruit and veggies in these bags to drastically cut down on your waste.
Outerknown is a great sustainable fashion brand and its chromatic puffer is a perfect example, with a 100% recycled polyester shell and Responsible Down Standard-certified down insulation.
Nisolo Everyday Chelsea Boot (starting at $149; nisolo.com) Nisolo focuses on paying its workers a fair, livable wage throughout its entire supply chain so you can feel good and look good in the brand’s classic styles such as this Chelsea boot.
31 eco-friendly gifts for a sustainable holiday
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