Shopping for holiday gifts was a little more difficult for me this year. You see, I am trying to avoid purchasing products wrapped in needless or worse redundant plastic, and I’m trying to utilize companies that are environmentally conscious.
I did find a few green gifts to meet my goal – enough to hang two stockings from the mantle overflowing with sustainable stocking stuffers, anyway! Here’s what I found:
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Bamboo Travel Utensil Set
I have a bamboo travel utensil set just like this one that I carry with me at all times. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used this to avoid single-use plastic silverware at a festival or a picnic. I even used it at a friend’s house during a party once! I haven’t used the included chopsticks yet, but I can’t wait for the day when I bust those out of my purse!
Collapsible Bowl and Cup
Admittedly, I don’t always have my collapsible bowl and cup with me, but if I’ve got my backpack, then you can bet that I have a collapsible bowl and cup tucked inside – right next to my bamboo utensils. It has come in handy quite a few times, including that time when I waited in line for hours after a canceled flight. My collapsible cup combined with a mini bottle of wine saw me through that ordeal!
Deodorant From Little Seed Farm
OK, admittedly, it might be a little strange to give deodorant as a gift, but the most common question that I get from people who are starting out on their sustainability journey is about deodorant. As in: How do I find a deodorant that is free of chemicals, free of plastic, and that actually works?
Well, I’ve tried a lot of different options, the answer, for me, is Little Seed Farm. I just love these guys and their mission. I’ve tried many of their deodorants and the lavender or baking-soda-free grapefruit cream works best for me. Don’t forget the bamboo applicators!
If you don’t want to commit to one type of deodorant, Little Seed Farm also offers a deodorant sample pack!
The standard plastic-stemmed cotton swabs might seem small and insignificant when we toss them into the garbage, but they are a large part of the pollution problem in our oceans.
When I first started reading about the amount of single-use cotton swabs polluting our oceans, I tried to go entirely without Q-Tips. But that just wasn’t comfortable for me. So, I found these eco-friendly swabs made out of sustainably grown bamboo and natural cotton.
I still try to use fewer of these little guys as I work toward a zero-waste lifestyle, but when I do need to clean out my ears, I don’t feel guilty about using these eco-friendly cotton swaps. Especially since The Humble Co. sends them in all-paper packaging made from recycled material!
Organic Dental Floss
This organic dental floss by women-owned company Radius is certified organic, toxin-free, botanical based AND contains zero plastic. I was worried that it wouldn’t work as well as standard dental floss, but I found that it works just as well and hurts even less. That’s a win all around!
I am so in love with this sustainable storage solution! You just press in your leftover food – half a lemon or a tomato for instance – and the silicone hugs the food. Stick it straight into the fridge and no need for a plastic baggie. Plus these food huggers are fully reusable after a pass through the dishwasher.
My favorite is the avocado hugger because they help reduce the browning that usually occurs immediately after half an avocado goes back in the fridge – not to mention reducing the number of plastic baggies in the fridge (and ultimately in our landfills and waterways).
Soap Saver Bags
These all-natural bags store bar soaps, reducing the need for plastic containers. Added bonus: They are also built-in exfoliators! I never remove my soap from the bag. I just keep it in there, letting the soap lather come through the bag as I exfoliate with it, and I hang it to dry when I’m finished.
When I’m ready to travel, I just toss it in my toiletry bag!
Anything From Lush
Speaking of soap, I have an active love affair with Lush products (a full review is coming soon!) The short story is that Lush has products to reduce plastic containers like shampoo bars, conditioner bars, lotion bars, and toothpaste tablets. Any one of these products would make for a great sustainable stocking stuffer, but you can’t go wrong with a Christmas gift box set.
I first got the idea for sustainable stocking stuffers when my mom gifted one of her reusable produce bags to a woman in the grocery line who asked us about our bags. I was a little embarrassed at first, but then that woman lit up like a Christmas tree at the unexpected green gift from a stranger.
I tuck these eco-friendly produce bags into my canvas grocery totes, so I always have them for fruit, vegetables or bulk food items when doing my shopping. That means I never have to use those single-use plastic bags in the produce section!
So that’s it! Those gifts filled two environmentally-friendly stockings that now hang from the mantle. And maybe Santa will reward us all this year for being so nice to the Earth!