Looking for well made and unique gifts for your loved ones? I’ve compiled a list of my favorite sustainable and thoughtful items. I hope this guide serves to make your gift giving 1. Easy 2. Green 3. Affordable at any budget!
Remember to always give with love, take time for yourself this holiday, breathe deep, and remain present!
Upcycle Your Favorite Thing: $0
Have something that you really love, and know your friend loves too? Share it by gifting it to them this holiday! Remember, this isn’t about giving away junk but sharing things (after all, they are just things) that has brought you joy but you can bear to part with for someone else to enjoy just as much! Ideas: A loved sweater or a pair of earrings you know would look great on your friend.
Give a Book You Loved: $0
I have a pile of much-loved books that I’ve read but just sit there and take up space in my home. Gifting a used but well-loved book to someone is really special. You can even share a nice note in the cover personalized for them!
Bamboo or Metal Straw: $3.00-$3.50
Start your loved ones on their sustainable journey right. Buy a metal or bamboo straw and I'll include a free utensil bag to go with it!
Bamboo Straw $3.00
Metal Straw $3.50
An Act of Service: $0
Remember those ‘free hug’ coupon books we used to give to our parents? Think of this as the adult version! Write down an act of service you can give a loved one such as a nice homemade dinner, a week of yard work, etc. but make sure to stick to your guns and follow through once they come to redeem it!
A Handmade and Heartfelt Card: $0
Spend some time this holiday season to make your own card for your giftee. Handmade cards are fun and easy to make. And everyone loves receiving sweet notes in the mail.
Homemade in a Mason Jar: $0-$5.00
Okay, this gift isn’t totally free because you will need to purchase ingredients, but gifts in a jar such as cookie mix, sugar scrubs, cocktails, jam, etc. usually cost less than $5 per person and you can make multiple gift jars with just one batch!
Eco Collective Seattle Sage Bundle: $8.00
This cleansing sage bundle is perfect for clearing your space and home for the new year! It makes a great stocking stuffer or a gift for someone moving into a new space - literally and figuratively. Made locally by Eco Collective Seattle - if you're local check out their new zero-waste space open on Ballard Ave!
Moon Valley Organics Soap: $5.00
Moon Valley Farm started in the great PNW and opened up their first stall in Pike Place Market. Since then, the owners have grown their dream into a thriving sustainable business and working farm. I really love their history, determination and organic products. Their soaps make great gifts starting at $4.99 a bar.
Glass Straw: $8.00-$9.00
I take my glass straw everywhere I go. It's super durable and thick. And really pretty! I absolutely love the durability and the sleekness of these straws. They are also made by a small business in the PNW.
Hand Stamped Cotton Produce Bags: $6.00-$9.00
Not only do these bags have a cute hand-carved stamp on them, they will last a long time and 5% of proceeds go back to marine conservation. They will help to keep plastic out of the waste stream by eliminating the need for plastic produce & bulk bags. They also make great carryall and travel bags.
Meow Meow Tweet Soap: $10.00
Meow Meow Tweet continues to surprise me with their beautiful cardboard packaging, their whimsical illustrations, and the small batch quality products they craft. This coconut cacao soap is gentle enough for babies and sensitive skin.
Utensil Set: $13.00
If there's one item I use on a consistent daily basis (besides my bandana) it's this exact utensil set. I've experienced countless times when this set came in handy. I have a set in my lunch (if you need a lunch bag, try this one!) and one in my purse. Sure, the knife is not as serrated as I'd like (not even a little serrated), but for an all around convenient and small kit, this is definitely my favorite!
Stasher Clear Sandwich Bag: $11.00+
Perfect for replacing disposable plastic Ziploc bags! Stasher bags are made from durable silicone and can be frozen, heated, and put in the dishwasher. If they do break or come to the end of their useful life, send them back to Stasher to be recycled into playground grounds!
Did you know traditional glitter is actually just sparkly micro plastic? Get your sparkly friend compostable/biodegrade glitter instead! GlitterRevolution makes beautiful and compostable glitters just in time to fill your holiday with sparkle.
Ash+Ember Tote Bags: $16.00
Made by a local artist and fellow small business badass, Ashley, creates, designs and screen prints all her own bags! These totes are super versatile, durable, and very clever. Support a stellar small business and give a gift that someone will really love and use! My personal favorite design? See above :)
Albatross razor: $20.00
I love my stainless steel razor from Albatross Sailing. It is safe and really hardy and easy to change out the blades. I know this will last me forever with proper care. (Don't leave it wet:) )
Bowl Cover Sets: $16.00
These bowl sets are great for transporting dishes and keeping things fresh in the fridge. I love this small company and the prints are so cute and clever!
Straw Market Tote: $19.00+
This small business owner grew up in Morocco around women artisans who create beautiful bags out of "Doum", a local palm. She now brings these bags to Etsy! They are super functional and perfect for farmer's market hauls.
Fat of the Land Mushroom Cocoa: $22.00
Fat of the Land Apothecary is dear to my heart. It is run by a woman named Anja and all her products I've used have made an positive impact on me. I can't say enough good things about her and her business! With that, her mushroom cocoa mix is the perfect blend to sip by the fire this holiday. Not only is it tasty, it is good for your bod too. Try it for yourself or gift it to a loved one!
I first heard of KeepCup from my favorite online yoga instructor, Adriene Mishler. I love the design of the cup and the fact that they come in standard coffee house sizes - 8oz, 12oz, or 16oz. And they are durable - I've dropped my glass KeepCup a time or two and it hasn't shattered!
photo credit AwesomeStuff365
Potted Plant: $20.00+
Who wouldn’t love a beautiful houseplant in a nice vase? Here are my local suggestions on my favorite Seattle nurseries:
Material Wit Hair Pin: $28.00
Material Wit a jewelry company located in the heart of Orcas Island and Jessie Morrow (owner/designer/maker) creates stunning pieces inspired by Orca's landscape. I'm especially taken by this simple and elegant hair pin.
Saltstone Ceramics cocktail glass - $30.00
Saltstone is a local studio/gallery/workshop in Wallingford (Seattle) that sells amazing ceramic ware! These cocktail glasses make a unique holiday present and bonus: You're supporting small, local businesses.
Patagonia Black Hole Cube: $39.00
Although this bag is made from polyester, I still want to include it on the list because I believe in Patagonia so much and this product is awesome. They do their best to be responsible for their products even after they've left their shelves. Patagonia's products are well made, they have a great program for repairing items, and they have their own secondhand shop for used Patagonia items. If every company would take responsibility of their items, the world would be a better place.
Brian Andreas Art Print: $35.00+
Thoughtful art can be wonderful keepsakes that you can love for a very long time. I like to buy high-quality and personal prints that I know my friends will treasure. Brian Andreas is one of my favorite artists and I believe his prints are gentle reminders to do our best, stay present, and be okay with being different!
Pela Compostable Phone Case: $39.00
After the amount of dropping, scratching, and generally being reckless with my phone, PelaCase has really stood up to the challenge. Pela has protected my phone through thick and thin. This phone case is the first of its kind by being completely compostable. Based on the design of your case, Pela will give 5% back to an organization working hard to preserve our planet.
Everlane Waffle-Knit Crew: $40.00
Usually anything from Everlane is a win in my book. Why? Because they take transparency seriously. From where their clothes were made, to who made them, to how much money they are making, Everlane is on the forefront of transparent and conscious fashion. Plus, their clothes are minimal and stylish. Check out this waffle-knit crew for the men in your life!
Travel Kit from Meow Meow Tweet: $48.00
Have a traveler you're looking to buy for? Meow Meow Tweet's Migrators kit is a great option to sample their products and have reusable bottles you can take on the plane.
Wood Cleaning Brush Fit from Wild Minimalist: $49.00
Maybe it's not the most exciting present in the bunch, but it's definitely one of the most practical! This brush kit from Wild Minimalist is sustainably made and all parts of them can be composted or recycled.
Airtight Food Storage Set: $50.00+
I love these containers because they can be used in oven or freezer! And they are stainless steel so you know they will last for a very, very long time.
Fat and the Moon Self Care Set: $58.00
This Fat and the Moon Self Care set is an ideal gift for anyone looking to indulge a little in themselves this holiday. Self care is important, people! The set comes with your choice of body oil, bath soak and body powder. Fat of the Moon products are made in small batches by a team of nine lovely ladies in California.
These presents would be great as part of a group or community gifting!
Red Worm Compost Bin: $120-$300
So I have to admit, if you're pretty handy with wood and nails, you could probably construct your own simply worm bin. However, I invested in a large worm bin from Northwest Redworms (an AMAZING small business in Camas, WA!) and I have to say the quality and craftsmanship blew me out of the water! My worm bin even has slide out plexiglass windows so I can see my worms working. This would be a great group or community gift.
Berkey Water Filter: $175.00+
Berkey water filters have a lifetime guarantee and are definitely built to last you a lifetime. They aren't cheap but they require little maintenance, no energy, and can be a lifesaver in emergency situations. Berkey filters would be ideal for a family or community!
Give to a non-profit organization in your loved one’s name – any amount
For a few years in a row, in lieu of giving gifts to family members, I would donate a small monetary amount to an endangered species on the WWF’s website corresponding to a family member. Based on the donation amount, they would receive a postcard, “adoption” certificate and/or a plush of the animal. Not only would they receive more information on the endangered animal, they would get something physical to open as well.
Another great donation option would be to find out if your giftee has a favorite charitable organization, is passionate about a cause, or volunteers at any local non-profits. I especially like Long Live The Kings – A Seattle/Orcas Island based organization aimed at keeping Pacific Salmon healthy and bountiful – after all they are a keystone species and so many beings depend on their survival! (Southern Residents!!)