If you’re looking for eco-friendly gifts, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Scary Mommy, we may be sassy AF, but that doesn’t mean we don’t give a f*ck about the environment. Actually, we give a ton of f*cks. After all, it’s our Mother Earth. When this planet is gone, we’ll finally find out once and for all: There is no Planet B. That’s why we’re all about giving our best friends and kids cool eco-friendly gifts in hopes that they’ll want to go green, too.
Being conscious of your carbon footprint is the first step in reducing it and while packaged gifts might not leave the mark private jets and massive luxury yachts do, all those small things do add up. According to the Center For Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan, anyone can reduce what ends up in a landfill by recycling, composting, or buying products with less packaging. You can take the added step of buying items from companies who publish their products’ carbon footprint. So, all this to say that not only are cumbersome plastic packages, packing peanuts, and bubble wrap annoying to clean up off your floor, they’re actually hurting the environment, too.
So, if you’re the green-thumbed zero-waster of your mom-friend group, or you have kids that you really want to inspire, check out some of the most eco-friendly gift ideas on the market. All of these products are made from sustainable, natural, or recycled materials. You won’t find any single-use plastic here, mamas. That sh*t is so over.
Zooey Deschanel co-founded Lettuce Grow, which makes the Farmstand, a vertical hydroponic garden (meaning all these plants need is water!) that’s ideal for small spaces. Grow your own kale, lettuce, berries, cilantro, tomatoes — you name it, you can most likely grow it — literally on your porch or right outside your apartment. Choose what you want from Lettuce Grow’s seedling collection and get it all delivered to you. From there, you only need to spend 5 minutes a week tending to your garden, and in about 3 weeks, you’ll have fresh produce right from your own backyard (or porch/deck/balcony). Traditional gardens need up to 20 gallons of water to be tended to, whereas the farmstand only need 1 gallon. Plus, you’ll get your bounty in a matter of weeks, or you get your money back. There’s a reason why everyone is obsessed with this new eco-consious way of growing their own food!
This 1.3 gallon composter is designed to hang out on your kitchen counter and hold on your veggie and fruit peels, juice and smoothie scraps, and more. It keeps odor in, so you don’t need to worry about your compost stinking up your home. It’s made with premium powder coating, so it’ll never chip, and it looks super cute. This is the perfect gift for yourself if you have a garden, or a friend who loves the earth.
Bite Beauty lovers can attest that all of their products are uh-mazing, regardless of whether you need a good lip balm, lipstick, or foundation. It’s made with clean, vegan ingredients (there are no Sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, triclocarban), this lip balm is our tried-and-true favorite when it comes to balm that’ll truly hydrate your chapped lips. It also smells fantastic (like an orangesicle!).
Save energy by going solar! This solar power bank and wireless, portable charger charges iPhones and Androids, and even comes with a flashlight and compass kit. If you’re an avid camper or just find yourself needing to charge your phone *all* the time, this is a super smart solution.
This 24-ounce insulated, stainless steel water bottle comes with a flip top feature with a hidden straw, and it might just be our new favorite water bottle of all time. The genius flip straw tucks under the leak-proof locking lid so that it stays clean, and all you need to do is tap the lid for the straw to pop out. It’s BPA and phthalate-free and designed for cold beverages. It’s also totally dishwasher-safe. And! It comes it a variety of fun colors.
Looking for an eco-friendly serum that’ll help exfoliate your skin and leave it super soft and bright the next morning? Look no further! Normally sold at Whole Foods, Mad Hippie is the MVP of green grocery store beauty. Our shopping editor swears by Mad Hippie exfoliating serum, especially in the winter time when her skin gets dry and dull. She’ll usually use this nightly (it’s gentle enough) with a moisturizer and sees instant results. It’s all natural, cruelty-free, vegan, and GMO-free and uses earth’s ingredients like gigawhite, and apple stem cells to get the job done. Its 10% alpha hydroxy acid formula will leave your skin a little tingly, but don’t worry — that’s totally normal.
This fun, multicolored glass straw set of 8 comes with two straw cleaners, so no more leftover seeds and pulp after your morning smoothie! These are handmade lead- free, BPA free, and non-toxic. Goodbye, plastic straws forever!
It’s the little things in life that friends and family would never think to buy for themselves. These plastic-free hair ties are a lifesaver (and we don’t say that lightly). While the ties that you snag from the drugstore are typically made from plastic, these are made with GOTS certified organic cotton and natural rubber. Available in a slew of colorways including rainbow or neutral, they’re super cute and easy to coordinate with a variety of looks (whether you wear them on your wrist or in a ponytail). The name itself, KOOSHOO translates to “feeling good.” From yoga class to running errands, you’ll never have to worry about not having a spare hair tie to keep your ish together. Side note: These make great stocking stuffers!
For the eco-friendly friend who also has a hankering for homemade acai bowls. (Yup, we all have that one healthy yogi-obsessed pal.) With these 100% organic and vegan coconut bowls in their kitchen cabinet, they won’t even have to leave the comfort of their own home to experience their favorite DIY smoothie. Each set contains four natural or polished bowls and four wooden spoons (also available in a set of two). Either way, they’re best enjoyed in good company—be it brunch or a picnic. Their small size also makes them ideal for ice cream sundaes or even a side salad. Yes, they can be used for decorative purposes, too. They’d look aesthetic AF sitting in a living room or used as a jewelry catchall tray.
Lunch break just got cuter thanks to Nordic By Nature’s reusable patterned sandwich bags. Whether you’re packing a sandwich, animal crackers, veggies, or fruit, these cute cotton pouches will eliminate the need for disposable plastic bags. For the mom with grade school kiddos, this is game-changing news. Even if they’re doing homeschooling this term, lunch is still going to be a vital part of their day. Each set contains four sizes (medium, small, and two extra-large), so convenience is a big factor. The bags are non-toxic, phthalate-free, lead-free, and BPA-free—not to mention dishwasher safe and easy to clean! We’re partial to the tropical green flower print but the green camo colorway is pretty rad, too.
This colorful 3-piece reusable bag set comes in large, medium, and small — and we use it for everything, including leftovers, makeup, Midol-on-the-go, tampons, and more. We’ve also ran these bags through the dishwasher at least two dozen times by this point, and they’re still holding up.
Know someone who needs new kicks?! These 100% vegan Veja tennis shoes are as sporty as they are comfortable. The borrowed-from-the-boys style features a green V to signify your commitment to making the world a greener place. They’re made in Brazil from organic cotton, wild Amazonian rubber, and other upcycled materials. We love them for their wear-everywhere appeal—from jeans and a chambray shirt to a casual t-shirt dress, these sneaks are a perfect 10 in our book. One customer shares, “I love this pair of shoes – they’re exactly how I imagined them to be. They fit perfectly and they’re really comfortable. They’re unique yet stylish. Definitely buy them.” With the holidays just around the corner, we’d snatch these up STAT.
All aboard the struggle bus! You don’t have to be a new mom to know that babies go through a sh*tload of diapers. And as you know, diapers cannot be recycled… for obvious reasons. BUT, that’s where these reusable cloth diapers (pack of six) come in. Not only are they perfect for the cutie patootie in your life but just think how convenient they’ll be when out and about. Word on the street is that these modern cloth nappies are SUPER absorbent and comfortable for baby. They’re one-size-fits-all—simply adjust the diaper by snapping on the buttons for a precise fit. Says this mama, “All right, so I have been using cloth diapers since my son was born coming up on a year. I used newborn diapers for the first 2 months (Alva and Kawaii) and then I started using these. These were actually the very first pocket cloth diapers I ever got. These ended up being my favorite. They fit the best, I love the solid colors, and they are easy to customize.”
Reusable shopping bags are where it’s at, ladies! If you love BAGGU as much as we do, then you won’t be able to resist scooping up their reusable nylon shopping bags (set of three). Dare we say, the cute daisy print will put a spring in your step. Whether you use them for a light grocery run or to haul all your ish (keys, wallet, water bottle, hair ties, snacks), these babies are so convenient. Plus, they fold up super small into a 7×7 inch square and can hold up to 50 pounds.
Raves this mama, “This is my 6th standard Baggu over 5 years–they are THE BEST! I have had them for years, but now I live in Seattle, the Land of the Reusable Shopping Bag, and most of my regular reusable bags are huge and cumbersome and end up getting left in the car. Baggu bags squish down to fit multiples in my little diaper bag so they never get left behind, and they easily hold even 3 gallons of milk. When I am dealing with a baby and a toddler, anything that makes life easier is a lifesaver, and my Baggus are perfect for packing for a day trip, groceries, beach trips, and even taking on longer trips so I can stay organized. And the fact that I can throw them in the washing machine is incredible. I can’t say enough good things about these!”
Moms are so selfless that they would never think to pamper themselves with a nice new shampoo or bath bomb. This eco-friendly hair sampler set from Ethique (contains a Frizz Wrangler, Heali Kiwi, Saint Clements, The Guardian, and Wonderbar) would be great for any lady in your life. Who doesn’t enjoy an at-home spa night? Our thoughts exactly. If you’re sick of seeing plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles going to waste, then you’ll love the compostable packaging used for these solid beauty bars. Get this: Each hair sampler is the equivalent of one plastic bottle… we won’t make you do the math but that’s .4 liters of water being saved! Check out what this happy customer had to say, “It’s crazy how well these work—especially the Wonderbar conditioning bar. It doesn’t feel like much going on or after rinsing but when your hair dries, it’s softer than it ever has been. Seriously, I’m going crazy running my fingers through my hair because it’s sooooooo nice.”
A charger made from plants? Who knew technology could be made from recycled bottles and plant-based bioplastics? So friggin’ cool! Nimble for Good makes wireless and portable chargers out of a mixture of recycled plastic bottles and hemp, so their products are totally eco-friendly and sustainable. The wireless travel kit includes a wireless pad and dual USB wall charger to charge two devices quickly and for longevity. It has built in cable management, so everything can be stored away in one compact box (just 4.41″ x 3.03″ x 0.6″), and it comes in plastic-free packaging. It’s compatible with newer iPhones, Samsungs, Androids, AirPods, and the Google Pixel 3. One happy customer says, “I love that this charging device is environmentally conscious and it meets all of my gadget obsessed needs doing so. I love the simple unique style and outstanding functionality. Nimble please keep up the outstanding work and the products coming.”
Mamas need their wine. It’s just a fact. Never suffer from warm wine again with the Thermo 3D Vacuum Insulation of the Miir 750ml Wine Bottle. It’s got a leak-free design (so your mom-friend doesn’t have to waste any wine), is BPA-free, and made with medical-grade stainless steel to keep beverages at just the right temperature for hours on end (liquids will stay hot for up to 12 hours or cold for up to 24). The vacuum insulation and hardshell powder coat will make sure the bottle won’t sweat or be hot to the touch. The company also gives three percent of their revenue to trackable giving projects, such as clean water, environmental, or community development initiatives. Each product comes with a code to register, where anyone can track and receive project updates (while enjoying some perfectly chilled, full bottle of wine, of course) as well as find volunteer opportunities.
You’re likely already bringing reusable totes with you to the grocery store, but then still grabbing plastic bags once you’re there to hold produce. These reusable mesh produce bags will eliminate the need for single-use plastic bags for your entire shopping trip. The set comes with 15 bags (in three different sizes) that are lightweight, BPA-free, and 100 percent food contact safe. They have a drawstring toggle closure to keep your fruits and veggies secure during transport, they’re easy to wash, and the mesh is nearly transparent so you can still see what’s in the bag.
One reviewer said, “I love these produce bags so much I bought another set and always keep some with my reusable grocery bags in my car so they will be handy for quick market stops. I had to get another set because I often leave stuff like apples and avocados and onions in the bags in my veggie bins and refrigerated items contained in them in the fridge. Keeps them contained and they keep much better than in plastic bags…not to mention the benefit to the planet of less throwaway plastic. People in the market often ask me where I got them, and checkers have told me they are easy to scan through, whereas some other brands are not. The baggers love them too. Clinched closed, there are no products falling out and rolling around to be corralled. A total win all around.”
If you’re constantly wrangling with and throwing away plastic food wrap, Bee’s Wrap is a natural alternative. It’s eco-friendly, plastic free, and made from organic cotton that’s infused with responsibly sourced beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin. In addition to keeping your food and snacks fresh, Bee’s Wrap is washable, reusable (up to a year), and compostable. This set comes with three different sized wraps, and the packaging is made from 100 percent recycled paper. One reviewer says, “Can’t recommend these beeswax wraps enough. The antimicrobial aspect of the beeswax keeps fruits and vegetables super fresh for much longer than plastic bags. They keep bread soft and fresh for much longer than ziplocs. They are so much better for the environment, and they can be reused for months. We have been using our set for almost 2 years and they are still as good as new. No waste! Just make sure to wash them with cool water, as warm/hot water will melt the wax.”
This is perhaps the easiest and best-smelling DIY decor they’ll ever make! Siblings candles arrive as a block of wax in a microwave-safe bag — wick and wooden stick (for keeping the wick upright as the wax dries) included. What’s not included? A vessel for holding the candle. That means, after the recipient melts the wax in the microwave, they can pour it into any heat-safe, recycled container, like a glass jar, vase, or ceramic jar (see FAQ for specifics). Or, you can make the candle yourself and present it in a meaningful container that your friend will cherish (a handcrafted candle, made by you!). Siblings candles come in a variety if luscious scent combinations, from citrus, to woody, to fruity, and more. Scent No. 04, with balsam, eucalyptus, and wild berries, is perfect for the holidays.
Shower products with zero waste? Tell us more. by Humankind’s genius Shower Routine Set comes with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in the form of bars instead of liquids. It also includes a shower dish that’s made from natural rock, which is fast-drying and bacteria- and mold-resistant. This smart system means there’s no need for single-use plastic bottles in the shower.
Earth-friendliness aside, these products froth, cleanse, and moisturize as well as (if not better than) their liquid counterparts, minus the sulfates and chemicals. And did we mention that they’re naturally scented and smell ah-mazing? And shipping is always free? Done and done.