During the Holidays and Beyond, Give the Gift of Better Living
Elemental Green has gathered some of our favorite eco-friendly products to help infuse your home with healthier, more-sustainable gift-giving ideas. Whether you are looking for something for loved ones or dropping hints about a special treat for yourself, we are continually curating this list with fresh products that members of our team have vetted, tried, and recommend enthusiastically.
We consider important sustainability characteristics: principles you can also take into account in your purchases year round.
- Nontoxic Don’t buy products that contain red-list materials.
- Sustainably sourced Look at how materials can be obtained in balance with nature. Are the materials natural and renewable or recycled?
- Durable Longevity. Will the product end up in a landfill within 6 months? A year? You want items that will last and have a low-waste impact. Ideally they should be reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable at end of useful life.
- Ethical Support companies who are on a mission to do good for people and the planet.
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Healthier Skin While You Sleep
While better known for their luxury, eco-friendly mattresses, Avocado also offers gorgeous silk pillowcases—affordable, hydrating, hypoallergenic, temperature-regulating, and healthier for your skin. Avocado even sends a complimentary organic cotton wash bag to ensure a long life for your soft mulberry silk pillowcase.
Ensure that Wildlife Thrives
A symbolic adoption of an animal is a gift to the earth. It supports the important programs of the National Wildlife Federation, while honoring someone special in your life. This gift can be purchased with or without the animal plush toy, but either way, you know your dollars are being well spent.
Crystal Cove, Aligned with Your Values
If someone you know is looking for a little motivation, you can’t go wrong with the yoga cushions and bolsters from Brentwood Home. The beautiful embroidered cover contains no flame retardants, formaldehyde, or phthalates, and the fill is natural buckwheat hulls for comfortable firm support. All the pillows are Certified Vegan.
drink with a purpose
LARQ self-cleaning water bottles neutralize bacteria and viruses using UV-C light. It offers manual and automatic cleaning to give you fresh-tasting water without the need for disposable plastic bottles. Plus, 1% of your purchase funds environmental nonprofits around the globe.
Repurpose and Relax
A one-of-a-kind gift from Uncommon Goods! A cooperative of Indian artisans transforms brilliant, repurposed saris into these lovely patchwork robes, and brings a better standard of living to their community. Each eco-friendly, handmade robe is a unique and practical work of art.
Don’t heat or cool an empty home
Nest smart thermostats have an established reputation as reliable and easy to use. They program themselves to use less energy in the home by learning the occupants’ schedules. They can also be controlled remotely and give historical data to show energy usage. They’ll even warn you when mechanical systems need a service call.
Gift Fresh Greens and Herbs All Year
Can you say “Garden to Table”? In this case, the table may be the garden. Whether you are looking for a countertop garden for herbs, or a mid-century console table that doubles as a lush garden, this lighted, hydroponic system from Rise Gardens makes it simple to have fresh greens year round and at your fingertips. Healthy eating and more oxygen. Win-win!
DO you know what’s in your candle?
We swore that there would be no candles in this list. It just seemed too cliche and they are often stuffed full of chemical fragrances which expose you to volatile organic compounds. But then we found these from Fontana Candle Company, which are made from beeswax and pure coconut oil with a wooden wick. Natural essential oils provide the scents, so all are MadeSafe certified.
Environmentally friendly coffee gift
SISTAIN seeks to reduce the harmful environmental effects of consumerism with their curated collection of unique gifts from responsible brands. One of their finds is the Canyon Coffee Connoisseur Set, which makes a great gift (or guilt-free treat for yourself).
A lush garden with less water
Save water and have a more beautiful garden with the Rachio smart sprinker controller. It automatically knows to adjust for rain, wind, freezing, saturation, and seasons. You can also set up zones and control it from your smartphone or Alexa or Apple Homekit.
Bundle Up with This Sustainable Pair
A good night’s sleep is on everyone’s list. Most weighted blankets are made of petroleum-based fabrics and glass beads. Bearaby provides the calming therapeutic benefits using organic cotton, plant-based TENCEL, or eco-velvet made from recycled water bottles. Check out all of their cute options or take the quiz to see which one is right for you. Sleep deeply. Wake rested.
A new Family Heirloom
Our Place offers a small but mighty selection of household products for the modern kitchen. Their best-selling Always pan is just the right size for a myriad of different uses and comes with a steamer and spatula. This is the pan that gets used for every meal; perfect for a small kitchen. Cleanup is a breeze with their ceramic nonstick surface, that is free of harmful PFOAs and PTFEs.
are you just collecting pollutants?
Give the gift of a deep breath with the Molekule air purifier. Molekule doesn’t just filter—it destroys pollutants, mold, volatile organic compounds, bacteria, and even viruses. Using patented Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO), it breaks up the harmful compounds into their basic molecular building blocks.
Natural Disasters on the Rise
As natural disasters and wildfires become more commonplace, it is important to be prepared. Brookstone has a number of grab-and-go emergency backpaks for individuals and families. We like the attractive Prepster Backpack. It is made in the US and comes with essentials like food, water, an N95 mask, and most important, chocolate—plus tech gear like a NOAA radio and a solar phone charger.
Don’t be So neutral
We had a request from one of our younger writers to include Reformation, a clothing company that cares. Reformation grades their material choices by ecological footprint and uses recycled and natural fibers, as well as occasional deadstock fabrics destined for landfills. The Thomas micro mini dress, made of deadstock knitted mesh fabric, has a ruching detail that gives it that weekend look. Reformation aims to be climate positive by 2025.
#WFH Not Just a Fad
Humanscale designs products for health and comfort at work—which is increasingly at home. Simplicity in design is their hallmark, with sustainable sourcing and manufacturing at the core of their business. Practice healthy habits and maximize the ergonomics of your home workspace. Ensure that your body works for you.
Stunning Design, Sustainably Made
Handmade from recycled materials using non-toxic glazes, each tile is a work of art. Block Shop x Fireclay have partnered on these striking coasters and other merchandise that are sure to spark conversations. Allies in the Arts, a non-profit dedicated to supporting underrepresented individuals in creative industries, receives 5% of the profits.
Gulu Made packs and slings are handmade in Gulu, Uganda. They are beautifully designed, but importantly offer jobs and hope to a community devastated by civil war. We love the high quality minimalist design with the surprise pop of a bright Africa-inspired lining. Different price points mean you will be able to match your budget.
Comfortable and Sweet on the Earth
We are practically living in our Allbirds these days. These everyday sneakers are made with renewable materials such as wool and natural rubber. They come in many different colors and styles, and are soooo comfortable. The best thing is that you can throw them in the washer, let them air dry and they are as good as new. If you are not sure which style to choose, gift cards are available.
A Comfy Spot for Spot
Your fur baby deserves a healthy gift too! And Brentwood Home’s Runyon Orthopedic Dog Bed is a stylish addition in any room. It is Greenguard Gold and Climate Neutral certified, and boasts convenient features such as a 2 inch CertiPUR-US foam base with 2 inch gel memory foam top. It has a nontoxic, waterproof liner, and the washable cover that will stand up to scratching and rough play. Made in the US.
Look good while doing good
Plant-based and ethically sourced alpaca fibers make for moisture-wicking, thermo-regulating, oh-so-soft bliss. Modern and classic designs mean you don’t have to sacrifice style for sustainability. Hass Apparel shares revenue with 1% for the Planet to fight food insecurity.
Clean, Certified-Organic Spirits
Crafting fine rum in harmony with nature, Copalli Rum is made in a zero-waste, carbon-neutral distillery with just three sustainable ingredients: heirloom organic sugar cane, yeast, and rainwater from the canopy of the Belizean rainforest. Profits are returned to the community in the form of education grants, infrastructure support, and training. And until the end of December 2021, you get free shipping with code EGHOLIDAY.
Safe, Snuggly, Wonderfully Soft
Limited edition Merino wool, cashmere, organic cotton, and recycled cotton throws make your gift stand out. As with all Avocado products, they are made without harmful chemicals. Avocado is a B-corporation, and they use certified raw materials to ensure that you get what you were sold.
Tech that’s Better for the Planet
Everyone suffers from the dreaded 10% battery warning. Now there is a solution made using recycled plastic. The Champ Charger from certified B-corp Nimble can fast-charge you device using high-density batteries, which use fewer cells and materials. They even provide a prepaid label and pouch to return e-waste for responsible reclamation. One of their R2-certified recycling partners is Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit that helps Los Angelenos facing systematic barriers to employment.
Not Your Seventies Beanbag Chair
The REPREVE Bean Bag Lounger is eco-friendly both inside and out. The machine-washable cover is made from a soft, yet durable, fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. And inside you will find recycled and upcycled fill. Choose from a range of colors in either medium or large size for a gift that will delight both kids and those hard-to-please teens.
Wow! Gifts with a Heart
Chicago-based Ignite Glass wows with their original handmade glass creations. Whether you are looking for tabletop items like this gorgeous Octopus Decanter by Josh DeWall, ornaments, or fine art pieces, the artisans at Ignite have something to please. Their commitment to fostering positive youth development in under-resourced communities is realized through their partnership with the non-profit Ignition Community Glass.
A Garden in a Gift Card
Garden for Wildlife will ship a curated collection of native plants to the lucky recipient when the ground thaws in their area. These chemical-free, new-growth plants come with planting tips and are regionally specific. Support the National Wildlife Federation and create habitat for local species. Plant with a purpose.
Let Kids Make Their Own Space
The fun is endless, because the Play Couch Sofa for Kids by Brentwood Home can be reconfigured in infinite ways. Gift with confidence as there are no flame retardants or formaldehyde in this couch. The sofa is Greenguard certified with fabrics made from recycled plastics and fill of BioFoam. Then to cap it off, Brentwood Home offsets 100% of the carbon used to manufacture and ship from their US factory.
No to leather, yes to premium feel
Cork is a super-sustainable material choice. It is vegan. It is harvested without harming the tree, and therefore preserves cork forests which help fight climate change. You can find cork in lots of products these days, but we like the durable cork leather in this affordable wallet.
This is something that we use everyday at Elemental Green. Karst Stone Paper notebooks are made with tree-free paper, which is waterproof, sustainable, and the smoothest writing surface you have ever experienced. The company uses less water than paper-based alternatives, is a certified B-corporation and 100% carbon neutral too.
Brings New Meaning to Natural Beauty
New Reed + Gwen body and bath products are vegan, cruelty-free, and radically sustainable. A Certified B Corporation and Climate Neutral Certified, the clean beauty brand formulates their products to be good for your skin and healthy for your body. Just say No! to hidden chemicals and synthetic fragrances.