Sustainable gifts your friends and family will love
Do you want to buy sustainable gifts for your friends, family, kids teachers and basically everyone you need to buy a gift for? Well look no further because I have a great round up of eco friendly gifts for you!
Note: This blog post contains affilate links. It won’t cost you anything extra to shop through them and all opinions are my own.
Sustainable gift experiences for families and couples
Experience gifts can be a lot of fun and don’t need to be disposed of afterwards. Not all experience gifts are eco-friendly though e.g. motor car racing or trips to Barcelona. So look for experience gifts that are good for the planet too like National Trust membership and these eco friendly experience gifts for kids, families and couples.
Homemade and homegrown sustainable gifts
Homemade and homegrown sustainable gifts can show that a lot of thought went into a gift. Plus you can have complete control over the materials and ingredients that go into them and how they are packaged. Check out these ideas for homemade and homegrown gifts, which include things like making fudge, or bath salts. But before you go into production remember to double check the gift will be wanted! Another option along these lines, is to give your help or skills as gift.
I find that homegrown or homemade gifts make great small festive or end of year gifts for teachers.
Secret Santa gifts
Secret Santa gifts are often a bit of a joke. People give each other things like this nothing as a gift. It is a plastic empty ball, totally ridiculous. I can’t believe quite how many people have paid that amount of money for it and reviewed it! You get a few laughs out of it and then the gift is put to one side and either gotten rid of, or collects dust at the back of a cupboard.
Don’t give people a load of tat this year. Instead check out my list of alternatives to Secret Santa – they include things like giving experience gifts, or donating to charity instead.
Eco friendly gifts for him
Perhaps an experience or homemade offering isn’t going to cut it and you want an eco-friendly gift you can put in his hands.
Sustainable gifts for her
Again sometimes only a physical gift will do. A lovely gift that doesn’t cost anything is to give her some jewellery that you already own. My parents gave me some earrings and a bracelet that had once belonged to my grandma’s for my birthday one year and I loved it!
Eco friendly gifts for everyone
For the baker or cook
I love cooking and enjoy using pieces of equipment in the kitchen that do the job really well. Especially if they are long lasting, great quality and are good for the environment. For some ideas for gifts like this, check out this list of my favourite eco-friendly kitchen products. There are some great products listed like Fig and Pickle battery free scales.
For the bookworm
There are some brilliant books out there about being eco-friendly (including my Eco Thrifty Living book – obviously I’m slightly biased though). Some are practical, some are entertaining and some are educational. Check out my handy list of Sustainable living books for a gift for the book lover in your life!
Sustainable wrapping and gift tags
If it makes sense to avoid buying gifts with excess single use packaging, then it also makes sense not to add your own! Yes it is more fun when gift is wrapped up, but do it sustainably! There are loads of options for sustainable gift wrap, including using brown paper from packages you have received and popping the gift in a reusable bag without wrapping. Check out my tips for alternatives to gift wrapping here: wrapping paper alternatives (scroll down to the bottom to find links to more ideas).
Take your gift to the next level and make your own gift tags from upcycled materials too!
How can you spot a sustainable or eco friendly gift?
if none of these ideas quite did it for you, then I have a few more suggestions to help you before you go shopping. The terms sustainable and eco-friendly are quite vague and could cover a variety of qualities. So I’m going to break down into bite sized chunks, what I think makes a gift sustainable.
1. Do they want the sustainable gift?
Before worrying about the eco credentials of an item, first we need to ask if the gift is wanted? It’s a waste of your money and the resources that went into the gift if it isn’t. Check out these 10 easy ways to stop unwanted gifts to avoid that problem.
2. Is the gift genuinely sustainable?
What is the product made of, how is it packaged and where did it come from? It is difficult to find a product that ticks all the sustainable boxes. But some things you might want to do are:
- Avoid single use excess packaging. Gifts often come with lots of packaging.
- Where possible, get things second hand, upcycled or made from recycled materials.
- Look for good quality items that will be long lasting (where relevant).
- Find items that are easy to repair if something goes wrong with it.
- Avoid perishable items like flowers, that are flown in, or hot housed out of season.
- Check it doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals and try to avoid unsustainable materials where possible.
- Avoid greenwashing
It is likely that no gift will be perfectly eco friendly or sustainable, so focus on choosing one that has features that you are happy with.
Happy gift hunting – hope you find gifts that will be loved!