If you’re looking for a climate-friendly gift this holiday season, look no further! Here are some great ideas for all the earth lovers in your life.
For the person who wants to start commuting more by bike
One of the hurdles for many new bike commuters is concern about the danger posed by cars. The most important thing is to make sure drivers can see bikers, so consider gifting a great set of headlights or taillights, spoke reflectors, or a cool reflective jacket. Commuting by bike can also be more fun when you’ve got a cupholder for your latte, a speaker for your tunes, or a whimsical, hand-painted bell!
For the person who wants to cut down on plastic
If you’re worried about plastics filling up our landfills or microplastics filling up our bodies, then the best gifts are those that help us reduce our reliance on plastic. A place to start is a zero-waste kit tailored to the kitchen or the laundry or the bathroom; or you could give someone a gift card to a zero-waste store such as Tare Market in Minneapolis. Brightly-colored reusable shopping bags are always a fan favorite, as are plastic-free travel tumblers (bonus: sometimes coffee shops offer a discount if you bring your own mug!), bamboo cutlery sets, or common household products like container-free shampoo or a bar of conditioner or a plastic-free razor.
For the person who wants a more energy efficient and less wasteful kitchen
You may not be able to give your loved ones a full-size induction cooktop, but you can give them a great toaster oven so that they don’t need to heat up the whole oven every time they want a handful of tater tots or a portable induction cooktop so that they can avoid turning on the gas. Other good gifts for an electrified kitchen include an electric kettle or an instant pot. Since 30-40% of the trash we send to landfills comes from food waste, you might also consider gifting a highly-rated set of food storage containers, a reusable sandwich bag, or a sleek-looking kitchen compost bin. For more ideas, check out this blog from the Los Angeles Sierra Club on how to electrify your kitchen on a budget.
For the person who doesn’t want to turn up the heat
Consider practical yet cozy options such as an electric blanket, which not only provides warmth but also conserves energy compared to cranking up the thermostat. Slipper socks or "The Comfy" wearable blanket can keep you warm and toasty. A fun sweater from a local vintage shop or thrift store can add some warmth and character to wardrobes. These gifts not only bring warmth but can be good options for money conscious individuals and those wanting to be mindful of energy consumption during the winter months.
For the avid reader
Bookstores are so full of beautiful choices–it can be hard to decide on only one! Richard Powell’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning The Overstory will transform the way that the reader thinks about trees. Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark is a great text to help combat our collective despair. If you haven’t heard of the Solarpunk genre, it’s worth looking into, since the goal of these artists is to help us imagine and create a better world. Fortunately, you can find many thoughtfully curated lists of environmental reading online– here’s one of them!
For the person who has everything
Since one of the best things you can do for the planet is to buy less stuff, it’s important to start thinking about how to give someone a wonderful experience. Try an annual national parks pass, or a local food tour, or a class in anything from holiday-themed crafts to book arts to glass arts to languages to dog obedience training to cooking to astrology to textiles (a mending class is a gift that keeps on giving, since your friend will be able to fix worn out clothing instead of throwing it away)! Gift cards to local coffeeshops, restaurants, or bakeries are also always a good idea.