When it comes to the environment, there are some shocking facts and statistics:
- 1.3 billion tons of waste has been dumped so far this year, including 7.8 million tons of plastic dumped in the oceans.
- By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans.
- Although the US accounts for just 5% of the world’s population, it uses 30% of the world’s resources and creates 30% of the world’s waste.
- There’s more carbon dioxide in the environment than ever before in the history of Earth.
- The average animal (vertebrate) population declined 60% in the fifty years since 1970.
- By August 22, 2020, we will have used up all of Earth’s resources for the calendar year. This is called Earth Overshoot Day.
- Two of every three extreme weather events in the past two decades can be attributed to climate change.
You’ve likely heard all this doom and gloom previously or else you wouldn’t have clicked onto an article about eco-friendly gifts. Luckily, you aren’t alone. Individuals, companies, non-profit organizations and governments around the world are tackling the problems of climate change, pollution and deforestation. And, one of the best ways you can help is to invest in eco-friendly products for both yourself and for your friends and family.
Below, we’ve rounded up the 12 best eco-friendly gifts of 2020. There’s everything from jewelry to gardening supplies, so it should be easy to find the most ideal gift for your loved ones.
1. Bee Carefree Reusable Beeswax Food Wrap Set
As mentioned above, the best eco-friendly gifts replace something people use a lot of which is harming the environment. Two of the easiest things to replace are plastic wrap and plastic bags. But, a gift should also be beautiful in nature. That’s why we love the Bee Carefree Reusable Beeswax Food Wrap Set. This bundle comes with four gorgeous beeswax wraps to replace your friend’s Seran wrap habit. It also includes two beeswax bars to keep the wraps in great shape and a high-quality produce bag to boot. Useful and attractive, you might have to buy yourself one of these sets, too.
2. Sunshine Company Shop Natural Lip Balm
Eco-friendly gifts don’t need to cost a ton. The Sunshine Company Shop Natural Lip Balm proves this point. Not only is this lip balm crafted using only all-natural ingredients, including beeswax, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and essential oils, it is also presented in a completely compostable tube. The balm will keep your lips hydrated all day long thanks to the included oils. Plus, the tube is half an ounce, meaning you get three times more balm than in traditional chapsticks. This eco-friendly gift would make a great stocking stuffer or add on to another larger gift.
3. FreeMountainDesigns Wildflower Seed Bomb Gift Box
BEST FOR GARDENERS
You likely know and love bath bombs, but have you ever heard of a seed bomb? These heart-shaped natural products contain wildflower seeds. The recipient simply has to place them in loose soil and water for a few days before they’ll start to see beautiful flowers sprout. The flowers inside may include baby’s breath, bird’s foot trefoil, blanket flower, calendulas, columbine, coneflower and many more. And, by supporting the growth of wildflowers, you and your recipient are providing refuge to bees, birds and other wildlife which is essential to a healthy ecosystem.
4. WildCaseUK Bamboo Straw iPhone Case
BEST FOR TECHIES
So much of the electronics industry is harmful to the environment. In fact, the smartphone industry is forecasted to have the biggest carbon footprint of any branch of the tech industry by 2040. This is mostly due to emissions caused during production. While buying into the smartphone industry is nearly an inevitability, you can make sure that all the accessories you use for your smartphone give back to the environment. The WildCaseUK Bamboo Straw iPhone Case does just that. Most phone cases are 100% plastic, but this one is made from bamboo straw and PBAT plastic. Therefore, it’s completely compostable. This would make a great gift for teenage kids to go along with their new phone or for friends who could use a more eco-friendly phone case.
5. Bamboo Reusable Paper Towels
Okay, we’ll admit that paper towels aren’t the most environmentally damaging item in your home. But, does it really make sense to use a bit of paper to clean up a spill on the floor and then throw it away? Think about all the natural resources that went into producing that bit of paper for you to use it for just five seconds. Luckily, eco-friendly companies have begun to produce reusable paper towels. This version looks and feels like a normal paper towel but is made from 100% organic bamboo. The towels can all be washed and reused 80 to 100 times over. They’re absorbent and strong, so you won’t really notice any difference. Plus, whoever you give these paper towels to will save loads of money on buying disposable paper towels over several months.
6. Mario Alabi Reclaimed Inner Tube Wallet
In the past few years, there’s been a lot of press about how the fashion industry is damaging the environment. Fast fashion in particular creates tons of water waste and emissions. One way to help lessen the impact your clothes have on the world is to buy used. Another way is to buy accessories made from recycled items, like this Mario Alabi Reclaimed Inner Tube Wallet. It’s made from 100% recycled rubber sourced from spent inner tubes previously found on taxis in El Salvador. The bifold has space for cards and cash and boasts a slightly raised design on the front and back. This is a great gift choice for adult children, partners and other members of the family.
7. Zero Waste Cookbook
BEST FOR AMATEUR CHEFS
Think about the last time you made a completely homemade meal. How much food did you throw away in the process? There are always vegetable skins, fruit pits and meat scraps that end up in the trash. The Zero Waste Cookbook by Giovanna Torrico and Amelia Wasiliev draws on ancestral wisdom to teach the reader how to use those scraps rather than throw them away. The book includes recipes for creating lemon peel-infused vodka, sunflower seed bread and even vegetable stock made from corn husks. For any of your friends who like to spend time in the kitchen, this would make a natural eco-friendly gift.
8. 4Ocean Shark Beaded Bracelet
BEST FOR OCEAN LOVERS
Jewelry and accessories are popular gifts for both romantic partners and friends, but the production process for the metal and jewels found in them can be harmful to the environment. So why not give your loved ones a bracelet that actually does good for our oceans? The 4Ocean bracelets are made from post-consumer recycled plastic and glass bottles, including some that are taken out of the ocean by the people at 4Ocean. The unisex design can fit on most wrists, and it’s available in a variety of colors. This particular model is dedicated to shark awareness.
9. Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls
BEST CLEANING SWAP
Did you know dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener are damaging to the environment? Luckily, there is an eco-friendly alternative. Wool dryer balls are easy to add to every load of laundry. Plus, they prevent clothes from clumping together in the dryer and decrease the amount of time it takes clothes to dry. While this might not be the most glamorous of gifts to give, it will benefit the recipient by decreasing their electricity bills, giving them better laundry results and shrinking their carbon footprint. In addition, these Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls are sure to put a smile on the recipient’s face thanks to their adorable penguin decals.
10. LeafLife Original Bamboo Tumbler
BEST FOR BUSY PROFESSIONALS
The LeafLife Original Bamboo Tumbler eliminates three environmental problems in one. First, it can be used as a water bottle, preventing the recipient from using multiple single-use plastic bottles. Second, it can be used to hold hot drinks made at home, meaning the recipient won’t need to use disposable coffee cups from their local cafe. And, finally, the tumbler comes with a built-in tea strainer for loose leaf teams, so that the user can say goodbye to using plastic tea bags. As an added benefit, this tumbler is gorgeous and minimalistic thanks to its bamboo exterior.
11. Gem Water Reusable Straws
You’ve likely seen the recent press about the plastic, disposable straw problem. In America alone, more than 500 million plastic straws are thrown away every day. Many of those end up in the oceans, harming marine life. In fact, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the world’s oceans than fish, by weight. So, it only makes sense that eliminating the use of plastic straws is a good thing. While you could go without, using one of these Gem Water Reusable Straws adds class and character to your drink. Each of the stainless steel straws has a removable, food-safe gemstone on the bottom. These straws make a beautiful gift to any of your friends who are particularly environmentally conscious and anti-plastic.
12. Living Composter
Gorgeous and functional, the Living Composter rounds out our list. This countertop kitchen addition allows users to turn food scraps into fertilizer without the stink of traditional composters. The design is optimal for both the worms inside and for human interaction, allowing it to boldly stay indoors. It includes everything you need to create compost except for the worms and the sawdust soil mix. Once properly assembled, the system can compost up to two pounds of food scraps each week, and one tablespoon of the resulting fertilizer is enough to feed a six-inch plant for up to two months. This is certainly one functional gift no one will be disappointed to receive.