16 Sustainable Gift Ideas for Everyone On Your List (2021)

Last updated on December 6th, 2021 at 04:21 pm

Every year American’s spend billions of dollars buying gifts for their friends, family, and loved ones. With the increasing urgency of climate change, we wanted to highlight some businesses that are working to make the world a more sustainable place- businesses that make great products and have sustainable practices baked into everything that they do. There are plenty of amazing companies to choose from that prioritize sustainable material sourcing, ethical production practices, environmental education, and low waste packaging.

While the gift guide below considers all of these factors, it also focuses on sustainable gift ideas that can help people lead more eco-friendly lifestyles.

1. House Plants from The Sill

The Sill Homepage Screenshot

Who will love it? The nature lover, the apartment dweller, the new homeowner, the office mate

Potted plants exploded onto the scene in a big way in 2020 and 2021. And it is easy to understand why. Indoor plants instantly beautify any space, are a calming hobby, embrace biophilic design, and filter VOCs and emissions from the air. Plus, they make a great zero waste gift! Shop some of our favorites from The Sill:

Want a plant that will look great and filter the air? While most plants will filter the air to some degree, powerhouses like English Ivy, Peace Lily, and Bamboo Palm are top air-filtering plants according to NASA.

2. Organic Maple Syrup from Runamok

Runamok's collection of smoked and infused artisan maple syrup

Who will love it? The hostess, the tea lover, the foodie, the sweet tooth, the chef

With Runamok, you’re giving a gift people will love while also supporting a company that cares about the planet. As part of their environmental mission, they maintain over 1,000 acres of sustainably managed forest. Most of their products are also certified USDA organic.

We like these products as gift ideas, but go check out all they have to offer.

3. Small Batch Beauty Products from Luna Roots

Who will love it? The makeup lover, the one with the burly beard, the best friend

This Vermont-based company is changing the makeup game with small-batch beauty products made with sustainably foraged plants, ingredients from local and organic farms, and a whole lot of magic. Their line includes heavenly-scented perfumes, strengthening hair and beard oil, hydrating hydrosols, nourishing lip and cheek stains, moisturizing cleansers, lush body oils, and much more.

4. Flax Linen Bedding from Milou Milou

Who will love it? The interior design enthusiast, the cuddler, anyone with a bed

We could all use a little extra sleep. And the bedding from Milou Milou brings extra comfort (and style) to any bedroom, all while keeping the environment in mind. This carbon-neutral, zero waste and plastic-free company offers custom flax linen bedding crafted with OEKO Certified fabric dyes. Each piece is crafted to last a lifetime, so you don’t have to worry about your gift ending up in a landfill.

If you don’t want to splurge on a full bedding set, try gifting a flax linen pillowcase or two. You can customize your order by picking the color of both the backside and front side, so it’s like two styles of pillows in one.

5. Books About Sustainable Living from Chelsea Green Publishing

Vermont Coverts | Reference Books | Sustainable Forestry

Who will love it? The voracious reader, the budding environmentalist, the chef, the animal lover

The idea of living in harmony with nature is a concept that is catching wind. Yet, we still have a long way to go—and a lot to learn. Therefore, a book about sustainable living may just be the perfect gift. These books cover a variety of concepts to pique anyone’s interest.

Here’s some of our favorites, but check out their entire catalog of books.

6. Refillable Deodorant from Wild Cosmetics

Who will love it? The clean beauty lover, those with sensitive skin, anyone with armpits

Alright, you may think we’re off our rocker for suggesting to gift deodorant. But when it is this clean, lusciously scented, and luxurious feeling, it is a complete game changer. Wild Cosmetics is redefining deodorant with a 100% plastic-free system that does away with plastic cases for sturdy and refillable aluminum cases.

7. Dog Bed & Toys from West Paw

West Paw Dog Toys (Homepage screenshot)

Who will love it? The dog mom or dad, any pup

West Paw is a certified B Corp based in Montana that makes all their products in the USA. From the proprietary Zogoflex material they developed for their toys to the way they cut and sew their beds, they keep waste out of landfills, chemicals out of soil and water, and toxins out of products — all while guaranteeing durable, beautiful toys and beds your pets will love. Here’s some of our favorite products:

8. Outdoor Clothing from Patagonia

Who will love it? The adventure seeker, the runner, the rock climber, the outdoor sports enthusiast

From climbing mountains to shredding snow to camping under the stars, Patagonia specializes in ethical clothing for every outdoor adventure. This Certified B Corporation creates garments with a mix of natural material like wool, cotton, and hemp and recycled materials. Plus, they offer more Fair Trade Certified™ sewn pieces than any other clothing brand.

Looking to save some money? Shop second hand Patagonia clothing that looks as good as new through their shop Worn Wear—another environmental initiative the company took on to fight fast fashion and help people get the most out of their clothing.

9. Rechargeable USB Batteries from Pale Blue Earth

Who will love it? The gamer, the techie, the teenager, anyone with remotes

From remotes to interactive kid toys, batteries are inevitable. So why not give the gift that anyone can use with rechargeable USB batteries? Each of these little powerhouses charges 5 x faster than traditional rechargeables and replaces 1000 alkaline disposables, saving both raw material and landfill space. This is the ultimate gift of convenience that can save the recipient a ton of money in the long run!

10. Compostable Phone Case from Pela Case

Pela Case (screenshot)

Who will love it? The techie, the gossip queen or king, the clutz, nature enthusiasts

Everyone needs a good phone case so why not make it a sustainable one? Pela Case is the first biodegradable phone case to hit the market. And with their success, they have also expanded into compostable iPad cases and Smart Watch bands. So unlike plastic cases that sit in the landfill for hundreds of years before they break down, these cases are compostable in your backyard compost at the end of their life. Plus, they come in fun designs for everyone on your shopping list!

11. Flip Flops from Samba Soul

Who will love it? The vacationers, the beach bum, the Floridian, the snow birds

Make days laying on the beach more eco-friendly with a pair of Samba Soul flip flops. This Miami based company is committed to using all raw materials by melting down leftover rubber from production to create new sandals. Plus, their materials never undergo any chemical processing. The colorful flip flops will catch the eye of both adults and kids alike with fun designs like palm leaves, stars, pineapples, and flamingos. Every pair is designed to put a little Samba in the soul!

12. Running Shoes from Allbirds

Allbirds (screenshot)

Who will love it? The athlete, the walk lover, kids, anyone with feet

Whether you know someone who is always taking their dog for a walk or a kiddo that has outgrown their current shoes, Allbirds are a sweet deal. Unlike most shoes which are made of synthetic material, these use the strength and bounty of nature with innovative materials like eucalyptus and plush merino wool (which uses 60% less energy than typical synthetic material). Additionally, every pair looks and feels amazing!

13. Beeswax Food Wraps from Bee’s Wrap

Bees Wrap

Who will love it? The chef, the vegan, the commuter, the lunch packer

Beeswax wraps have really hit their stride the past few years, but no one crafts them quite like Bee’s Wrap. This proud B Corp and Green America certified company not only offers reusable beeswax wraps that you can use to seal bowls, wrap snacks, and pack lunches. But they also have vegan wax wrap options—the perfect gift for vegan friends!

Shop their wax wrap gift section for assorted wrap packs with various designs or gift a single wrap as part of a sustainable kitchen gift basket. Once the wrap is past its prime, don’t forget to tell the recipient that they are compostable or make excellent fire starters.

14. Reusable Silicone Food Bags from Stasher Bag

Who will love it? The cook, the gardener, the busy parent

Stasher bags are just as simple as using plastic baggies but much more sturdy, visually appealing, and eco-friendly. These stylish and colorful reusable silicone snack bags are safe for the dishwasher, microwave, and freezer, making them perfect for holding everything from snacks to leftovers. Plus, they have a size for everything! You can gift the busy parent with sandwich bags to make packing the kids’ lunches extra easy—and sustainable. Or give a starter kit to the gardener in your life so they can freeze extra herbs and produce.\

Bag reached the end of its life? Stasher accepts them back to make them into playground pebbles, making this company all the more sustainable!

15. Socks That Give Back from Conscious Step

Conscious Step Gift Boxes (screenshot)

Who will love it? The evangelist, the activist, people with feet

These socks from Conscious Step are comfy, stylish, and help support specific charitable initiatives. Here’s some of our favorites from their gift section:

16. Donate to a Sustainability Focused Non Profit

Donating to a non-profit in someone else’s name is a great way to make both parties feel good. Some of our favorite non profits in this space are:

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Check out Vermont made gift guide for more great gift ideas!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Riley Farabaugh

The youngest son of co-founders Peggy and Ken Farabaugh, Riley has filled different roles within the organization since it was founded out of a spare bedroom in the family home in 2005. As the son of the first Vermont Woods Studios craftsmen, Riley has been quickly learning more and more about woodworking, sustainable forestry, and the ins-and-outs of the furniture industry.