Just because the pressure to consume reaches its height around the holidays doesn’t mean we can’t also be kind to the planet.
Get into the spirit of the season with these thoughtful gifts that also happen to be earth-friendly, sustainable, and zero waste.
Here are our top picks for 2018:
1. Gourmet Edible Insects
Reducing your meat and dairy consumption is the single greatest way that individuals can lessen their environmental impact.
Edible insects, however, might just be the animal protein of the future. Insects are nutritious, ethically raised, and do not pose a significant strain on the earth’s limited resources.
As a gentle introduction to the world of edible bugs, this jar of chapulines (or, grasshoppers) is a Mexican delicacy seasoned with your choice of adobo, chipotle, or plain.
Adding actual life to our living spaces, houseplants certainly earn their keep by improving indoor air quality. Not only do they increase oxygen levels, remove pollutants in the air, increase humidity levels, and beautify the home, just being in their presences makes us happier, smarter, healthier, and more productive. And all that, without the use of electricity!
Costa Farms are one of the best online suppliers of indoor plants. Shop Costa Plants on Amazon here.
3. Stainless Steel Drinking Straws
Single-use plastic straws are tossed away at a rate of 500 million per day in the US alone. For the habitual straw sipper on your list, stainless steel drinking straws are rust proof, scratch proof, and dishwasher safe – take care of them and they will certainly last a lifetime.
4. Bokashi Composting System
While traditional composting involves the decomposition of organic matter, bokashi composting breaks down food scraps into nutrient-rich soil through the process of fermentation. Perfect for apartment dwellers or those who don’t have the time to nurture an outdoor pile, bokashi buckets fit under the sink, can be used year-round, and are air-tight so they won’t cause odors in the home.
Pick up a complete Bokashi Kit from this page on Amazon.
5. Ethique Sampler Set
Leading the charge in the zero waste movement, Ethique makes shampoo, conditioner, and skin care products that are sold in solid bars as opposed to the conventional liquids in a plastic bottle. These concentrated formulas are made with natural ingredients, will last 3 to 5 times longer than their liquid counterparts, are cruelty free, and come in minimal, 100% compostable packaging.
Ethique’s sampler boxes offer an excellent way to try out their different formulas. With 5 mini bars in each box, choose between the hair sampler, the body sampler, and the face sampler.
6. Soap Nuts
Free of synthetic chemicals and artificial fragrances, soap nuts are harvested from trees and shrubs in the Sapindus genus, which produce a fruit that contains saponins – a natural surfactant.
Used for cleaning for centuries, soap nuts are completely biodegradable, hypo-allergenic, USDA organic, and long lasting. Soap nuts can be used as laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, and more.
7. Guppyfriend Washing Bag
Found in the ocean, the soil, and even floating in the air, microplastic pollution poses a massive threat to animal and human health. Tiny shards of degraded plastic – which can be so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye – have been detected in such ubiquitous sources as sea salt, beer, bottled water, and tap water. The average person ingests more than 5,800 microplastic particles each year.
While microbeads and degraded bits of plastic trash are among the ways microplastics are let loose into the environment, each load of laundry we do is also contributing to the problem. Every time we wash synthetic clothing, the fabric sheds microfibers that end up in the water supply.
Until water treatment facilities and laundry machines are equipped with better filtration systems, the Guppyfriend Washing Bag provides a good stopgap measure to help reduce microplastic pollution by trapping clothing fibers within. Watch it in action here…
Get the Guppyfriend Washing Bag for $30.
8. Sunglasses Made from Recycled Plastic Waste
A genius way to reduce and reuse, w.r.yuma makes stylish and sustainable sunglasses by 3D printing recycled materials like car dashboards, soda bottles, and old fridges. After the frames have been printed and assembled by hand, they are fitted with high quality 100% UVA/UVB protection Italian lenses. And if you accidentally break your shades, they provide a free repair service for life.
9. Wine Bottle Glassware
A more civilized way to drink straight from the bottle, Refresh Glass reshapes old wine bottles into new stemless glasses. Each set of four is entirely unique, with varying shapes, glass thickness, and at least three different colors per set.
10. Flip Flop Doormat
Made from reclaimed flip flops, this multicolor doormat is sturdy, thick, and very cushy under your feet. Easy to clean (just spray it down with a hose), every flip flop doormat is totally unique and one-of-a-kind since the color composition will vary with each order.
11. Recycled Metal Art
Handcrafted in Haiti from old 50 gallon steel drums, this timeless piece depicts the tree of life – a symbol of creation and the interconnectedness of all living things. Ranging in dark silver to brown metals, it would look gorgeous hanging on a garden wall. And best of all, each piece sold directly benefits the artist who produces it.
Get the Tree of Life Wall Hanging.
12. Bidet Toilet Attachment
Each year, Americans flush the equivalent of 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper down the pipe – which requires 15 million trees, 4.7 billion gallons of water, over 250,000 gallons of bleach chemicals, and 17.3 terawatts of electricity just to manufacture.
Vastly greener and more hygienic than toilet paper, a bidet will wash your nether regions with a spray of clean water after you do your business. This easy-to-install bidet attaches to your existing toilet and will entirely eliminate the need for TP – a gift that keeps on giving!
Get the Luxe Bidet on Amazon.