Are you looking for some gift ideas for your friends or loved ones that have less of an environmental footprint? Here is a list of eco-friendly gift ideas for anyone on your list!
Non-material gifts can be eco-friendly since they are typically the gift of an experience rather than a physical item.
Here are some non-material eco-friendly gift ideas:
#1. National Parks Pass or State Parks Pass:
This is my husband’s and my gift to ourselves this Christmas! My friend Taryn runs an awesome outdoor lifestyle and travel blog called Chasing Trail with tips and inspiration for all of your outdoor adventure goals and dreams. Read her article, America The Beautiful: The National Parks Annual Pass to learn all the details about the National Parks Annual Pass. She explains how many parks and other sites you would have access to, how many people/cars you would be allowed to bring, where to buy your pass, and potential discounts!
I was debating between a state parks pass and a national parks pass for my Christmas present this year, but when I read her post about it I was completely convinced I needed the national pass. Maybe you’re just as convinced as me and now a Parks Pass is on your wish list too. But don’t forget that a Parks Pass would also be one of the best outdoorsy adventure gifts you could give to someone else! It is ultimately the gift of adventure, nature, travel, and experiencing some of the most beautiful attractions in the whole country.
Purchase the gift of an experience with tickets to a theatrical play, a ballet, an opera, a sports game, or a comedy show.
#3. Gift card (to an experience):
This definitely counts as an eco-friendly gift since you are not contributing to the accumulation of more material things, but promising a fun experience instead. Who doesn’t love to receive a gift card to a favorite restaurant, a massage (I love receiving this one), or to a movie theater? Other experience gift cards could include those for arcades, an amusement park, indoor or outdoor skydiving, bowling, or a trampoline park. All so fun!
#4. Plan a trip or getaway:
You could purchase a flight/bus/train ticket, a hotel room, or an out-of-town attraction ticket (like a concert). You can give this as a gift for just one person, pay for a large house rental so they can invite friends, or it can be a gift for your spouse/sibling/best friend for both of you to enjoy together.
#5. Charity donations:
Charity donations can be made in someone else’s name. This is a great way to help the world out in some way while also bringing joy to the gift recipient.
Here are some of my favorite charities:
- Samaritan’s Purse: they give you the option to donate to so many things from drilling a village well or donating honeybees to helping desperate refugees (hey, that rhymed). When you give in honor of someone else, they will send that person an “honor card” to tell of the impact of their gift.
- Heifer International: This can be quite a fun one to donate to when you choose which farm animals to donate. By donating farm animals to a family in need, the animal provides them with necessary food and income (from the wool, milk, eggs, etc). You can choose from tiny chicks all the way up to huge water buffalos and everything in between. Besides farm animals, you can also donate to “caring for the earth” and “women’s empowerment” for those in need. They will also help you create an honor card for the person in whose name you donated.
- LifeWater International: They equip the local people to create a sustainable system of clean water, improved health, and the hope of the gospel to families all over the world that live in extreme poverty. You can donate to support a water project in someone’s name and they will email that person to tell of the impact their gift has made.
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Environmentally-Friendly Gifts For Animal or Nature Lovers:
#1. Bird House
This green gift is for the person in your life who likes nature, birds and other wildlife or is interested in promoting environmentally-friendly practices. Also for someone who enjoys their backyard and garden or has trees that could provide habitat for a bird house.
This first classic bird house is made with unfinished wood. This is a great gift for someone who is artsy or “craftsy” and would enjoy painting their new bird box to then hang outside and give birds a home. Or…you can paint it and make this bird house an extra unique and special gift.
The second taller bird house has a hole opening that is meant for bluebirds, finches, wrens, chickadees, swallows, and woodpeckers. The good news is that all of those birds live in most of the United States throughout most of the year. Not only does a bird house provide habitat for your local birds, but these all are made out of natural materials rather than non-biodegradable plastics.
The third bicolored square bird house is meant specifically for wrens (my favorite bird). There are several species of wrens that live all over the United States too so this bird house has a high chance of becoming occupied! The house I grew up in has a family of wrens that come back every year to have their babies. It is so special to hear their little chirps and see the hatchlings learn to fly. Your gift recipient will love it!
#2. Hummingbird Feeder
This red hummingbird feeder or handblown glass feeder would be wonderful gifts for most nature-lovers. Especially if they’d enjoy seeing hummingbirds in their backyard or out their windows of course! The bright colors attract the hummingbirds, so it just needs to be filled with sugar water. The sugar water can be made at home. Boil 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water until it dissolves. Wait for the sugar water to cool and then add it to the hummingbird feeder. So easy.
Consider including a hummingbird identification guide brochure with this gift so the recipient can enjoy discovering the species they are feeding!
#3. Bird Feeder
Imagine having one of these on you window so that all day you have the chance of seeing unique and beautiful birds come right up to your window. Put this feeder up high enough on a window and the squirrels or raccoons won’t be able to reach (unless you’re hoping to feed them too).
Not only do these window bird feeders provide food for so many wild bird species, but they also provide the owner of these bird feeders with endless entertainment and joy. They both use strong reliable suction cups to stick to a window of your house and since the feeder is clear, you are able to watch the bird visitors up close.
Both, this large window bird feeder and this house-shaped window bird feeder even have dividers so you can provide various seed types that please all the available bird species. Giving the gift of a bird feeder can help provide birds with food sources during the winter when seeds are scarce, during the spring and summer when new hatchlings are growing, and during migrating seasons to give energy for those birds traveling a long way.
Consider including the National Geographic Backyard Bird Guide to add to the fun of this gift by helping the recipient identify which birds they see coming to their feeder. You can even give a bag of bird seed along with the bird feeder so they can begin enjoying this eco-friendly gift as soon as possible
Green Gifts For Plant Lovers:
#1. Macrame Plant Hanger
The gift of a plant can be a pretty universal gift and also happens to be an environmentally-friendly gift as well. Most people will be excited to add a new plant to their home – but it’s especially great for a plant-lover! These Macrame Plant Hangers will be such a joy for your friend or loved one to hang in or out (under a deck/balcony) of their home.
You can include a plant or decorative pot or both. The pot can have a drainage hole as long as there is a saucer under it (which does work in a macrame plant hanger – I have a few hanging with saucers!). Or you can include a potted plant with no drainage holes. In that case, see my blog post to learn how to properly plant without drainage holes (so it will actually survive for your gift recipient).
#2. Gardening supplies or starter kit
Do you know of someone who wants to get into gardening or one that already has a garden but may need some fresh gardening tools? Buy them a gardening starter kit like this one which includes a mini shovel, rake, trowel, cultivator, hand weeder, transplanting spade, gloves, and a tote bag. Other versions of this starter kit (through the same link) come in different colors and with other supplies like a flower mister and kneeling pad.
#2. Stylish Watering Can
This is such a fun copper-colored watering can because it is highly functional and just the right size, but it is also beautiful! Your plant lover can even use it as home decoration or set it out when not in use. It’s so fashionable that I’ve seen similar copper watering cans sold at high end home decor stores.
#3. Indoor Herb Garden Starter Kit
Anyone with a kitchen that likes to eat will benefit from this thoughtful and eco-friendly gift! 😉 This indoor herb garden starter kit uses non-plastic packaging and its seeds, soil, and pots are all certified organic. This gift would add greenery, joy, and flavor to anyone’s kitchen windowsill or countertop.
#4. LED Mini Garden
Ok, everything on this eco-friendly gifts list is something I would love to receive, but this LED Mini Garden is one of the coolest gift ideas I have. When you don’t have a window or enough light in your home or kitchen to grow herbs, flowers, succulents, or vegetables, you need this LED mini garden.
The LED lights simulate enough sunlight for growing plants and it has a timer to match your plants’ sunlight requirements. Give the gift of growing any plants indoors with this sleek-looking indoor LED mini garden. They even sell a stackable version to grow even more plants in a tight space.
Sustainable Gifts For Tea & Coffee Drinkers:
#1. Bamboo French Press
This French Press gift is environmentally-friendly for multiple reasons: #1 it might be replacing or taking precedence over a large plastic coffee maker or a K-cup-using Keurig and #2 it is made of recyclable materials. Mind you, they will have to be separated to be recycled but that’s not hard to do.
I received a bamboo French Press about 4 years ago as a gift and I still use it almost every day. I love its look and functionality! You can make both coffee and loose leaf tea in these. Give this bamboo French Press with a nice mug, travel mug, bag of coffee, or loose-leaf tea for a complete gift.
#2. Tea Infuser
Both of these tea infusers are wildly raved about by avid tea drinkers on Amazon! I once impulsively bought a cheap infuser ball and now that it has rusted and ruined my mug (ugh), I’ve fixed my eyes on these higher-quality infusers.
The Tea Ball Infuser has a whopping 11,000+ reviews and 4.7 star rating. It comes with a saucer and acts just like a tea bag once you put your loose leaf tea inside. Its extra fine mesh does not leak bits of the tea leaves and it has a chain and hook for easy removal.
The OXO Tea Infuser Basket has a large area for the tea leaves to give them more room to expand and infuse more flavor into the tea. It comes with a silicone lid to retain heat and double as saucer. The bottom of the handle is also silicone to prevent the burning of your hand.
This would be a thoughtful and unique gift for any tea drinker. These tea infusers even allow the mixing of tea leaves and the joy of seeing what is actually going into a cup of tea. I personally love to take in the beauty from the blue and purple hues of petals and dried berries that go into my nightly cup of tea.
It is also an eco-friendly gift as it prevents the purchase of individual disposable tea bags. Sometimes tea bags are made of plastic mesh materials, individually wrapped in plastic, and disposable. So using reusable tea infusers is an eco-friendly practice and a sweet gift! Make it even more eco-friendly by including this Heavenly Tea Sampler Pack. It comes in eco-conscious packaging and each cute tea container can be reused.
#3. Pour Over Coffee Maker
Pour over coffee is praised by coffee connoisseurs (or coffee “snobs” if you will) as the preferred brewing method. With over 13 thousand ratings that average to 4.6 stars on Amazon, you might want to take this coffee maker seriously too. The coffee lover in your life (ahem…probably most of your friends and family, am I right?) will love receiving a pour over coffee maker to step up their coffee game.
This gift is eco-friendly because it replaces other conventional coffee-making methods like disposable k-cups or plastic drip coffee makers. Furthermore, this specific pour over coffee maker does not even require disposable coffee filters because it comes with a permanent metal filter instead.
Let me know how you are gifting in a more eco-friendly way this year in the comments below. I’d love to hear your ideas!