7 Gifts for Environmentalists

By Angela Tague in Thinking Sustainably

A celebration beckons! Whether it's a housewarming gift, a birthday surprise, or simply a gesture of gratitude, presents are a treat that you want the recipient to enjoy. If you're like me, you probably put a lot of thought into the gifts you give—and personalization is definitely key.

This is especially true when giving gifts for environmentalists in your life, as they prefer to surround themselves with items that align with their values and commitment to sustainability.

Environmentalists generally promote the conservation and protection of nature, according to the Property and Environment Research Center. They incorporate these values into their daily lives through the decisions they make and where they spend their time and money. Perfect gifts for environmentalists be mindful of this.

Gift Guide for Environmentalists

Think little to no waste and eco friendly when brainstorming gifts for environmentalists. For example, it would be odd for an environmentalist to want fast fashion shipped to them from a foreign country in a big box stuffed with packing peanuts.

So, let's put on our green goggles and focus on the areas of environmental conservation and protection that an environmentalist might be most engaged with or interested in learning more about.

  • Recycling and upcycling
  • Creating awareness for environmental issues
  • Cruelty-free or vegan lifestyle choices
  • Water cleanliness and conservation
  • Mindful use of the earth and nature

Working from these categories, here are a few gifts that I've received, considered, or given over the years that align with my own Earth-loving values.

pickled vegetables in a glass jar

1. Homemade Treats

I'm a big fan of using what I have on hand, so one year I gifted reusable glass jars full of homemade cinnamon applesauce using apples from my mother's farm. The gifts were personal, delicious, and yielded no waste. You could also make jam or pickled vegetables from garden-grown goodies.

2. An Experience-Based Gift

Perhaps my favorite gift to receive is one that creates lasting memories and snapshot moments. Think casual lunch dates or tickets to an event. The outing could even have an eco-friendly theme. For example, try out a new vegan cafe, take a class on wildflower identification at a park, or attend a speaker series on ways to reduce air pollution. Any of these will hit the mark for your gift recipient.

3. Donation on Their Behalf

We've all had to shop for the person who has everything, or for the person who "doesn't want anything." This is when it's heart-warming to make a donation to an organization they support. Think about groups related to animal welfare, land preservation, or clean water initiatives. Most of these charities will accept monetary or physical donations. For example, animal shelters love to receive pet food, cleaning supplies, and toys for their sheltered cats and dogs.

potted plants by a window

4. Live Potted Plants

Fresh-cut bouquets are beautiful, but they'll eventually end up in the compost bin. So, why not consider a live plant instead? There are so many options waiting for you at your local nursery. When I'm buying an outdoor plant for a friend, I like to ask someone with a green thumb which species are native to the area in order to preserve local flora.

5. Sustainable Gift Basket

Sometimes you just need to spoil someone and put together a collection of things you know they'll love. An indulgent, eco-friendly self-care basket might be filled with clean-burning beeswax candles, soap made from naturally derived ingredients, fair-trade chocolate candies, slippers made from recycled plastic bottles, a reusable glass water bottle, or even locally sourced produce from the farmer's market.

Don't forget—the basket should have a second purpose, too! Maybe it's actually a small waste can or a tote that can hold towels after the gifts have been removed.

6. Eco-Friendly Upgrade

If someone is new to sustainability, they're likely still working on updating some of their not so eco-friendly items to better align with their values. Maybe you can gift them an upgrade? For example, a yoga mat made from cork or recycled plastic would be loved by a yogi. Or, if they adore makeup, select a new lipstick, eye shadow, or eyeliner containing naturally sourced ingredients such as jojoba oil and plant pigments. Listen to your conversations closely, and you'll likely hear them mention something they've been wanting to try.

7. The Gift of Time

Often, the best present is your presence. For a bestie or close relative, plan an afternoon together exploring a local park or nature area. Pack a healthy snack, such as fresh fruit smoothies or veggies and hummus to munch on, as well as lots of water. Then, set off! Admire the landscape. Stop to take a few pictures. Talk and enjoy their company. Setting aside time from your busy schedule shows just how much you care.

After you've chosen a gift, present it beautifully. I love the idea of upcycling newspaper pages and paper grocery bags as gift wrap. Feeling crafty? Hand-paint a cardboard delivery box. Or, skip the wrapping altogether and simply present the gift with a ribbon that can be used again.

Are you inspired to craft a sustainable gift? To learn how to make bath bombs, recycled wood projects, soy candles, and so much more, follow the DIY Naturally board from @tomsofmaine on Pinterest!

Image source: Pexels | Pexels | Pexels

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.

Why It's Good

If your gift recipient embraces environmental issues, choosing a gift for them that aligns with their ideals will make it even more special and appreciated. You'll get an A+ for your thoughtfulness and Mother Nature will be pleased, too.