Easy, Sustainable Last Minute Gifts for Everyone on Your Christmas List

Easy, Sustainable Last Minute Gifts for Everyone on Your Christmas List

Oops, did you put off getting gifts until this week? Or did you succumb to some good old-fashioned seasonal depression? Work too much and forgot to be festive? I got you. The best gifts are not only lovely but represent you and your relationship with the gift’s recipient. You don’t want to run to your nearest mall and buy an impersonal, over-packaged placeholder gift. If you’re an environmental justice activist, you might want to introduce your loved ones to your lifestyle, to bring them along in your journey. But when you’re trying to introduce someone to sustainable living, it can’t feel like homework. A book about slave labor in the developing world or a composting bin could be too much, too fast. So, instead, here are 10 last-minute gifts that you can give to anyone on your list to gently introduce them to your passion. 

1. Your bougie coworker

Back to the Roots makes cute, functional mini gardens and herb growing kits. They would make for great additions to a kitchen or even an office desk to add fresh herbs to brown bag lunches. They’re “guaranteed to grow” though mine are struggling a bit right now. I’m an above-average gardener but seeing that it’s cold in DC and they live by a sill that doesn’t get optimal light, I accept that setback. I have the Kitchen Herb Garden by Ayesha Curry, but I’d recommend their water garden as a gift. It’s self-cleaning and grows herbs and microgreens through a closed-loop hydroponic system. The fish eats the plant matter, and the fish waste feeds the plants. It’s unique and quite impressive, introducing them to urban farming, hydroponics, and closed-loop, sustainable systems. Plus, if you’re in the US, a lot of their products seem to be sold in stores like Sears, Lowes, or  Home Depot so you don’t need to spring for rush shipping.  

Back to the Roots Self-Cleaning Water Garden
Kitchen Herb Garden by Ayesha Curry

2. Your glamorous sister 

Sustainable doesn’t have to mean hippie. I’ve bought quite a few Sundays nail polishes for myself and I love their color, coverage, texture, and of course that their products are 10-free and vegan. The bottles are gorgeous too! I keep mine out on display like perfume bottles. They offer a lovely gift box and if you live in NYC, why not book your sister an in-house service? They have three locations and their wellness-focused approach will leave her feeling rejuvenated and elegant with their chic, minimalist nail art. 

Sundays vegan nail polish are stylish AF
So too is their NYC studio!

3. Your nerdy boss

It comes in glass, is impressive, and shows that you know them. You could get them one of the newly released Game of Thrones whiskeys which are quite good. They partnered with many of Scotland’s best distilleries and paired each house with an appropriate tasting whiskey. From the even Lagavulin, to the peaty Talisker, they’re universally respected whiskeys at affordable prices. I’ve honestly never watched or read Game of Thrones (I know, I’m sorry, don’t @ me) but I got my friend the Singleton from House Tully (the fish one) because it reminded me most of delicate, floral Japanese whiskey. Thankfully, I have friends who love whiskey and sharing their whiskey, so I got a chance to try many of them before buying, but the three I tried were all good and I’d happily accept any of them as a gift. 

Game of Thrones whiskey

4. Your precocious younger brother

This might seem like a cop-out, but I’m sure he’d love tickets to a concert, or convention, or show more than any physical item. If your brother is anything like mine, he probably has enough clothes and you probably don’t have time to snoop around to figure out whether he already has the new Smash Brothers or Red Dead Redemption titles or not. If you know he’d like to go to a concert, or gaming convention, or live podcast show, or anything in between, it’s sustainable because nothing created or destroyed for your gift. 

Boston Comic-Con. Credit: Andy Ihnatko

5. Your hardworking mother

We both know you don’t have time to order clothes online, and if you don’t live in LA or another urban center, it might be hard to find organic cotton clothing. However, the sustainable fashion startup LA Relaxed sells their products in many Whole Foods across the US (which is a problematic store for many reasons, from being owned by Amazon to hiking up food prices, to generally espousing a decidedly white, upper class air. But hey, you’re desperate). This company uses organic cotton and other plant-based fibers in their LA-based manufacturing operation to make great basics and athleisure wear. Their pieces can easily suit several situations, which is why your mom would love an outfit that could easily take her from a board meeting to grocery shopping to yoga. 

LA Relaxed

6. Your amazing best friend

I know a lot of my friends are trying to develop their personal and professional style, and have sought out help through subscription boxes or style advisors. If they’re into those now ubiquitous personally styled boxes like Stitch Fix, may I suggest getting them a box or subscription from And We Evolve, its thrifted alternative? You could also buy them a yearly subscription to Cladwell, an app that helps you realize what gaps you have in your closet and how to develop a capsule wardrobe. I wouldn’t buy an app for someone unless you’re sure they’ll use it, though, some people just aren’t big on those kinds of services. 

 And We Evolve thrifted subscription box

7. Your friendly neighbors

They might not be your best friend, but your neighbors are there for you when you need a pet-sitter, some extra quinoa, or someone to play boardgames with. Show them that you care without breaking the bank by making a nice edible gift, from homemade cookies, to a “recipe in a mason jar” kit, to fancy jams or preserves (if you don’t make them yourself, you likely have a store in your community that stocks locally made options). These are easy gifts because everyone can use them and it’s not too awkward if they didn’t get anything for you this year. 

Bake cookies for your neighbours

Above all else, know that the holidays are about coming together and remembering the past year and seeing old friends. You don’t NEED to get anyone a gift, nor do you need to show off your wealth by just how many or how expensive your gifts are. For me, I went pretty light this year. I got my boyfriend a vintage vest from Mercedes Bien Vintage in DC (A must visit store in Adams Morgan!), two handmade caps from Ireland, and a full branding service from a friend and graphic designer for his upcycled goods business. These are three thrifted, handmade, and experiential gifts that he’ll really love. I got another friend a Hereditary poster from a movie theatre, another the aforementioned whiskey, and a little figurine for another friend. They don’t need to be grand gestures, but ones that they wouldn’t get for themselves and show that you not only get them, but that you got them something no one else will.

Happy Holidays, everyone! 

Nobody Denim

Never miss our posts. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive our free sustainable lifestyle guide when you do. 

Recommending reading:

Disclosure: The curated list is based on the writer’s research and experiences and does not fully take into account all ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. All opinions are that of the writer’s. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying particular attention to the supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. For more information, click here.

Title image credit LA Relaxed.

Enjoyed this post & want to show your gratitude? Then please support Eco Warrior Princess on Patreon!

More from Lifestyle