The 50 Best Eco-Friendly Gifts for Sustainable Holidays in 2020

At Soapbox Project, our methodology for determining the "best" eco-friendly gifts isn't to just point you to cute sustainable fashion and call it a day. Our mission is to help you fight climate change in ways that are fun and convenient for you, so our holiday gift guide helps you and your friends and family make lasting lifestyle changes.

Everything on the list below is a tool, product, or experience that helps with long-term, impactful changes. The best way to be sustainable is to stop buying stuff, so we're helping you: 

Also, we don't condone companies who exploit workers and our earth, so none of our hyperlinks will take you to Amazon.

This is how we've organized our gift guide. There are 10 gifts in each section:

  1. Experiences (zero- or low-waste!)
  2. Food & drink
  3. Clothing
  4. Wellness & beauty
  5. Home & lifestyle

One final note before we get started: each week through our Changeletter, we send you bite-sized action plans to fight climate change. Each email is informative, fun, and actionable. Joining us is the easiest way to do your part for the earth and you can sign up below. Hope to see you soon!

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50 Gifts for a Greener Holiday Season and Beyond

  1. A Headspace subscription. Save the earth while helping your friends and family prioritize their mental health through guided meditations!

    Price: ~$13 for a month

  2. A Datebox night for your cuffed friends. You can gift a budget-friendly date and help nudge your friends out of quarantine complacency. You know what I'm talking about.

    Price: ~$40 for a date

  3. A National Parks Pass. I went on a COVID-safe road trip earlier this year and the parks pass was so clutch (driving pun, haha). It's in your benefit to gift this to someone in your quarantine bubble, because it's per car admission (not per person). So give it to your car-owning roommate and get free admission to U.S. National Parks; your purchase helps keep our parks maintained, too.

    Price: $85; valid for a year

  4. One year of Masterclass. This is another fantastic high-quality, no-waste gift for the person in your life who loves to learn and takes up new hobbies every month.

    Price: $180 for the year

  5. Classes at the Circus Center. I've been taking classes at the Circus Center in San Francisco for over two years and I've started doing them virtually. They're fantastic for people who want to change up their workouts or learn new skills, and they're even better for people who can go in person to their gym in SF. They offer trapeze classes (which are just starting to open back up) and much more. If the one in SF doesn't work for you, know that circus gyms around the world are hidden gems and make for really fun, challenging activities.

    Price: $20 and up

  6. A subscription to a climate newsletter like HEATED. I love this newsletter because it combines humor and climate journalism while pulling the curtain back on the real culprits behind climate change. Reporter Emily Atkin helps us direct our activism where it matters - often big oil and gas companies.

    Price: I think it's $7/month

  7. A subscription to local news. Climate action and civic action in general happens powerfully on a local level where people's voices really matter. However, it can be incredibly hard to figure that out without a reliable local news source. Gift your special someone an annual local journalism subscription - it's basically a BOGO since you're bringing holiday cheer to your city, too.

    Price: Usually <$15/month but depends on your locale

  8. An eco-friendly bank account. Okay, so this is probably only applicable as a gift to yourself or your kids, but I know 10-year-old me would be SO excited if I got a $500 gift. Even if I couldn't use it. Just make sure to supplement this with something tangible. Maybe chocolates? (Keep reading - we got you covered.) Here's a list of ~30 environmentally-friendly banks, so that your money/your kids' piggy bank change isn't going towards fossil fuels.

    Price: $0 and up, depending on how much you put and which bank you choose

  9. A science museum pass. Growing up, my favorite museum exhibit was an interactive mini-ride that took us through the respiratory system (including gross nose hairs!!). It helped me explore my curiosity in away that school didn't. A museum or aquarium pass can help your family connect with the world around us, increasing their emotional pull to join you on your sustainability journey.

    Price: depends

  10. An Ends + Stems subscription. This is technically food & drink, but also an experience, so here we are. Ends + Stems helps you plan meals to reduce food waste. It's for the busy person in your life who wants delicious things but doesn't have time to figure it all out. They also have a free food waste audit template you can use for the holidays.

    Price: $29 for 3 months; $99 for 1 year
America the Beautiful - National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual  Pass | USGS Store
National Parks Pass



Food & Drink

  1. A Klean Kanteen water bottle. I love sustainable drinkware as gifts. I'm partial to Klean Kanteen because they're from NorCal and my partner got me one for my birthday a few years ago. It's the ONLY water bottle I haven't lost... in my whole life. Also, if you're looking for gifts for your company/co-worker, you can brand these! 

    Price: $20 and up

  2. Simply Straws boba straws. Confession: I'm not a boba person but my previous roommate was #BobaBae. Reusable straws are super cute; plus, think of the many turtles you'll save while you stay sippin! 

    Price: ~$10

  3. A Misto olive oil sprayer. Instead of having to buy disposable oil sprays for cooking and baking, get your loved ones a refillable one!

    Price: $10

  4. An at-home beverage carbonator. Got that one family member that fills up your recycling can every week with only LaCroix cans? Relatable content. There's a bunch on the market now, and after looking at a bunch of reviews, I learned the Drinkmate instaFizz may be the best.

    Price: $80+

  5. Chocolates from Alter Eco. Alter Eco's mission is to pioneer a full circle approach to eating, farming, and doing business, and they do that through chocolate. What else can we wish for? 

    Price: $8 for Silk Velvet Truffles

  6. A Toast Ale gift case!! You know those bread butts you throw out? Turns out they're a huge contributor to the global food waste problem. Toast Ale turns those bread butts and more into BEER. Talk about a win-win. Their presence is largest in the UK.

    Price: $20 and up


  7. This Vietnamese Brew Tool from a POC-owned business. I learned about Nguyen Coffee Supply earlier this year and I'm obsessed. It's a great way to support minority-owned businesses while upgrading your coffee game with this stainless steel filter. I used to use compostable filters for a while but stainless steel is definitely the way to go for cost, convenience, and better coffee.

    Price: $15


  8. A fair-trade coffee subscription. Speaking of coffee, why not gift the real thing? Conscious Coffees seems to have a good one and The Good Trade has some suggestions as well.

    Price: ~$15/month

  9. A hydroponic or smart garden.


    I've been wanting a Click and Grow for months because all my basil plants keep dying 😞. Growing your own food is one of the best ways to minimize food waste and your food-related carbon footprint. Plus, things just taste better home-grow. Click and Grow plants a tree for every purchase you make!

    Price: ~$100

  10. Cute coffee bags and more from Kahawa1983. Okay, I promise this is my last coffee thing on here. But I had to share it, because when I took some of these coffee bags (just like tea bags) home for myself, my little brother ended up stealing ALL of them because they were so good and convenient. Each purchase supports women coffee farmers in Kenya.

    Price: $50 for a gift box
Kahawa 1893 coffee bag

Clothing

  1. A goody box from ThredUp. Buying less clothing is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. The second-best thing is buying secondhand, and ThredUP makes it fun and easy. They're the world's largest online consignment store. They sell gift cards, too.

    Price: Depends, but you pay for what you keep + $10 styling fee. Targeted to women.

  2. Activewear that doesn't contain plastic. Reprise sells plant-based leggings. If that sounds like a strange concept to you, remember polyester is made from plastic, plastic is made from oil, and some of the biggest CO2 emitters are oil and gas companies. Treat your body this holiday season by ridding it of polyester!

    Price: Sports bras and shorts: $75; Leggings: $120. Targeted to women.

  3. Rent the Runway membership. If you've got a friend that still likes to dress up during COVID times or if you have someone in your life whose job requires them to show up in-person, you can gift a clothing rental one-month subscription. No clothing waste here! 

    Price: Membership trials starting at $69. Targeted to women.

  4. A Frank and Oak clothing subscription box. This isn't as sustainable as buying secondhand or renting, but it's pretty close if you want to give your loved ones something they can keep for a long time. Frank and Oak specializes in selecting quality, eco-conscious clothes and the items inside can be as low as $29! This is also something you could split with friends for some added fun.

    Price: Up to 4 items ranging from $29 to $149. Non-gender specific.

  5. A dress from Tonlé. I love recommending Tonlé to people because their fashion is affordable, zero-waste, and committed to fashion justice. To make their beautiful pieces, they use clothing remnants that most manufacturers may have otherwise sent to landfill. You can read more about them here.

    Price: Dresses on sale from $40+. Targeted to women.

  6. Allbirds!!! I waited till we were halfway down the clothing section so you wouldn't think I have an unhealthy obsession with Allbirds. They claim to be the most comfortable shoes in the world, and I swear, when I step into mine, it feels like my feet are getting a hug from a cloud. But not like a cold, rainy cloud. I've had my Allbirds for almost 3 years now and I might gift myself another pair for Christmas. Anyway, they're fair-trade and a certified B-corp. They're not at zero CO2 emissions yet, but they emit ~half as much as the standard sneaker. I'm sure these shoes would bring a smile to the essential worker friend or family member in your life who has to be on their feet most of the time.

    Price: ~$100+ and has stuff for all genders and a kids section called Smallbirds. How cute!

  7. Shoes made from plastic. Rothy's has shoes for women and kids all made from ocean-bound plastic collected within 30 miles of coastlines. At the time of this post, they've diverted over 70 MILLION plastic water bottles. Plus, their shoes are machine washable! I can vouch for how comfortable these shoes are, too, having owned a pair for about a year.

    Price: $125+. Targeted to women and kids.

  8. A unique bag or wallet from diverted billboard vinyl. It seems like brands are getting more and more creative in the fight for a cleaner planet. Rareform has rescued over 3 MILLION pounds of billboards. Each product is unique! You can get wallets, totes, purses, and more. I think their weekender duffles are my favorite.

    Price: ~$50+ for a weekender duffle. Non-gender specific.

  9. Soft, sustainable sweatpants from Pact. Pact sells comfy clothes targeted to women, men, kids, and even babies! Plus, they have bed and bath stuff. I see you all working from home with a nice shirt + sweats, and I know some of those sweats have holes. You know who you are. They have clothes on clearance starting at $6!

    Price: $60 for sweatpants but this is really your best bet for affordable, eco-friendly clothing.

  10. A sewing machine. This may actually be the perfect fashion-related gift especially for quarantine times. The options for mask-making are endless! This one from Singer is perfect for beginners and is a super affordable long-term gift.

    Price: $119

Rareform duffle bag



Wellness & beauty

  1. An AI-backed sustainable skincare solution. You can try Posey Skincare, a company with a mission to eliminate single-use plastics and waste created from skincare products. They uphold sustainable practices through their packaging all the way to shipping and recycling. You could also check out MÜD (pronounced mood) for a subscription that sends you an updated skincare routine every 4 weeks. They are Black-owned and use their resources to fight anti-Blackness, transphobia, and climate change.

    Price: $30/month for Posey; $10+ for MUD

  2. Sustainably-packaged, non-toxic nail polish. I think I'm going to treat myself with this collection from Habit Cosmetics.

    Price: $18

  3. Cedar + bergamot beard tonic for your dude's quarantine beard. Herbivore Botanicals sells a 100% natural beard tonic and they aim to reduce all virgin plastic from their packaging by 2025. They primarily package in glass and paper and select their ingredients to be intentional, vegan, and containing no fillers.

    Price: $20

  4. A holiday hand soap duo from Blueland. It's perfect for new beginnings and new homes (well, for any home, really). Blueland is really cool because they have reusable soap bottles and they send you soap tablets that are water-activated and turn foamy. This holiday kit has 3 different fragrances! Switching to Blueland can save ~25 single-use soap bottles from ending up in the landfill.

    Price: $30

  5. Bamboo brushes. Brush with Bamboo does toothbrushes (I own one), hairbrushes, loofahs, combs, and more. These are perfect stocking stuffers!

    Price: $20 for a pack of 4 toothbrushes

  6. A rose gold safety razor. Before I discovered the safety razor, I may have been offended if someone gifted me a shaving item. However, Oui the People sells some beautiful rose gold ones and estimates that 2 BILLION razors end up in landfills every year. They also make a case for why women should use safety razors! EcoRoots also has a more affordable one, and they donate 1% of their profits to Ocean Conservancy. There's also a zillion sites where you can find men's safety razors like this one.

    Price: $34 at EcoRoots; $75 at Oui the People

  7. Anti-human trafficking soap. Well, kinda. It's an all-natural soap set bundle by 700 Rivers that employs artisans from Bangladesh who have escaped human trafficking. Their scents include cinnamon spice, orange turmeric, orange clove, and lemon citrus - another great stocking stuffer idea.

    Price: $35 for the bundle of 4 or $10 each

  8. Bite toothpaste bits in a refillable glass jar. No plastic tubes in landfills! Rejoice! Honestly, little toothpaste bits are going to make brushing teeth so much more fun.

    Price: $30

  9. A makeup set from Alima Pure. This eco-conscious makeup brand is a B-corporation, donates 1% of its gross revenue (not profit) to sustainable causes, plants trees with your purchases, and much more. Their compacts are also refillable! They have ready-to-gift makeup sets for the holidays.

    Price: $30-65

  10. A hair-care gift set from Ethique. These heart-shaped shampoo + conditioner sets are way too cute. I bet the Earth thinks so too.

    Price: $13+
Mint - 4 Month - Subscription product-image bite toothpaste bits toothpaste brushing teeth tablets zero waste bitetoothpaste plastic free
Bite toothpaste bits

Home & Lifestyle

  1. A soy candle from a Black-owned business. Lonez Scents sells conversation starters turned into candles. Soothing, sustainable, and hopefully will shoo away that seasonal depression, at least while it's burning.

    Price: $15

  2. A 6-month wood air freshener subscription from Drift. This is one of those things I didn't know I needed and now I must have it. Now your giftee's car can be as cozy as you all holiday season.

    Price: $40

  3. A new energy-efficient fridge. Here's a list. Fridges are pricey, but if you're in the market for one anyway, it's a great way to reduce your home energy use.

    Price: Get your landlord to pay for it? 

  4. An eco-friendly shower head. It saves money and upgrades the best part of your day! And it manages your water use and helps you be more efficient without having to take Navy showers.

    Price: $30+ 

  5. Sustainable sheets from Sol Organics. Sol is committed to ending child labor, partnering with suppliers that treat their workers well, and making sure their production facilities are up to the highest socially responsible standards through their GOTS certification.

    Price: $99

  6. Towels from Under the Canopy. This brand has about a zillion certifications including GOTS and Fair Trade. They believe in fair practices and fair prices for you and your lucky gift-recipient! 

    Price: $10+


  7. Wooden kids toys from Smiling Tree Toys. If you're a parent, you know how much plastic is in your kids' toys. Smiling Tree Toys is a small business and makes wood alphabet blocks, step stools, and more! 

    Price: $16+ 

  8. Cute lil seed bombs from Free Mountain Designs. I have literally never seen cuter seeds in my life. Cultivate a love for the Earth through these perfect gifts that keep on giving!

    Price: $2+ 

  9. Second-hand roller skates. Sure, winter is approaching, but depending on where you are, you might be able to still pick up on this quarantine skate trend. If not, this is a sign for you to search for other sustainable adaptations to your winter sports -- whether that's secondhand skis, snowshoes, or ice skates you'll treaure for a long time.

    Price: Depends, but many are ~$30

  10. A Tesla. I'm sharing this with you because it's absurd, not because I want you to buy it - Tesla, for some reason, sells a $250 bottle of tequila. Seriously, though, if you want to steal someone's heart this Christmas, I'm sure you could do it by ordering them a Tesla online. I'll give you my address if you email me.

    Price: if you know, you know
READY TO SHIP Wildflower And Herb Seed Bomb Variety Gift Box image 0
Free Mountain Designs seed bomb

Bonus: Last but not least, as a gift to me, tell your family about Changeletter, our 3-minute climate newsletter. You can join us below. We give you fun, easy, fact-packed ways to be more sustainable. Just like this gift guide!

Thank you! You're signed up for the fight against climate change. Make sure you add us to your contacts or mark our welcome email as important so we stay in your primary inbox instead of your promotions tab!
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