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Holiday Gift Ideas for the Eco-Conscious Person in Your Life

Picking out the perfect holiday gift can always prove challenging, especially for friends and family who aren’t as forthcoming about what they would like. Many Americans are realizing that excessive packaging, inflated costs, and general decadence abound during the holiday season, and many eco-conscious citizens ask to forgo gifts in favor of preserving the environment.

If you’re shopping for someone that cultivates a passion for conservation (or you’re just looking to impact the environment less during your yearly shopping), consider some of these eco-conscious holiday gift ideas.

Ecofriendly Gift Ideas This HolidayUpcycling

Upcycling is the process of combining and repurposing discarded items and materials to create something new and valuable. One classic example of upcycling is a tradition in many families you may not recognize as conservational: sewing together old shirts and clothing items to make a family quilt.

For gift-givers that like to construct hands-on gifts, upcycling is a great method of making a truly personal gift that doesn’t contribute to further waste in the form of packaging. However, even if you can’t sew or make crafts you can find many websites that specialize in upcycled gifts with just a few clicks. Uncommon Goods sells many upcycled products from around the world, including gloves, scarfs, goblets, and ornaments.


Instilling a sense of wonder in relation to the environment at an early age will pay off in dividends as children grow. Get your nephews, nieces, and younger family friends interested in the great outdoors and plant life with an easy-to-maintain terrarium.

With considerably less responsibility needed compared to fish or reptiles, a terrarium will inspire future gardeners and plant-lovers without costing a fortune. Creating a terrarium can be accomplished in a day, or you can buy some of the materials and make it together with your gift-ee for a fun memory. NASA’s Climate Kids has a helpful how-to that includes step-by-step instructions on making your own terrarium mini-garden.

Reusable Bottles

Many families still fully rely on plastic water bottles and chalk it up to their “busy lifestyle.” Help any loved one make the switch by investing in stainless steel water bottles for on-the-go use and glass dinner bottles for the home.

Combined with a filtration system this gift allows any family to drink refreshing, cleaner water any time of the day without spending lots of money in expensive bottles. Not to mention that plastic waste is destroying the environment: Americans threw away 50 billion bottles of water last year. Help Mother Earth by switching to reusable bottles.

A Piece of Your Heart

No, not literally. But one of the most meaningful gifts you can give during the holidays is to not purchase anything at all. Instead, gift an object or item of clothing that is personally significant. For example, giving your close friend your favorite book or gifting your sibling your favorite sweater has more emotion and thoughtfulness behind it, as you’re giving away an item you love.

While this may seem like a strange idea, Americans are notorious for overconsumption. While 3.1% of children live in the United States, 40% of toys worldwide are purchased here. This tendency to clutter continues as we age, and you may find that by giving away the things you love you actually own way more than you ever realized.

Pick any of these gifts ideas to give back to the environment and delight your eco-conscious loved ones.

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