Peace, Not Plastic, on Earth: 14 Sustainable Gift Ideas
It wasn't deliberate, but turns out these 14 sustainable gift ideas aren't just eco-friendly products ready to be wrapped and presented to all the environmentally conscious cats on your Christmas list this year, many of them are also great buys for yourself. And by that I mean almost all of these sustainable gifts will aid you in your holiday hosting duties, be it a Christmas Eve game night, Christmas dinner, or the big New Year's Eve party. So whether you give them to make merry, or use them to make your own merry, here are some ideas to help you make peace - not plastic - on Earth, dude.
Note: All 24 sustainable gifts are priced as they were at printing on December 15, 2021. Pricing, and availability, are subject to change.
No, cynics, it's not called Jenga Ocean because it looks like a marine oil spill. In fact, Bureo makes their jet black edition of the iconic toppling tower game from 100% recycled fishing nets as part of their overarching ocean conservation efforts. As a company, Bureo both teaches seaside communities how, and financially supports them in their efforts to protect the oceans, and runs a recycling program in Chile to collect discarded fishing nets, which they say account for 10% of the oceans' plastic pollution. So far, they've collected and repurposed over 175,000 pounds of discarded materials.
Each Jenga Ocean game contains over 25 square feet of nets sourced and recycled from Bureo's recovery program.
Sheets & Giggles Eucalyptus Lyocell Sheets
Level up your pillow talk game with some Sheets & Giggles. The bed sheet sets are made of lyocell, a type of rayon the Denver-based company creates entirely from sustainable eucalyptus trees grown on biodiverse plantations. And their eco-friendly nature may be only the secondary reason to enjoy some Sheets & Giggles - the bedding is described as "absurdly soft," and more breathable and moisture-wicking than cotton, to keep you cuddled up and cool as you sleep.
And to make you feel swathed in sexy when you get between the Sheets & Giggles for other reasons.
Firefighter Gear & Bulletproof Vest Garbage Sweater
Vollebak's latest inspiration: landfills. The Garbage Sweater is woven from old, discarded firefighter suits and bulletproof vests - items that, having outlived their useful life, were headed to die in the dump. So in an (albeit attention-seeking and expensive) effort to reuse some of this waste filling the Hell humans have created for Mother Nature, Vollebak has transformed it into "a warm, soft, fire-resistant sweater."
BioVessel Living Countertop Composter
Worms in your food, infesting your kitchen - it's not such a bad thing when contained in the BioVessel. Dump your food scraps into this countertop-sized composter and the worm colony living inside will eat them up, poop them out, and produce nutrient-dense natural fertilizer for your house plants or garden. And thanks to a thoughtful, odorless, modern design, the BioVessel won't stink or ug up the room in the process.
Jingle Rolls Singing Caroler Toilet Paper
The singing carolers on Jingle Rolls Singing Caroler Toilet Paper aren't just singing to the eye, with belting faces painted on the ends of the rolls like a bunch of Christmas-caroling emojis, they're singing to the ear too. Open this festive box of TP from Bim Bam Boo, and the 6 vocalists will also greet you with the full audio of "Jingle Bells."
And in addition to its decorative look and white elephant gift readiness, the Jingle Rolls Singing Caroler Toilet Paper set offers up an eco-friendly gift option. Bim Bam Boo, as the name suggests, makes all of their toilet paper out of sustainable, organically grown bamboo.
Stasher Reusable Silicone Food Bags
Stasher silicone bags help save the planet from piles of plastic waste, and your backpack from failed zipper strips and their squished-out sandwich mustard. Pliable and space-saving like a Ziploc, but reusable and microwave- / dishwasher-safe like Tupperware, Stasher bags are an alternative to snack-packing that don't seem to require a lot of sacrifices to support their environmentally-friendly nature.
Waterproof Cork Apron
This Waterproof Cork Apron is handmade in Portugal and sold as an eco-friendly gift idea for your favorite chef or pitmaster. The sustainably-source cork comprising the apron makes for both a vegan alternative to leather, and a great addition to kitchen and grilling activities, thanks to its naturally waterproof, antimicrobial, lightweight, and durable nature.
PATCH Zero Waste Bamboo Bandages
Patch up your wounds without gouging, stinging, cutting, scraping, burning, or blistering the environment with PATCH bandages, first aid adhesive strips strips made from bamboo fiber that create zero waste post-use. PATCH Bamboo Bandages are 100% compostable and biodegradable, breaking down and ready for reabsorption back into the earth in 10 weeks after you discard them.
Organic Wool Dryer Balls
These Wool Dryer Balls asked me if I want to live a health-conscious and eco-friendly life and I was like, "Ummm...." And then they said I should replace the chemical-laden dryer sheets I'm currently using with one of their ultrasoft and reusable 100% organic New Zealand wool globes and I was like, "Ummm...." And then they said that if I do, my per-load drying time will shorten by 10 to 20 minutes, and what do I think about that when I have no clean shirts and dinner with She-Ra: Princess of Power's parents in an hour? And what also do I think about the dollar savings I'll see on my electrical bill when I don't have to run the dryer for a second cycle, or ever buy conventional, single-use fabric softeners ever again?
And I was like, "Oh hell yeah, Wool Dryer Balls! Hand yourselves over!"
LastSwab Reusable Cotton Swab
The LastSwab Reusable Cotton Swab: "Because there is no Planet B." Hear that, ocean-polluting and marine-life-skewering Q-Tips?
Like EEEARS, the LastSwab takes a typically one-use, disposable grooming product and adds some medical-grade silicone to it, creating a washable, multi-use, and far more sustainable version that does the same thing as its cotton counterpart.
Rain Wizard Rain Barrel
You might be saying, Rain, rain, go away now, but how's it going to be in July and August, when you see nary a drop from the sky, and the municipality puts a watering ban on lawns and gardens? The Rain Wizard Rain Barrel is a 50-gallon water reservoir you can connect to a downspout on your home to gather up all the goods that flow down. Though made of FDA-approved polyethylene, the barrel's distressed wood grain texture also makes it looks like it could hold wine or whiskey, which should automatically put you in a good mood every time you see it.
Palm Leaf Compostable Disposable Plates & Bowls
I'm writing about these Palm Leaf compostable disposable plates and bowls from personal experience with them. The personal, awesome experience of being able throw a pile of the biodegradable fallen Indian Areca palm leaf dishes into the compost bin, instead of rinsing off and loading 30 real plates into the dishwasher, because if I want to have dudes over to watch the football I better be prepared to clean up after them. And I may as well get a club and a ticket to a baby seal colony if I'm going to use plastic or styrofoam disposable plates, because they're both heinous destroyers of nature.
Ah, the joys of being married to She-Ra: Princess of Power.
Bambooee Reusable & Washable Paper Towels
Let me clarify: Bambooees are not at all paper towels, they're bamboo towels. I just named them "Reusable & Washable Paper Towels" because that's how they act. Absorbing crap, cleaning crap, dusting crap, shining crap. But never getting so saturated with crap that they tear apart and disintegrate into a pulpy mess ready for the landfill, and making way for some more trees to timber down into new rolls of paper towels. Bambooee is a paper towel replacement product. It's made of rayon woven from organic, sustainably-harvested bamboo plants.
LAVO Hybrid Hydrogen Battery for Home & Office Power
LAVO indeed deserves a resounding "Bravo!" - or at least a fist bump - for becoming what its Australian creators call "The world's first integrated hybrid hydrogen battery that combines with rooftop solar to deliver sustainable, reliable and renewable green energy to your home and business." LAVO connects to a solar inverter and your water main, acting as a solar sponge to pull in power from the former, and creating hydrogen using water from the latter. Hydrogen is then stored in LAVO's patented metal hydride, where it can live long-term until you need the system to convert it into power.
But while LAVO's 40KWh of electrical storage capacity, and green functionality are impressive, the hydrogen battery's price is still waaaay out of range for those of us who haven't gotten Bezos billions richer during the pandemic.