Sustainable gift ideas: the ultimate guide for home and travel 2019

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The holiday season is upon us again! Giving a gift to a loved one can be a beautiful way to demonstrate your feelings… or a stressful and expensive exercise in consumerism. The season of giving should be about thoughtfulness and gratitude, and it doesn’t need to cost the earth. Sustainable gift ideas aim to use materials that already exist, support artisans and all workers fairly, minimise negative impact on the environment, and give back in a positive manner.

I’ve done a huge amount of research for you here, so you can easily find an ethical and eco-friendly gift for that special someone. Each product has been vetted to ensure it’s a sustainable option, and you can choose to buy it from my included links or find it locally.

This gift guide is suitable for Christmas gifts, Hanukkah gifts, birthdays, or any reason! It will help you to find meaningful, useful and environmentally friendly gifts for anyone in your life. Below are ideas that have been recycled, upcycled, and made with non-toxic materials and processes. They’re also fairly-traded, reusable, responsibly-produced, vegan-friendly, and come from stores I trust to be ethical.

I don’t link to Amazon as I prefer to support smaller stores who support fair trade practices and do their best to reduce carbon emissions and their impact on the earth. I’ve also included links to three continents, so you can buy from the store closest to you and keep your personal emissions minimal. Some of the links below are affiliate links, but many aren’t, too, because this guide is to help you find green stores and sustainable gifts even if I don’t get a cut. Supporting the stores who are treating people well is most important to me.

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This is the Ultimate Guide to sustainable gift-giving! Included are thoughtful & useful ideas for anyone in your life that have been produced ethically & responsibly. Many make use of materials already in existence, others promote growing, learning or making your own. And several give back to reputable organisations who are doing great things in the world. All links are to ethical stores. For Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

Still, if you can buy gifts within your local town, or make them yourself, that will always be a better option than buying online. But since you’re here I assume some internet ordering is necessary for you! Please browse each store that has an item you’re interested in below, to see if you can combine the packaging with several things you need. Or ask a friend if they need something too!

This green gift guide has been fully updated for 2019 so you can be sure these ideas are relevant and on sale now. This is one of the biggest sustainable gift guides available, as I’ve really tried to include as many types of people as I can. Anyone can benefit from an ethical and sustainable gift as there’s a better alternative for pretty much everything now!

But being such a big post means that there’s a lot of info here, so to avoid overwhelm, use the table of contents to easily find the person you’re shopping for, or browse each section and find a suggestion for your location in the table columns: AUS/NZ is always the left column, US/CA is the middle column, and the UK is right column.

Please note: UK readers, you may have to scroll left on the tables to see your column of suggestions on mobiles/cell phones.

To those of you reading from Asia, I’m sorry I couldn’t add suggestions local to you as well. I hope the included ideas give you inspiration that you can find in a store nearby.

Contents

For people who like to drink…

Coffee or Tea

It’s enjoyed in most countries of the world, but coffee can be a very unsustainable drink. Tea can also be produced unethically, and all hot beverages can be wasteful if they come in single-use containers.

These ideas will help you find practical, ethical, zero-waste and interesting gifts for the coffee- or tea-lover in your life.

Fair trade producers & subscription services

AUS/NZUS/CAUK
Oxfam Fair coffee and drinking chocolate was launched in 2010, and they pay additional premuims to empower communities.
Love Tea are an organic brand from Melbourne who trade fairly with communities and cooperatives.
Think Coffee is a NYC-based company which is pioneering a Social Project model, supporting specific projects in the coffee's area of origin.
Equal Exchange Co-op is a worker-owned business and their teas are fairly-traded from small scale farmer co-ops.
Tea from Natural Collection.
Natural Collection has a huge range of coffee, tea, and herbal tea that are all fair trade certified.
Tribes and Nations Ethiopian coffee.

Tribes and Nations Ethiopian coffee.
Image credit: Tribes and Nations

Phil & Sebastian Antigua coffee.

Phil & Sebastian Antigua coffee.
Image credit: Phil & Sebastian.

Django coffee gift box.

Django coffee gift box.
Image credit: Django Coffee Co.

Tribes and Nations are based in the Blue Mountains and stock Fair Trade certified coffee, tea and other products. They offer sample boxes and single orders as well as coffee and tea subscription programs. Phil & Sebastian are Canadian coffee roasters who source 100% of their coffee direct-trade with small producers. They offer free shipping in the US and CA and subscriptions can be cancelled any time. And save 50% off your first month with the code "SAVE50".Django Coffee Co offer several different subscriptions as well as a gift box of their direct trade coffee. They focus on minimal environmental impact and supporting small growers.

Reusable coffee & tea accessories

AUS/NZUS/CAUK
Sealpod reusable coffee pods.

Sealpod reusable coffee pods.
Image credit: Flora and Fauna.

WayCap reusable coffee pods.

WayCap reusable coffee pods.
Image credit: WayCap.

Recaps refillable coffee pods.

Recaps refillable coffee pods.
Image credit: Coffee Union.

Reusable Coffee Pod brands on sale here include Podstar, WayCap and Sealpod.WayCap reusable pods are compatible with Nespresso and Dolce Gusto systems.Coffee Union sells ReCap stainless steel reusable pods, for use with Nespresso machines.
Rowan Stillwater reusable balance tea bag

Rowan Stillwater reusable balance tea bag.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Loose leaf tea strainer mug.

Loose leaf tea strainer mug.
Image credit: Ten Thousand Villages.

Wearth London reusable tea bags.

Wearth reusable tea bags.
Image credit: Wearth London.

These reusable teabags are a great idea! They balance over your cup so you can easily enjoy loose-leaf tea. The same store also sells stainless steel tea infusers.This hand-painted mug was crafted in Bat Trang, Vietnam. A fair trade partnership ensures that the women artisans earn sustainable incomes.These bamboo/cotton reusable tea bags are handmade in the UK. Wearth partners with independent UK brands and all products are sustainable and vegan.
Stay Tray reusable drinks carrier.

Stay Tray reusable drinks carrier.
Image credit: Flora and Fauna.

Coffee Break coaster set.

Coffee Break coaster set.
Image credit: Ten Thousand Villages.

Williamson tea gift caddy.

Williamson tea gift caddy.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

This reusable drinks tray is made from recycled plastic and will replace many disposable carry trays. It's BPA-free and dishwasher safe, and ethically made in Australia. Use with your reusable cups for 100% waste-free barista treats!These cute coasters are fairly-traded and made by deaf or physically disabled Indian artists. They feature four different coffee-themed encouragements to inspire your day!This gift caddy is reusable and comes with 40 fair-trade tea bags. This blend is an apple-spiced Christmas tea, and Early Grey or English Breakfast are also available. Each caddy sold donates £1 to the David Shellick Wildlife Trust.

Coffee- and tea-themed products

Circular consumption and sustainable materials abound!

AUS/NZUS/CAUK
Urban Greens grow your own tea kit.

Urban Greens grow your own tea kit.
Image credit: Flora and Fauna.

Coffee tasting journal.

Coffee tasting journal.
Image credit: Green Heart Shop.

Upcircle Beauty coffee body scrub.

Upcircle Beauty coffee body scrub.
Image credit: Upcircle Beauty.

This tea kit enables you to grow your own cuppa! It comes with everything you need to grow and brew your tea. Choose from Echinacea, Peppermint, Chamomile and Lemon Balm.This coffee tasting journal is handmade from 100% recycled paper, made from cotton! It's also produced in safe working conditions. A great gift for a coffee-connoisseur. Beer and wine tasting journals are also available. These beauty products are based on waste from coffee and chai tea. All of Upcircle's range are also vegan, non-toxic, palm-oil free, easily recyclable, and made in the UK.
Life Cykel coffee microgreens kit.

Life Cykel coffee microgreens kit.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Bestowed Essentials coffee soap.

Bestowed Essentials coffee soap.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

The Present Tree coffee tree.

The Present Tree coffee tree.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

This special kit allows you to grow eight cups' of mizuna and cress in coffee grounds! Reused cups are also part of the kit, which gives new life to several waste products from Byron Bay cafes.This handmade soap is made from coffee grounds and other vegan, non-toxic ingredients. It's made in the USA with solar power and every order removes 1 lb of beach trash! Use the code "footprints10" to get 10% off your order at this store.This is a coffee tree! You can grow your own coffee at home and roast it yourself for the freshest brew ever. Or try this oyster mushroom kit: they're grown in coffee grounds.

Reusable mugs

Waste-free drinking on-the-go never felt so good.

AUS/NZUS/CAUK
Sttoke reusable ceramic cup.

Sttoke reusable ceramic cup.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Tree Free Greetings yoga sloth insulated tumbler.

Tree Free Greetings yoga sloth insulated tumbler.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

goSIP rice husk mug.

goSIP rice husk mug.
Image credit: Figolux Limited.

Did you know reusable cups can be ceramic too? These are insulated, designed in Melbourne, fit cup-holders, are spill- and shatter-proof, and toxin-free. Also browse this huge range of Keep Cups: there's one to suit any personality.This insulated tumbler comes with either a coffee or sports lid (or both) and is made in the USA from 40% recycled stainless steel. It's also printed using solar energy! Several more sweet designs are available. Use the code "footprints10" to get 10% off your order at this store.This pretty cup is made from rice husks! The lid is food-grade silicone and the whole mug is BPA- and plastic-free. Several other designs are available, too.
Huskee coffee grounds cups.

Huskee coffee grounds cups.
Image credit: Huskee.

Klean Kanteen insulated mugs.

Klean Kanteen insulated mugs.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

rCup recycled coffee cup.

rCup recycled coffee cup.
Image credit: Figolux Limited.

These reusable cups are made from coffee grounds! Huskee is also pioneering a swap-system where you can swap your cup for a fresh one, and they take all unusable cups back for recycling, too. These stainless steel cups keep hot drinks hot for 10 hours! The lid is BPA-free and Klean Kanteen is a certified B Corporation and member of 1% for the planet. Use the code "footprints10" to get 10% off your order at this store.This recycled cup is made from 40% disposable cups! It's also BPA-free and the lid allows sipping from 360 degrees, while also locking for safety.

Smoothies and cold drinks

Stainless steel tumblers and straws enable zero waste cool beverages while you’re out and about, too!

AUS/NZUS/CAUK
Cheeki insulated smoothie tumbler.

Cheeki insulated smoothie tumbler.
Image credit: Flora and Fauna.

Klean Kanteen insulated tumbler with straw.

Klean Kanteen insulated tumbler with straw.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

ecoLiving silicone straw set.

ecoLiving silicone straw set.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

This vacuum-insulated tumbler from Aussie brand Cheeki has a straw with a bump so it can't fall out. It keeps drinks cool for 6 hours, comes in a range of colours and is 100% non-toxic.This double-walled cup from B-Corp Klean Kanteen comes with a silicone-tipped straw in black, silver or coloured options. Its capacity is 16oz. Use the code "footprints10" to get 10% off your order at this store.These silicone straws are a nice alternative to metal and bamboo ones. They can be cut to size, are microplastic and BPA-free, and come with an ethically-made straw cleaner. They're also dishwasher safe and support 1% For the Planet and Eden Reforestation Projects.

Water

Quality reusable water bottles are an excellent gift that will really last, while removing the need for a huge number of plastic water bottles. Our favourite bottles are leakproof, insulated and straw-free, but they’re only readily available in Australia so I’ve provided links to similar products in the US and UK.

Some bottles come with added health benefits now too!

AUS/NZUS/CAUK
Ecococoon insulated water bottle.

Ecococoon insulated water bottle.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

HYDY pink gold insulated drink bottle.

HYDY pink gold insulated drink bottle.
Image credit: Safe & Chic.

Bambaw insulated drink bottle.

Bambaw insulated drink bottle.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

These leakproof bottles are the best we've ever had! They have great insulation, are easy to clean and use, and have minimal components. Great for travel, work and home life, they comes in 3 sizes and a huge range of plain colours or patterns.This beautiful bottle is made from double-walled stainless steel and food-grade silicone. It features an anti-slip design and comes in several pink variations as well as black. HYDY is a member of 1% for the planet. This insulated bottle is suitable for hot or cold drinks, and can keep water cool for 24 hours. Bambaw donates some of their profits to The Plastic Soup Foundation and the 5 Gyres Institute.
Science of Life copper reusable bottles.

Science of Life copper water bottles.
Image credit: Flora and Fauna

Gem Water wellness water bottle.

Gem Water "Wellness" water bottle.
Image credit: Safe & Chic.

Black & Blum glass bottle with charcoal filter.

Black & Blum glass bottle with charcoal filter.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

These copper water bottles supercharge water with copper ions. Drinking water from copper is said to have many health benefits: for digestion, joints and cell regeneration. It's also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and an antioxidant. This crystal-enhanced bottle infuses the properties of gems with your drinking water. The Wellness bottle includes amethyst, rose quartz, and clear quartz; other blends are good for Balance, Love, 5-5lements, and Fitness. This glass filter bottle has a cork and silicone stopper and comes with a neoprene protective sleeve. The filter is from sustainably-sourced wood and it lasts up to 6 months.

Wine, beer or spirits

You don’t need to know a good vintage from a bad one with these ideas!

AUS/NZUS/CAUK
Winestains wine glass picnic stake.

Winestains wine glass picnic stake.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Ecovessel insulated 16oz beer/coffee mug.

Ecovessel insulated 16oz beer/coffee mug.
Image credit: Ecovessel.

Steenberg's Fairtrade mulled wine spices.

Steenberg's Fairtrade mulled wine spices.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

These wine holders are made from old wine barrels! They come in single or double-glass capacity, and the same company also makes cheese and sushi boards and share platters. This insulated beer mug can keep your drink fresh for hours, and can be used for any drinks, hot or cold. Ecovessel also make super-strong wine/spirits tumblers and growlers, and they donate 5% of all orders to environmental non-profits. These organic spice sachets are 100% Fair Trade, so you know you've really supported the growers who flavoured your wine and fruits.
U Konserve insulated wine tumbler.

U Konserve insulated wine tumbler.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Verve Culture recycled mezcal and tequila infusion set.

Verve Culture recycled mezcal and tequila infusion set.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Spartisan beer soap gift pack.

Spartisan beer soap gift pack.
Image credit: Spartisan.

This reusable wine tumbler is another way to keep your drink from spilling or breaking while you're outdoors. These are made ethically and come in a range of base colours. Biome also sells Ecovessel products (see US listing). This beautiful set includes 4 jicara tasting cups and a large decanter, hand-blown by artisans in Mexico. Also available by Verve Culture is a wine caraf and stunning tumblers, all using recycled glass. Use the code "footprints10" to get 10% off at this store. These beer soaps are made by a passionate family business in the UK. All of their products are hand made and free from animal fats and chemicals.
Mad Millie brew it yourself lager kit.

Mad Millie brew it yourself lager kit.
Image credit: Flora and Fauna.

Giraffe bottle topper.

Giraffe bottle topper.
Image credit: Ten Thousand Villages.

Abeeko recycled wine glasses.

Abeeko recycled wine glasses.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

This DIY kit allows you to brew 9 litres of your own beer at home. It's all vegan-friendly too! Mad Millie is a New Zealand company passionate about great food and drinks. Also check out Mojo Candle Co for their beautiful handmade soy candles in reclaimed beer and wine bottles! This wood and cork bottle topper is handcrafted by fairly paid artisans in Kenya, and will keep your open bottle fresh. A zebra topper is also available. These recycled wine glasses are also fairly traded and hand made. The company supports local communities in India and Africa, using traditional skills and sustainable materials.

For people on-the-go and people with wanderlust: lightweight, zero waste travel gear

Eating out and shopping

Travelling, shopping and eating out without producing much waste requires a little bit of planning. Having eating gear on-hand whether at home or travelling is often very useful to avoid plastic waste. These utensils and straws won’t take up much room, and washable snack pouches are surprisingly handy: for carting nuts, dried fruit, veggies, biscuits or crackers, and for enclosing organic waste until you get home again, too! There’s no need for plastic zip-lock bags with these pretty, reusable solutions.

I also recommend always having foldable shopping bags with you, whether at home or while travelling. They’re strong yet so light you don’t even notice them, and they can be used for shopping needs as well as carrying laundry, an impromptu seat covering, or even an umbrella!

AUS/NZUS/CAUK/EU
GreenPaxx pretty pastel silicone straws

GreenPaxx pretty pastel silicone straws
Image credit: Biome Eco Store

Finalstraw collapsible travel straw 2.0

Finalstraw collapsible travel straw 2.0
Image credit: Earth Hero

Uberstraw rose gold collapsible travel straw

Uberstraw rose gold collapsible travel straw
Image credit: Natural Collection

These silicone straws come apart for easy cleaning and storage and are available in a range of colours. They're food-grade and completely safe for kids and adults. A cotton pouch is handy for these, or any straw you already have to take travelling. Or if you need straws and cutlery, try one of these roll-up kits that contain both. This collapsible straw is made of stainless steel and food-grade silicone, and comes with a cleaning brush and a recycled plastic travel case. You can choose the case color to suit you, and choose wisely because the straw is good for 12,000 cycles! This telescopic travel straw and cleaning brush comes with a rose gold carry case and carabiner clip, so it can always be attached to your bag. It's packaged 100% plastic free and is dishwasher safe.
Chico-To-Go bamboo cutlery set.

Chico-To-Go bamboo cutlery set.
/>Image credit: Biome Eco Store

Knork plant-based fork and spoon travel set.

Knork plant-based fork and spoon travel set.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Bambu utensil travel set with cork pouch

Bambu utensil travel set with cork pouch
Image credit: Natural Collection.

This cutlery set is ethically made and comes with full-sized knife, fork, spoon and chopsticks made from 100% bamboo. The case is made from post-consumer recycled materials and includes a clip to easily attach it to a bag. But if you're like my husband and hate the feel of bamboo utensils, try a spork made of stainless steel, tritan or titanium!This travel utensil set is biodegradable and makes use of factory scraps of bamboo fibres plus sugar cane starch. They're completely free from plastic, BPA, phthalates, or synthetic additives and are dishwasher safe, too.
Also from this store are bamboo kits containing chopsticks with a knife, fork and spoon, in kid's and adult's sizing.
This fair trade utensil set comes with a sustainable cork-leather pouch. The set is fully organic and free from chemicals, and is biodegradable, too. Also check out travel utensil kits that contain cutlery, chopsticks and straws if you need a whole set.
4MyEarth washable snack pocket.

4MyEarth washable snack pocket.
Image credit: Biome Eco Stores.

Full Circle reusable snack bags.

Full Circle Home reusable snack bags.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Keep Leaf reusable snack pocket.

Keep Leaf reusable snack pocket.
Image credit: Eco Beau.

This washable snack pocket has a plant-based lining inside and is super handy for carrying snacks while out-and-about or while travelling. We've been using 4MyEarth products for years and they are excellent quality, all are still looking great and working well. We've travelled many places with our snack pockets! These reusable snack bags come in a 2-pack and are BPA Free, phthalate-free, and PVC-free. Full Circle Home is a certified B-Corp and they also make cute kid's patterned snack bags and reusable sandwich bags. Also check out these snack packs which use RPET in the outer lining. This snack bag is responsibly sourced and ethically produced by a women's cooperative in India. Several patterns and larger food wraps are also available.
Onya green RPET foldable shopping bag.

Onya green RPET foldable shopping bag.
Image credit: Flora and Fauna.

Chicobag Vita foldable shopping bag.

Chicobag Vita foldable shopping bag.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Onya aqua reusable tote.

Onya aqua reusable tote.
Image credit: Onya.

This shopping bag is made of plastic bottles and takes up little room in your handbag or luggage, yet is strong to use. Onya is a Western Australian company who make excellent reusable products from recycled plastic waste. Several sizes and many colours are available. This reusable bag is lightweight yet strong and is made of 100% RPET. Even the carabiner and cord clip are made from recycled materials! Chicobag is a Certified B-Corp, and at the end of its life, they'll recycle your old bag into something new.Onya RPET bags are now available from their UK store and a range of stockists, too. Their shopping bags come in several sizes and colours, and all fold away small so they're perfect for handbags or backpacks.

Zero waste travel bathroom

These suggestions are perfect gifts for a conscious traveller to reduce their bathroom waste while travelling. They could be ‘wrapped’ in a sustainable toiletries bag if your loved one needs that, too!

AUS/NZUS/CAUK/EU
Biome bamboo toothbrush holder.

Biome bamboo toothbrush holder.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store

The Humble Co bamboo toothbrush travel case.

The Humble Co bamboo toothbrush travel case.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Hydrophil bamboo toothbrush case.

Hydrophil bamboo toothbrush case.
Image credit: Natural Collection

This toothbrush holder is made of bamboo, but not the type that pandas eat! My family and I used these on our last big trip and they were great. They don't last forever, but as they're completely compostable they are an excellent zero-waste product. This bamboo travel case is made from sustainably harvested bamboo and includes a hole at the bottom to assist water to drain out. It's certified cruelty-free and compostable at the end of its life.This sustainable toothbrush case is made of bamboo that's grown without any artificial irrigation, making it a water-neutral product. It's handmade in a fair trade environment, and 10% of Hydrophil's profits are donated to non-profit Viva con Agua.
Dindi Naturals solid shampoo in travel tin.

Dindi Naturals solid shampoo in travel tin.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Bestowed Essentials aloe and tea-tree shampoo bar.

Bestowed Essentials aloe and tea-tree shampoo bar.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Hair O dry hair conditioner bar.

Hair O dry hair conditioner bar.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

These solid shampoos are made by a small Aussie business, and they're palm oil-free and excellent for travel. We have used Dindi's shampoos and they're lovely even at home, and can be used as soap as well! They also make beard soap, and cheaper refills are available for your tin. This shampoo bar is handmade in the USA and is certified vegan and cruelty-free. It's also made with solar energy and comes in a reusable aluminium tin. For every order, Bestowed Essentials collects & recycles 1lb of beach trash through their partnership with Ocean Blue Project.This conditioner bar is made in the UK and is fully biodegradable, vegan and chemical free. It comes in a reusable tin, handy for travelling with. Other bars are available for normal hair, blonde hair and irritated scalps.
Beekeeper Parade large makeup bag.

Beekeeper Parade large makeup bag.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Hemptique hemp toiletries bag.

Hemptique hemp toiletries bag.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Elvis and Kresse reclaimed firehose travel case.

Elvis and Kresse reclaimed firehose travel case.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

This makeup bag can also be used for toiletries or travel needs, and many other patterns are available. Beekeeper Parade is a social enterprise that upcycles bags from fabric remnants. This range of toiletries bags are made from sustainable materials such as hemp, recycled plastic and truck inner tubes! They're all great choices if someone you love needs a sturdy travel case for their bathroom needs.This travel case is made in the UK from reclaimed fire hose and waste parachute silk! Elvis & Kresse donate 50% of the profits to The Fire Fighters Charity, and they also make other products from firehoses.

Also check out the Little Sun solar lamps near the bottom of this post: they’re solar-powered lights that are awesome for travel and also give back to a great cause. Above are heaps of reusable drinkware ideas, and in the fashion section are some sustainable backpacks, too. And this post details more eco-friendly travel gear that you might be interested in for any travellers in your life.

For organisers, record-keepers, students, writers and bookworms

Sustainable paper gifts

Fully recycled and reused materials are features of these products, as well as tree-free paper!

Journals

AU/NZUS/CAUK
Notely journal.

Notely Journal.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Musing journal by Ten thousand villages

Musing journal.
Image credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Recycled sari notebook from Amnesty Shop.

Recycled sari journal.
Image credit: Amnesty Shop.

This pretty journal is made from 100% recycled paper and it's carbon neutral too! It's printed using soy-based inks and is chlorine- and acid-free.This fair-trade journal is bound with leather off-cuts from food production, processed naturally, and filled with tree-free paper. This recycled sari journal is handmade and includes acid-free khadda paper, which is made from recycled cotton!

2020 calendars

AU/NZUS/CAUK
Earth Greeting artist calendar.

Earth Greeting artists calendar.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

40 year portable calendar by Ten Thousand Villages

40 year calendar keychain.
Image credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Illustrated, recycled 2020 calendar.

Illustrated calendar on recycled paper by Kate Broughton.
Image credit: Kate Broughton.

This beautiful calendar features original flora and fauna illustrations by Australian artists, and uses 100% recycled paper and vegetable inks. 10% of each calendar sale supports environmental organisations.This unique calendar is a bargain for a product made to last for 40 years! It's also fairly-traded and great for travellers as it's small and portable. Also check out their 100-year calendar! This hand-illustrated nature calendar is small-batch printed on 100% recycled paper, and comes wrapped in compostable packaging.

2020 Diaries

AUS/NZUS/CAUK
2020 Earth Greetings diary

Earth Greetings 2020 Diary
Image credit: Biome Eco Store

Pocketsquares recycled diary Canada

2020 Planner/ Eco-Friendly Agenda.
Image credit: Pocketsquares on Etsy.

WWF 2020 Amazing Wildlife Diary

WWF 2020 Amazing Wildlife Diary.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

These 100% recycled 2020 diaries have plenty of room to plan your days, and are offset by planting native trees in a biodiversity hotspot.This handmade 2020 planner is made from 100% recycled materials, and comes packaged in a plant-based sleeve and recycled cardboard envelope. This WWF 2020 diary featured endangered animals from around the world. It's printed on FSC-Certified paper and 12% of the sales are donated to the World Wildlife Fund.

Notebooks/ for students

AUS/NZUS/CAUK
Notely notebook pack.

Notely lined notebook pack. Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Tree Free Greeting cactus attitude notebook.

Tree Free Greeting cactus attitude notebook.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Onyx bamboo paper notebook.

Onyx bamboo paper notebook. Image credit: Natural Collection.

These A5 notebooks come in a two-pack and are carbon-neutral, non-toxic, recycled, and designed and made in Australia. This 100% recycled notebook is produced in the US in a Green e-Certified factory. There are many styles to choose from and they're all chlorine-free and printed using wind power. This lined notebook is tree-free as it's made from bamboo fibre. I also love stone paper notebooks by Onyx.

Second hand books

We often find new or barely-used books at our local op shops (charity/thrift stores) so I recommend checking them first. But if you’re after a specific book it will be easier to search online!

AUS/NZUS/CAUK
Brotherhood books is a non-profit who works to alleviate poverty across Australia.
They stock a huge range of quality second hand books and I was very pleased with our order. They deliver for free if you order three or more and offer 20% off your first purchase.
Thrift Books is the biggest seller of used books in the USA, and they save millions of books from being destroyed every year.
ABE books supports independent sellers from around the world on their platform. You can find second hand books including rare and first editions, and textbooks on their site.
AbeBooks.com. Thousands of booksellers - millions of books.

Sustainable writing, drawing and painting

Recycled and tree-friendly pencils

We love products that are safe for humans and the environment, and I also love pencils that actually work properly for kids!

AUS/NZUS/CAUK
Lyra rainbow pencils

Lyra rainbow pencils.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store

Handmade Nepalese pencils.

Handmade pencils from Nepal.
Image credit: Globein.

Onyx recycled newspaper pencils.

Onyx recycled newspaper coloured pencils.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

These bright pencils are chunky for little hands to grip, plus they're non-toxic and won't roll away thanks to their hexagonal shape. They come in rainbow and single colours.These pretty pencils are handmade in Nepal, and this store supports them and other artisans in developing countries to reach a global audience for their work. These coloured pencils are made from recycled newspaper! An excellent tree-free alternative. They also come in black for writing with.

Non-toxic highlighters

Traditional highlighters include harmful chemicals and virgin plastic. These are much better alternatives.

AUS/NZUS/CAUK
Eco highlighter pencil

Eco highlighter pencil.
Image credit: Flora and Fauna

Recycled gel highlighters.

Onyx recycled gel highlighters.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Recycled neon highllighters.

Onyx fine neon recycled highlighters.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

This eco highlighter pencil is bright yet non-toxic, plastic-free, lasts longer than traditional highlighters, is carbon neutral and made from sustainable wood!These non-toxic gel highlighters have a body made from 100% post-industrial waste plastic. Their packaging is also recycled and printed with soy-based ink. Use the code "footprints10" to get 10% off your order at this store.These fine neon highlighters have a chisel-tip and are also non-toxic and covered with a 100% recycled PET case.

Recycled and sustainable pens

Pens making use of abundant resources are much healthier for the planet.

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Refillable bamboo pen.

Refillable bamboo pen.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store

Grass pen from A Good Company.

Grass pen from A Good Company.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Onyx recycled pens.

Onyx recycled pens.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

This bamboo pen is refillable! It's also made in South Australia and gets consistently great reviews. These refillable pens are made of grass! Well, grass and recycled plastic, and they come unpackaged. They're also made in a factory powered by renewable energy. Use the code "footprints10" to get 10% off your order at this store. These recycled pens used to be milk cartons! Their packaging is also 100% recycled and printed with soy-based inks.

Non-toxic crayons

Standard crayons are made from petroleum, which is best to steer clear from for many reasons.

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Eco crayons sticks.

Eco Crayons stick crayons.
Image credit: Flora & Fauna.

Eco Kids eco soy pastel crayons.

Eco Kids eco soy pastel crayons.
Image credit: Earth Hero

Crayon rocks by Just rocks in a box.

Just Rocks in a Box crayon rocks.
Image credit: Conscious Craft.

These chunky crayon sticks are easy for kids to grip and completely plant-based. They're handmade, palm-oil free and 100% biodegradable, too. These pastel crayons are made in the USA with soy, clay and FDA-approved pigments. They're safe for kids and the environment, unlike traditional pastels. Use the code "footprints10" to get 10% off your order at this store.These little crayon rocks are super cute and easy for small children to draw with. They're made from soy-wax and natural pigments and don't break easily due to their small shape.

100% biodegradable paints

Paint that isn’t made from harmful ingredients can return to the earth with zero impact.

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Eco paints box

Natural Eco Paints.
Image credit: Flora and Fauna

Natural Earth Paint.

Natural Earth Paint.
Image credit: Natural Earth Paint.

Natural Earth Paint

Natural Earth Paint.
Image credit: Conscious Craft.

With these paints, kids can create fully compostable masterpieces. Ecopaints are food-grade, allergy-friendly and vegan certified. Even their packaging and mixing containers can be composted!This natural paint is made in the USA, is completely non-toxic and is coloured with earth pigments! This store also makes natural face paint, easter egg dye and several kits. They have paint for artists available, too. This natural paint is made from real earth! It uses clay pigments which can be mixed to create thick paint or watercolours. For kids and adults. Completely vegan, non-toxic and biodegradable.

For children

If you’ve skipped ahead to this section, make sure to check out ethical clothing and sustainable backpack options for kids below. And above are some lovely ideas for drawing and creating with, too.

Stuff to play, pretend and dig with

Non-toxic, recycled plastic gear

Let’s make use of plastic that already exists!

Green Toys makes excellent-quality products from 100% recycled milk bottles. They’re all BPA-free, PVC-free and phalate-free, and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. These gift ideas won’t add more plastic pollution to the earth yet are safe, sturdy and strong.

We love our Eco Saucer which is perfectly balanced for excellent flight, our watering can set which comes with a mini shovel and hand rake, and our well-used sandpit set; all by Green Toys. They’re extremely durable and last well outdoors, unlike many cheaper plastics which go brittle quickly.

For young kids, their stacking sets, shape sorter and jingly keys are great alternatives to non-safe plastic, and older children will appreciate their sturdy transport range, tea and food sets, or skipping rope.

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Eco Saucer Flying disc

Green Toys Eco Saucer Flying disc
Image credit: Hello Charlie

Green Toys 100% recycled dump truck.

Green Toys 100% recycled dump truck.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Green Toys 100% recycled cupcake set.

Green Toys 100% recycled cupcake set.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

Hello Charlie in Australia has a large range of Green Toys products including cookware, transport, outdoor sets and baby toys. They're all discounted at present too! If you're in NZ, Naked Baby Eco Boutique also stocks a huge range of Green Toys. Earth Hero stocks Green Toy's transport range, pull-wagon, watering can set, bath and baby toys, farm and house sets, and their new playdough range. Use the code "footprints10" to get 10% off your order at this store.Natural Collection stocks Green Toy's transport range, toolkit, stacking cups and shape sorter, jump rope and cooking sets.

Sustainable wood games and puzzles

These beautiful options are made to last, with the environment in mind.

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Everearth My 1st play activity cube.

EverEarth My 1st play activity cube.
Image credit: Hello Charlie.

PlanToys kids wooden mini golf kit.

PlanToys kids wooden mini golf kit.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Dr Zig's giant bubble kit.

Dr Zig's giant bubble kit.
Image credit: Natural Collection

EverEarth make quality toys, puzzles, garden tools, instruments, and games made from 100% FSC-certified wood and bamboo, painted with non-toxic, water-based paint. My daughter had one of their shape sorters and it was excellent. EverEarth is also part of the 'Plant-A-Tree' forest sustainability initiative. In NZ, Naked Baby Eco Boutique stocks Plan Toys, another excellent brand made from sustainable wood sources. PlanToys make their products from rubberwood trees that can no longer produce latex, and woodchips! They're also non-toxic and the company is involved in reforestation projects. They have a huge range including pretend play sets, outdoor games, blocks, instruments and learning tools. We've had one of their tea sets for 8 years and it still looks new. Use the code "footprints10" to get 10% off at this store. Dr Zigs bubbles are made in the UK and use sustainably-sourced wood for the wand, together with unbleached cotton ropes. The bubble mixture is palm oil-free and completely biodegradable, making these bubbles awesome eco-friendly fun for kids! But if you're also looking for Plan Toys, Babi Pur has a huge range for all ages.

Indigenous language resources and cultural learning toys

As citizens of the world we think it’s vital to teach children about cultures and to be inclusive of all races and backgrounds. These ideas are child-friendly and supportive of indigenous people’s knowledge and languages.

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Luke Mallie Aboriginal Art Dominoes

Luke Mallie Aboriginal Art Dominoes.
Image credit: Modern Teaching Aids.

Our Way Of Life Blackfeet Culture Journey Board Game.

"Our Way Of Life" Blackfeet Culture Journey Board Game.
Image credit: Native Teaching Aids.

Dear Zoo Welsh-English dual language book

Dear Zoo Welsh-English dual language book.
Image credit: Little Linguist.

Modern Teaching Aids stock a great range of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and South Sea Islander games, books, puzzles, dolls, pretend play resources and recycled floor mats. Many are fairly traded and support local artists. Other cultures are also represented, too. Native Teaching Aids create indigenous American language and culture resources, including board games, matching games and cards. Some are suitable for younger children and others are educational and fun for older kids and adults. Little Linguist is a store that specialises in children's books in many languages. They stock story books as well as games, kid-friendly dictionaries, multimedia resources, posters and more in Welsh, Irish and Cornish as well as many African, Asian and European languages. They also stock resources in English as an additional language.
Miniland Asian, African and Latino baby dolls.

Miniland Asian, African and Latino baby dolls.
Image credit: Lime Tree Kids.

Zeki Learning Spanish alphabet bag.

Zeki Learning Spanish alphabet bag.
Image credit: Zeki Learning.

Crocodile Creek world cities poster and puzzle.

Crocodile Creek world cities poster and puzzle.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

Miniland dolls are ethnically-diverse, anatomically-correct, and they are excellent quality. My daughter has one and she is very well-loved, yet still in great condition. They're made of BPA-free and phthalate-free vinyl.Zeki Learning stock fair-trade toys and learning materials which are hand-made by refugee and low income women in Palestine. As well as non-language resources like stuffed toys, they create beautiful Arabic, Spanish and English games, toys and soft books. This world puzzle is made of recycled cardboard and printed with soy-based ink. It gently teaches about places and animals of the world with cute illustrations. It also comes with a wall poster and recycled carry case.

Children’s subscription boxes and DIY kits

Most kids love to create and grow things themselves, and getting special parcels in the post is the BEST — especially when they’re ethical and sustainable!

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The Little Veggie Patch Co. edible flowers seed kit.

The Little Veggie Patch Co. edible flowers seed kit.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Green Kids Crafts junior science & craft subscription.

Green Kids Crafts junior science & craft subscription.
Image credit: Green Kids Crafts.

Sembra Garden herb growing kit.

Sembra Garden herb growing kit.
Image credit: Original Organics.

This seed kit contains five varieties of edible flowers plus everything you need to grow them. The Melbourne-based company test all of their kits and include biodegradable propagating plugs and reusable plant labels. Other kits are also available. Green Kids Crafts are a carbon-neutral subscription company who create monthly STEAM kits for kids aged 2-10 and over. Each kit aims to encourage child development holistically, and includes a book, activities + materials made in the USA. Various subscriptions and one-off boxes are available, and they plant one tree for every order placed.Original Organics sells a large range of children's growing kits. Both flowers and edibles are available, and the packs come with biodegradable pots and everything else they need for successful propagation.
4M Recycled paper beads kit.

4M Recycled paper beads kit.
Image credit: A-Z Montessori.

Raven Reads children's book boxes.

Raven Reads children's book boxes.
Image credit: Raven Reads.

Toy Box Club toy subscription box.

Toy Box Club toy subscription box.
Image credit: Toy Box Club.

This special kit allows kids to upcycle old newspapers and magazines into beads! We've used these beads before and they look and feel great, and it's such a fun use of old paper products. Raven Reads is an indigenous owned and operated literacy subscription service. Each kids box contains 2-3 books written and/or illustrated by indigenous people, suitable for kids up to age 9. Teen/adults boxes are also available. Choose from several subscription plans or a one-off gift box.The Toy Box Club is like a toy library by post! It's a subscription service in the UK which delivers toys to borrow each month, and replaces them with others next time around. A great example of the circular economy, and a handy solution to keep little ones entertained.

And if your kids love to explore the world (like ours), this post outlines all of the best gifts for kids who travel, including experience gifts, journals, subscriptions and more. 

For people who love to garden and encourage wildlife

Native seeds or special trees and seedling are usually well-received by garden enthusiasts. Protecting and encouraging wildlife is increasingly important with their habitats and populations decreasing.

Also check out some of the ideas in “Coffee and tea themed products” above, where you can grow your own tea or coffee, or grow greens in coffee grounds!

And for children, there are some growing kit ideas above, under the subheading “Children’s subscription boxes and DIY kits”. Green Toys (also see above) make some excellent garden tools for kids from 100% recycled plastic.

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Creamore Mill paper pot maker

Creamore Mill paper pot maker
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Redecker handcrafted nail brush.

Redecker handcrafted nail brush.
Image credit: Earth Hero

Warm all seasons gardener gloves.

Warm all seasons gardener gloves.
Image credit: Original Organics.

This wooden tool allows you to make seedling pots from old newspaper! Seedlings can be left in the paper pot for planting to avoid disturbing the roots. We have used these and they are excellent tools. This gardener's nail brush is made from sustainably harvested Beechwood and tampico plant fibres. Redecker uses raw natural materials and plastic-free packaging. Get 15% off at this store with the code "footprints10".These latex-covered gloves come in several colours and are designed for grip and dexterity even in very cold weather.
Junk Col Metal Art recycled bird house.

Junk Col Metal Art recycled bird house.
Image credit: JunkColMetalArt on Etsy.

Upcycled plastic bird house.

Upcycled plastic bird house.
Image credit: Ten Thousand Villages.

National Trust birds, bees and bug hotel.

National Trust birds, bees and bug hotel.
Image credit: Original Organics.

This recycled timber birdhouse is made by Queenslanders Colin and Jess. They upcycle wood, scrap metal and cutlery to create unique birdhouses and art based on Australian birds. This bright birdhouse is made from a wire frame and plastic snack wrappers! Women in India make these (in several designs) in a fair trade environment. Bird houses from other materials are also available from this store. This interactive hotel is made of FSC certified wood and will give shelter to many garden creatures. Other insect hotels for butterflies and ladybirds are also available here, as well as hedgehog homes and bat houses.
Life Cykel save the bees pollination kit.

Life Cykel save the bees pollination kit.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Tri-color upcycled planter.

Tri-color upcycled planter.
Image credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Wildlife world hedgehog crossing

Wildlife world hedgehog crossing
Image credit: Natural Collection.

This seed kit provides ideal food for bees, along with eight recycled coffee cups and coffee soil for planting in. 10% of profits go to Beemunity Research to find a solution to Colony Collapse Disorder which is impacting bees globally.This trio of fair trade pots are made from post-consumer scrap metal by artisans in India. Be sure to check out the fair trade pumpkin planter, too! This hedgehog crossing connects gardens to neighbours or wildlife areas, which is vital to assist hedgehog's survival. It's made of recycled plastic, too! This store has a huge range of bird, insect and small wildlife homes and feeders, too.

Also see this post which has 25 lovely ideas for gifts to make from your garden

For people who need clothing, shoes, bags, or underwear

Please don’t buy into fast fashion. Too much is still produced in sweat shops, grown unethically or made with cheap, toxic materials. There is an enormous range of sustainable options now, for all budgets and tastes, so you really don’t need to support the stores who haven’t changed their ways any longer.

The other issue with fashion and accessories is simply an excess of it on our lives. These are suggestions for people who truly need a new product, not for someone with a bulging wardrobe already. Too many choices only encourages further waste and under-use of apparel in their life. There are plenty of other ideas in this post to pick from instead!

Clothing for men, women and kids

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Souten Clothing Lottie dress

Souten Clothing Lottie dress
Image credit: Thread Harvest.

Symbology feather tie-knot blouse.
Image credit: Symbology.

All Riot thought criminal political t-shirt.

All Riot thought criminal political t-shirt.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

Thread Harvest stocks womens, mens, teens and kids clothing, as well as adult's shoes and women's swimwear. All of their range is ethical and they are transparent about how, be it Fair Trade, eco-manufacturing or supporting marginalised people. Symbology Clothing aims to make Fair Trade fashion sexy. They stock women's clothing in standard and plus sizes, as well as maternity wear, wedding and bridesmaid's dresses. Each piece is handcrafted by women artisans in developing countries using traditional techniques. Also check out Neunomads for streamlined, single-colored womenswear in sustainable fabrics. Natural Collection stocks a large range of sustainable and fair trade apparel, including political statement t-shirts and mens and womens clothing, underwear and socks.
Tasi Travels men's Voyager shirt. Image credit: Flora and Fauna.

Tasi Travels men's Voyager shirt.
Image credit: Flora and Fauna.

Soul Flower sacred pine hemp t-shirt.

Soul Flower sacred pine hemp t-shirt.
Image credit: Soul Flower.

People Tree Franca Corduroy Shirt Dress

People Tree Franca Corduroy Shirt Dress
Image credit: People Tree

Flora and Fauna stocks menswear, women's clothing, kidswear and underwear made from sustainable fabrics like Tencel. Most are Australian brands, many are also fairly traded or supportive of charities, and the brand Tasi Travels is great for travelling with, too. Soul Flower makes men's, women's and children's wear with eco materials like organic cotton, hemp and recycled PET blends. They also use low-impact dyes and hand-make all stock in the USA. Everything's discounted at the moment too! People Tree is a leading UK brand of Fair Trade and sustainable fashion. All of their clothing is dyed using low impact dyes and free from harmful azo chemicals. They stock womens clothing, activewear and underwear in natural and organic fabrics, and everything is discounted at present.
Lonely Kids Club 'catching feels' long sleeve.

Lonely Kids Club 'catching feels' long sleeve.
Image credit: Lonely Kids Club.

Mini Mioche ballet dress.

Mini Mioche ballet dress.
Image credit: Mini Mioche.

Frugi snuggle fleece.

Frugi snuggle fleece.
Image credit: Frugi clothing.

Lonely Kids Club is an ethical Sydney brand for older kids and teens, which focuses on unisex clothing and pyjamas. Many of their items have positive messages, and their own range of funky characters and popular interpretations don't conform to trends but are fun and interesting. Mini Mioche make all of their clothing in Canada, for babies, kids and teens. Their range comes in gender-neutral colours and simple, everyday styles, and they use low-impact dyes and no plastic packaging. Frugi clothing make ethical, organic baby and kids clothing, and use recycled PET from plastic drink bottles for their outerwear, backpacks, pencil cases and lunch bags. They also support various charities. Babi Pur stock Frugi clothing as well as Patagonia, Raspberry Republic, Little Green Radicals and more ethical brands for kids up to six.

Ethical shoes and footwear made from sustainable materials

Allbirds make casual and athletic shoes from wool or tree fibres, plus sugarcane for some soles, and their laces are made 100% from recycled plastic bottles. They’re a certified B-Corp and are carbon-neutral, too. Will and Jayden Smith’s JUST brand have recently collaborated with Allbirds to make a runner for which all of the profits are donated to Leonardo Di Caprio’s Amazon Forest Fund.

VIVObarefoot combine two things I love: barefoot movement and recycled materials. Much of their collection is made from recycled PET, and they have a fully vegan range for men, women and kids. They really are tough and comfortable: I’ve been wearing mine daily for over a year, for casual wear and running/hiking. I even wore them through a Spartan race recently! As well as active wear they make boots and everyday flats.

Links to both companies plus some other suggestions for ethical footwear are included below.

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Allbirds women's tree toppers.

Allbirds women's tree toppers.
Image credit: Allbirds.

Allbirds JUST tree runners.

Allbirds JUST tree runners.
Image credit: Allbirds.

Allbirds women's tree breezers.

Allbirds women's tree breezers.
Image credit: Allbirds.

Allbirds Australia

Allbirds New Zealand
Allbirds Unites States

Allbirds Canada
Allbirds United Kingdom

Allbirds Europe
VIVObarefoot Jing Jing Eco RPET ballet flats.

VIVObarefoot Jing Jing Eco RPET ballet flats.
Image credit: VIVObarefoot.

VIVObarefoot men's Primus Lite II.

VIVObarefoot men's Primus Lite II.
Image credit: VIVObarefoot.

VIVObarefoot Fulham toddler Chelsea boot.

VIVObarefoot Fulham toddler Chelsea boot.
Image credit: VIVObarefoot.

VIVObarefoot Australia

VIVObarefoot New Zealand
VIVObarefoot United States

VIVObarefoot Canada
VIVObarefoot United Kingdom

VIVObarefoot Europe
Etiko Mimih Spirits natural & recycled rubber thongs

Etiko Mimih Spirits natural & recycled rubber thongs
Image credit: Flora and Fauna.

Oka-B Taylor shiny ballet flat.

Oka-B Taylor shiny ballet flat.
Image credit: Oka-B shoes.

Ethletic men's dark blue Fair Trade trainers.

Ethletic men's dark blue trainers.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

Etiko Shoes are an Australian brand that are 100% Fair Trade and vegan. They use natural and recycled rubber for the soles of their sneakers and their Thong collection, which collaborates with various environmental and social organisations, including an Indigenous artist collective. Oka-B Shoes make comfortable flats, flip-flops and sandals in Georgia from up to 25% recycled materials. All of their shoes are, in turn, recyclable, and are flexible and machine-washable, too! They come in bright and neutral colours. Oka-B takes care of the recycling if you mail them back at the end of their use, and rewards you with 15% off another purchase.Natural Collection stock vegan sandals and boots, and the casual/athletic range Ethletic for men and women. Ethletic are Fair Trade and 100% vegan, with Forest Stewardship Council certified rubber soles. Ethletic also pays a 15% fair trade premium on every pair of shoes made.

Sustainable underwear & swimwear for periods and light bladder leaks

Modibodi underwear

Image credit: Modibodi

This is definitely a present for someone you know well! If a special woman in your life is keen to try alternatives to pads and tampons, Modibodi menstrual underwear is fantastic. They completely replace the need for pads and panty liners and they’re more comfortable too.

I’ve found that they’re also very handy for travelling: no more days anxiously wondering if my period is going to arrive, no more sweaty rear-end showing to the world, and no need to try to clean a menstrual cup in a public toilet.

Modibodi has a fully vegan range, a collection for teens, and a maternity range, too. And I’ve used their swimwear this year and find them fantastic. This is my full review of Modibodi’s underwear and period-proof swimwear which answers all of your FAQ’s and more

And until December 31st 2019, get 15% off Modibodi’s products with the code MODIROCKS!

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Modibodi maternity singlet and absorbent underwear.

Modibodi maternity singlet and absorbent underwear.
Image credit: Modibodi.

Modibodi seam-free underwear and swim top.

Modibodi seam-free underwear and swim top.
Image credit: Modibodi.

Modibodi teen boy shorts in pink.

Modibodi teen boy shorts in pink.
Image credit: Modibodi.

Shop Modibodi Aus/NZ here. Shop Modibodi US here.Shop Modibodi UK here.

Handbags, wallets and purses

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By The Sea Collection vivid cork clutch.

By The Sea Collection vivid cork clutch.
Image credit: Flora and Fauna.

Mothererth limited edition silver woven handbag.

Mothererth limited edition silver woven handbag.
Image credit: Mothererth.

Wilby Bailey pink saddle cork bag.

Wilby bailey cork pink saddle bag.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

Flora and Fauna have a large range of vegan bags. I love the cork leather collection, which is a very sustainable material, and the Piñatex bags: pineapple leather! Mothererth is a social impact company which repurposes waste plastic-laminated foil into amazing bags, coin holders and clutches. They're woven by artisan women in the Phillipines who are paid Fair Trade wages.Wilby make beautiful bags and clutches in the UK from sustainably-sourced cork and other PETA-approved materials. They come in natural hues and bright colours, and Wilby also make sterling silver earrings with upcycled metal components.
Bark and Leaf handmade lotus and banana bag.

Bark and Leaf handmade lotus leaf & banana bag.
Image credit: Velvety.

Leaf Leather green slim wallet.

Leaf Leather green slim wallet.
Image credit: Tree Tribe.

Fairtrade upcycled mosquito net handbag.

Fairtrade upcycled mosquito net handbag.
Image credit: Sangkhum.

Velvety is an Australia vegan stores that stocks beautiful bags, purses and wallets which are fairly made from sustainable materials such as leaf leather, cork, bamboo, Piñatex, upcycled tyres, or recycled fabric. Tree Tribe have a range of Leaf Leather bags, purses, wallets and nature journals made from sustainably harvested teak leaves. They're made ethically in Thailand and are sealed with a non-toxic film to give them durability. Each purchase also plants a tree!Sangkhum is a German Etsy store who sells Fair Trade, upcycled bags, phone cases and wallets from Cambodia. They're made from old mosquito nets, cement bags and feed bags, keeping these waste streams in use. Also check out this UK Etsy store who makes purses, card holders and bags from reclaimed bouncy castles!

Backpacks for adults and children

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Beekeeper Parade royal backpack - red summer flower.

Beekeeper Parade royal backpack - red summer flower.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Tentree Juniper Mobius modular laptop backpack.

Tentree Juniper Mobius modular laptop backpack.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Nukak Otto recycled backpack.

Nukak Otto recycled backpack.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

Beekeeper Parade is a social enterprise in Cambodia that makes bright backpacks, weekender bags, bumbags and other carry cases in support of children's education projects. All of their products are upcycled from end-of-roll, remnant, discarded or donated fabrics and clothing.
I also love my Onya backpack, which is made 100% from recycled PET. It's super light and folds down very small, so is great for a day-pack while travelling.
TenTree are a Canadian company who plant 10 trees for every products sold: which you can track with an included metal token. This backpack's fabric is 100% REPREVE® (recycled polyester), and the padding is BLOOM Foam (from algae). It also comes with a lifetime guarantee. Nukak is a Spanish company who make backpacks and travel bags from reclaimed materials such as tyre tubes, kitesurfing sails and advertising banners. They're ethically made in Spain and fairly-traded. Their backpacks are strong and include a breathable layer against your back.
SoYoung linen backpack.

SoYoung linen backpack.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Apple Park little fox backpack.

Apple Park little fox backpack.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Kånken Art Mini recycled backpack.

Kånken Art Mini recycled backpack.
Image credit: Fjällraven.

SoYoung make beautiful backpacks for kids that are completely free from phalates, BPA and PVC. They're also made responsibly and include stretchy side pockets. Apple Park made cute kid's backpacks from 100% recycled PET. Each animal design saves 24 plastic bottles from landfill. Older kids might like these LEGO backpacks which are also made from recycled PET. Get 10% off at this store with the code "footprints10". Fjällraven has a recycled polyester line of children's backpacks. The company is committed to sustainable production, reducing emissions and low-impact materials.

For fur babies and their hoomans

Animal lovers will get a kick out of these ideas, and their furry besties will benefit from toxin-free alternatives.

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Bow Wow pet shampoo bar.

Bow Wow pet shampoo bar.
Image credit: Flora and Fauna.

The Good Dog Company hemp dog collars.

The Good Dog Company hemp dog collars.
Image credit: Earth Hero.

Beco non-toxic rubber flyer.

Beco non-toxic rubber flyer.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

This shampoo bar can be used on dogs and horses, and is fully plant-based! It's pH-balanced and will help to calm skin problems, fungal infections and fleas. This dog soap bar is a less expensive choice if you dog's coat is normal. The Good Dog Company makes leashes and toys from eco-friendly hemp, as well as collars for all sizes of dogs and cats. They're all extremely durable and machine-washable, too. Use the code "footprints10" to get 10% off at this store. Beco toys made quality pet toys from sustainable materials like recycled PET, hemp, rubber and rice husks. They also make pet bowls, litter trays and reusable pet food can covers.
Betty Woof hemp rope dog toy.

Betty Woof hemp rope dog toy.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

CORR recycled sari cat basket.

CORR recycled sari cat basket.
Image credit: Ten Thousand Villages.

Zero Waste dog shampoo bar.

Zero Waste dog shampoo bar.
Image credit: Green Tulip Ethical Gifts.

These dog toys are made from sustainable hemp, which is grown without chemicals and is compostable at the end of its life. They have a range of safe, strong hemp toys available, and hemp collars, too. This recycled cat basket is handmade in Bangladesh from strong jute, recycled plastic and recycled saris. It's also fairly traded and is the perfect size for your kitty.This zero waste shampoo bar is made with renewable energy and is free from palm-oil free, animal products and chemicals. It's handmade in Cambridge and comes packaged completely plastic-free.
Ensopet pet waste compost kit.

Ensopet pet waste compost kit.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

Garden kitty planter.

Garden kitty planter.
Image credit: Ten Thousand Villages.

Eco Friendly Inner Tube Vegan Dog Collar.

Eco Friendly Inner Tube Vegan Dog Collar.
Image credit: Paguro Upcycle.

This innovative system hygienically and easily composts pet waste. It's made from recycled plastic and is installed in the ground, making it discreet and suitable for even the smallest yard. It breaks down the waste fast using Bokashi microorganisms, which also helps with odours. This cute plant pot is perfect to plant some catnip for your feline friend! There are many other great Fair Trade ideas for cat and dog lovers from Ten Thousand Villages, including kitchenware, bookends, birdhouses, purses and ornaments.This dog collar is hand-made using reclaimed rubber tyre inner tubes. It's also soft and comfortable and comes in 3 sizes to suit most dogs.

For people who prefer to give than receive: gifts for a cause

Gifts that give twice are favourites of environmentalists and minimalists. There are so many charities who need support, and a donation in your recipient’s name is a thoughtful and very useful gift idea. Choose a reputable organisation working to help a topic they care about, such as poverty, climate change, wildlife support, violence against women, and emergency services assistance.

These ideas below also help those in need while giving your recipient a small gift, too.

Oxfam chicken gift card

Image credit: Oxfam Unwrapped

Worldwide

Oxfam charity cards

Oxfam is an international charity organisation which helps people in crisis and conflict all over the world. We love their Unwrapped gift card collection, which allows you to donate towards a cause that your recipient relates to.

You get a card (electronically or hard copy) all about your gift to give to your loved one, and some people with very little get a chance to live a better life. We’ve bought these for family and friends for years and they really are a gift that everyone can feel good about.

Little Sun solar lamps

Little Sun solar lamp and packaging

Image credit: Little Sun/Studio Olafur Eliasson

I recently bought one of these for our travels and absolutely love the product and what it stands for. The lamp shines brightly for hours or can be used in a dimmer mode. It’s charged during the day via sunlight and can be used as a night-light at home or for travelling with. Kids love it but so do adults! It’s awesome for festivals, outdoor areas and more.

Each purchase of a Little Sun allows another solar lamp to be purchased at a low price to one of the 1.1 billion people living without access to power, through partners in rural Africa. The Certified B-Corp is also involved in other humanitarian and environmental projects. Little Sun stockists can be found worldwide.

Aus/NZ and US/CA

Fair Trade socks that support the cause of your choice

Conscious Step make certified organic cotton, vegan-friendly socks for men and women with sustainable manufacturing processes. They also support a range of charities around the world with each purchase.

Want to empower women, treat HIV-patients, help animals, fight malaria, give books, or send food packs to malnourished children? Choose the socks that support the cause you care about, and Conscious Step make your donation through verified Impact Partners.

Choose one pair of socks or a gift pack which includes three pairs of socks supporting different causes.

AUS/NZUS/CA
Conscious Step women's collection

Conscious Step women's collection (plants trees, breast cancer prevention & safe water).
Image credit: Biome Eco Store

Conscious Step animal collection

Conscious Step Animal collection (helps sharks, dogs & elephants).
Image credit: Ten Thousand Villages.

Biome stocks Conscious Step socks and gift packs. Ten Thousand Villages stocks Conscious Step socks and gift packs.

UK/Europe

Life Less Ordinary Coordinates bracelet and Deep Ocean Wave bracelet.

Image credit: Life Less Ordinary.

Life Less Ordinary hand-make ethical jewellery in Brighton, UK, from tagua nuts (vegetable ivory). Their collections include bracelets, anklets, earrings and cufflinks, with nature-based and adventure symbols, and positive messages including a Pride collection.

Many can also be personalised! Handwriting can be replicated on the tagua plagues, or initials, coordinates or a message printed.

As well as supporting a small UK business, 10% of profits from this shop go to Indigo Volunteers and the ‘Reserva’ Youth Land Trust. The Reserva Collection bracelets also further assist the Chocó rainforest in Ecuador.

 

 

For that person who’s always really hard to buy for

We all have one of those people: they would love a small gift but they’re hard to please. Or perhaps it’s someone you don’t know very well but you’re obliged to give them a little something. These ideas are useful for anyone, and are will reduce dependence on disposables or power consumption.

AUS/NZUS/CAUK/EU
Amy Jade Creations organic cotton handkerchief.

Amy Jade Creations organic cotton handkerchief.
Image credit: Biome Eco Store.

LinenCasa luxury stonewashed linen napkins.

LinenCasa luxury stonewashed linen napkins.
Image credit: Earth Hero

Recycled Welsh weave wool hot water bottle.

Recycled Welsh weave wool hot water bottle.
Image credit: Natural Collection.

This organic cotton hankie is designed and handmade in Australia. It can also be used as a pretty napkin, and is fully machine washable. Other colours and designs are also available. These cloth napkins will last a lifetime. They're made from flax plants and are naturally anti-bacterial, lint-free, and more absorbent than cotton. They won't shrink in the wash or need ironing, either! And best of all, they remove the need for disposables. Plain white and grey are also available. This hot water bottle features a recycled wool cover, either from old clothing or redundant yarn. A great example of upcycling, and a low-impact way to keep warm in bed!

Some last thoughts about eco-friendly gift giving

The most valuable gift you can give to someone is your time. Whether you use it to make something for them or to buy a thoughtful gift, your time and energy are part of the giving. Spending time because you want to, not because you HAVE to, is much more enjoyable and reflects in the gift you end up giving.

You can also give people your time by planning an experience together, or by simply being with them or helping out in some way. (This post lists 30 gift experiences if you need some inspiration) Many people would appreciate special time together more than a present that’s all wrapped up.

Some friends and I have re-gifted toys and puzzles that our kids no longer use, which has been a great way to minimise and circulate rather than buy new all the time. Our kids have never cared that they’re not brand new!Recycled gift wrap

Have a think about whether you need to buy wrapping paper and gift cards. You can get creative with children’s paintings, old cards, newspapers, used ribbons, tissue paper from floral arrangements and more, to wrap gifts in a unique and waste free way. Kids usually love to help make and decorate cards!

Finally, whatever you receive this year, please practice gratitude. Being thankful in receiving is something our family talks about often, so we can truly recognise the effort, time, thoughts and hopes that someone is giving us along with a gift.

I wasn’t always grateful in the past, and I now see the effect of that on the people who gave me something with all their heart. I have since vowed to recognise and appreciate every gift offered to me, however small; even a rock that my child thinks is nice. I want to be a model of gratitude to my kids and anyone else I can inspire. I hope you will join me.

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This gift guide is to help you find an ethically-made, sustainable and useful gift for anyone in your life. Whether you're looking for a child or adult, a coffee, tea or wine drinker, a bookworm, traveller, or gardener, there's an idea here for you!

This is the Ultimate Guide to sustainable gift-giving! Included are thoughtful & useful ideas for anyone in your life that have been produced ethically & responsibly. Many make use of materials already in existence, others promote growing, learning or making your own. And several give back to reputable organisations who are doing great things in the world. All links are to ethical stores. For Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

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6 Responses

  1. Louise says:

    Some great suggestions here! Thank you! I especially love the reusable food and drink items and the ideas for kids.

  2. Soma says:

    Love the non toxic pencils!

  3. Thanks for sharing all these great eco-friendly gifting ideas! Those rocks are so cute! Another one I’ve done in the past is adopting a goat or a chicken for a needing family or giving the gift of a donation in the gift recipient’s name.

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