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Top 10 Green Gifts this Season

Earth friendly gifts are always in style no matter your family and holiday traditions! Check out these green Christmas gifts to spoil those you love most. 

If the world is having trouble because we are using too many resources, it’s always a good idea to buy less and give less! But often we still want to give something nice to someone, so then we can do our best to buy something that won’t harm the earth or their bodies and/or is already recycled or made of eco-friendly materials.

Earth Friendly Gifts

These are my top 10 green gift recommendations for Christmas (or birthdays), some of which may help you and your friends and family tackle the goal of greening up one personal product at a time. When buying green, it’s always better to spend a little more up front to save the earth in the long run, in my opinion. I’ve also posted my favorite Useful Stocking Stuffers for Adults.

green Christmas gifts

Green Christmas Gifts

I’m going to try to be very transparent here and avoid making these guides a mess of only affiliate links (the ones from which I earn commission). I’ll make a concerted effort to include the products I really use and really would buy (or am asking for) as gifts, whether or not I’m associated with the company. However, I do try to join affiliate programs for products which I love, so you will find a number of affiliate links in this list. I hope that it is ultimately helpful and gives you some ideas about where to spend the money (wisely) that you were going to spend anyway.

MadeOn Lotions and Lip Balms

MadeOn Lotions and Lip Balms

With 100% safe (mostly edible) ingredients and really affordable prices, you can get a whole mantlefull of stocking stuffers for under $10.

I’ve been a MadeOn fan since 2010 and can’t even guess the number of teacher, aunts, cousins, babysitters, ETC who have received their products as gifts from our family!

We regularly re-order for our own home and have them in pretty much every room/coat pocket/vehicle/purse. They’re that good!

Read more here and my review of the lavender roll-on, a totally different product (but one that would be good to nudge someone toward natural remedies), here.

Glass Water Bottle

Glass or Stainless Steel Water Bottles

The classic. The first 3 Christmases I was buying gifts as an adult, I got stainless steel bottles for everyone who didn’t yet have one. 😉 Now I can’t use this gift idea anymore because they last THAT LONG.

Our family uses Klean Kanteen, available through Amazon, and they have truly lasted since about 2006, I’m guessing. Holy cow!

These glass water bottles have a silicone wrap around them to keep them safe from minor bumps drops.

We also have had a few cheap ones over the years from Bed Bath and Beyond or Meijer on clearance. Just look out for trickery and don’t get stuck with an aluminum bottle!

Life Without Plastic 8cm Stainless Steel airtight yogurt containers

Stainless Steel Containers/Lunchboxes

A kind of pricey item, I love to ask for stuff like this for Christmas for myself. You can see my reviews of a couple here. Find great options at Life Without Plastic and ECOlunchboxes (we keep adding to our own stash of watertight containers for daily yogurt in packed lunches – I think we have 10 now!).

Reusable sandwich bags are also fun – my reusable sandwich bag review may help you get started.

duralex glass storage containers

Glass Containers

I already have some from Bed Bath and Beyond ready to wrap for TWO people on my list (Shhh, don’t tell). Have you seen all the reasons you should NOT use plastic? We are constantly running out of clean glass containers, particularly of the 2-cup and 1-cup size. I used to prefer Pyrex over Anchor-Hocking because their lids stayed on better over time, BUT I have to say that Anchor’s TrueSeal or TrueFit lids are very good and seem to last even longer! New product innovation for the win!

Natural Cleaners

Natural Cleaners

I am practical enough to ask for and even give such things as gifts. Geeky, I know. Once for a wedding, I gave a tub of natural cleaners and ingredients and recipes to make homemade, and the bride loved it! Check out the comprehensive list of ALL my favorite natural cleaners.

NaturOli Soap Nuts

NaturOli Soap Nuts

Geeky again, I know. I actually asked for soap nuts for Christmas one year, and my MIL accidentally got the wrong brand (Maggie’s) so I can conclusively say I like NaturOli better. 🙂 They last forever and wash well, and they grow on trees! Great conversation topic around the tree, if you ask me. Check out my soap nuts review. They also have cute gift sets; see the whole store here.

I’ve since become even more of a fan of Molly’s Suds (quicker and easier for a busy lifestyle and still super green!).

My Green Fills (Laundry Detergent Subscription)

My Green Fills (Laundry Detergent Subscription)

This detergent is a relatively new discovery on my part. I’m in awe over this brand for so many reasons:

  • Refillable so you only have ONE jug of plastic, ever, and then you order teeny tiny refills in the mail and add your own water. This is the most eco-friendly laundry I’ve ever seen as far as carbon footprint for shipping.
  • Includes a fabric rinse/softener! I haven’t used this in …well, forever, because I used to be too cheap and then I learned about toxic chemicals!
  • Committed to giving back, too – their dryer angels are made by members of the Jamaica Deaf Village (a community where the Deaf are provided education, housing, and employment opportunities) and although they smell a little too strong for our family, they’re super cute.
  • Non-toxic – this of course is the first litmus test for me, and I wouldn’t even have allowed the brand into my home if I wasn’t sure about their ingredients being safe for my family.
  • Make sure you grab the unscented versions if you want to avoid artificial fragrances. Their website claims the scented detergents use essential oils, but upon further investigation, I found that although they are, in fact, plant-based fragrances, they aren’t exactly natural essential oils.
    • The scented detergent smells nice but it has some questionable fragrance ingredients. It’s a great option if you miss the fresh laundry scent that conventional detergents have and don’t mind somewhat synthetic “plant-based” fragrance but want to avoid phthalates and SLS in conventional detergent, or just want to reduce the amount of plastic you throw into the landfill.

Check out what MyGreenFills can do for your family!

Microfiber Cloths or Sponge Cloths

Microfiber Cloths or Sponge Cloths

Either would make a nice extra addition to a gift or little stocking stuffer. Many say microfiber is not “green” because it’s made of plastic, but I save so many cleaners (and time, another consideration) because of my microfiber that I’m going to make that concession.

There are plenty of very pricey microfibers out there, but just grabbing a nice plush one on Amazon is not a bad idea, and the ecloths from Grove Collaborative are truly awesome and affordable.

Here’s my Skoy cloth review (and here’s another brand of sponge cloths) and let me tell you all about how I love microfiber cloths.

Berkey water filterGreening Up Your Water

One Christmas, my mom got us a shower filter to remove the chlorine in our city water.

After two years we knew it was time to get a new one because my son’s eczema was flaring up big time and ordered replacement filters. You can get shower filters anywhere now, including Amazon, and we swear by this exact bathtub filter – I have a Google cal reminder to buy a new one every two years. Super practical gift for anyone with babies especially!

I’m also super convinced that a Berkey water filter (for drinking water) is the way to go for just about anyone. We swear by ours and can all taste the difference if we drink unfiltered city or well water. Check out my Berkey review.

I got this Berkey water bottle for a few people (affordable for a normal gift and we love ours for travel!!) and for my brother one year, I got this Go-Berkey kit, perfect for the hunter or fisherman.

Organic Clothing

I’m sure this would feature more prominently in other green lists, but I can’t say I’ve prioritized it much…yet. I usually choose to prioritize on the youngest, most susceptible members of our family and the time of greatest exposure: sleep.

My mom found Leah some darling organic jammies, and we got her some organic flannel sheets that have held up great.

More and more, you can find organic clothing easily on Amazon as well:

Kid cutting a carrot - Kids Cook Real Food eCourse

Online Clutter-Free eCourse for Kids

The ultimate in green gift giving is to give the gift of nothing! Just kidding – our online Kids Cook Real Food eCourse is MUCH more than nothing, but “stuff” wise it has no carbon footprint (and you’ll have no toys to pick up off the ground).

 

If you’re tired of saying,

“I just want my kids to eat what I make!”

… you’re not alone! Join us for the FREE No More Picky Eating Challenge on Kids Cook Real Food.

Everyone can win at the game of dinner!

Buy or Make Handmade

There are so many great local options, for kids’ toys, clothing, and food. I don’t even know where to start recommending!

Green Gift Giving Philosophy

Although it’s easy to list the top 10 products to give for a green holiday, that’s really just sensationalism in a way, because the real green gift giving is much more of a philosophy than an item. If you want to help the environment with your gift-giving, give gifts that are

  • Needed – no junk that will clutter up someone’s house and ultimately be wasteful
  • Consumable – if you can eat it or use it up, it’s ultimately better for the Earth.
  • Homemade – especially if you can reuse containers or repurpose some supplies, homemade not only gives a personal touch to the holidays, but can also be earth-friendly. (One year I gave audiobooks and homemade playdough, for example.)
How do you consider your care for the earth when you buy gifts?
Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

8 thoughts on “Top 10 Green Gifts this Season”

  1. Katie,

    I would like to find some glass/Pyrex lasagna or 8×8″ storage containers with lids (so they can be frozen for when our new baby arrives)…any ideas where to look for the best price?

    Happy holidays!

    1. Michelle,
      I have one 8×8 Pyrex, and I’m pretty certain it was in a package of 10pcs or so from Bed Bath and Beyond. To find them singly…who sells piecemeal? I can’t think of a place, but I feel like I’ve seen them one at a time. One thing you can do is to line your 8×8 with freezer paper (if you can freeze unbaked) or aluminum foil or parchment or something, then freeze the meal and pop it out of the pan. (Usually directions say aluminum foil, but I’m guessing you’re trying to stay away from potentially harmful stuff…) Put the block of food in a plastic bag to store, and you still have your glass pan ready for another meal! That’s probably the most economical way to go.

      God bless you and new baby-to-come! 🙂 Katie

  2. We have some cheaper stainless steel water bottles and I find they give the water a slight metallic taste. We checked the label to be sure they were stainless steel before purchasing. Do you know if there are some grades of stainless steel (that might leach into the water) and what grade (or brands) are best to look for?

    1. Jason,
      I have Klean Kanteen brand stainless steel water bottle that I have not had any complaints about. It does a really good job of keeping water cold for a long time. It does has a plastic top but the website says it is BPA-free.

      Jessica

  3. I hesitate to post this, because I found them at WalMart, but…

    I recently bought adorable lightweight winter pajama sets for my two little boys for $5 a set that are Faded Glory Organic cotton! So, if you want to take a baby step towards organic clothes, like Katie suggests, check out the pjs!

  4. I’m planning on hitting up Etsy this year for many of my gifts. There is a very good looking vendor in my area that makes organic vegan soaps and shampoo bars– I’m thinking of making some gift baskets with them.

    1. Jessica,
      I love finding a local Etsyan, because then you can often pick up in person to save on shipping, both monetarily and environmentally. Great idea! 🙂 Katie

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