I’m SO excited about today’s post - my VERY FIRST gift guide! I’ve never written one before, but this year I decided to give it a go. I’ve always loved giving gifts to friends / family - but I typically (more often than not) go the DIY or baked goods route, haha. IMO, one of the biggest downsides of the holiday shopping season is that so many people buy things they definitely don’t need. Generally speaking, there is a TON of excess waste that comes from holiday gifting… so many plastic toys, clothes that weren’t ethically produced, etc. Not to mention HOW the gifts are wrapped (and how most of that gift wrap doesn’t even get recycled)!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my own personal impact on the environment lately with all of the recent beach plastic clean up / work I’ve been doing. As a result, I’ve become really interested in brands / artists that are consciously creating products / art that either: 1) help people make strides towards a “zero waste” lifestyle or 2) utilizes recycled or biodegradable materials (instead of new / unsustainable materials). I’ve been bookmarking different things over the last few months, anticipating putting together this gift guide for you! I hope that it’s helpful this holiday season (+ beyond). ☺️
Wear this wooden pin proudly and let EVERYONE know how just you feel about plastic! 😉Pretty much the perfect stocking stuffer!!
THE gift for the coffee lover in your life. KeepCup makes reusable coffee cups that come in such fun color combos like “Atom.” Skip the single use paper cup / plastic lid, and upgrade to a stylish KeepCup (that you can use over and over and over again)!
A reusable water bottle makes a great gift for just about anyone! We all need to drink water, but we definitely don’t need to be drinking it out of single use plastic bottles (most of which are usually “virgin plastic” aka… new plastic)… and only a small percentage of which ACTUALLY get recycled. It’s sad, but the truth! S’well bottles make a great alternative (and come in so many great designs). I love this Winter Solstice color combo (+ it’s on sale)!!
By now, you probably already know that plastic straws are not recyclable and many big brands have been taking strides towards banning them. Mermaid Straws makes great stainless steel and glass alternatives that come in a bunch of fun colors! I am part of their ambassador program - so you can get 10% off your order with the code amyventures10off. 😘
It’s honestly alarming that as much as cell phones are part of our every day lives - most cases are made of PLASTIC. Why??? I love that Pela makes their cases out of 100% compostable material. The fun colors are also certainly a plus. Makes a great stocking stuffer!
You probably already know how big of a fan of Baggu I am! They kindly donated bags for us to use at the October Coney Island Beach Clean Up - and they are truly my absolute favorite reusable bags. So lightweight, easy to wash, and well designed. The green gingham print also feels particularly Christmas appropriate to me - and I think would function great as an alternative to paper gift wrap. Put another gift inside, and it’s like a 2 for 1 bundle of joy! 😁
Another beautiful reusable bag that makes for a great farmer’s market bag. Skip those awful plastic produce bags and get one (or 2 or 3) of these! They’re based in Australia, though - so they may not arrive in time for Christmas… but they would make a great gift year round, honestly! I also found a company called EcoBags - who are based in NY, and have a very affordable price point. May be worth checking out as an alternative!
Made from 35 renewed plastic bottles! I have been loving following along with Everlane’s ReNew campaign - and it’s great seeing such a big brand do something like this. This fleece sweatshirt looks so cozy!
Activewear leggings made from recycled fishing nets! (SO COOL). A percentage from every LITE Legging sale also goes to Healthy Seas to help clean our oceans and preserve marine life.
Instead of turning to synthetic materials - Allbirds creates stylish footwear with all natural materials such as wool, tree fibers, and sugarcane. Because of this, they are able to cut back on their energy consumption by 60%. Even their packaging is 90% recycled cardboard!
A great gift for someone if your life who spends a lot of time in the kitchen! Encourage less paper kitchen waste - and upgrade from paper towels to cotton dish towels. The “Enjoy Life” design is a Fishs Eddy original!
Bamboo utensils are more sustainable because they are 100% biodegradable. It is also the fastest growing type of wood, and can be harvested without pesticides (yay!) - which makes it a much better alternative to metal utensils. Why not gift this adorable heart-shaped one to someone you love?
Soy wax candle with wood wick, hand poured in Nashville TN. Once the candle is done burning, you can use the vessel as a planter or a change jar or a jewelry cup or (bamboo) toothbrush holder, etc. The list goes on and on! 😜 Green Matters wrote an awesome article about sustainable candles if you are interested in learning more: HERE.
Hand crafted in Kenya using recycled flip flops that wash up on beaches. When a friend shared this 60 second documentary on Ocean Sole, I became mesmerized! I think they would make a great gift for a kid’s room or an artsy adult friend / family member’s book shelf / mantle / dresser / etc. If you are located in NY, there’s a small shop in Brooklyn that is a stockist for them called Brigid’s Well. I am planning to stop by tomorrow to check them out in person for myself!
When you’re done wrapping your gift (sustainably of course) - top it off with one of my beach plastic holiday cards! Each design was made 100% from plastic I’ve collected off of NJ and NY beaches. It is a series of 4: Rudolph, a Christmas Tree, a Snowman, and a Snowflake! Available as single cards and variety packs of 4 / 8 / 12. $1 from every purchase made in December 2018 will be donated to the Surfrider Foundation to aide their efforts in worldwide beach clean ups.