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Dec 15, 2021

Best Earth-Friendly Holiday Gifts for 2021

With the holiday season upon us, you may be starting to think about gift ideas for your loved ones. 

Gift shopping for an eco-minded friend or an eco-conscious family member can often take a little extra thought. The good news is that it’s never been easier to find the perfect gift! To soften their own impact on the environment, more and more companies are leaning into sustainability. You’ll of course want to beware of products that might be more green-marketing than green-reality - that term is called “greenwashing”. 

Don’t fret though, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few eco-friendly gift ideas you could consider this holiday season.

All of the businesses listed among Atmos’s cashback partners are among the country’s leading innovators of sustainability. Plus, when you use your Atmos card, you can earn up to 5% cash back on all of your purchases! Atmos is building the world’s most climate-positive banking platform in the world, where every dollar deposited is used to reverse global warming. 

Ethical and Sustainable 2021 Holiday Gifts for the Eco-Conscious People in Your Life

Sustainable clothing

There are more apparel companies than ever that are leaning into what it truly means to be sustainable. The historical social and carbon cost of the apparel industry has been frightening. Whether you’re shopping for the basics or bold statements, there are lots of options available to you this season.  

To accompany our list here, check out Eco-Stylist. Eco-Stylist is one of our favorite resources to find ethically made, stylish clothing, and if you want to go beyond purchasing a single item of apparel and want to give someone a wardrobe overhaul, Eco-Stylist even offers a range of personal stylist/shopper packages

Among the lists of great sustainable apparel companies, here are a few of our favorites: 

Pact

Pact started as a line of organic basics with a light carbon footprint, but has turned into a full range of outerwear, bed and bath. Pact sources all textiles from organic materials and utilizes Fair Trade Certified factories to provide safe working conditions and reinvest into their communities. From personal experience, Pact offers the perfect undergarments. If their other products are in line with their original offering, any gift of Pact will be treasured for seasons to come.

Alter X

Alter X is a newcomer to this industry, and what they lack in diversity of product, they more than make up for in quality and values-alignment. ALTER X produces T-shirts for men and women that are composed from 100% non-toxic, certified organic fabrics and sustainably sourced materials.

This company also makes their shirts in small batches using SA8000 fair labor practices, striving for minimal-zero waste and no carbon footprint in their manufacturing processes to help combat climate change. Including one more reason to support this small company, $25 of every purchase goes towards a philanthropic organization that creates a positive impact for people and planet.

Patagonia

No sustainable holiday gift guide would be complete without including Patagonia. Patagonia is the OG of environmentally-friendly apparel and this outdoor gear and apparel company frequently tops lists of the most eco-friendly companies in the world. 

Something from Patagonia would delight any outdoor enthusiast on your holiday shopping list. Want to take sustainability to the next level? Consider something from their upcycled worn wear line that gives a second life to previously loved items. 

Amour Vert

Amort Vert is a women’s clothing brand that takes its sustainability very seriously. They source ethical, traceable and eco-friendly raw fibers and materials to create a wide variety of clothing that is light on carbon and big on fashion. Is it possible to source an entire wardrobe from Amour Vert? We think so.  

Gifts for the home

A local CSA subscription is a great gift for any eco-conscious individual. Supporting a local, organic [regenerative] farm [ranch] through CSA is the gift that will bring people together around a dinner table while nurturing the environment. For meat lovers, you can find a comprehensive list of regenerative ranches from our friends at Soil Centric. Beyond traditional CSA subscriptions, here are a few of our favorites for home essentials. 

Zero Grocery

Zero Grocery is leading the plastic-free grocery movement with their on-demand grocery delivery service for those in the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles areas. They offer a whopping 2,000+ healthy, fresh, and affordable food items with next-day delivery available. 

This sustainability-focused grocer only works with suppliers who don’t use single-use plastic in their food packaging, and instead use 100% reusable or compostable packaging. Not sure how much this helps the environment? Give Zero a try and witness how much less trash you generate. 

A Zero Grocery membership or gift certificate could be a great gift for your eco-friendly loved ones who are looking to introduce more sustainability and convenience to their lives. 

While you don’t have to be a member to order from Zero Grocery, members receive discounted prices (10-15% off everything in the catalog) and can send their reusable jars back to the company to be reused many more times in Zero Grocery’s closed-loop system.

Progeny Coffee

For the coffee-lover in your household, Progeny Coffee offers a new spin on an old industry. This company works directly with farmers from premiere coffee regions around the world to honor their trade so that no matter where you live, they can deliver the world’s finest seed-to-cup coffee blends. Progeny offers a wide variety of brew gear and beans to enhance this morning ritual for anyone.

Imperfect Foods

When it comes to sustainability, supporting local agriculture and reducing food waste is one of the best ways we can all do a little bit more. Imperfect Foods is another one of our favorite produce and grocery-delivery companies. Imperfect Foods started as a platform that sold groceries with cosmetic quirks that made them less desirable to grocery companies around the country. If you’ve been to a farm recently, you might notice that many of those apples aren’t without their fair share of blemishes. While many of those products might have previously gone to landfill, Imperfect Foods gave these life-giving items a second life. Now, the company has extended well beyond produce and offers a variety of packaged pantry items curated for the sustainable soul.

EcoRoots

EcoRoots offers a variety of sustainable home and personal care essentials. Whether you’re looking for stocking stuffers or the perfect gift to add to an eco-friendly personal care gift set, you can’t go wrong with any number of products from EcoRoots.

4Ocean or Klean Canteen 

If you’re looking for affordable gifts to give out this holiday season, reusable water bottles and flatware are always appreciated. These gifts reduce waste and appeal to the minimalist in each of us. And with a price tag under $20, these items make great stocking stuffers!

According to 4Ocean, every reusable water bottle eliminates waste equivalent to approximately 345 single-use plastic bottles. Not only that, but the revenue from every bottle purchased funds the removal of 1 pound of trash from the ocean, rivers, and coastlines.

Sustainable gifts for the foodies in your life

Restaurants in towns around the country are starting to engage in sustainability. A gift certificate to any of Zero Foodprint restaurants would make a spectacular gift for the sustainably-minded foodie in your life. Not only are these eateries actively reducing waste and serving up sustainably-sourced dishes, they are committing a portion of their profits to sequestering carbon through enhanced regenerative practices. 

Ben & Jerry’s

A Ben & Jerry’s ice cream gift card can be a great gift idea for anyone on your holiday shopping list that has the occasional sweet tooth. You can purchase an e-gift card right on the company’s website, which also has an easy-to-use shop locator.

Ben & Jerry’s is a brand that often tops lists of eco-friendly companies because they are dedicated to making the world a better place, both socially and environmentally. They support a variety of social and economic issues through the Ben & Jerry's Foundation, which donates an annual sum to grassroots organizations depending on the volume of ice cream sold.

In terms of climate justice, Ben & Jerry’s is committed to supporting renewable energy production, reducing fossil fuel use, fighting deforestation, and helping developing countries to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Eco-Friendly gifts for new caregivers and the kiddos

Ensuring that children have non-toxic toys and clothes that nurture the body and mind is one of the bigger challenges of early parenting. For those shopping for new parents, here are just a few of our favorite child-focused products. 

Lovevery

Lovevery is a subscription-based service that delivers rotating toys inspired by a child’s natural development timeline. Lovevery play things are made with sustainable, organic and natural materials that are good for children and the planet. For those parents that are constantly trying to engage their youngsters with news activities, Lovevery could be the perfect gift. With new packs sent every couple of months, children are periodically presented with new toys that engage, teach and delight. Parents will find themselves looking forward to those days when their new Lovevery package gets delivered!  

Green Toys

Green Toys offers a wide selection of safe, eco-friendly toys for all types of play, from time in the great outdoors to bath time. Their toys are intended for unstructured play that allows kids to use their imaginations and helps them develop. Green Toys makes their products from 100% recycled materials, including things like recycled milk jugs and yogurt cups, and everything is dishwasher safe, making them a breeze to clean! Green Toys are produced from US-based facilities emphasizing environmentally responsible manufacturing processes.

Gifts for health and well-being 

Ned

CBD is all the rage, and our friends at Ned are offering the industry’s most intriguing products. Born from the desire to create deeper connections to the natural world, Ned offers a variety of organic, full-spectrum CBD products that are a great gift for anyone in your life. The benefits of CBD are well documented and have helped millions of people grapple with a variety of conditions or ailments. For those having difficulty getting a full night’s sleep, we highly recommend their Sleep Blend.

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees offers a wide range of eco-friendly personal care products and pre-designed gift sets of all sorts of shapes and sizes. You might be most familiar with their chap-sticks and lip care products, but they also offer skin care products, makeup, body and hair care products.

All of Burt’s Bees personal care items are made from responsibly-sourced natural ingredients and don’t contain any harmful chemicals, such as parabens, petrolatum, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Additionally, every product comes in recyclable packaging!

On top of all that, all of Burt’s Bees products are cruelty free and Leaping Bunny Certified, meaning they don’t test anything on animals or have any third parties perform animal testing for them. Something from Burt’s Bees would make a perfect gift for any animal lover in your life!

Give the gift of knowledge

Currently

Currently is a free subscription weather service that connects you with interactive weather alerts and real-time climate context. Go bigger with a paid membership that brings additional insights and stories from one of the country’s leading climate scientists, making it a unique and fun gift to engage your loved one throughout the year. 

MCJ Membership 

My Climate Journey is more than a podcast series. Engage directly with leaders in the climate community through MCJ’s slack community and get other perks by getting a MCJ member. 

Make a donation in somebody’s name

If you’re trying to shop for the person that has everything, a great option could be to make a donation in that person’s name. You can easily make a recurring or one-time donation on behalf of anybody through your Atmos account. 

Final Thoughts

Holiday shopping for sustainable products doesn’t have to be complicated — every brand on this list offers great sustainable gifts, but there are many other small businesses and well-known brands that you can find perfect gifts from (we have tons more listed here).

When you’re trying to decide if the gifts you’re looking at are sustainable, check to see if they’re made from recycled materials, use natural ingredients, have a sustainable supply chain, support fair trade, and apply other eco-friendly principles and practices.

And remember, when you use your Atmos cash-back checking account to shop with any of our cashback partners, you can earn up to 5% cash back on your sustainable gift purchases!

Don’t forget to recycle your wrapping paper this year!

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