The Ultimate Sustainable Gift Guide

A Drop in the Ocean Sustainable Living Zero Waste Shop The Ultimate Gift Guide

This post first appeared in our weekly Make Waves Mondays email series on November 16, 2020.

EcoWarriors, the holidays are coming up FAST. And while I’m usually the person that’s panic-buying gifts on December 23rd and avoiding Christmas music like grandmas should avoid reindeer, this year feels different.

I’m hanging lights around my apartment, lighting spruce-scented candles, smiling at holiday fabrics, and not cringing every time a Christmas jingle seeps through my radio.

Oh and thoroughly enjoying these babies...

A Drop in the Ocean Sustainable Living Zero Waste Shop

I’m even decorating our virtual shelves early! ⛄🎄🦌 In case you missed it, our holiday collection has dropped.

So here we are, friend. It’s barely December, and I’m ready to cozy up next to a tree with a cup of hot chocolate. (Who am I??!) And in case you are also one of those people that tends to wait until December 23rd for gifts, I gotchu this year.

I’ve compiled the ultimate sustainable gift guide below, complete with 60+ gift ideas for everyone in your life.

(A little COVID note: There are many experience gifts I would normally include in a list like this, but due to covid and all its sucky-ness I’ve intentionally left things like concerts and vacations off this year.)

(A little note about the links: With the exception of links to items in our shop, I am affiliated in no way with any of these companies or products. I make no money off of any of these links, I just want to share resources that I know, trust, and love with you.)

Consumables and Other Physical Gifts

  1. Candles (check out Calm & Cure candles - founded by 12-year-old Uzziah here in Tacoma)
  2. Seasonal Soap Subscription Box
  3. Soup mix
  4. Bath bombs
  5. Wine
  6. Custom map of their favorite place (I personally use Grafomap for this)
  7. Coffee
  8. Sustainable bathroom kit
  9. House plant (or a cutting from one of your own!)
  10. Coloring book and colored pencils
  11. Soaps
  12. Coffee body scrub
  13. Your favorite sustainable swap
  14. Set of Swedish dishcloths
    A Drop in the Ocean Sustainable Living Zero Waste Shop Swedish Dishcloths
  15. A piece of art from an artist they admire, or an artist local to you
  16. Flowers (Farmgirl Flowers is my go-to!)
  17. Hot chocolate mix
  18. Infused olive oils
  19. Lotion
  20. Bath salts
  21. Homemade cookies or brownies (here’s my favorite zero waste brownie recipe!)
  22. Sustainable laundry kit
  23. Homemade vanilla extract
  24. Journal and fountain pen
  25. Plastic free starter kit
  26. Wine of the month subscription
  27. A puzzle subscription that features a different artist each month


  1. Hot air balloon ride
  2. Dinner at their favorite local restaurant
  3. A visit to your local zoo, aquarium, museum, or science center
    A Drop in the Ocean Sustainable Living Zero Waste Shop
  4. Massage
  5. Video chat
  6. Phone call
  7. Tattoo
  8. Video game download
  9. A cozy night in by the fire
  10. Yoga membership
  11. Go on a hike
  12. Have a picnic
  13. Ice skating
  14. Membership to a local winery
  15. Camping trip
  16. National Parks annual pass
  17. MasterClass membership
  18. Be a tourist for a day and explore your city in a new way
  19. Try snowshoeing
  20. Kayaking

Acts of Service

  1. Pay a bill
  2. Home cooked meal
  3. Time alone 
    A Drop in the Ocean Sustainable Living Zero Waste Shop
  4. Time together
  5. Cleaning service
  6. Wash their car
  7. Hand-written note
  8. “50 Things I Love About You” letter

Gift It Forward

  1. Donate to a charity of their choice or one that supports a cause they care about
  2. “Adopt” an animal (you can usually do this through your local zoo or aquarium)
  3. Your favorite book (include a hand-written note inside)
  4. Volunteer together
  5. Plant a tree (or two) in their name (we’re partial to Trees for the Future around here)

Do they have a business?

  1. Share it on social media
  2. Join their mailing list (and open their emails)
  3. Buy your gifts from them 
    A Drop in the Ocean Sustainable Living Zero Waste Shop
  4. Ask what would help their business
  5. Volunteer a day to help them
  6. Leave a Google review
  7. Comment on their social media posts
  8. Buy a gift card

Did I miss any of your favorite sustainable gifts to give or receive? Share them in the comments with us! I’m always on the lookout for new gift ideas.

Have a beautiful week, friend 💙

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