Updated for 2023 – now with over 40 great gift ideas!
During the Holidays and Beyond, Give the Gift of Better Living
Elemental Green has gathered some of our favorite eco-friendly products to help jump start your healthier, more-sustainable gift search. 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 discovered 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.
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for helping us continue to bring you great content.
How Is Your Back Doing?
All-natural vegan buckwheat hulls create the base for Avocado’s curve-hugging Organic Yoga Meditation Pillows. Give the gift of good health by allowing extended stretches and critical support for spine and joints. And breathe easy knowing there’s no flame retardants, chemical adhesives, formaldehyde, or forever chemicals.
Arrive in Style
Who says that your low-carbon commute needs to be boring? Vintage Electric Bikes offers both pedal assist and thrill-of-the-throttle ebikes, all with striking retro styling. But these aren’t just eye candy. They have plenty of performance, as some models amaze at a top speed of an 40 mph. If you aren’t local to their Santa Clara, CA, showroom, schedule a personal virtual demo. And tell them Elemental Green sent you for the best available deals.
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.
Dreaming of Sustainable Sleepwear?
Modal pajamas and robes from Avocado are lightweight and breathable. Avocado is a certified B Corp, monitoring carbon emissions and resources from materials extraction (modal is made from tree pulp) through production and delivery. Sleep well knowing that renewable fabrics won’t shed microplastics during laundering, so they’re good for the planet. And they feel better, too.
Stretch with Comfort and Confidence
Organic Non-Slip Yoga Mats from Brentwood Home are topped with 100% organic cotton for a textured, moisture wicking surface. The 5 mm natural latex bottom adds comfort and ensures traction for a no-skid workout.
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.
Repurpose and Relax
Find unique gifts at Uncommon Goods, such as this one-of-a-kind Repurposed Cotton Robe! 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.
Guilt-Free Plastic Toys? Yes, Please!
Green Toys creates eco-friendly kids’ toys that are built to last. Durable enough to withstand the wildest imaginations, the Green Toys Dump Truck is made from 100% recycled plastic that meets FDA food-contact standards. All Green Toys products are free of BPA, phthalates, and external paints, dyes, or coatings—because playtime should be safe for little ones and our planet.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Sound Sleep Is the Greatest Gift
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.
ChopValue creates amazing engineered-wood products from discarded bamboo chopsticks. Each chopstick is perfect, slender, and when treated they make beautiful, chemical-free kitchenware and home furnishings. This Vancouver-based company is a true innovator in the zero-waste economy.
Natural Disasters on the Rise
As natural disasters and wildfires become more commonplace, it is important to be prepared. There are lots of grab-and-go emergency backpacks 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.
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.
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 Suze knit dress, made of deadstock knit fabric, has built-in shorts and eye-catching back-button detailing. Reformation is Climate Neutral Certified and aims to be climate positive by 2025.
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 MADE SAFE certified.
SUSTAINABLE AND PET-APPROVED
Their actual feet may be tiny, but our pets’ carbon footprints can often be bigger than we realize. Earth Hero’s Beco Pets lines for dogs and cats feature only toys and supplies that are non-toxic, BPA-Free, and made from sustainable materials. Like this Hemp Ball and Loop Dog Toy that cleans your dog’s teeth as they chew.
POWER YOUR OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
The GOODaaa Solar Power Bank is the perfect gadget for the wilderness explorer on your list (or anyone who gets excited about solar). With three built-in output cables and wireless charging capability, this rugged charger has everything your favorite nature enthusiast needs to stay connected, no matter how far off the grid they roam. Lifetime warranty!
GET YOUR S’MORE ON
Where there’s fire, there doesn’t have to be smoke. The Uncommon Goods Portable Campfire offers all the ambiance and utility of a campfire without the coughing or messy cleanup. Who wouldn’t want to roast marshmallows over this easy-to-light fire pit alternative? The portable campfire burns for 3–5 hours and can be relit until the soy wax is used up.
Know Where Your Food Comes From
Surprise the plant lover in your life with the gift of low-maintenance, transportation-free produce. The Lettuce Grow Farmstand self-watering, self-fertilizing hydroponic system gives you fresh, pesticide-free veggies and herbs to enjoy, grown right in your backyard. Each Farmstand needs less than 4 sqft of level space and uses 98% less water than traditional gardening. Choose an option anywhere from 18 to 36 plants. There’s even a lighted indoor model for those with limited outdoor space.
Fine Knits for Style and Sustainability
The rich textile traditions of Peru shine through in 100% certified-organic alpaca knitwear from SOL ALPACA. Yummy sweaters, ponchos, and accessories in the Origins line stand out with their natural colors and stylish weaves.
The Circadian Optics Light Therapy Lamp is basically indoor sunshine (minus the harmful UV rays). It provides 10,000 LUX of brightness to help you tune your circadian rhythms, sleep better at night, and stave off the winter blues. The lamp comes with an LED light that lasts approximately 50,000 hours, and its stylish design fits seamlessly into any home decor.
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.
NOT YOUR ANCESTORS’ SUNDIAL
The MVMT Ocean Plastic Solar Watch creates a whole new way to use the sun to tell time. With a solar panel under the dial, you never have to worry about replacing your watch battery again. Plus, the watch’s case, strap, and buckle are made entirely from reclaimed ocean plastic pollution. One percent of the watch’s proceeds goes to fund charity initiatives, like the Surfrider Foundation’s mission to protect ocean ecosystems.
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.
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.
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 a 2 inch CertiPUR-US foam base with 2 inch gel memory foam top. Features include a nontoxic, waterproof liner, and the washable cover that will stand up to scratching and rough play. Made in the US.
Comfortable and Sweet on the Earth
We are practically living in our Allbirds these days. These everyday sneakers are made with rapidly-renewable materials such as wool, eucalyptus fiber, 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.
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.
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 Corp, 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 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
Ignite Glass wows with their original handmade glass creations. Whether you’re looking for tabletop items like these whimsical stacking glasses, ornaments, or fine art pieces by renowned gallery artists, the artisans at Ignite have something to please. They also work to foster positive youth development in under-resourced communities in the Chicago area, by leveraging the power of hands-on glass making.
Bring a pop of color to home décor with supportive accent pillows from Sabai. The oblong Lumbar Pillows are made from 100% recycled water bottles, and they’re non-toxic and fame-resistant without any added flame retardants. There are eight colors in recycled velvet, so have some fun and mix and match with the square throw pillows.
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.
Brings New Meaning to Natural Beauty
Reed + Gwen body and bath products from Avocado are vegan, cruelty-free, and radically sustainable. A Certified B Corp 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.
Vintage Finds to Suit Your Style
Because 85% of the inventory is vintage, Chairish helps to ensure a “next life” for gently loved items, contributing to the circular economy. You’re sure to find something to delight among the thousands of fine art pieces in the Chairish marketplace, and check out their gift guide for a range of curated furnishings and other unique ideas for everyone on your “nice” list.
An Eco Alternative to Paper Wrappings
Wrap a special gift or bottle of wine in this adorable Furoshiki cloth in 100% cotton. Becoming increasingly popular outside of Japan, Furoshiki cloths are a fabulous, zero-waste alternative to wrapping paper and ribbons. This cat pattern suits many different occasions, as it will be passed from one delighted recipient to the next.
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 Corp and 100% carbon neutral too.
#WFH: Not Just Temporary
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.
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.
A Buzzworthy Find
Local pollinators will be stacked up to land at this insect hotel. The Elipark Wooden Insect Habitat is a rustic outdoor decoration that offers shelter and protection to bees, butterflies, ladybugs, and other pollinators that pass through your yard. These cozy little homes are made of unpainted, natural materials that draw in beneficial insects, They’ll have your gardens looking better than ever.
Taking Puzzles To A Whole ‘Nother Level
ZenChalet combines stunning artistry and craftsmanship into wooden jigsaw puzzles that you’ll never want to put back into the box. Made entirely from FSC-certified sustainable wood, these puzzles are a great tool for practicing mindfulness, relaxing after a long day, or giving your brain a little workout. The serene Garden Succulents Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle is available in 500 or 1000 pieces, each precision-cut in a variety of whimsical shapes.
Fun and Functional
We couldn’t resist these few inexpensive yet practical items suitable for mini-gifts, gift exchanges, or last-minute gift emergencies. The Sunseeke Silicone Straws Set (with cleaning brushes and compact carrying cases), adorable and energy-saving Wooly Heroes Dryer Balls, and the rechargeable, fuel-free SURPUS Electric Arc Lighter. Also, a great way to reduce single use plastic—store leftovers in mason jars or wrapped in Bee’s Wrap. These stocking stuffers show them you care.