Eco-Friendly Gift Guide Holiday 2020

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Eco-Friendly Gift Guide Holiday 2020

Shop smarter this holiday season by staying home and ordering *fewer* gifts online! Yes, I mean buy less gifts overall. Fewer, more thoughtful, gifts are the way to go if you’re being eco-friendly.

Plus, you’re not going out into large crowds at the mall or Best Buy.

This list contains smaller businesses, that are *not* Amazon! If anything, please please support small businesses this year. Or, you know, literally anywhere besides Amazon.

That’s another story for another day, so here are my top picks for eco-friendly gifts this year!

Reusable drinkware.

I know this may be obvious, but it is the easiest sustainable switch! We all know someone who drinks exclusively from plastic water bottles.

The benefit of reusable water bottles is that A, you save money; B, less plastic waste that may not even be recycled; and C, reusable bottles keep the water cool for longer.

Purple Mira brand reusable water bottle. It has a silver twist cap.
Mira Sierra 32oz Bottle

You won’t catch me outside my house without my Mira water bottle. (This one isn’t even an affiliate link, I just love the bottle!) I’m a fan of Mira bottles because they have a bunch of colors, sizes, and designs, PLUS they offer replacement caps. I broke my cap last year and was able to order a new one for just a few dollars instead of having to buy a whole new bottle.

You can also pick up some reusable straws – I have some in my shop with pouches in different designs! There are matching reusable bamboo sporks available as well.

Plastic-free, zero waste phone case.

Photo of white, mint green, and black phone cases.
Pela Phone Cases

I’ve been interested in eco-friendly living and reducing plastic for a long time, but one thing I hadn’t considered was phone cases. I’m the kind of person to only have one case until it breaks or I get a new phone, but I saw others with different cases every day and it got me thinking that it was pretty wasteful. I mean, how often do you look at the back of your phone?

Think about it, how many thousands of companies make phone cases, and how often do new phone models come out? Every year. And how many smart phone users are there? Billions. This begs the question – how many phone cases are discarded as phone models become outdated?

Then, I stumbled upon Pela Case. They have found a way to turn plant based, completely biodegradable and compostable materials into phone cases. When you get a new phone, you can either compost your old case, or send it back to them to be recycled.

Their solution to that unholy amount of waste from older model phone cases – re-recycle the old models to make the new ones. And, they are packaged plastic-free, so there’s no packaging waste either.

The cases are rubbery and durable, just like your conventional rubber case.

Really, the most eco-friendly option is to keep using your current case, and upgrade to a Pela Case when you’re done with it or get a new phone. I’ve had mine since I got my Galaxy s10e almost 2 years ago, and it still looks brand new after lots of washing and disinfectant wipes.

They have gift cards as well, so you could let your giftee choose a design when they’re ready for one.

Ethical apparel.


Coalatree logo with a shovel and rake, text reads "coalatree eco-minded goods"

My friend sent me the Kickstarter for the Coalatree Evolution Hoodie a while back, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Features of the Coalatree Evolution Hoodie

It has quickly become my most-worn hoodie, especially when travelling. (Not right now, but you know, when we could do that).

The hoodie is made from recycled coffee grounds (they had me at coffee, honestly), and my favorite part is the zipper pocket. When I travel, I always have my phone, keys, and wallet in my hands or pocket so I don’t have to set them down in the restroom. We’ve all had hoodie pocket mishaps, where the phone or keys fall out, but that’s not a problem with the zipper pocket. (It still has the regular hoodie kangaroo pocket for your hands).

What makes me wear it so often is that it’s warm and comfortable, but is also breathable so I don’t get too hot. And, I find the material to be pretty water-resistant. Slight rain isn’t a problem, and I hang dry all my clothes so it dries really fast.

This year, they’ve also came out with the Evolution Joggers which are just the perfect addition. They have *huge* pockets and are the perfect pair to the hoodie.

Features of the Coalatree Evolution Joggers.

Girlfriend Collective.

Girlfriend Collective logo.

I’ve heard so much about Girlfriend leggings, and finally decided to get a pair!

Their clothing is made from recycled fishing nets, and can be taken back for recycling. They also pay their workers a fair wage and do their part to reduce carbon emissions.

Girlfriend High Rise Pocket Leggings

The leggings are a compressive fit, and super comfortable. They also come with pockets, which is a huge plus.

For holiday 2020, they’ve released a line of outerwear like parkas and fleece jackets. If you see a limited edition color, grab it! They hardly ever restock limited colors, and sell out quickly because they make in small batches. (Which is a good thing! A lot of clothing brands will mass produce and end up with wasted product.)

Reusable household items.

Full disclosure: this is my brand!

Exactly 4 years ago, I started my shop Cruelty-Free Stitchery. I wanted to make my own reusable cotton rounds, and now it has grown into lots of different waste-reducing products!

Cruelty-Free Stitchery Reusable Cotton Rounds

Reusable Cotton Rounds are the perfect replacement for disposable cotton rounds or cotton balls! Use them for makeup remover or facial toner.

Cruelty-Free Stitchery Cloth Wipes

Cloth wipes replace dozens of disposables – napkins, baby wipes, cleaning wipes, tissues, coasters, paper towels… (even toilet paper! Just maybe keep a separate set for that – they’re a solid companion to a bidet.)

Cruelty-Free Stitchery (non)Paper Towels

Cotton (non)Paper Towels mimic and replace paper towels! They cling together so you can have the convenience of a paper towel roll, but washable and reusable.

Drawstring bags (and the Christmas variety) replace disposable gift bags. You can then reuse them for gifts next year, or use them as toiletry bags, art supplies, etc.

Cruelty-Free Stitchery Biodegradable Scrunchies

Biodegradable Scrunchies replace, you guessed it, conventional scrunchies. They’re made with 100% cotton thread and eco-friendly fabric, plus the elastic is made with natural rubber – so they will biodegrade.

Cruelty-Free Stitchery Bamboo Spork Pouches

Then, check out the Reusable Straw and Bamboo Spork pouches! Carry reusable utensils with you wherever you go. The straw pouches have a water-resistant organic food-grade lining, so wet straws won’t leak through to your bag.

And lastly – Face Masks! The “upgraded” style is a best-seller. It’s perfect for those with glasses as it prevents fog. They will replace disposable masks and can be washed over and over.


Let us know your favorite eco-friendly products, or ones you’ve given as gifts!

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