Gifts for any holiday and people in any state

I am notorious for being hard to shop for because, as I used to tell my Mom, “I don’t really NEED anything.” When I moved from So Cal to Wisconsin, that changed: I needed a (real) coat, snow boots, (real) gloves, a car windshield ice scraper, and other items I thought would help me survive a real winter.

Now I have all those Midwest Life essentials and a collection of baby items which is increasing exponentially. So I’m back in the “I don’t NEED anything” camp. However, thanks to the power of Instagram (and all the ocean-related pages I follow to compensate for how I’m so far from it now), I’ve discovered a plethora of items which would make a great gift for any holiday, for anyone, in any state.

Shampoo and Body Bars

Want to reduce your contribution to plastic waste? Instead of buying body wash and shampoo bottles, you can get little bars that come in recycled packaging.

According to Ethique’s Amazon page, “80 billion plastic bottles are disposed of around the world every year just from shampoo & conditioner alone. Over 80million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean every year, due to wash off from landfill & improper disposal.”

I like Ethique because they emphasized how the packaging is biodegradable and compostable. In other words, you’re not trading plastic bottle waste for other plastic or film you can’t recycle. Furthermore, they offer sampler sets so you don’t have to worry about whether you’re picking the perfect kind of shampoo for your gift recipient.



Toys and Books Made From Recycled Material

I’ve embraced the fact that I’m going to have a mess of toys in my house now that I’m a mom. However, I feel a little bit better knowing some of those books and toys are made from recycled material.

I like these books from Green Start

“Good for your child; good for the world! The Earth-friendly green start line features puzzles, games, books and more made from recycled materials, FSC wood, and eco friendly inks. Every green start product is designed to encourage a love of nature and features simple messages that kids will understand and enjoy.” – Innovative Kids Green Start Product Line




These toys are made from recycled plastic like milk jugs! And there are so many different toys and playsets!



Environmentally Friendly Toothbrushes

If you’re supposed to get a new toothbrush every six months, that adds up to a lot of waste per person.

“The overwhelming biodegradable material-of-choice is bamboo, given its natural tensile strength and its ability to grow fast.” – Made from bamboo, pig hair and yogurt pots: can eco-toothbrushes take off?, The Guardian

Since there are so many options, you may have to do some browsing to find one you like. I like this one because it comes with two brushes, one with activated charcoal bristles and one with nylon bristles.



And for those with fur babies…

Another source of plastic waste is the ever-essential doggie poop bag. There are several different options here, too, but after spending an embarrassing amount of time browsing options online, I decided I liked these bags most.







There are many more ideas along these lines – reusable bags, steel straws, beeswax film for food storage…

I may not know enough about the whole composting process, but these gifts are a good idea for those people on your list who are hard to shop for.


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