Green Gift Giving Guide

Green your gift giving this year with this helpful and affordable holiday gift giving guide! These eco-friendly gifts can assist in guiding you towards giving green! The holidays can be a time of abundance, with lots of food, gift-giving, and fun. Unfortunately, they’re also a time of abundant carbon pollution. Going eco-friendly this holiday season is a great step in reducing pollution and supporting sustainability. Check out these ways to give green with suggestions on our favorite sustainable brands and products! 


Christmas Footprint

Air and ground transportation significantly increases over the holidays, from personally traveling to family and friends near and far, taking trips to the mall for gifts, and even your online purchase traveling in from who-knows-where across the globe. This as well as the manufacturing of products purchased are said to be the main sources of carbon emissions during the holiday season. Not to mention the countless amounts of paper and plastic wasted on wrapping and decorations! Good thing this guide is here to help with all things green and lend a helping hand towards living and giving sustainably. 

Here are a few ways to go green this holiday season:


Buy Local

As mentioned before, transportation is one of the leading causes of air pollution during the holiday season. So when you purchase online from companies that have products from halfway around the world, you are contributing to the transportation carbon footprint left behind. 

Buying locally not only cuts your carbon footprint by more than half, but your money and time go into local traders and small businesses rather than supermarkets and monopolies. When you purchase this years gifts at your local markets and storefronts, you contribute to strengthening your community's economic base as a whole, rather than lining pockets of major companies. 

Help create local jobs and receive that personal touch this holiday season by heading to your nearest town to shop rather than tapping “purchase” behind your phone/computer screen.

You can purchase these via Arrow + Phoenix

You can purchase these via Arrow + Phoenix

Sustainable Materials

Is it clothing you want to buy this holiday? Well, it has became much more readily available to purchase eco-friendly clothing products that use natural materials and manufacture with less harm done to the environment. Companies that are environmentally friendly use much less chemicals in their products, such as being unbleached and organic. Bonus if they are labeled Fair Trade! 

Some of our favorite eco-friendly apparel sites include: Nuno (made from all recycled water bottles!), PeopleTreeThreads 4 ThoughtReformationWolven ThreadsEcoVibe ApparelNau, and of course, Arrow + Phoenix! (Also doesn’t hurt to buy vintage/used clothes rather than new! Hit up those thrift shops!)

You can purchase these via Jade & Fox Co.

You can purchase these via Jade & Fox Co.

If it’s skincare/beauty products you want to treat yourself to or bless your friends with, we have the perfect brands for you! Choosing sustainable beauty products reduces your carbon footprint by ditching the harmful chemicals and switching to all natural materials that prove much kinder to the body and environment alike. 

Check out these sustainable beauty/skincare brands: Empress BodyJade and Fox 

Co.The Honey Pot Co.Botani SkincareBiossance, and Tula

Tanteo Tequila

Tanteo Tequila

Need a drink to bring to that holiday gathering? Choosing sustainable brands that manufacture and grow locally is an incredible way to promote an eco-friendly way of life. 

Brands we love: Frisco BrandyTanteo Tequila (locally grown 100% agave), Fair Quinoa Vodka (organic and fair trade!), Koskenkorva Vodka (bio-energy plant reduces their production footprint by 50%, all barley and husks used for paper products and bio-fuel), and Montanya Rum (high-altitude wind and weather powered distillery, locally grown). 


Quality, not Quantity

Toys and gifts come in all different shapes and sizes. Children may have a list that extends three pages long, wanting this that and the other thing, only to realize they don’t actually need any of those things. It is too often seen when gifts get played with or used initially, and left forgotten only days or weeks later. It is important to keep this in mind when purchasing this year!

Recyclable Water Bottles via BKR

Recyclable Water Bottles via BKR

Is it really necessary to buy a large quantity of disposable, meaningless objects? Probably not. Giving gifts of quality that can be used over time make all the difference this eco-friendly holiday season. Buying useful, necessary items are worth much more to the individual and the environment than wasting money on items that will soon be found in the trash bin or collecting dust in the closet. 

Bonus if these quality products are energy-saving/eco-friendly! For example: Energy saving light bulbs, the gift of life such as a plant, the Pela Case a plant-made phone case, Soul Bottle’s glass water bottles, and Ouistitine eco-friendly toys.

Handmade jewelry courtesy of Hatha Jewels

Handmade jewelry courtesy of Hatha Jewels


A wonderful gesture this holiday season is to put your skills to the test and make your gifts this year! Whether it be baking a holiday dessert for the family or making bracelets for your best friends, hand-making your gifts lowers your carbon footprint even more! Double points if you use sustainable materials when creating! 

Some of you may be thinking, “But I have no time or skills to make anything this year!” Don’t fret. This is where you can find brands that hand-make their items and participate in fair trade if working with multiple employees. Using sustainable and natural materials when you are hand-making or home-making this years presents adds to the reduction of that CF. 

Handmade and hand dyed pieces courtesy of The Silk Diaries

Handmade and hand dyed pieces courtesy of The Silk Diaries

Some of our favorite eco-friendly handmade brands include: Ten Thousand Villages (home and wall decor, fair trade and artisan handmade), Jewelz By Jewelia (female!), Forth and Nomad, Janel Foo Glassworks (girl power!), Almeida, and Mulo Shoes. 



Non-material Gifts

Who needs material goods when you can give in a variety of different ways! Buying gifts for your family and friends is always great, but giving something you can’t buy in stores might deem more meaningful! Give the gift of time; spend quality time with those you love or set a date for a new experience with that person! Give the gift of service; offer massages to your loved one or to paint your parents house! Give the gift of love; do kind things for your significant other or bake dessert for your kids! 

Doing selfless acts of kindness as well as dedicating time to those you love can be worth more than money can buy. Spend this year giving non-materialistic goods and services to your friends and family, as you aid in environmental conservation practices worldwide.


Giving to Charity

If you are feeling generous this season, it is always incredible to get involved with local and even global charities. Choosing a charity to donate to, volunteer with, or work with this holiday season is a great way to give back to the community and aid in conservation practices all over the world. Bonus if they are a nonprofit and strive towards sustainability and conservation!

Some of our favorite charities include: Natural Resources Defense CouncilGreenpeaceOcean ConservancySierra Club, World Resources Institute, and EarthJustice.