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Sustainable Gift Guide

Sustainable Gift Guide

Tis the season! There are so many wonderful things about the holidays: cozy nights in, my grandpa’s homemade stuffed shells on Christmas, and of course – presents!

And this year, I’m dreaming of a green Christmas. As I make my way through my list of people to shop for, I’m making an effort to be conscious of practicing sustainable shopping habits and avoiding buying so much unnecessary “stuff”.

There are tons of ways to ditch overconsumption and give sustainably, so I’ve created a sustainable gift guide to share them with you!

Compiled of mainly experience-based gifts, along with some great reusable replacements for disposable items, this guide has something for everyone on your list:

Learn something new

Shopping for someone creative? Gift them an art class. Or how about the foodie in your life? Look into local cooking classes. There are classes for just about anything: wine tasting, scuba diving, glass blowing, you name it. Learning something new is always a memorable experience, and it might even spark a new passion in someone’s life!

Give the gift of wellness

Everyone loves (and deserves!) some quality self care. For those who love to relax and be pampered, schedule a massage or a facial for them. If you’re shopping for someone who’s into fitness, sign them up for ClassPass or gift them a month’s membership to a fun exercise studio. Good friends with a wellness junkie? They’d be so excited to find out you’ve purchased them a membership to a premium meditation app such as HeadSpace!

Opt for sustainable home decor

Not only are plants a beautiful gift and addition to any home, they bring a ton of benefits to indoor spaces as well!  Find them cheap at your local home improvement store and transfer them to a beautiful pot to make them gift-ready. Shopping for someone who likes to cook? Gift them an indoor herb garden.

Support your local educational centers

Art enthusiasts, history buffs, and biology fiens will love a membership to their local museum, conservatory, or history center! With new exhibits cycling in and out throughout the year, there will always be new things to learn and explore.

Reuse Reuse Reuse

You can’t go wrong with reusable staples. Reusable water bottles and coffee cups are always great gift ideas and come in every color and design you can think of. For the perfect reusable stocking stuffer, check out local Pittsburgh company St. Terra. They offer a 4-pack of stainless steel straws with a bristle cleaner included. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for their Eco Starter Kit coming soon for the holidays and filled with zero-waste goodies!

Make a charitable donation in someone’s name

Do you know someone who’s passionate about a cause? Make a charitable donation in their name to a non-profit organization that shares the same passion! This year for my birthday, my boyfriend symbolically adopted an otter for me, making a donation to the World Wildlife Fund, and it’s my favorite gift to date.

Bonus: sustainable packaging

This year, I’m packaging any of my “physical stuff” gifts into reusable canvas tote bags! It’s a great way to reduce waste from wrapping paper and encourage people to carry their own reusable shopping bags. You can keep the look simple, or, browse tons of unique and personalized designs on Etsy.

And wa-la! You’ve got yourself a full list of eco-friendly gifts for everyone on your list. I’d love to hear if you decide to use any of these ideas, or if you have any additional sustainable gift tips that I didn’t cover!

Happy holidays!


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