15 sustainable gift ideas that are kind on the planet
I can’t remember the last time I brought someone over 5 years old, a Christmas present. Personally, I’m not into mindless consumerism, but giving thoughtful gifts at any time of year, is a beautiful thing to do and doing things for others, studies have shown, is one of the keys to happiness.
If you’re planning on giving presents this year and are forced to shop, we thought we’d throw together some sustainable gift ideas that are kind on the planet, useful and cool AF. Increasingly, there are so many great eco-alternative products from conscious companies. We have the power as consumers, to make a real difference with our dollars. So let’s all choose to do that. Show big business that the sustainable economy is profitable so more companies want to move in this direction.
Remember ‘every time you spend money, you cast a vote for the kind of society you want.’
And don’t forget to use old newspaper for the gift wrapping!
#1 Mizu Life metal water bottle with a filter
Mizu means water in Japanese. The company, Mizu Life was started by one of my snowboarding heroes, Jussi Oksanen. I’ve had my bottle (now beat up and weathered) for over 4 years, first given to me as a gift by the snowboard legends Baldface Lodge.
This awesome company just release a new product with two personal filtration and purifications systems:
1. Mizu 360 Everyday filter – Filtration on the go to remove 99.999% of contaminant – RRP $45.95-$55.95 USD
2. Mizu Adventure filter – A filter for lakes, rivers, rainwater etc to reduce water-borne diseases – RRP $55.95 – $69.95
Buying your own portable water bottle significantly reduces the likelihood of buying bottled plastic water. Having a filtered bottle like this will greatly increase your water options when traveling, especially on hikes and camping trips. It will also give you peace-of-mind when drinking from streams. No brainer.
#2 For the ladies – A menstrual cup
Can you imagine the sanitary waste world-wide? In the mountains, I have to deal with my tampons and where to put them, made even harder as Japan does not have ANY public garbage bins. A menstrual cup means fewer tampons, saved cash because tampons are expensive, and less chance you’ll get toxic shock syndrome or have the bleach from tampons seep into your uterus. It’s basically just a little silicone cup that collects blood, rather than absorbs it like a tampon or sanitary pad does.
Make the switch now. What a great but unexpected gift to give your girls.
Check out Lunette Menstrual Cups – ($50USD) – – Use STOKED15 for 15% off
#3 Zinc-based mineral sunscreen
It shits me that people still use chemical sunscreen laden with Oxybenzone. This chemical, alongside its nasty sibling Octinoxate, not only messes with your hormones, together they are bleaching and destroying our reefs. Hawaii has banned any suncream containing these chemicals (which is most sunscreens). Islands in the South Pacific have banned it. Yet people still aren’t aware of how awful chemical sunscreen is.
I’ve written an in-depth piece on this and reviewed a bunch of options in this reef and human-safe sunscreen article.
#4 100% organic skincare & haircare
Much like sunscreen, your beauty creams and shampoo can be pretty gnarly if you take a second to look at the chemicals. Give the gift of a bit of enlightenment this holiday rather than a chemical cocktail that goes straight into our biggest organ (our skin) and the waterways, that eventually lead to our oceans.
Here are a few of our favouries:
Made For Life Organics – Use code STOKED20 for 20% off online
Made in Cornwall, UK, all products are 100% organic and incredible. I personally noticed a huge improvement in my skin since using their oils. Have a read of our full review and interview about their amazing products and unique production techniques.
Tapar Reef hair care – Use code STILLSTOKED10 for 10% off (both US and AU store)
Made from Baobab protein and Paraben, Sulphate, Silicon and PEG-free. Designed for surfers. We also highly recommend their zinc removing wipes!
#5 A re-usable coffee cup or flask
If you still have a friend that drinks takeaway coffee and doesn’t have their own reusable cup, slap them and buy them a re-usable cup. Think about the people in your office & if the use of single-use coffee cups is rife, organize a bulk order & implement that change.
#6 Yoga pants made from recycled bottles
Who doesn’t love a comfy pair of yoga pants? We recently came across this company Waterlust. They make their activewear from 10 recycled, post-consumer plastic bottles. They also donate 10% of profits to marine conservation, research and not for profits. But the best bit is the prints on the garments, are whale sharks, tiger sharks, mermaids and other ethical marine creatures. Check them out – Still Stoked review coming soon!
Teeki also makes amazing yoga pants from recycled materials.
Bellum Active have a Pura range are made from Econyl recycled fishing nets.
#7 Swimwear made from recycled fishing nets
Fishing nets are the largest polluter of plastic in the oceans. So finding a commercial use for this pollutant gives economic reason to harvest it from the ocean. Purchasing swimwear made from fishing nets is one way to support that.
Here are some brands making swimwear from fishing nets (the fabric is called Econyl), or other post-consumer or industrial waste:
Salt Gypsy – Use Stillstoked10 for 10% off
Female-owned by the amazing Danny who used to be a surf guide in The Maldives. Sustainable and ethical practices in all she does and they are stylish AF.
We Are Mona – Use code STILLSTOKED for 10% off
This new brand out of California has the most amazing, vibrant prints and all yarns are made from recycled waste.
A British ethical swimwear brand making swimsuits from recycled ocean plastic with rad dinosaur and lobster prints
Tide and Seek – Use code STOKED10OFF for 10% off
Another conscious swimwear brand out of the UK doing the right thing. Made from REPREVE® which is a polyester fiber made of 100% recycled plastic, comprised mostly of post-consumer plastic bottles.
#7.5 Other cool stuff made from post-consumer waste
Nomadix makes cool towels with funky prints from recycled plastic bottles.
These guys make Recycled Flip-Flop Door Mats
You can also get yoga mats made from recycled wetsuits – this is VERY COOL!
#8 Sustainable headwear
Not only will you look rad but you will be able to get away with wearing less suncream on your face! Double win. Our favourite sustainable hats are from an Australian company called Conner Hats. They are made with 100% solar power, from 100% organic cotton, and all labels and some of our hats are made from recycled plastic bottles. And they are STUNNING. We love the Mt. Warning hat.
Conner Hats – Use code STOKED15 for 15% off in the US and AU store
#9 A metal razor
Plastic razors especially those bulk-buy Bic ones are the devil. Go back to the old-school and swap them out for a metal one. It’s also grounding to feel something cold, heavy and ergonomically designed in your hands.
#10 Zero waste bamboo toothbrushes
All over the beaches in Indo, I saw toothbrushes. I made this swap a while ago. It’s a simple change with a big impact.
#11 GUPPYFRIEND wash bag
A Scientifically approved solution against microplastic pollution from washing. This little guy protects synthetic garments and reduces the number of microfibers that may enter rivers and oceans from washing. After washing garments in GUPPYFRIEND, remove the microfibers from the bag and throw them away in the trash. GUPPYFRIEND is a friend of Patagonia and Sea Shepherd. A very cool product making a real difference one wash load at a time.
Buy a Guppyfriend for $29.75USD
#12 Beeswax wraps for food
Stop using soft plastics to wrap your food. Also, soft plastics do not get recycled with the regular plastics and PETs. These wraps also come in beautiful prints that ignite a sense of nostalgia of how things were done in the old age before con-venience got us all lazy AF.
#13 Portable cutlery & metal lunch box
You can get the cutest portable cutlery sets to prevent taking single use forks and chop sticks. We love the metal mess tin style lunch boxes!
Everyone needs toilet paper. You might as well wipe your arse with somehing that’s contributing to the good in the world. Who Gives Crap donates 50% of profits to build toilets in the developing world. Good for your bum, Great for the world!
Patagonia makes a wetsuit from which 85% Yulex® natural rubber/15% synthetic rubber by polymer content with the interior lining made from 100% recycled polyester. It is one of the most environmentally friendly wetsuits on the planet. They are also much warmer than neoprene wetsuits. Patagonia just updated the product in 2018 and it is now certified Fair-Trade. I have a Yulex wetsuit in the long sleeve Spring Jane suit (for spring and summer) and also the R1 3-2mm front zip, for winter in Australia. I’ve just ordered the R4 hooded suit which is 5.5mm for surfing the north Sea of Japan in Hokkaido.
Oh and 1% of all Patagonia profits go to the planet (they started the company 1% for the planet that has to date, raise over $175 million for the planet).
A full review of these wetsuits is coming soon but I highly recommend getting on this program as neoprene is incredibly damaging to the environment and unless you are actively finding a source to recycle it, they end up in a landfill.
We hope this article full of Sustainable gift ideas has got the cogs in your brain ticking over. Of course, the act of giving is amazing in itself, but we also hope these sustainable gifts will raise a few questions and start discussions. Hopefully, the act of giving gifts like these will also educate and start a snowball effect of more mindful consumption. Our planet needs us more than ever right now and we can use our dollars to inspire change.