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Best Affordable Eco-Friendly Gifts for Your Greenest Friends

When you have friends that come from all different walks of life, gift-buying and gift-giving can be challenging. Fun! But challenging. Things get even more complicated when you have friends who are conscious of their consumption, or who have strong ethical views about consumerism. What is the holiday season if not a consumerist’s playground? But fear not – you can still find gifts of appreciation for your greenest, crunchiest, most Earth-friendly friends, and you can do it on a budget!

Here we have listed five of the coolest, most ethically stan-able gifts that roll in at all price points. Best of all, you can find nearly all of them on Amazon – with Prime shipping!

5 Perfect Eco-Friendly Gifts Under $40


This innovative kitchen tool is deceptively clever, and not only will it earn you major green points with your hippie friends, but you’ll also be contributing to the health and wellness of people in rural areas across the world.

Before I learned about Wonderbag, I had no idea about the harmful conditions that wood-fired stoves brought to people – mainly women – in resource-limited areas. The creator of the Wonderbag, Sarah Collins, is a proud South African. She saw first-hand the damage that wood-fired kitchens could have on health, from deaths related to smoke inhalation to girls put in danger of assault while gathering materials. (The vast majority of sexual assaults in South Africa occur when women and girls are collecting firewood!) Girls even stay home from school in order to collect the amount of firewood that is sometimes required to run a family kitchen.

But this weird little pumpkin-shaped bag might actually be able to change that.

First, you boil your soup, stew, or whatever you’ve got in a pot over the fire (or stove). Then, you cover the pot with its lid, place the whole thing right into the Wonderbag straight off of the heat, and seal it up for as long as you want. In basic terms, it’s an electricity-free slow cooker that can keep meals cooking at high temperatures for up to 12 hours. Not only that, but it can offer its services to cold items, too. And it could eliminate the need for long-duration wood fires in African kitchens.

Brilliant, right?! Well, people sure seem to think so. The Red Cross has partnered with Wonderbag, which has been used in humanitarian and refugee projects since 2012, and did I mention that a single Wonderbag prevents one ton of emissions from entering the atmosphere every year? Every. Year. No wonder all of these eco-celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio already have their hands on one. Prince Harry and Megan Markle even received one as a wedding gift! So it’s definitely good enough for your Prius-driving friend, Heather. Don’t you think?



A few years ago, I bought FreshPaper for everyone in my family who regularly bought groceries (it was a big order). After hearing the story of the FreshPaper brand, and learning about the (still somewhat mysterious) process of creating the paper, I was hooked. Then I saw it in action, and immediately looked for more ways to support this brilliant, woman-owned business with lofty humanitarian goals.

Things got serious when I learned that FreshPaper’s goal is to work with food banks, shelters, and soup kitchens to try to prolong the life of fresh foods. After all, everyone donates cans, but FreshPaper donates shelf life. Many times, food banks overflow with canned food and have very little fresh produce to work with. FreshPaper, whose secret recipe includes a proprietary blend of herbs & spices that contains fenugreek (among other things), can make the difference between a days and weeks when it comes to fresh foods!

Just slip it into the produce drawer of your fridge or in your countertop fruit basket. That’s it! Then, enjoy the decay-fighting powers of FreshPaper. It’s really amazing to see, actually, and you may as well pick up a pack for yourself. Each pack contains eight sheets, and they’re each good for a couple of weeks! After that, just toss them into your compost. It’s seriously that good.

$10.11 each

Soap Saver Bioplastic Soap Coaster

Doesn’t it seem like your eco-friendliest friends have an awful lot of soap? Is there some kind of unspoken contract that, if you intend to reduce your waste generation and carbon footprint, you have to buy your weight in artisanal soap bars? Don’t get me wrong – soap is rad, but there’s a gooey, slimey aspect of soap bars that usually turns me off. If you’ve ever left a bar of soap on the edge of a sink, you know exactly what I’m talking about. But my life hating soap has been over ever since I was given one of these incredible soap coasters.

I don’t know exactly what to call this thing – Soap Saver ($7.99, $13.99 for 2) is pretty accurate. Basically, these little spongey discs go underneath your soap bar to collect all of that goopy soap ooze that runs off your soap bar after you use it. Lay it in a soap dish or just put it on your bathroom counter, and you’ll be amazed at how it keeps all of that gross, gummy crap our of your sink! Plus, it helps your soap dry out faster, and that actually helps it last longer.

My current hypothesis about the hippie-soap connection is this: soap doesn’t come in a big ol’ plastic bottle, it doesn’t come wrapped in wire or plastic, and you don’t need a mechanical pump in order to use it. As far as waste generation goes, it’s the best option when it comes to suds. So, gifting your buddy a Soap Saver may be the only way that you could make soap even less wasteful than it already is.

Even cooler than all of that: this little guy is made completely out of bioplastics. That means corn products and soy products went into this plastic instead of petroleum or other not-so-friendly materials. As far as cleanup goes, just rinse it when it gets full of congealed soap, and you’re back to brand new.


Reusable Produce & Bulk Bags

Did you know that tons of grocery stores that have bulk food sections will gladly allow you to bring your own bulk food and produce bags? Once you realize how many plastic bags you go through on one single grocery trip, you don’t forget it. I speak from experience, and will also admit that it’s a tough transition to being “that girl who brought her own produce bags” but I’m trying to make that girl cool, ok? So, if you’re like me and you shop gift guides for presents for yourself, please consider joining me in making bringing your own bags cool. It doesn’t have a great PR team, unfortunately, so it’s up to nerds like us to make the change.

purifyou Reusable Mesh Produce Bulk Bags, $14.97 for 9

And we have support! Obviously, there are companies making reusable bulk bags specifically for grocery store consumers, and they even include the tare weight (aka the weight of the bag, itself, so the checker can subtract it from the weight of the bags when you check out).

Sure, maybe it’s not the sexiest gift ever, but if you have someone in your life who really gives a shit about this kind of stuff, these reusable bags are a super thoughtful gift. Like, mega brownie points.

Best Reusable Produce & Bulk Bags

Naturally Sensible Reusable Produce Bags

Colony Co. Reusable Bulk Bags

Brotrade Reusable Mesh Produce Bags

H&M Conscious Collection

If you have a fashionable friend who you typically get clothing-related gifts for, fear not! And before you start screaming “fast fashion!” at me, let me remind you that H&M has won sustainability awards for years, and even gives out their own honors, the Global Change Award, through the H&M Foundation.

And no, guys, they don’t give themselves sustainability awards… In 2016, their CEO received a sustainability award from a Swedish organization called NMC that focuses on sustainability in business. If that surprises you, then you may not be familiar with the  H&M Conscious Collection, a permanent line in the H&M family.

The Conscious Collection started around 2014, and has released two full collections each major season, just like every high fashion brand. With a mix of premium garments and affordable basics,  it’s indistinguishable from H&M’s regular offerings. There are glitzy dresses for a night out right next to cozy sweaters made from recycled cashmere. They also have tons of stuff for moms, like maternity pants, comfy tops, and nursing clothes.

The slightly more luxe H&M Conscious Exclusive collection will contain Econyl, which is 100% regenerated nylon fiber made from fishnets and other nylon waste, and recycled silver. Both the Conscious and the Conscious Exclusive collections are still super affordable, with cute basics as low as $6.99, and heavy (recycled!) wool jackets from $129-$299.

Here are some bonus sustainability facts about H&M:

  • By 2020, all of the cotton used in H&M clothing will be more sustainably sourced, and by 2030, all material sources will be upgrades to a higher sustainability rating.
  • H&M is one of the largest buyers of recycled cotton.
  • Currently, 96% of the energy H&M uses to create their products and run their business is from renewable energy sources. Eventually, they hope to make it to 100%. By 2040, H&M hopes to be “climate positive,” meaning they reduce more greenhouse emissions than they actually produce.

Favorites from the H&M Conscious Collection

H&M Conscious Sheer Panel Leggings

H&M Conscious Soft-Cup Lace Bra

H&M Conscious Floral Patterned Blouse

H&M+ Conscious Sport Shorts

H&M Conscious 2-Pack Calf Socks

H&M Conscious Silk Blend Scarf


Do you have a secret weapon when it comes to buying gifts for your consumption-conscious friends? Leave us a note in the comments, we’re always looking for new stuff to add to this list!

The post Best Affordable Eco-Friendly Gifts for Your Greenest Friends appeared first on Broke and Beautiful.

This post first appeared on Broke And Beautiful • A Budget Lifestyle Blog Wi, please read the originial post: here

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Best Affordable Eco-Friendly Gifts for Your Greenest Friends


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