Eco-friendly gifts just seem necessary this year, don’t they? If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we should be more conscious in how we treat our planet and ourselves. So, as you’re doing your Christmas shopping this year, take a second to pause and consider the environmental impact your gift is having. Ultimately, the consumer holds the power in our economic system. If we collectively focus on buying eco-friendly gifts, then we can really make a difference.
What are Eco-Friendly Gifts?
Before we get to some eco-friendly gift ideas, let’s first define what it means. With so much information (and mis-information), it can be hard to know which products are actually ‘eco-friendly’.’
Well, eco-friendly literally means earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment. This term most commonly refers to products that contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy. Therefore, Eco-friendly products should indirectly prevent contributions to air, water and land pollution.
Making a truly eco-friendly product keeps both environmental and human safety in mind. At a minimum, the product is non-toxic. Other eco-friendly attributes include the use of sustainably grown or raised ingredients, produced in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem. Organic ingredients or materials are grown without toxic pesticides or herbicides. Products with “made from recycled materials” contain glass, wood, metal or plastic reclaimed from waste products and made into something new. Biodegradable products break down through natural decomposition, which is less taxing on landfills and the ecosystem as a whole.
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Christmas 2020
Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Did you know that more than a million plastic bottles are sold every single minute around the world. Plastic bottles and bottle caps rank as the third and fourth most collected plastic trash items in the Ocean Conservancy’s annual September beach cleanups in more than 100 countries. What’s worse is that only 30% of these are recycled in the US.
Well, fortunately, the backlash against the glut of discarded bottles clogging waterways, polluting the oceans and littering the interior has been swift. Suddenly, carrying plastic bottles of water around is uncool. Join the trend in reversing the curse of plastic bottles by getting your friends and family a stainless steel water bottle. Although it may not be the sexiest product on the market, they certainly make for truly eco-friendly gifts.
Solar powered charges make great ec0-friendly gifts for a number of reasons. A solar phone charger harnesses the power of the sun (a.k.a solar energy) to supply electricity to your devices or charge the battery. That’s right, it’s renewable.
The benefit of these portable devices is that they don’t require an external electricity source to function. Therefore, not only are they a renewable source of energy but also they are a great gift idea for outdoor enthusiasts or people who many not have access to a power outlet right away.
This makes them eco-friendly in two ways. On one hand, they are helping outdoor enthusiasts stay powered while out connecting with nature. On the other, they are popularizing solar energy. Making it cool, even.
B Corp Certified Products
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment. From Patagonia to Ben & Jerry’s, there are over 3,564 Companies in 150 Industries across 74 countries.
Fair Trade Products
Fair trade is an arrangement designed to help producers in developing countries achieve sustainable and equitable trade relationships. Members of the fair trade movement add the payment of higher prices to exporters and improved environmental standards
The Fair Trade Certified products mean that they were grown, harvested, or made with care by farmers and workers according to rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards. Whether its coffee or kids-wear, fair trade products certainly make great eco-friendly gifts.
How do you know which products are Fair Trade? Look for the seal (see left)!
Gardening Supplies or Seeds
Ok, so this one is for them, and for the planet! Buying seeds or other gardening supplies for a loved one could truly change their life. Seeds and gardening supplies are a great eco-friendly gift for a number of reasons. Any passionate gardener will tell you first hand that it is therapeutic. In fact, studies have shown that gardening reduces stress, helps addiction recovery, improves memory, foster human connections, and boosts moods. Not to mention, it increases the abundance of local produce. Whether it’s in their backyard or neighborhood, encouraging community gardening is always eco-friendly.
An Eco-friendly Gift Could Also Mean Using Less Waste
Eco-friendly gift giving is not only about the gift, itself. It also involves how it’s wrapped. To stay eco-friendly, try to avoid anything that requires single-use plastic or has an excessive amount of plastic wrapping or plastic bags. It’s unfortunate, but so many products rely on an abundance of plastic in their packaging. Even the simplest stocking stuffer can come in pounds of harmful plastic and ties. Just by avoiding excessive plastic waste you can greatly reduce your carbon footprint.
Reusable food wraps and reusable water bottles are also great at helping others reduce their own plastic waste and make for good, environmentally friendly gift ideas. Wrapping up the gift in a nice reusable bag is a good idea, too. Or, just keep it simple and don’t wrap the gift at all. There are plenty of creative ways you can reveal them to your loved ones.
An Eco-Friendly Gift That Gives Back
Of course, we couldn’t finish this article without mentioning Small Axe Peppers Hot Sauce.
An eco-friendly gift that gives back, this sauce does more than bring the heat. As a B Corp certified company, we are really about community and environmental activism. We are selling more than just a product. We are selling a vision. A vision that entails a future of locally-sourced products and greener cities.
We believe that community Gardens are amazing resources in urban areas that are too often under-served. Each garden has a unique social mission, informed by the needs of the surrounding areas. All of our sauces directly support community gardens, which ceratinly make them eco-friendly gifts. Read more here.
Support our garden partners with any bottle purchase, including this one below: