The 9 Best Eco-Friendly Gifts of 2021

Send all the love with less of the waste.

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One of the greatest joys in life is sending (and let’s be real, receiving) gifts, whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or even a simple “thinking of you” gift. While non-material gifts like experiences, classes, and acts of service are all great gifts, sometimes we still feel the need to send a physical gift.

For the eco-conscious, however, gift giving can be tough with all of the single-use plastics, paper waste, and throwaway products associated with gift-giving. Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite eco-friendly gifts so you can send some love on any occasion with less worrying about the environmental impact.

Here are the best eco-friendly gifts:

The Rundown
Whether your loved one is a writer or not, this customizable journal is a great gift.
Made from Moso bamboo, this large cutting board is perfect for beautiful dinner party presentations.
Best for Plant Enthusiasts:
Free Mountain Designs Seed Bombs at Etsy
For those who love to garden or have a green thumb, seed bombs are a great gift.
Best for the Green Living Novice:
True Natured Co. Reusable Produce Bags at Amazon
Double stitching and durable seams mean these bags are built to last, these are helpful for anyone who wants start living a greener lifestyle.
Smiling Tree Toys makes old-school, eco-friendly playthings made from sustainably-sourced woods free from paints, stains, and dyes.
We love these all-natural rubber toys, available as a menagerie of adorable land and sea creatures.
This set of wooden bookmarks is a sustainable, affordable way to let students know you care.
For many, coffee is a crucial component for early mornings, so a coffee makers is a great gift for graduates.
This delicate black tea is a bit smoother than traditional Earl Gray teas, thanks to a touch of vanilla.

Best Personalized Gift: Blue Stiggy Personalized Notebook

Blue Stiggy Personalised Eco friendly Notebook

Whether your loved one is a writer or not, this customizable journal is a great gift to jot down notes, use as a daily thought journal, or as a place to keep recipes, travel memories, or even grocery lists. The cover has multiple color options, and you can add whatever text you want to the cover as well for a personal touch.

Each customizable front is typed by a 1950s Hermes typewriter and then hand-stitched and hand painted to the color of your choosing. The cover is made from eco-friendly heavy cotton paper made from textile industry waste. The band is made from recycled paper, and the pages are recycled cartridge paper that’s perfect for fountain pens and ink as well as other media. Orders are sent in plastic-free packaging, for a sustainable gift made with love.

Best for Foodies: Greener Chef Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board

Bamboo Cutting Board

This bamboo cutting board from Greener Chef is naturally bacteria- and microbe resistant and made from 100% Moso bamboo that’s grown in organic, chemical-free soil and finished without harsh lacquers, stains, or chemicals. It shouldn't crack, separate, or split, but if by chance you have any problems, the company will replace it for life.

One side of the board has a deep juice-catching groove that’s perfect for capturing sauces, juices, gravies, and glazes that seep out as you cut. After cutting, simply flip the board to the other side for a beautiful presentation large enough for elaborate veggie arrangements, watermelon, and more.

Best for Plant Enthusiasts: Free Mountain Designs Seed Bombs

Free Mountain Designs Seed Bombs

For those who love to garden or have a green thumb, seed bombs—individual discs filled with plantable seeds—are a great gift. These seed bomb sets from Free Mountain Designs are biodegradable heart-shaped discs containing various wildflower or herb seeds like cilantro, basil, dill, mint, baby’s breath, poppies, bluebonnets, coneflowers, zinnias, marigolds, verbena, and more.

Just plant them in loose soil, soak with water a bit, and you’ll have sprouts in just a few days. Every seed species used is GMO-free and organic, and many sets come in cute boxes perfect for gifting.

Best for the Green Living Novice: True Natured Co. Reusable Produce Bags

True Natured Co. Reusable Bags

We know what you’re thinking: reusable grocery bags for a gift? But when you consider that Americans alone use 100 billion plastic bags a year, and that only about 1% of those bags are returned for recycling, this is a handy and helpful item for anyone who wants start living a greener lifestyle.

This pack of seven reusable bags from True Natured Co. are plastic free and made from 100% biodegradable cotton, with muslin drawstrings and wooden closures. The set includes one cotton net bag, three mesh produce bags, and three bulk bin food bags for things like coffee, nuts, grains, and heavy items. Double stitching and durable seams mean these bags are built to last, and they’re machine washable for easy cleaning.

Best for Kids: Smiling Tree Toys

Smiling Tree Toys Wooden Bunny

Looking for a cute name set, toy truck, wooden blocks, or a name puzzle that will last? Smiling Tree Toys makes old-school, eco-friendly playthings made from sustainably-sourced U.S. woods free from paints, stains, and dyes. They can also personalize toys so your children can keep them and pass them down for years to come.

Most of their toys are finished with an in-house blend of organic jojoba oil and locally sourced beeswax, but all teethers, toy crates, and memory/domino games come unfinished. We love the plastic-free classic stacking toy, and toddlers will adore the wooden cameras, shape sorters, and wooden cell phones.

Best for Baby: Tikiri Pure Natural Rubber Baby Rattle & Bath Toys

Lion Toy

We love these all-natural rubber toys, available as a menagerie of adorable land and sea creatures. A sweet octopus, crab, whale, or seahorse is sure to make bath time more fun. Tikiri also makes soft teething rattles, also made without any concerning chemicals, so parents don't have to worry about littles ones putting these toys in their mouth. They’re made from 100% pure natural rubber sustainably harvested that's also certified organic. The plant-based material will eventually biodegrade, and just note that it's not suitable for people with latex allergies.

Best for Students: Little Gold Fox Designs Wood Bookmarks with Tassels

Little Gold Fox Designs Wood Bookmarks with Tassels

Teachers often like to hand out small gifts to students at the end of the year, and this set of wooden bookmarks is a sustainable, affordable way to let students know you care. (Plus, they’re a great reminder to read over holiday breaks!) Each bookmark in this set is a print from an original design by artist Arrowyn Craban Lauer, printed on sustainably-harvested wood.

The bookmarks come with colorful tassels as well, making it easy to mark your place while reading. This artist has multiple design options available, and you can choose which designs you like while ordering, or choose to get a random assortment.

Best for Graduates: Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker - Borosilicate Beaker

Bodum French Press

Life after high school or college graduation moves fast as you further your studies or enter the job world. For many, coffee becomes a crucial component for early mornings, so a coffee makers is a great gift for graduates. A French press is one of the most eco-friendly options, as it doesn’t use electricity (only to heat the water) or need paper coffee filters or single-use K-cup pods.

Bodum’s French press can make your morning java in only four minutes and can make up to 8 cups at one time. The press is BPA-free and non-plastic parts are made from stainless steel and glass from one of France’s finest French press makers.

Best for Getting Cozy: Davids Tea Organic Cream of Earl Grey Tea

Organic Cream of Earl Grey Tea

This delicate black tea is a bit smoother than traditional Earl Gray teas, thanks to a touch of vanilla. Cornflower and marigold petals add a slightly floral finish. It's also certified organic and Fair Trade, and despite having "cream" in the name, this tea is vegan and suitable for people with dairy intolerance. A loose-leaf tea offers a lower-waste route to caffeination than individually wrapped tea bags, and if you're lucky enough to live near one of Davids Tea's locations in Canada, you can get a zero-waste tin to refill again and again.

"This Early Grey is a wonderful way to start the morning. As the name suggests, it has a lightly creamy taste, and I like to add a spoonful of honey." ~ Margaret Badore, Treehugger Senior Editor

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger is committed to help our readers reduce the environmental impact of our day-to-day lives. Author Amanda Ogle is a veteran reporter who loves writing about sustainability and believes it is important that we all strive to be as environmentally friendly as we can. She loves sending her friends and family sustainable gifts in order to educate more people on the endless possibilities of green gift giving.