What Are Ethical Gifts?
Before we get into our favorite new gift-giving guide, let’s talk a bit about ethical gifts. Also known as zero-waste gifts, eco-friendly gifts, or sustainable gifts, these are gifts that you can feel good about. And we don’t just mean because everyone will love them. It’s more than that.
Ethical products are made better. They’re produced in ways that are kinder toward humans, animals, and the environment than traditional products are. The eco-friendly movement has been growing and advancing for decades.
The longer it goes on, the more we realize how much power we truly have to drive positive changes. Consumers are the ones with the control, not the big companies polluting our planet. From cosmetics to Christmas gifts, we can all choose more sustainable products.
And the more we choose products that are better for the planet, our animals, and us, the less reason there is to produce anything else. While it’s hard to find statistics strictly on ethical gift-giving, there are some related ones that you might find interesting.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2018 alone, the United States generated 35.7 million tons of plastic. That’s way more than it ever needs to be. This brings us to our next statistic:
In the same year, we saw a measly 8.7% recycling rate. Most people don’t know that throwing plastics in our recycling bins isn’t enough. While it gives us a better shot at ensuring that they actually get recycled, that outcome isn’t guaranteed.
A lot of plastics are too difficult to truly recycle, even if they’re marked for it. Only good quality plastics make it through the recycling process. And even then, it’s not guaranteed. Recycling facilities are scattered across the country. There is no even distribution of them.
What does this mean for us, as recyclers? It means that some areas don’t have the staff or machinery necessary for efficient sorting and recycling. Recyclables also have limited value because they lose their quality quickly.
Therefore, after a short time, most plastics end up in a landfill or waterway, where they’ll spend several lifetimes before decomposing. That’s right, several lifetimes. Certain plastics can take up to 500 years to decompose naturally.
Buying sustainable products sends a message. It encourages innovation, uniqueness, and companies that focus on driving positive change. And it discourages companies and products that ignore the environmental and social consequences of the way they make and ship things.
If you’ve ever wondered why you should be a conscious gift giver, we hope this clears things up for you. Next up, we have suggestions for sustainable gift ideas for everyone on your list, starting with some convenient EcoRoots kits!
Kits Packed with Ethical Gifts
We love eco-friendly gift kits. And it’s not just because they’re so much better for the environment. They’re convenient, affordable, cohesive, and visually appealing, too. Our conscious shoppers love our:
- Zero-waste shampoo and conditioner bundle
- Zero-waste shaving kit
- Zero-waste cleaning kit
- Zero-waste dental kit
These zero-waste gifts are convenient, fun, and affordable.
What Does the Shampoo and Conditioner Bundle Come With?
Since we’ll talk more about most of the individual items in these kits later, we’ll just list out what’s included for now. Our shampoo and conditioner bundle offer is unique in that it isn’t pre-assembled. You choose three to six products, and the more you buy, the more you save! Everyone will love some good shampoo & conditioner bars.
This is the best way to buy shampoo and conditioner bars because this way you can choose the scents, mixing and matching or choosing your favorites from:
- Citrus fresh
- CocoLime colada
- Forest mist
- Fresh mint
- Moroccan oil
- Summer breeze
- Lilac Flower
What Comes in the Other Gift Kits?
Next up is our zero-waste shaving kit. Labeled by our customers as an unbelievable steal and an unbeatable care package, this kit comes with either a rose gold or matte black safety razor, an organic shaving soap bar, and 15 high-quality stainless-steel replacement blades. For more info and tips about safety razors, check this article.
Now, we know what you’re thinking about this next one. A zero-waste cleaning kit typically isn’t the first thing we think of when we start our holiday season shopping. But when have we ever cared more about keeping our homes clean and healthy?
This kit helps us do both of these things, and it uses products that are organic, vegan, biodegradable, and plastic-free. With this kit, you get 10% off our most popular cleaning supplies, including our zero-waste dish soap, bamboo soap dish, and wooden cleaning brush.
Last but not least on our list of ethical gift bundles is our zero-waste dental kit. You have two flavor options for this kit: peppermint and charcoal or just peppermint. Each dental kit comes with a set of four natural bamboo toothbrushes, one Davids toothpaste, and one vegan zero-waste floss.
It also comes with a handy metal key that helps you squeeze out every last bit of toothpaste from the tube. When we say zero-waste, we mean zero-waste! This practical dental kit is one of our favorites because it contains things we all use every day.
Zero-Waste Gifts for the Home and Kitchen
Whether you’re not sure what to buy, or you’re shopping for someone who’s pretty low maintenance, you can’t go wrong with home and kitchen products. There’s a reason they’re the most common at office Christmas parties and with extended families.
- Vegan and cruelty-free candles
- Matcha powder
- Reusable coffee cups
- Reusable straws
- Reusable produce bags
- Vegan food wrap
- Always pan
Better for the Planet Candles
I don’t know about you, but most of the people we know love candles. You can put them in any room to fill the space with fresh scents, soothe the senses, or simply add a pop of color. If we’re going to keep buying each other candles, why not buy ones that are better for the planet?
Our vegan and cruelty-free candles come in some incredible scents, including:
- Nature-evoking blue spruce and cedar
- Invigorating coffee and vanilla
- Soothing eucalyptus and moss
- Musky patchouli and tobacco
- Velvety rose garden
- Fresh oakmoss and amber
- Festive pine and mistletoe
- Sweet cranberry marmalade
- Fruity citrus fields
Help create a cozy and eco-friendly ambiance with any of the scents listed above. Each one is made with 100% American-grown soy wax and premium grade oils, finished with organic cotton braided wicks.
Inspired by and created with the natural beauty of our planet, these vegan candles burn clean and fresh for a decorative, soothing, and environmentally-friendly gift. They’re hand-poured into recycled and upcyclable glass containers, too.
Matcha, Coffee, and Straws – Oh, My!
Our pure matcha powder is the ultimate green superfood in its purest form. Made from 100% pure, shade-grown green tea leaves from Uji, Japan. With a rich and vibrant flavor, it’s perfect for lattes, smoothies, and more.
Pure matcha is rich in healthy ingredients that help promote focus and prevent jitters or caffeine crashes. Each order comes in a gorgeous green recyclable and upcyclable aluminum tin, so they can use it for other drinks or small-item storage when they’re done.
And while we’re on the topic of delicious drinks that make excellent gifts, let’s talk about our favorite way to carry them. Our reusable coffee cups make the perfect ethical gift for all of the on-the-go coffee, tea, and matcha smoothie drinkers in your life.
To round it all out, we recommend throwing in a few reusable straws. These items may seem small, but their impact isn’t. Plastic straws are some of the worst items we use regularly. In the next section, we’ll tell you why.
The Worst of Our Everyday Kitchen Items
We’ve all heard or participated in the plea to save the turtles. What has often been reduced to a cute tee-shirt slogan remains a serious problem. Plastic straws can take up to 200 years to decompose. This means that they’ll survive for longer than two of the average human lifespans.
Our stainless-steel straws help keep our oceans clean, and you can choose from a silver finish or a rose gold. Alongside our reusable coffee cups and pure matcha powder, either one is the perfect addition to an eco-friendly drink bundle.
Reusable Produce Bags, Vegan Food Wrap, and an Always Pan
We hope that one day single-use plastic bags will be a thing of the past. With more and more states charging taxes on plastic bags and more and more people choosing reusables, it looks like we’re heading in the right direction.
Which makes our set of nine reusable organic cotton produce bags an excellent eco-friendly gift. With durable double-stitching, these zero-waste, washable, and compostable bags can be used for everything from grocery trips to toy storage.
The set of nine includes one small bulk bag, two small mesh bags, one medium bulk bag, two medium mesh bags, one large bulk bag, and two large mesh bags. One person using reusable bags over their lifetime would remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment.
While we’re still in the kitchen, let’s talk about vegan food wrap. Created using a blend of plant-based waxes and oils, this versatile and reusable food wrap contains no synthetic ingredients or beeswax. Used properly, food contained in our vegan wrap lasts 5-7 days longer than in plastic.
The person you give it to will be thrilled to use a product that’s better for the environment and helps us save money and meals, too. But they’ll need an eco-friendly pan to cook those meals in first. That’s where the always pan comes in.
While we don’t sell this one on the EcoRoots website, we know enough about it to recommend it. The website boasts that it’s a cult favorite, best-selling, do-it-all wonder designed to replace eight traditional pieces of cookware.
It comes in nine bright pops of color, so there’s something for everyone. When it comes to choosing ethical gifts, you can’t go wrong with everyday items that all of us need.
Ethical Gifts for Bath and Body Product Lovers
Bath and body is another category that never fails. Many of these products are things that we all need, so why not make it easier for your loved ones and friends to make a positive change? These bath and body products are better for the planet and for us, too.
Here are some of the best ethical gifts for all of the bath and body product lovers on your list:
- Wooden hairbrush
- Organic hair oil
- Forest mist shampoo and conditioner bars
- Bamboo soap dish
- Bamboo toothbrush set
- Zero-free floss
- Reusable safety razor
- Sisal body brush
- Natual Loofah
- Organic body wash
- Vegan body cream
Eco-Friendly Hair Care
Traditional hair products are notoriously bad for the environment. And while we’re not in the habit of bragging, we will say that ours are better. For example, our gorgeous, handmade wooden hairbrush contains no plastic and is compostable.
It gently detangles and massages, too, making it easy for you to give the gift of an eco-friendly home spa night! Another reason this makes an excellent gift is that most people don’t know how often you’re supposed to be replacing your hairbrushes.
Traditional hairbrushes aren’t made to last more than a year at a time. After that, they start to harbor bacteria and reintroduce oils into your clean hair. Our wooden hairbrush and the cleaning brush it comes with eliminate these problems. The bamboo hair brush is very easy to clean. Learn how to clean your hairbrush here.
The bamboo bristles make your hair look and feel healthier and softer, plus they can last for decades when cared for properly. Pair this hairbrush with our organic hair oil and forest mist shampoo and conditioner bars for one incredible hair care package.
The sustainable organic hair oil is invigorating and versatile. It helps moisturize and nourish, promotes healthy hair growth, and prevents heat and chemical damage. The plant-based ingredients are anti-inflammatory, and it works great on all hair types and textures.
Our shampoo and conditioner bars are plastic-free, cruelty-free, silicone and paraben-free, and loved by all hair types, too. Yes, even your color-treated hair, curls, or sensitive scalp! While the forest mist bar’s soft scent makes it great for unisex use, there are other scents available, too.
Each one cleans, re-invigorates, and conditions without using any plastic. This one is deliciously earthy, with hints of wild berries, bright, woodsy notes, and fresh flowers. It is light and comforting enough for everyone on your list!
And be sure to slip in a bamboo soap dish. They help dry out the shampoo and conditioner bars between uses so they last longer. Made of bamboo and 100% compostable, this bamboo soap dish it’s a great way to extend the life of your soap, shampoo, and conditioner bars without using any pollutants.
The Benefits of Bamboo Toothbrushes and Plastic-Free Floss
Plastic toothbrushes can take up to 500 years or more to decompose. This number is made even more staggering when you consider that 3.5 billion toothbrushes are sold worldwide each year. Most of these plastic pollutants are too small to get recycled.
Others are made with additional components that can’t be recycled. This means that most of those 3.5 billion toothbrushes each year get lost in the recycling process and end up in a landfill, river, or ocean. They’re made from a specialized type of plastic that’s meant to last.
Unfortunately, they’re lasting far longer than we are. And they’re leaving the wrong type of legacy to our children and grandchildren. But we can work together to change that. When it comes to our everyday items like bamboo toothbrushes, we recommend buying them as gifts and buying some for your house, too.
This allows you to double your impact and share something positive with someone you care about. Our set of four is vegan, cruelty-free, and shipped in plastic-free packaging. The handles are 100% compostable, and the bristles are recyclable.
Even better is the bamboo used to make them. Bamboo is the world’s fastest naturally renewing resource. And it’s also anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. It’s a win on every level. To put together an eco-friendly dental care package, pair it with our zero-waste floss.
Made from sustainable bamboo, this bamboo floss it’s plastic-free, easy to use, recyclable, and comes in a refillable glass jar.
A Zero-Waste Full-Body Pampering
It’s time to take that eco-friendly home spa night we mentioned a step further by giving the gift of a full-body pampering! We recommend putting together a gift bag containing our reusable safety razor, sisal body brush, organic body wash, and vegan body cream.
The safety razor, in your choice of rose gold or black, gives the cleanest, closest, nick-free, silky-smooth shave around when you use it right. It lasts far longer than any disposable, and it won’t pollute our environment when we’re done with it.
Using the natural loofah and sisal body brush helps us exfoliate first. The body brush is the most effective and natural way to gently wash away the layer of dead skin buildup we all accumulate over time, leaving behind smooth, soft, and naturally glowing skin.
Not only does it help exfoliate, but it also helps stimulate circulation, prevent ingrown hairs, and unclog pores. Made from natural fibers, it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and biodegradable. It pairs perfectly with the organic body soap bar.
Choose from rosemary lavender, patchouli hemp, or juniper spearmint for your organic body wash. In any scent, this organic body bar is an indulgent treat that leaves your skin feeling nourished and healthy without stripping it of its natural oils. Use a soap saver bag to extend the life of your bar.
And because it’s made with vegan and organic ingredients, it’s perfect for every skin type and concern. After your gift receiver is done scrubbing, washing, and shaving their skin, they can dig into the vegan body cream you were thoughtful enough to include in your gift!
It’s the perfect finishing touch at the end of a skin care routine or the end of any long day. Made with organic ingredients, like shea butter and olive oil, it nourishes from head to toe. It’s ultra-hydrating and super-rich and comes in a beautiful, reusable glass jar.
Sustainable Gifts for Your Skincare and Beauty Crew
Whether you’re shopping for your mom, sister, friend, or someone else on your list who could use some self-care, our skincare and beauty lineup has everything you need. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for just yet, we recommend starting with these:
- Shea rose clay soap
- Bamboo charcoal soap
- Cactus soap
- Vegan toner
- Cactus flower exfoliant
- Face moisturizer with argan oil
- Aloe vera face lotion
Let’s kick off this incredible eco-friendly skin care section with three of our favorite soaps: the shea rose clay soap, bamboo charcoal soap, and cactus soap. Most plastic soap battles take around 100 years to decompose. So, we skip the plastic bottles.
Each bar comes in recyclable cardboard or other compostable materials. The shea rose clay natural soap is a facial bar, but it’s great for the rest of the body, too. It’s made with virgin shea butter and enriched with mango butter and other incredible ingredients for ultra-eco-friendly hydration.
It’s vegan, organic, and cruelty-free, too. The balance of essential oils makes it ideal for both oily and dry skin types, balancing most out. The coconut milk, shea, and mango butters soothe, nourish, and moisturize dry skin.
The bamboo charcoal and tea tree oil bar is another facial soap that’s great for the whole body. The combination of natural ingredients, including sea salt and bentonite clay, cleans dirt and debris from pores. The antibacterial tea tree fights acne without drying out the skin.
Lastly, the cactus soap is vegan and gentle enough to use on the face or body. It comes in several scent options, including:
- Flor de Mayo’s floral jasmine
- Planta Futura’s refreshing lemongrass
- Noche Clara’s earthy and herbal charcoal
Each one is handmade with plant butters and oils and is shaped to comfortably fit your hand to avoid slippery soap bars sliding around inside the tub. Choose one of the incredible soap options we offer or grab one of each to put together a fun and squeaky-clean soap sampler!
Wrapping Up Their Zero-Waste Facial Routine
The final three in our zero-waste facial routine list are four products we highly recommend: vegan toner, cactus flower exfoliant, face moisturizer with argan oil, and aloe vera face lotion. These are some of the best ethical gifts available for people who are serious about skincare.
There are three options for the vegan toner: rose mint skin tonic, desert garden skin tonic, and wildflower skin tonic. They use the power of plants to provide a balanced, natural glow. Each works great for all skin types, whether they’re toning, setting makeup, or refreshing the skin throughout the day.
Depending on the scent, they help calm the senses or invigorate and revive. No matter which one you choose, it’s the perfect product for them to use after the cactus flower exfoliant. The exfoliant is gentle enough to slough off dry skin on the face and body.
Its subtle tangerine oil scent makes it ideal for unisex use, and it can be used daily. They can also use the zero waste moisturizer with argan oil or the aloe vera face lotion daily. The zero-waste moisturizer with argan oil is deeply hydrating and fast-absorbing.
It nourishes and brightens the skin with each use. The natural ingredients used, including cocoa butter, aloe, and blood orange, help promote a healthy complexion and make it safe for twice-daily use without causing irritation or dryness.
Similarly, the aloe vera face lotion has a light finish, can be used on the face and body, hydrates, locks in moisture, and protects the skin. It also works on dry, chapped hands and lips. These qualities make it ideal as a year-round moisturizer.
Each of these products is clean for the skin and consciously packaged for the planet. What could be a better gift than that?
Eco-Friendly Gifts – Makeup and Cosmetics
We all know that when you look your best, you feel your best. But we also know that it’s hard to do either of those things when we’re using products that pollute our planet and our bodies. What traditional makeup and cosmetics options lack, we make up for in our eco-friendly lineup of zero-waste makeup essentials:
- Zero-waste lip balm
- Zero-waste blush
- Zero-waste bronzer
- Zero-waste highlighter
- Biodegradable cotton swabs
- Organic reusable cotton rounds
- Natural makeup remover
- Multi-purpose balm
For all the makeup lovers on your list, it’s time to show them how much better eco-friendly makeup and cosmetics can be, starting with the zero-waste lip balm. One billion plastic lipstick tubes are discarded each year and end up in landfills.
We can help our friends and loved ones opt for a better alternative. Our zero-waste lip balm has a great, light cacao scent and an ultra-hydrating finish. It’s made with organic oils to protect and moisturize our lips when we need it the most.
The plant-based ingredients make it smoother, thicker, and longer-lasting than traditional lip balms. And the paper tube is 100% compostable. Choose the rouge option if the person you’re shopping for prefers a tinted balm that gives the lips a naturally moisturized warm flushed look.
Or choose the bare option if you know that they’d prefer a lightly tinted, shiny, hydrated look. Both are vegan, cruelty-free, organic, and zero-waste.
Putting Makeup On
There are plenty of incredible, planet-friendly ways to both apply and remove makeup. We’ll talk about our and our customers’ favorites in these next two sections. For applying, we’ve got three recommendations to keep in mind when you’re next shopping for gifts.
Most who try them prefer our zero-waste blush, bronzer stick, and highlighter makeup stick to other makeup options. These ones are pretty self-explanatory, so we’ll keep our breakdowns brief, starting with the blush stick.
The zero-waste blush stick is compostable and ultra-hydrating. It’s made with organic plant oils, cocoa butter, and mango butter, making it great for all skin types. It comes in two shades: bloom and pinch. Both go on smooth and give a nice, light, powdery finish.
Bloom gives the cheeks a light, fresh, rosy hue. And pinch gives the cheeks a warm glow as if they have been lightly pinched. The bronzer stick can be applied to either the face or body to provide a natural golden shimmer.
It’s made with nourishing plant-based ingredients, including organic shea butter, protective grapeseed, and nourishing rosehip oil. It’s 100% vegan, cruelty-free, plastic-free, and the tube it comes in is compostable.
This brings us to our last on the list of the eco-friendly makeup products on everyone’s list this year: our highlighter makeup stick. With its light reflective qualities, it gives the skin a refreshed and nourished look and feel.
Taking Makeup Off
When it’s time to take our makeup off at the end of the day, we want to do that with products that are good for our skin and won’t poison us or the planet. The products in this section are ideal for everyday use and make easy and adorable eco-friendly gifts.
Our favorites: biodegradable cotton swabs, organic reusable cotton rounds, natural makeup remover, and multi-purpose balm. Biodegradable cotton swabs may seem like a strange gift, but they’re ideal for anyone who has ever made the switch or wanted to make the switch from traditional plastic products.
When we use traditional, plastic-based ear swabs, we’re often done with them in about five seconds. But because of the type of plastic that they’re made from, they can last for 500 years in a landfill or ocean after that.
Instead, our organic bamboo and cotton swabs are completely biodegradable and compostable. And they’re versatile, too. We can use them to remove or apply makeup, remove or apply nail polish, clean tough-to-reach spaces (including our ears and bathroom surfaces), and for crafts.
The organic cotton rounds boast many of the same benefits with the addition of being washable and reusable. They’re soft, natural, and biodegradable, making them ideal for applying cosmetics, face creams, lotions, or toners, and removing makeup or washing with an eco-friendly cleanser.
If they don’t have a favorite eco-friendly cleanser, we recommend throwing in our natural makeup remover. This is a cleansing oil that’s gentle yet effective enough to remove dirt, oil, and makeup. These natural benefits help leave behind skin that glows without feeling dry.
The result is a clean, healthy, and beautiful look and feel. But if they’re prone to dry or sensitive skin, our multi-purpose balm may be the better place to start.
The Only Multi-Purpose Balm You’ll Ever Need
It’s a natural and effective way to soothe, health, calm, and protect dry, injured, or sensitive skin. The natural ingredients keep the skin soft and smooth.
They can use it for:
- Chapped lips
- Dry hands
- Healing new tattoos
- Bug bites
It’s made with organic ingredients, ships plastic-free, and comes in a recyclable aluminum container. The many possible uses of this multi-purpose balm make it an ideal gift for just about anyone, including those with sensitive skin and babies.
Gifting Sustainably-Made Jewelry
The last category on our list of ethical gifts is jewelry. This is also the smallest category, and they’re not brands that we sell on our website, but they’re equally worth exploring. Our recommendations:
For any spouses, moms, sisters, or friends on your list who love jewelry, you can’t go wrong with the best sellers from these two brands. Soko’s motto is “style driven by a greater social purpose.” They’re a women-led, people-first ethical jewelry brand.
Soko connects artisans in Kenya with the global market, prioritizing a human workforce over centralized factory production. They believe in using business as a force for good to balance profit with purpose. And when you buy gifts from them, you can support this mission.
They offer several incredible collections, including stackables, simple silvers, chain links, and others, so there’s something for everyone. Jenny Bird has a similarly versatile range. They state on their website that they focus on products sourced and manufactured responsibly.
They want us all to be socially conscious global citizens and proudly manufacture ethical jewelry in Qingdao, China. They break things down into different categories, including gifts under $100, earrings, necklaces, what’s new, and more.
Zero-Waste Shopping with EcoRoots
Sustainable gifts are ones we can feel good about. And because there are so many options that are products that we all need, they’re easier than ever to find eco-friendly gifts. We hope that you found everything you needed on our ethical gift guide.
Choose a bundle or mix and match as needed.
Whoever you’re shopping for, they’ll be thrilled to take this eco-friendly journey with you!