Practice responsible gifting with these ethical and sustainable eco-friendly gift ideas
As the climate crisis worsens, it is everyone’s responsibility to make eco-friendly buying decisions where possible to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce pollution and waste.
Eco-friendly gifts are produced using natural and organic ingredients or recycled materials and using sustainable and ethical processes.
Choosing eco-friendly gifts is not only ethical but also allows the recipient to enjoy the gift guilt-free.
It is particularly important to shop eco when buying for a person that you know is environmentally conscious, as choosing a gift that respects their values will mean a lot to them.
We’ve put together this helpful guide to eco-friendly gifting to inspire you.
What is the definition of eco-friendly?
Human activity is taking its toll on our planet. With our natural environment under threat, we must all pull together to lessen the impact that we have on the environment.
One important way that you can do this is by making eco-friendly buying decisions, which means purchasing products that have little or no damaging effect on the environment.
Finding truly eco-friendly gifts can be difficult. Many products are marketed as ‘natural’ or ‘green’ when in fact they are far from eco-friendly, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for and not fall foul of greenwashing.
To be truly eco-friendly, a product should be:
- Produced with minimal or no harm to the ecosystem or environment
- Non-producing of hazardous waste
- Made using minimal or no synthetic chemicals
- Made using natural, organic ingredients
- Packaged in recyclable or biodegradable materials
- Produced sustainably
- Produced locally where possible
- Recyclable at the end of its lifecycle
Eco-friendly gifts are often premium products made from high-quality natural ingredients and materials. In many cases, eco-friendly alternatives are designed to last for longer, making them of a higher quality than cheaper, wasteful, throwaway items.
Giving eco-friendly gifts is not only about respecting your own or the recipient’s green values, it’s about supporting sustainable brands and protecting our planet’s future.
What are some eco-friendly gift ideas?
Ok, so now we know why eco-friendly products make great gifts, so let’s take a look at some eco-friendly gift ideas.
With a little bit of research, it is possible to find eco-friendly alternatives for most products. Some of our favourite eco-friendly gift ideas include:
- Sustainable and ethical, eco-friendly clothing
- Eco-friendly beauty products, including hair care gift sets, skincare gift sets, and makeup
- Reusable coffee cups or water bottles made from recycled materials
- Vegan, eco-friendly, soy wax candles or reed diffusers
- Zero waste items (e.g. beeswax wraps, reusable straws and cutlery, bamboo toothbrushes)
- Wildflower seed bombs
- Indoor plants and eco-friendly planters made from recycled materials
- Sustainable jewellery
What products are eco-friendly?
It can be difficult to decipher which products are genuinely eco-friendly and which have been ‘greenwashed’. Greenwashing is a term that describes product marketing that gives a false impression that a product is eco-friendly.
Eco-friendly products are made using natural and environmentally friendly ingredients, materials, and processes.
Do your research and check the ingredients list on the product or read more about the brand, their ethics, and how their products are produced to find out if a product is really eco-friendly.
It can also help to check the packaging and look out for symbols that indicate whether the product has received any eco-friendly certifications.
Common symbols to look for include:
- Mobius loop – indicates the product can be recycled
- Mobius loop with percentage – indicates the percentage of the product that can be recycled
- Soil Association Organic Standard – indicates a product is organic
- FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified – indicates wood comes from a sustainably managed forest
- Rainforest Alliance Certified – Ingredients or materials have been produced in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible
- Leaping bunny cruelty-free certification – The product was not tested on animals
What should I buy an eco-warrior?
Eco-warrior is a term used to describe a person who is actively involved in preventing damage to the environment.
Whilst it is responsible to always make eco-friendly buying decisions and give guilt-free, ethical gifts, if you’re searching for a gift for an eco-warrior, it is more important than ever to buy a gift that respects their values.
Before purchasing a present for an eco-warrior, check the labels carefully to ensure that the product has been produced responsibly, with little or no harm to the environment.
You also want to think carefully about whether your gift idea has longevity, avoiding unnecessary, plastic, or wasteful items at all costs.
There are plenty of websites and brands online that specialise in eco-friendly products. Be sure to research the business carefully before buying and check reviews to ensure that they are genuinely eco-friendly.
Eco-warriors are concerned about minimising their carbon footprint and living a zero-waste life, so they may appreciate gifts that help them to do this, this could include:
- A gift voucher for a zero-waste store
- Eco-friendly, reusable coffee cups, water bottles, straws, and cutlery
- A handmade, upcycled gift
- A compost kit
- Reusable makeup sponges and wipes
- Reusable kitchen sponges, cloths, and beeswax wraps
What do you get for someone who is environment-friendly?
If you’re looking for a gift for someone who you know is passionate about looking after our planet and reducing their carbon footprint, why not treat them to a pampering gift set from Nereus London?
We produce premium haircare gift sets and skincare gift sets using 100% natural active ingredients and 100% natural and organic essential oils. We are also a completely plastic-free company and have teamed up with Plastic Bank who retrieve and process 1kg of ocean-bound plastic for every bottle of product we sell.