By Avery Hutcheson


The holidays are all about showing the people you love that you care. This year, we want to encourage our readers to also show their love for the planet by choosing gift options that are eco-friendly and sustainable.

Studies show that the amount of trash produced in the United States between Thanksgiving and Christmas increases by an estimated 25% – approximately one million extra tons every week. Cut down on your personal carbon footprint this year by reusing decorations instead of purchasing new ones, being mindful about gift wrapping and minimizing or reusing it whenever possible, and choosing one thoughtful gift, instead of multiple that will likely end up unused.

A trend in recent years that cuts down on the waste that comes from giving tangible gifts is giving the gift of an experience, like a vacation, concert tickets, or a fun date night. This year, COVID-19 makes experiential gifts a little more complicated, and oftentimes impractical, causing the trend to, almost inevitably, shift away from these types of gifts.

Keep in mind that the holiday season is practically designed for overconsumption, with holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday encouraging consumers to spend and splurge on unnecessary and wasteful indulgences.

To help our readers keep their holiday carbon footprint small, we have compiled a list of gift ideas that support businesses that embrace transparency and prioritize sustainability in their product development – particularly in their sourcing of materials and ingredients.

Bonus Points: A number of these businesses are members of the 1% for the Planet organization, meaning that they give 1% of their annual sales to environmental non-profits every year.

These items are perfect for your friends and family that value sustainability, and even for your loved ones that don’t because, well, it’s 2020 and we think these items will help them get onboard.

1. Cocokind Sea Kale Clay Face Mask ($18)

This holiday season non-toxic personal care products are in!

Cocokind products contain all-natural certified organic ingredients and this soothing, exfoliating, and clarifying face mask is no exception. Even better, the mask is packaged in a recyclable tube made from sugarcane.

Get your loved one the gift of self-care and clear skin—and help them combat that annoying maskne problem that we all seem to be having.

A woman using Cocokind's sea kale clay face mask while holding the product on her hands, smiling

2. Grounds for Change Four-Pack Coffee Sampler ($37)

Look no further for the perfect gift for your coffee-loving friend.

With this sampler you will receive four bags of Grounds for Change’s most popular 8-ounce bags of organic coffee. Grounds for Change is a Fair-Trade company, meaning that the farmers who grow their coffee are fairly compensated for their hard work and that they are very transparent about the origins of their products. They have also committed to offsetting 100% of their carbon emissions associated with their coffee.

Lastly, Grounds for Change is a proud member of 1% for the Planet and has been since they launched their company in 2003. Not to mention, their coffee is delicious, and this sampler allows you to try coffee from four different South American regions.

Grounds for Change Four-Pack Coffee Sampler, an ideal gift for your coffee-loving friends!

3. Yomious Glass Water Bottle ($17)

Give the gift of reducing your carbon footprint this holiday season by helping a loved one avoid the need for single-use plastic water bottles and opting for a reusable one instead. Yomious water bottles are free of harmful chemicals including BPA, PVC, lead, and cadmium, AND they’re stylish and durable.

A pink Yomious Glass Water Bottle, a perfect gift for your loved ones for the holidays!

4. Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece Jacket ($139)

Speaking from personal experience, an investment in a Patagonia jacket is totally worth it.

This Better Sweater Fleece Jacket is made of warm 100% recycled polyester fleece and is consciously manufactured by using significantly less energy, water, and dyes. Patagonia is a global leader in sustainability and also a proud member of 1% for the Planet. This jacket is perfect for layering during the colder months and is equally functional for all of your outdoor activity needs. Check out the men’s version here too!

A woman wearing Patagonia's better sweater fleece jacket

5. StrawExpert Metal Straws ($8)

In case you’ve been living under a rock and you haven’t heard, plastic straws are out, and metal straws are in.

There are a number of benefits to making the switch, primarily that plastic straws are really harmful to our oceans. These metal straws come with fun colorful silicone tips, as well as a carrying case so you can avoid the need for plastic straws, even when you’re out and about.

StrawExpert Metal Straws are free of BPA’s, lead, plastic, and are non-toxic. Look no further for your perfect stocking stuffer!

Two smoothies with some oranges on the side with StrawExpert's metal straws, eco-friendly straws ideal for the environment

6. Branch Basics’ Starter Kit ($69)

Normally cleaning supplies might be a strange choice as a holiday gift, but with the continuation of COVID-19 into the season, cleaning supplies might actually be very appropriate this year, especially with a cute and colorful non-toxic kit such as this one.

Traditional toxic cleaning products are not only harmful to our health, but to the planet as well, as chemicals in cleaning supplies are a big contributor to water and air pollution.

Branch Basics is leading the way in non-toxic cleaning supplies, and this starter kit will get all of your loved one’s bases covered to make the swap easy and fun. All Branch Basics products are plant-based, non-GMO, preservative-free, and biodegradable.

Branch Basics' starter kit - a kit of eco-friendly and sustainable cleaning supplies

7. Stasher Bags 4-Piece Bundle Set ($48)

Continuing with the trend to ditch the plastic this holiday season, Stasher Bags, a reusable silicone bag, are another perfect stocking stuffer idea. 

A study done by the Center for Biological Diversity found that plastic bags are used for an average of only 12 minutes, and they take 500+ years to degrade in landfill. With options varying in multiple sizes and colors, and the covenient reusability component, give the gift of Stasher Bags in order to dramatically cut down on unnecessary waste.

Red, blue, green, and orange stasher bags with fruits and berries inside

8. Solar-Powered Bluetooth Speaker ($37)

A speaker that charges in the sunlight?

Even your most tech-savvy friend is bound to be impressed. This speaker can play for up to 50 hours outdoors without the need for any additional charge besides the sunlight. It is the perfect solution for camping trips, relaxing outdoors, and outdoor ~socially distant~ parties. Not to mention it has premium stereo sound, is waterproof, and has almost perfect reviews from over 500 users.

This speaker is sure to impress this holiday season.

A solar-powered bluetooth speaker, an ideal holiday gift for your tech-savvy friends

9. OXO Compost Bin ($20)

The benefits of composting are endless, and this compost bin makes it easier than ever for your loved ones to get started!

Composting reduces landfill waste, adds nutrients to the soil, and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. OXO also puts the planet first by being a proud member of 1% for the Planet. The OXO bin comes in stylish and sleek color options and only takes up a little bit of countertop space.

This bin makes it easy to start your composting journey and to do your part in reducing humanity’s carbon footprint. 

An OXO Compost Bin with fruits and veggies ready to be composted in the kitchen table

10. Everlane 100% Human Face Mask 5-Pack ($25)

Everlane is, without a doubt, a leader in the sustainable clothing brand department. The brand has committed to using no new plastics as well as all certified organic cotton and recycled materials whenever possible. Everlane is also a top-of-mind brand for modern well-made apparel, so it’s as equally cute and stylish, as it is sustainable. Five certified organic cotton masks for $25 is sure to be a fan favorite this holiday season.

Everlane's 100% human face mask 5-pack, an ideal gift for the holidays to keep your friends and loved ones safe during COVID-19

In an effort to reduce waste this holiday season and put power and meaning behind your purchasing decisions, opt for a sustainable option from this list. This year choose to be conscious about your consumption and keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity. Give gifts that are eco-friendly and ethically conscious, and as a result, your loved ones AND the planet will thank you.

P.S. For all of your sustainable gift-wrapping needs, check out this article for ideas, inspiration, and more!

Amazon Associates’ Program enabled this post to be made and shared with the Topic Community. Thank-you Amazon! #CommisionsEarned

One thought on “Sustainable Gift Ideas for 2020 Holiday Season

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s