Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts They Will Love (2021)

By Jazmin Murphy | Updated on September 21, 2021

Christmas is one of the most challenging holidays to shop for. It’s challenging to know what your loved ones might want, and keeping up with the latest trends is a nightmare.

This is why it’s best to buy a gift with a significance that will last a lifetime, one that’s bigger than just one person.

These eco-friendly Christmas gifts will surely make your friend or relative’s day and let them know you care just as deeply for the planet’s ecosystems as they do.

An 8 Billion Trees graphics showing ways of how to have a environmental friendly Christmas celebration.

 

Artisan Hand-Crafted Kenyan Bracelets

Jewelry is a common go-to Christmas gift. This is understandable, as a recent survey by Jewel Street showed that a 58 percent of women prefer these accessories as their presents for the holidays.2

Bracelets were among the most popular pieces of jewelry most women want during this special time of year, with about 30 percent of survey respondents saying this was their preferred gift. It came in third, right behind earrings and necklaces.1

Let your loved one know you care by surprising them with not only their favorite piece of jewelry, but eco-friendly bling at that.

A group of Kenyan women in colorful clothes making beaded bracelets for 8 Billion Trees.

Plus, these bracelets aren’t just good for the environment, but also support women’s livelihoods in areas most vulnerable to climate change, namely Kenya.

According to the World Bank, Kenya has displayed a “distinct warming trend” since the 1960s. Additionally, experts predict “extreme rainfall events” in the nation’s future due to climate fluctuations. To make matters worse, experts reported that the country was experiencing “alarming deforestation rates” in the early 2000s.2

The situation is so dire that other nations have stepped in to help restore natural forests to achieve 10 percent minimum forest cover by 2022. With this gift, you can help strengthen natural habitats and numerous families’ economic resilience at the same time.3

In the midst of the climate chaos, many communities struggle to sustain their primary income, as drought continues to be a key concern for agriculturalists. The problem will only worsen as climate change persists since some of the country’s poorest areas are in dry regions, at risk of more droughts.4

These hand-crafted bracelets are more than jewelry. They are incredibly meaningful gifts, as they help your friend express their love for the earth with eco-friendly accessories and empower communities that are facing the brunt of climate change.

This Gift is Best For…

Environmentalists and social justice activists that are looking for a way to act on their values in a comprehensive way will love this gift. This gift allows them to support a country that faces some of the most severe, immediate climate consequences and its people. By helping empower local Kenyans, you give them a fighting chance to reclaim their natural landscapes from more environmental devastation.

Product Highlights:

  • 100% of the proceeds go directly to the Kenyan artisans
  • Carbon neutral gift
  • Multi-purpose: can be used as a water bottle sleeve, car décor, or jewelry

Eco-Warrior Bundle

Who says you have to use a stocking this Christmas? Incorporate your loved one’s passion for the environment by swapping out that old stocking with a reusable tote full of eco-friendly Christmas gifts.

An 8 Billion Trees product image of their eco warrior bundle.

And no: You won’t need any gift wrap! In fact, this gift bundle can be entirely self-contained in its canvas bag. Your loved one will surely appreciate this, as the single-use decorative papers people use during the holidays are pretty damaging to the environment.

A staggering 40 percent of industrial logging is for paper production. Half of that paper is designated for one-time uses: wrapping and decoration. Although so many people promise themselves that they’ll reuse their paper next year, it almost always goes to waste, without ever being recycled.5

Your loved one will certainly appreciate your compassion for their environmental values, and willingness to join them in helping make the holidays easier on wildlife. This gift allows them to ditch the outdated gift wrap and reverse the damage to forests from excessive logging by supporting afforestation projects worldwide.

They’ll love you even more when they open up their Christmas tote and find even more gifts that help restore and preserve the world’s habitats:

  • Hemp & cotton blend World Map Tree t-shirt & other attire
  • Sustainable jewelry, including a recycled glass bracelet
  • Reusable steel 16 oz water bottle
  • Organic, eco-friendly toiletry kit
  • More!

Each item in this gift set can help heal the world’s environments in one way or another.

For example, hemp is one of the most sustainable crops for food, biofuel, and several other goods due to its soil remediation abilities and low resource needs.6 What better way to help your loved one express their love for the natural world than with eco-friendly attire?

Apart from this, each component supports afforestation in some of the world’s most biodiverse yet vulnerable habitats, like the Amazon Rainforest and Kangaroo Island.

It’s not just a gift for one person, but diverse wildlife and entire ecosystems worldwide.

This Gift is Best For…

Loved ones who are just getting a fresh start, or college students. Since this bundle is packed with so much fresh attire, toiletries, and more, it makes a fantastic care kit for someone who’s revamping their wardrobe and starting a new life chapter, or who’d love to return home after the holidays with some eco-friendly essentials.

Product Highlights

  • Includes several clothing items and accessories made from sustainable and recycled materials
  • Comes with items to help reduce individual carbon footprint, like wool dryer balls and plantable tree cards
  • Tremendous carbon offsets: supports the planting of 122 new trees and protects an existing 1,220 trees

Bamboo Self-Care Bundle

Have you ever spent so much time caring for and supporting the people you loved that you forget to nurture yourself? Once you understand how exhausting this habit can be, it’s crucial to break yourself out of it and engage in a little self-care. After you’ve experienced the full restoration from some “me-time,” the kindest thing you can do is encourage others to do the same.

Show your loved one that you care about their health and well-being by gifting them this eco-friendly self-care bundle for Christmas.

An 8 Billion Trees product image of a bamboo self care bundle.

It’s not just any self-care kit: This package is full of items that actively support environmental health and mitigate your loved one’s carbon footprint at the same time. How?

This self-care bundle comes with:

Your loved one will certainly appreciate the switch to bamboo and bamboo-cotton toiletries. Bamboo has often been regarded as the more sustainable alternative to cotton. It’s far less resource-intensive and has the potential to be a more efficient crop due to fast growth rates.7

However, many are hesitant to officially deem it the better choice, since many growers clear forested land to raise bamboo crops.7 That’s why your loved one will be pleased to learn that this gift set offsets that deforestation by supporting the planting of six new trees and conservation of 60 existing trees.

They’ll have an eco-friendlier daily hygiene routine, and the carbon-sequestering trees to back it up.

This Gift is Best For…

Got a hard worker in your life? They’ve likely faced burnout a few times, especially in the last year as everyone adjusted to the work-from-home lifestyle. Help a go-getter in your life relax for a while by offering this as part of a spa day starter kit.

Product Highlights

  • Sustainable 100% bamboo washcloths are incredibly soft
  • Cotton swabs are BPA-free and biodegradable
  • Supports the planting of six new trees and protects an existing 60 trees

Sustainable Playing Cards

Recreational playing cards have a higher environmental impact than most people might realize. One student at the University of California, Davis’s Department of Design, Derrick Frassi, went through the trouble of breaking down the lifecycle of a typical playing card, stating that while the manufacturing process may seem simple, it’s far from it.8

Some of the materials used to make recreational cards include:8

  • Cellulose from trees like:

– Hardwoods, such as eucalyptus, aspen, and birch

– Softwoods, such as spruce, fir, pine, larch, and hemlock

  • Polyvinyl chloride (a type of plastic)
  • Oil-based inks, derived from oils like linseed, soybean, and petroleum distillate

Furthermore, the production process can be damaging to the environment. The machinery required to make these cards consumes a staggering amount of energy, at varying levels throughout the cards’ production.

For instance, some machines make up to 5,000 card decks per hour, consuming about 8.5 kWh. Even if these manufacturing processes were restricted to the US, that would equate to about 0.92 lbs of CO2 released every hour, just for playing cards.9

What is a card enthusiast to do? Well, you don’t want your friend to have to go through the holidays without playing their favorite card games. So, you’ll need to help them swap out their old deck and replace it with one that helps, rather than harms, the environment.

An 8 Billion Trees product image of their deck of eco-friendly tree cards.

This deck is made from all recycled materials – and the box is, too. They’re decorated with custom artwork, featuring trees and different suits. Plus, these cards help save the world’s forests, undoing some of the devastation wrought by resource-intensive cardmaking.

Each time you and your buddies whip out this eco-friendly deck, you’ll be reminded about the good you’ve done for the world’s forests and for each other.

This Gift is Best For…

Of course, this is best for someone who loves cards! Whether your friend simply loves playing a game of Go Fish or enjoys performing card-based magic tricks, this is the perfect gift for someone who can’t leave a deck unshuffled.

Product Highlights

  • All recycled materials
  • Reverses environmental damage from typical playing cards with three newly planted trees and protecting 30 existing trees
  • Easy, casual way to spread the message about the need for reforestation

Nature Lovers Gift Set

Spending time in nature is one of the most healing activities you can share with your friends and family during the holidays. The next best thing is showing your loved one how much you sympathize with their love for the environment by helping them preserve it.

An 8 Billion Trees product image of their nature lovers gift set.

This nature lover bundle, complete with a World Map Tree t-shirt, face bandana made from recycled materials, and an eco-friendly steel water bottle, is ideal for a day outdoors.

Gift your friend or relative this set on the crisp morning of Christmas Eve, and invite them out to hike. They’ll undoubtedly appreciate the present even more when you reveal that their new gear helped save the world’s wildlife and their habitats through the planting of 28 new trees and preservation of 116 existing trees.

Plus, each of the 18 countries displayed on the World Map Tree t-shirt represents all the nations in which their gift supported afforestation projects. This includes regions that are most susceptible to extreme climate consequences, like:

  • Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
  • Cerro de Atapal, Nicaragua
  • Beira, Mozambique

Every time your loved one wears their shirt and face covering, or takes a sip from their steel water bottle, they’ll be reminded of how their 2021 Christmas gave the planet just a little more hope in the face of climate change.

The frequent reminder will surely help them to feel closer and more intimately connected to local ecosystems than ever before.

This Gift is Best For…

Outdoor enthusiasts will love this gift set. It’s an excellent pack for getting out on the trail or going out and planting some trees. The comfy shirt will shield them from harsh sun rays, and they can use the face bandana to cover up and keep dirt out, or as a sweatband worn around their forehead.

No matter how they choose to style their new threads, the water bottle will ensure they’re refreshed and hydrated, wherever nature may take them.

Product Highlights

  • Bandana is made of 100% recycled, post-consumer materials
  • 16 oz steel bottle is highly durable and reusable
  • Supports the planting of 28 new trees and protects an existing 116 trees

Make This an Unforgettable Christmas

An image of Christmas gifts and ornaments in a table against a green wall.

The best Christmas gifts are those that have true meaning, beyond the simple materialism that many have come to prioritize. Let your friend or relative know how much they mean to you by supporting their love for the environment and helping them save the planet, one tree at a time, with these wonderful eco-friendly Christmas gifts.

And who knows? Once your loved one learns how easy it is to support climate-friendly projects, they’ll likely want to get more involved. If so, you can calculate your footprint together and begin offsetting your impacts from the New Year, onward.


References

1JewelStreet. (2019, July 31). 58% of women prefer to receive jewellery as gift, reveals JewelStreet survey. PR Newswire: press release distribution, targeting, monitoring and marketing. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/58-of-women-prefer-to-receive-jewellery-as-gift-reveals-jewelstreet-survey-300893323.html

2Opanga, P. (2003). Unions in afforestation solidarity in Kenya: A model for sustainable industrial growth in the wood and forestry sector (0627-C1). XII World Forestry Congress. http://www.fao.org/3/XII/0627-C1.html

3Wasike, A. (2021, June 4). Kenya’s reforestation efforts to mitigate climate change effects. Anadolu Ajansı. Retrieved August 27, 2021, from https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/kenya-s-reforestation-efforts-to-mitigate-climate-change-effects/2263472

4World Bank Group. (2021). Climate risk country profile: Kenyahttps://climateknowledgeportal.worldbank.org/sites/default/files/2021-05/15724-WB_Kenya Country Profile-WEB.pdf

5Pang, J. (2019, December 20). Hold the wrapping paper. Oregon Environmental Council. https://oeconline.org/hold-the-wrapping-paper-most-of-that-gift-wrap-is-not-eco-friendly-nor-recyclable/

6Ferrarini, A., Fracasso, A., Spini, G., Fornasier, F., Taskin, E., Fontanella, M. C., Beone, G. M., Amaducci, S., & Puglisi, E. (2021). Bioaugmented Phytoremediation of metal-contaminated soils and sediments by hemp and giant reed. Frontiers in Microbiology12https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.645893

7Achlim, Y. (2021, July 28). How sustainable is bamboo fiber? One Green Planet. https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/how-sustainable-is-bamboo-fiber/

8Frassi, D., & Malode, A. (2018, December). Playing cards — Design life-cycle. Design Life-Cycle. https://www.designlife-cycle.com/playing-cards

9U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2020, December 15). Frequently asked questions (FAQs). Retrieved August 27, 2021, from https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=74&t=11