What do you give a friend who leans toward minimalism and sustainability? Nothing. Or, practical, long-lasting useful items made with sustainability in mind. I’ve come up with a list of ideas for that green friend who is happily hard to buy for.
For more Etsy ideas, also see 14 Crafty Ways to Forget It’s Winter.
I am an Etsy affiliate and want to thank Etsy Canada for sponsoring this post.
What to Give Eco-Friendly Friends
Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.
There are countless ways to make more eco-friendly, sustainable choices in our lives.
When it comes to the stuff we buy, it can occur at any part of the life cycle of a product:
- how it’s made
- treatment of workers and working conditions
- useful lifespan of product
- disposal options, and more.
I looked at these factors when choosing items for the gift idea list (below):
- Recycling & Upcycling – Making use of existing materials and avoiding landfills.
- Use of Renewable Resources – Using materials that can be replenished.
- Organically Grown – Produced without things like artificial chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, unnecessary antibiotics, hormones.
- Low Impact – Limited or no harmful effects and/or earth-friendly disposal / end of life.
- Responsible Choices – Sustainable materials, practices, fair pay, fair trade, carbon-offsets.
So, what do you give a green-conscious friend who wants nothing?
The days of giving gifts just for the sake of gift-giving are waning.
We’ve got houses filled with stuff we never use and landfills that are overflowing!
But, there may also be an opportunity to give a practical, sustainable gift that will be used and appreciated for a long time to come.
I’ve listed some practical ideas for your thoughtful friend. They’re not sexy but, if the person leans toward functional minimalism (like I do) while caring for a home, they may be appreciated.
Washable cloth towels can replace single-use paper towels. These are available with or without snaps.
Unpaper Towels | TerrabellaShop
Linen Bread Bag
Linen Bread Bag | SunnyKitchenBoutique
Grocery Bag Holder
Grocery Bag Holder | AlexxiBoutique
And, if you do get plastic bags, keep them in a handy grocery bag holder and use them over and over again.
Washable cloth napkins replace single-use ones. I use them at home, in the car, and carry one in my purse.
Cloth Napkins | moocowmomma
Carry food and cover food containers with beeswax wraps. If 100% cotton, they can be buried in the garden when no longer useful.
Beeswax Wrap Starter Pack | TheTravelingBeeShop
They are making a comeback! Washable handkerchiefs can replace a lot of kleenex in a year!
Cotton Handkerchiefs | wrenbirdarts
Upcycled & Recycled
This dog sweater is made from upcycled clothing. It’s quite fashionable, don’t you think?
Dog Sweater | DognannyOriginals
Old sweaters make comfy felted mittens:
Upcycled Mittens | CrystalSquirrel
Used textiles make beautiful rag rugs:
Handwoven Rag Rug | rugsxboutique
This knit sweater and repurposed belt have a new life as a shoulder bag:
Upcycled Sweater Bag | Nytka
On the Go
These have all sorts of uses. I like to have one in the car or my purse and use it to carry containers of leftovers or snacks that might leak.
Drawstring Wet Bag | mylittlepoppyseed
Water Bottle Holders
These are available in various sizes to fit a range of water bottles and mason jars. Great to have for long walks to hydrate people and pups.
Water Bottle Sling | TheSewingMenagerie
Water Bottle Sling | TheSewingMenagerie
Reusable Cutlery and Straw
You could avoid a lot of single-use plastics with a kit like this. This one has a knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks, stainless steel straw, and a straw cleaner.
Travel Cutlery Set | ConsciousCutlery
Cloth Shopping Bags
A strong, lightweight reusable bag is a must if you want to avoid single-use plastic bags.
Upcycled Grocery Bag | MichellesMontageUS
Renewable | Low Impact
Cork World Map
Cork is considered a renewable resource. This world map is a fun way to display travel photos.
Cork Pushpin World Map | GaDenMap
Plastic-Free Dish Scrubber
We throw out so much plastic—and way more than can ever be recycled: pot scrubbers, toothbrushes, nailbrushes, hairbrushes, combs, shampoo bottles, deodorant containers…
This pot scrubber is made from bamboo with sisal bristles.
Bamboo Scrub Brush | SilverCoastSoaps
But can you really give a dish scrubber as a gift?
If your friend has nightmares about single-use plastics and landfill overflowing like I do, any good quality long-lasting useful item is welcome.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas. You can find the entire list here on Etsy.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛