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When it comes to birthdays, anniversaries, housewarming parties or the holidays, there’s a lot of pressure behind what gifts we buy for the people we love.
Being conscious of your carbon footprint is one of the main steps in reducing it and when we think of gifts we think of the packaging they come in. Take a step into the eco-friendly world by buying from companies that pride themselves in their sustainable products.
Whether you are gifting someone who loves eco-friendly things or you want to convince someone to go green, contribute to preserving the earth by shopping naturally and consciously.
If your idea of the perfect gift involves being conscious of the effect it could have on the environment, we’ve rounded up 21 sustainable gifts for the eco-friendly people in your life.
Oteas is the perfect gift for the tea lover in your life. They are an all-natural, whole leaf, tea company that uses 100 per cent plastic-free packaging made up of plant-based materials to ensure that they are both good for you and for the planet.
Their teabags are 100 per cent biodegradable as are their tag and string. The inner liner is made from a bio-film that is 100 per cent home compostable and the boxes are made from FSC recyclable material printed with vegetable ink, making Oteas 100 per cent plastic-free and a true zero waste consumer product.
SHOP IT: Oteas, $8
New skincare line FRWRD’s Mushroom Serum is the perfect gift for anyone obsessed with their skincare routine. The Mushroom Super Serum is made with ingredients that are sustainably sourced from a 40-acre forest just outside of Toronto.
Powered by a triple mushroom complex and a dual maple leaf to soothe, nourish, tone, balance, and support your skin, the forest serum has a fresh scent and goes on like a fine water-based gel leaving your skin smooth, repaired, and moisturized without any greasy residue.
The Mushroom Serum is USDA Certified Organic and sourced from sustainably produced ingredients. The Mushroom Serum is 100 per cent vegan and cruelty-free, made with rich mushroom ingredients and red and maple sugar leaf extract.
SHOP IT: FRWRD Skincare, $117
This is the perfect gift for the person in your life that loves to meditate. The Future Self Botanical Mist has a proprietary blend of the essential oils including blue chamomile, neroli, sage, palo santo, bergamot, frankincense and clary sage.
The Palo Santo in this blend is ethically harvested from a land that regrows its own Palo Santo forests. Use this product to enhance the memory of your meditation by aligning mood and memory with scent or infuse the air, your bath, your shower or your hair with the botanical mist.
SHOP IT: Merge, $36 (originally $42)
The Home Depot’s Captiva furniture was designed with two goals in mind; to help remove millions of plastic plugs destined for landfills and the oceans, and create a product offering unbeatable value for money.
These chairs are an environmentally friendly option with more than 27,000 bottle caps found in each Captiva chair. You can leave this chair outside year-round.
SHOP IT: The Home Depot, $300
What gift is complete without a card? But as a single-use item that is often adorned in glitter and embellishments, they are often non-recyclable.
Little Green Paper Shop has the answer. The beautiful greeting cards at Little Green Paper Shop are made from a range of card stock including plantable seed paper cards that will bloom into beautiful wildflowers or garden herbs when planted. For the more adventurous there are even cards made from recycled elephant feces (don't worry it is safe), which directly supports sanctuaries for orphaned and injured elephants in India. The cards come in biodegradable nativia cellos and can be personalized to ship straight to the recipients to save on carbon emissions.
Levi’s Fall/Winter 2020 collection is its most sustainable season yet (and it’s almost here). Their high sustainability standards reduce their impact on the planet, better the lives of apparel workers and make it easy for you to look good with a clean conscience.
From recycled materials to innovative new fibres, their collection will make you look good and feel good about what you’re wearing. The Ex-Boyfriend Sherpa trucker jacket is part of the new line and includes recycled polyester made from recycled plastic bottles which can be found in the sherpa and faux fur across the line.
SHOP IT: Levi’s, $170
The Fixer Shampoo Bar has a combination of soothing lavender, a touch of sweet basil and the warmth of cedar wood essential oils, and super-power ingredients that will reduce scalp inflammation, neutralize free radical damage and oxidative stress. This shampoo bar will also block DHT to help prevent hair loss.
Its features include 100 per cent essential oil, vegan and cruelty-free, lasts approximately 50-75 washes and it’s colour-safe and can be used with extensions. This product features plastic-free shipping and comes in kraft paper cardboard boxes that can be recycled.
SHOP IT: Indigo, $18
Canadian skincare brand, WYLD, is an all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free skin and body care line that is also biodegradable and ocean and reef safe.
Their Konjac Sponge is made from the konjac root, a vitamin-rich plant grown in the foothills and mountains of Asia. Konjac roots easily absorb water to form the perfect sponge texture for gentle exfoliation. This natural wonder gently exfoliates and purifies skin without stripping or drying it. It’s the perfect product for dry and sensitive skin.
SHOP IT: WYLD Skincare, $23
Harper Floss is on a mission to create a beautiful flossing experience that’s easy to stick to, good for the planet and easy on the wallet. Frustrated by the plastic waste and unappealing aesthetic of drugstore dental floss (typically made of nylon which is derived by crude oil, drugstore floss can take 50-80 years to decompose, often in the ocean), Harper was built to ensure you never skimp on your most important dental health habit.
Made of 100 per cent biodegradable silk floss, Harper will arrive on your doorstep exactly when you need it.
SHOP IT: Haper Floss, $22 (Originally $32)
This biodegradable bubble bath from Merge is handcrafted in the remote pristine town of Tofino on Vancouver Island. It has an amazing fresh scent of eucalyptus, lavender, cedar and vetiver and it’s animal and cruelty-free and free of parabens and carcinogens.
SHOP IT: Merge, $28
Green Toys Parking Garage is a multi-level play space that includes a mini helicopter and two mini vehicles. It is made from 100 per cent recycled plastic milk jugs. It doesn’t contain BPA, phthalates, PVC, or external coatings. This toy is packaged with recycled and recyclable materials printed with soy ink.
SHOP IT: Indigo, $46
These scented soy candles are the perfect gift for the gamer, coder or book lover in your life. They are poured by hand using eco-friendly ingredients and each candle is made with love and respect to the environment.
Geeky Candles collection includes Exciting Thriller which has the smells of coffee, amber and sandalwood, as well as the Falling Leaves which combines the smells of fresh apples, pecans and maple syrup.
SHOP IT: Geeky Candles, starting at $15
rü specializes in eco-friendly lunch bags for adults that make people excited to bring lunch to work. The company seeks to reduce our reliance on single-use, disposable items and encourage conscientious decision-making.
Bought lunches tend to be more expensive, and wasteful so rü wants you to bring lunch to work instead. The hope is that rüs will not only serve as functional lunch bags but as little reminders of your commitment to sustainable decisions.
Sustainability and thoughtful business practices are at the core of rü. So rü lunch bags are made ethically in Canada from over 90 per cent recycled water bottles and post-consumer waste plastics.
SHOP IT: rü supply co., $45
This Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream is full of potent antioxidants such as vinanza grape that work to neutralize free radicals and prevent premature ageing, while the healthy avocado fats work to hydrate the skin and boost collagen production allowing you to wake up with flawless hydrated and happy skin.
Antipodes just launched in Canada and its plant-powered formulations crafted from pristine New Zealand nature are all pollution-free, vegan, and certified organic.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $65 (originally $76)
This faux leather hat is the perfect gift for the fashionista in your life. Made from luxurious faux leather, the EMMYDEVEAUX hat has minimalist details that keep the look sleek and comes in black, grey and white.
EMMYDEVEAUX is a contemporary fashion house with a focus on quality, everyday luxury pieces. The brand is unique in the way that new products are funded internally by customers, using the FUND IT model. Founder Emily Salsbury-Deveaux designs new products and then relies on customers to decide what gets produced through the internal crowdfunding platform. In turn, this sustainable approach means the brand has little to no inventory waste.
SHOP IT: EMMYDEVAUX, $45
Vegan fashion accessory company Paguro Upcycle sells accessories that have been upcycled from items that would have otherwise been thrown away. The Soni Handmade Skateboard Wooden Earrings are handcrafted using broken skateboards that would have ended up in a landfill.
Paguro Upcycle has a promo code specifically for Yahoo Lifestyle Canada readers. Take 15 per cent off your order with the code YAHOOCANADA1515.
SHOP IT: Paguro Upcycle, $32
This is the perfect gift for the student in your life. The Rocketbook Fusion is a 42-page reusable notebook that has 7 different styles for note-taking planning, listing, goal setting, sketching and sharing ideas. This innovative smart notebook allows you to send your handwritten notes to cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, Slack and more.
The Rocketbook user must allow 15 seconds for the ink from the Pilot Frixion pen, marker or highlighter to dry in order for it to bond to the specialized pages. Wipe the page clean with a damp cloth to start over with new notes.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $46
All Y.O.U Underwear’s products are fairtrade, PETA-approved vegan and made from 100 per cent GOTS Certified Organic Cotton. They work with India's leading ethical and sustainable manufacturer, which operates under SA8000 social standards to ensure its workers are treated fairly.
They also believe in ethical marketing and the importance of promoting body positivity, so they’ve hidden inspirational messages inside their underwear, use people of all shapes and sizes as models and never airbrush our images.
With their sustainable business model, they are also trying to cut out single-use plastic and minimize their waste and impact. They package their products in reusable organic cotton bags and their outer packaging is also recycled and recyclable. They also follow a buy-one-give-two model which means that every time you buy a pair of Y.O.U Underwear, they donate two pairs of underwear to charity Smalls for All.
SHOP IT: Y.O.U Underwear, $26
These yoga mats are the perfect gift for the creative person in your life. DIYogi is a brand of eco-friendly, professional yoga and pilates mats that people can write and draw on using markers.
These mats are high quality and the fact that they can be personalized at home gives them a creative spin and ties them nicely with the mindfulness colouring trend. They are 100 per cent eco-friendly and recyclable, made using natural materials (sustainably sourced natural rubber) and eco-conscious processes.
SHOP IT: DIYogi , $155
Instead of using single-use cups for your coffee on the go, opt for a product that will last you a lifetime. Green Steel’s Beast stainless steel vacuum insulated tumbler set is made to last forever and all of their products come with a lifetime warranty.
Beast is BPA free, toxin-free, made from pure 18/8 stainless steel and nothing else. Their tumblers, lids and straws are completely dishwasher safe and the Beast comes in 16 different colours.
SHOP IT: Green Steel, $29
OK! Kombucha is a Canadian company that uses glass bottles, thus they are recyclable. In addition to that, there are behind the scenes aspects of their brand philosophy that make their product more sustainable.
They work closely with their ingredient suppliers (teas, juices, spices) to try and use as little packaging as possible, and use reusable packaging. They also work with a juice supplier that uses called fruit hat are rejected from grocery stores for being deformed and ‘ugly’ but are perfectly fine, and often times even tastier.
SHOP IT: OK! Kombucha, 6-pack $48