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 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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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.
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.
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.
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.
Rocking that bandana
Rockers and influencers from Keith Richards to Kendall Jenner keep reviving the traditional bandana. Whether they wear it as a neckerchief, choker style, headpiece, or belt, this multi-patchwork paisley print Cotton Bandana by Wallace & Barnes by J. Crew will make a splash with vivid color and style. We use them to wrap around presents to eliminate paper wrapping and provide an extra gift on a gift!
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.
Drive Right By Starbucks
Just because it gets used every day doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. The YIELD Pour Over Carafe can be used for coffee, tea, flavored water, or your favorite margarita recipe. It will definitely spark joy in the lucky recipient.
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 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.
#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.
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. These stocking stuffers show them you care.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.