As worsening storms, terrible fires and plastic-clogged waterways flood the news and our social media feeds, many of us have been asking what we, personally, can do to be better stewards of the earth. A ready answer has been to change our consumer habits. And increasingly, we’re buying products that are either made with real concern for the planet or that inspire us to love and preserve this blue marble that is our home.
And now we’re taking that eco-consciousness and giving it some holiday spirit! Our 2017 holiday gift guide features 10 affordable and fun ideas for eco-friendly gifts, all made and sold by female entrepreneurs. Now you can help the planet and support a sister!
So if you’re looking to inspire clients, employees, family and friends with surprising, beautiful and useful presents, look no further! Our carefully curated list includes everything from indulgences like scarves and earrings to more practical fare like food containers and moth repellants. Trust us, they’re all great gifts! And, they will make it easier than ever for the folks on your holiday shopping list to go green in 2018.
Ten Great Gifts to…
… satisfy an eco-conscious sweet tooth.
For the person on your list who likes their favorite herbal blend or holiday cheer with a touch of sweetness, Beez Kneez has an earth-friendly answer. Founder Kristy Lynn Allen is on a mission to save the bees — her delicious honey is made by buzzing buddies in her 150 hives, which she delivers on bicycle, when possible, to reduce her company’s impact on the earth. In addition to her sweet offerings, Allen runs bee-related education and advocacy programs that are supported by honey purchases.
Perfect For: Your tea-and-bee-loving aunt.
Cost: $12 for 18 oz.; $24 for 48 oz.
… kindly keep moths outside.
No one enjoys finding holes in their favorite sweaters. But how do you keep moths at bay in a chemical-free way? Kari Warberg Block to the rescue — she founded EarthKind to offer people all-natural solutions to pests and creepy-crawlies. Among the company’s products are moth-repellent pouches that smell like the outdoors and keep your woolen garments safe.
Perfect For: Your animal-loving, mothball-hating mom.
Cost: $25.80 for a 4-pack.
… dry gloves and galoshes without flipping a switch.
Unsure what to do with soggy socks and other winter gear at the end of cold, snowy days? TheGreenGloveDryer, founded by Karen Smoots, sells simple, reusable dryers that provide an energy-free way to help smaller clothing items dry quickly. Simply sit the contraption on your radiator or in some out-of-the-way spot and place your gear on the dryer’s arms. Durable and space-saving, it’s a simple solution to a common problem — and a thoughtful holiday gift.
Perfect For: The conservationist cousin who lives up north.
Cost: $19.95 per dryer.
… keep your love of the earth close at heart.
Cityzen, a venture started by designer and serial entrepreneur Azin Valy, sells chic silk mini-scarves that feature satellite images of cities from across the globe. In addition to giving both women and men a fun accessory — bold piping around the edges of her scarves adds a fun pop of color — the map motifs reinforce an appreciation for our planet and could even become an environmental-conversation starter. As a bonus, 20 percent of the proceeds from each sale are donated to a variety of causes.
Perfect For: Your favorite fashion-forward world citizen.
Cost: $45 per mini-scarf.
… carry your sandwich without plastic.
Plastic is littering our lands and choking our oceans. That’s why Sarah Kaeck started her Vermont venture, Bee’s Wrap. Her adorable food-storage wraps are made of organic cotton infused with beeswax and other all-natural ingredients and, she hopes, will make traditional plastic wrap obsolete. They come in a range of sizes and colors, adhere well to containers of different shapes, and feel durable enough to last through several seasons of leftovers.
Perfect For: Your client who tends to wrap up lunch meetings early.
Cost: $11 per sandwich wrap.
… track the seasons, lunar cycles and more.
People on your holiday shopping list who like being in-tune with the elements will love the Cosmic calendar made by Spiral Spectrum. Founded by Julie Wilder, this venture makes calendars that track much more than just days and weeks. Through colorful artwork printed on green paper, they chart lunar cycles, meteor activity, signs of the zodiac and other, other-worldly influences.
Perfect For: Your spiritual friend who remembers every birthday.
Cost: $18-$38 per calendar, depending on size and location.
… class up an outfit, ethically.
Rachel Bertoni makes earrings and more out of discarded watches and other metal scraps, then sells them through her venture, Bertoni Jewelry. Rather than simply throwing away items like broken timepieces, she invents ways to turn the gears, nuts and bolts into sparkling additions to her customers’ jewelry boxes. Her products are delicate, eye-catching and — appropriately — timeless.
Perfect For: The refined recycler on your client list.
Cost: Around $46 for one pair of earrings. (Prices vary.)
… scrub up and smell like the holidays.
From her Rockaway Beach home, Sarah Trogdon whips up small-batch soaps, candles and other products sold under her eco-chic beauty brand, Goldies Natural Beauty. Our judges found the scent of her Frankincense & Myrrh soap the perfect mood-setter for the holidays. As a bonus, her packaging is ethically sourced, making it a thoroughly thoughtful gift.
Perfect For: Your clean and festive office assistant.
Cost: $10 for a bar of Frankincense & Myrrh soap.
… sturdily store those extra Christmas cookies.
Want to store your extra holiday fixings (and everyday leftovers) in something more durable and environmentally friendly than warped old plastic containers? We’ve all been there, and we could all use some new alternatives. Thanks to U Konserve, co-founded by Lynn Julian and Chance Claxton, our search is over. The company makes metal containers and more that are designed for long-term reuse. Say goodbye to disposable plastic and hard-to-organize tupperware for good!
Perfect For: The queen or king of leftovers in your life.
Cost: $24.95 for a nesting trio.
… pay the holiday spirit forward.
For those who like to give in more philanthropic ways, TreeEra offers a very green option. The Calgary-based nonprofit, co-founded by Melissa Fellows, plants trees thanks to donations made in various sizes — people can either purchase a one-time, five-tree gift or sign up for monthly donations that help the organization plant hundreds of trees. The team’s goal? To plant 1 billion trees, starting in property it secured in British Columbia.
Perfect For: Your green and giving clients.
Cost: $15 for a one-time gift, commemorated with an iron-on patch that makes the perfect stocking stuffer!
Becoming more conscious consumers is just one way that many of us have become better citizens. Over the last year in particular, we have been watching a larger movement unfold in which people, especially women, have become more active in their communities and in making a world a better place. At The Story Exchange, we’ve been shining a light on women entrepreneurs with social missions doing Good on the Ground, as well as on a surge of women getting involved in political life. Once you’ve finished your holiday shopping, take some time to explore their stories here on our site.