If you are anything like us, you may find yourself struggling to strike a balance between the desire to participate in the gift-giving festivities with a desire to minimize our possession and encourage others to consume less.
When it comes to eco friendly gift-giving, we believe in a few principles:
- Buy less – the concept of reuse and recycle works great even for the holiday season. Because not all gifts need to be brand spanking new and because it’s all too easy to get sucked into great Black Friday deals and end up buying stuff you don’t actually need.
- Choose experiences over things – because we believe that memories and time spent together have a much bigger impact than a pair of socks ever could.
- Buy local/buy ethical – choose smaller companies over big conglomerates, choose ethical and responsible manufacturing practices because every dollar that you spend this holiday season, is a vote towards more sustainable producers and manufacturing practices.
We know that searching for sustainable experiences or a great eco-friendly gift can be a challenge.
So we hope this guide will help you find a few great eco-friendly gift ideas for you, for your family, and for other sustainable travelers in your life. If you are choosing to spend money this holiday season, we hope that you choose to spend it on sustainable and ethical products!
Clothing and Footwear
First on our list, a catch-all of clothing for any sustainably-minded traveler in your life is prAna, a brand committed to sustainable sourcing and manufacturing practices. In our mind, prAna is one of the leading brands in this space and we’ll be honest with you, we don’t own an item from prAna that we don’t love.
Their clothing is functional, stylish, and comfortable. Plus their sustainability movement really resonates with our own beliefs. Their garments are all made from 100% organic cotton, recycled wool, or responsible down. They’re also committed to minimizing waste with their Responsible Packaging Movement. PrAna aims to eliminate plastic packaging completely by fall 2021 and inspire others to work toward non-virgin forest fiber packaging.
Prana offers a wide range of clothing from basic and casual pieces to more specialized items. They are suitable for yoga, working out, swimming, climbing, and other outdoor and travel activities.
Yoga wear and comfortable basics from Indigo Luna are the perfect addition to any eco-conscious wardrobe. All of the garments are handmade in Bali in a completely women-run factory. Every hand that touches these garments is paid an above living wage and has the healthcare and safety standards that they deserve.
Indigo Luna is serious about sustainability at every step in the production process and is committed to transparency and environmental responsibility. They use all-natural dyes and even make garments from fabric scraps to minimize as much waste as possible.
All of their pieces are made from sustainably sourced materials that feel luxe and comfortable. They even offer nylon swimwear made from recycled fishing nets! They have yoga wear, loungewear, swimwear, and intimates that all make perfect eco-friendly gifts.
Sustainable intimates are one of the more challenging items to find, so if you or your loved one is in the market for some sustainable basics, check out Organic Basics. It’s our personal choice for sustainable basics.
Not only are the pieces comfy and well-fitting but Organic Basics is a sustainable brand committed to providing better fabrics, ethical manufacturing practices, and longer-lasting pieces.
The Organic Basics line started with underwear, socks, bras, shirts and basic activewear for men and women but has since expanded to include even more eco-friendly basics! Pair your organic cotton intimates with new oxford shirts and recycled wool sweaters. Their new wool knits not only look and feel great, but they’re made from 100% recycled merino wool.
We’ll admit it, you can find us in flip flops a majority of the time and Chacos are our go-to brand. Chacos footwear is made to last (trust us, these won’t wear out like a regular pair of Havaianas). They feature a non-marking EcoTread outsole made from 25% recycled rubber, which makes them a great eco-friendly gift option.
Aside from flip-flops, the brand has a plethora of other footwear. Their best-sellers are sandals that have great grip and traction for hiking, they can be taken through the water, and they are comfortable enough to be worn the whole day. Chacos also come in some more fashionable styles, like these great winter boots.
Each pair of Chaco Sandals provides arch support approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association and their straps are adjustable for a customized fit. Plus, they are truly made to last! However, if your Chacos do need a little love down the line, the ReChaco program will repair them for you. This is a really refreshing concept when most companies would encourage consumers to throw out and rebuy.
Peak Design is a stylish camera accessories brand that offers lots of great eco-friendly gifts for the photographer in your life. Their bags are a real winner! They are so well designed, with flexible compartments, a plethora of pockets, comfort, modular straps, and zipper tabs. We particularly love their Everyday Bag and their Everyday Tote!
We feel good knowing that Peak Design cares about the environment as much as we do! Bags are made with 100% recycled nylon shell, some use recycled interior materials and even recycled aluminum. The company also offsets its carbon footprint, is striving to become fully carbon-neutral, and donates 1% of their annual revenue to grassroots environmental nonprofits!
This year, Peak Design has added new colour options for some of their bags and a ton of cool phone accessories too. They’re also launching a slim but durable phone case with all kinds of attachments that we can’t wait to get our hands on!
GOT Bag is another one of our favourite eco-friendly bags! This bag comes with us no matter where we go. A day at the beach, a hike in the mountains, or a carry on en route to a new destination. It is 100% waterproof, has a capacity of 23 liters, and is really comfortable to carry around. The roll-up top and compression straps make the bag expandable in size and easy to adjust.
We love that each bag is made from 3.5kg (7.7 pounds) of recycled plastic. The plastic is collected by community fishermen. They have seen the effect plastic has had on the oceans and who are now dedicated to cleaning up our oceans! Practical, comfortable, and good for the planet. That’s something we can get behind.
Our recommendation for this high-performance brand won’t surprise our regular readers. We’ve been raving about our love of Hydro Flask water bottles for years now. It really is a perfect eco-friendly gift for anyone looking to reduce their consumption of single-use plastic bottles.
Hydro Flask is not just a regular water bottle. Its TempShield™ double wall vacuum insulated technology sets these bottles apart from other reusable water bottles, as it allows cold liquids to stay cold for up to 24 hours or hot for up to 12 hours. The brand now offers not just water bottles, but also wine tumblers, coffee/tea travel mugs and so much more!
Plus to top it off, all Hydro Flask products are only produced at meticulously chosen factories that practice social responsibility, fair labour, and strong ethics.
Ladies, let’s talk periods…There is no shortage of sustainable period solutions these days, but I’m a loyalist when it comes to this topic and Knix leakproof underwear is definitely my go to – and not just for that time of the month! Leakproof underwear from Knix is the perfect solution for feeling comfortable fresh and worry-free, no matter what time of the month it is. Knix undies are made from a breathable moisture-wicking material that prevents bacteria growth and keeps you dry.
Switching to Knix Leakproof Underwear can eliminate the need for disposable liners and tampons. They look, feel and act like regular underwear, but are can absorb up to 4 tampons worth!
Transitioning away from disposable period products and toward a reusable menstrual cup was the best decision I’ve ever made! With a one time purchase, I know I’m covered without having to constantly be buying new products and wasting packaging.
While it might take some getting used to, you’ll be saving money, helping the environment, and fussing way less than with pads and tampons. The Diva Cup is made from 100% medical-grade silicone so it’s BPA-free and easy to clean. You can keep it in for 12 hours and worry less about leaks.
Plus, Diva Cup is a certified B Corp, meaning they are dedicated to transparency and accountability. You can feel extra good about switching to a great product from a responsible company.
These detergent strips from Tru Earth are a great gift for anyone looking to take their zero waste journey to another level. We love that these simple strips aren’t loaded with fragrances or excessive packaging and still do a great job.
Tru Earth’s detergent strips are as easy to use as pods but without the plastic packaging and potential allergens. They’re gentle enough for sensitive skin and are completely hypoallergenic. We love being able to throw the lightweight package in our bags and do laundry wherever we go.
The strips are proudly made in Canada and effectively reduce transportation costs by 94% compared to shipping plastic jugs. By switching away from traditional detergent, we can save 700 million plastic jugs from going to landfills in North America!
And while you are at it, make it a zero-waste laundry combo by grabbing a set of Wool Dryer Balls. add a few drops of essential oils and you’ve got the most eco-friendly Bounce sheet replacement!
If you’ve got a tea-connoisseur on your Christmas shopping list, then a pack of organic loose leaf tea is going to be a winning gift! We have done our fair share of research and tasting and have come up with this list of utterly delicious organic tea.
Our all-time favourites include Numi tea, Arbour Tea and
Metal Drinking Straws
We have all seen those horrifying turtle vs. straw videos and its safe to say they’ve got lots of people rethinking their straw usage.
So we recommend keeping the straws out of the ocean by adding these metal drinking straws to travel bag. This pack even comes with a handy wooden case and cleaning brush.
As we happily say goodbye to single-use plastics, reusable bags are the next step! Most of us are already using regular reusable grocery bags, but these reusable produce bags will help take your zero-waste shopping game to another level.
These bags are ultra-lightweight and come in a variety of sizes – perfect for all types of produce, no matter the size.
Eminence Organic Skin Care is a Hungarian company committed to being green in an industry filled with plastic and chemicals. All of their products are handmade with natural ingredients and are free of parabens, animal byproducts, and harmful fragrances. Eminence replaces cosmetic chemicals with the natural healing powers of seeds, pulps, and peels.
They sell a full range of skincare products from cleansers and moisturizers to serums and oils. All of their products are produced with solar and wind energy and they plant a tree for every product sold! We love how simple and luxurious the products are and know that we can feel good about using them.
They also have an amazing line of beauty products like tinted moisturizer and lip balm that feel lightweight and breathable. Plus, all of their cosmetics are at least SPF 15 so the sustainable traveler in your life will be glowing and protected.
If you or your loved one is looking to make the switch to eco-friendly, zero waste makeup but don’t know where to begin then this list is for you. It features some great brands that are good for both your skin and the planet.
These brands stay away from harmful ingredients like parabens, sulphates, and phthalates found in most traditional makeup products and they do their part to keep plastic out of landfills by using environmentally friendly packaging.
Written by our good friends, Mike and Anne of HoneyTrek.com, Comfortably Wild is the culmination of their three-year, nine-country, 73,00-mile quest to find the best glamping destinations in North America. In this coffee-table-meets-guide book, they dive into the history of glamping and this 21st-century craving for unconventional experiences that effortlessly connect us with nature, our families, and ourselves.
There are over 70 destinations, plus 80 extra getaways by region in their directory so you’ll be sure to find something nearby and fabulously far-flung. More than dreamy places and inspiring stories, they offer practical tips to find the best deals, local secrets, and tested-and-approved travel advice to help you mobilize a lifetime of unforgettable adventures.
All of the products on the list above pass our rigorous research first-hand testing! We have personally used, worn, and read all the suggestions on this list. We can wholeheartedly recommend them as great eco-friendly gift options for eco-conscious minded friends and family on your list.