Best eco-friendly and useful gift ideas that keep giving

photo of two brown wrapped gifts on wooden table

In a world where consumer goods are becoming more accessible and disposable, gift-giving can be a painstaking task.

Most people these days own everything they need – and plenty more.

Homes are overflown with stuff, making gift shopping a challenging act.

This is a list of gift ideas that are easy to source, are environmentally friendly, and, most importantly, add value to the recipients’ lives.

Personalised photo albums, canvases and calendars

Add your past twelve months’ worth of images into a custom photo book. Make a poster or a canvas with your favourite picture, or create a calendar with your favourite photos.


Get creative and use the online skills learning websites’ to learn how to create your own piece of artwork. Alternatively, purchasing art pieces from up and coming artists is relatively inexpensive. Perhaps consider commissioning a custom portrait, cartoon/illustration featuring you and your best friend or members of your family. Many illustrators offer custom portrait commissions at very reasonable prices. A painting is timeless and a unique gift that can be enjoyed for generations. It can record a special moment in your life, a loved pet, or celebrate the life of a loved one.

Vouchers and Gift cards for experiences

This is a very popular option. Opt for online workshops, fitness classes, experiences, or skills learning lessons. Hobby related or personal development classes can also be well received.
Explore the array of options on for a good selection of one-of-a-kind experiences hosted by local experts featuring cooking classes, environment, educational, adventures, and dancing classes. On the same website, you will also find bespoke online experiences from ‘Connect to Yourself with Cacao Ceremony’, ‘GINspiration History & Cocktails at Home’, ‘Hidden Jazz Club’, ‘Sangria and Secrets with Drag Queens’ to the online experience of ‘Self-Love Spell Creation Course.’ Online websites like offer a variety of events and workshops too.

Music lists and subscriptions to online music apps

Why not curate a list of songs and share it with the members of your family or best friend? It may take some time to compile all the songs together, but it will make a very special treat for a loved one. The list can be based on a mutual favourite artist, or a significant time in your life, a concert you joined together, a holiday, or an event. Most digital services or apps allow users to share their lists with other users.

Living plants

A gift that can definitely stand the test of time and benefit the person receiving it in many different ways is a house plant. If you have a green-fingered friend, gifting them a plant is a great idea. As long as you know a little about the person’s home set up, for example, if your friend’s place is bright, sunny, and warm in the winter, then perhaps a succulent may be perfect for the conditions. If their home is bright and on the cooler side, then an orchid is probably a better choice. Finally, depending on how busy they are, a low maintenance house plant like a cactus or the ‘peace lily’ can be a good choice. Christmas cactuses (Schlumbergera bridgessii) are great festive looking plants and relatively easy to care for.

image courtesy

Charity donation subscriptions and wildlife adoptions

Children’s and adult memberships play a vital role in the work of charities. They are perfect gifts for the conscious loved ones or to get children involved with a cause you care about in a fun and creative way. Many charities offer specialist membership packages for a variety of budgets. Friends of the Earth, for example, are currently doing a Bee Saver Kit, which you can get by donating a small amount to the charity – a great gift for the eco-friendly people in your life.

Gifts for foodies

What better gift for your foodie friends than a hamper full of treats? Choose delicacies in glass jars or another recyclable packaging, select the basket, box, or another container of your choice, and add festive decorations. Homemade or store-bought quality products such as pickles, jams, cookies, cakes or sweets, and chocolates for the younger recipients will be much appreciated!

Books and audio books

Gifting someone a book is a special gesture. It takes time and dedication to choose the right one and shows how much you care for the recipient. A book offers them an invitation to delve into a world through your eyes and your selected author or genre. It can challenge their perceptions, surprise them, or help them receive advice on a subject they are interested in.
Gifting a subscription to an online audiobook platform would also be much appreciated. The options are endless!

You can purchase a gift card and attach a note that includes the suggested book title. Alternatively, you can buy the E-book and email them the link to the downloadable content.


BOSH! are back with over 100 mouthwatering plant-based dishes you can get on the table in 30 minutes or less.

The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide by Jen Gale. Easy, do-able, down to earth ideas and suggestions for everyone to help save the planet.

Back to Nature: How to Love Life – and Save It by Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin.

“Vivi the Supervegan” – the new children’s books of kindness series, by Tina Newman

Reusable alternatives that replace single-use plastic items

By gifting a reusable item, you can help friends and family start their journey into a less wasteful lifestyle.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Reusable coffee cup or travel mug
  • A set of metal straws
  • Set of portable cutlery
  • Reusable shopping bag
  • A set of soap bar and holder
  • Stainless steel lunch box
  • Reusable makeup remover pads
  • Reusable razor set
  • Bowl covers set
  • Cotton table napkins
  • Reusable baby wipes or face cleaning wipes.

What are you gifting this year, (if you are gifting at all)? Share in the comments below or get in touch with me on Social Media

Images by Pexels free photos; authors own; the and as mention above.

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Elena Daniilidou

Elena is an ethical vegan and minimalist advocating for sustainable and slow living.

View all posts by Elena Daniilidou →
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