Have yourself a Sustainable Little Christmas

Posted by Julia Nachman on

I don’t know about you, but the holiday season really snuck up on me this year. I don’t know if that is because time seems to be running in a flat circle, or because Thanksgiving was late this year, but I cant believe we are midway through Hanukkah, and that Christmas is right around the corner!

While I obviously think Sustainimals are the perfect gift for just about anyone on your list, I suppose I can imagine that there are some people (like maybe someone who already has a Sustainimal?) on your list for whom you might want to get something else.

Here are a few eco-friendly gift ideas.

Swedish Dish Towels: I switched to these earlier this year, and I LOVE them. You can use them dry, get them wet, use them with cleaning products, rinse, wring, repeat. They go right into the washing machine or the dishwasher, so they don’t get gross. I am famously grossed out by sponges, and my husband was VERY skeptical that I would get grossed out by these, but they are not gross at all. So far, mine have not gotten funky or stinky, but if and when they do, they are compostable and biodegradable. They come in all sorts of adorable colors and patterns, and I cannot believe how much less trash my household is generating, just from making this switch. I use the ones from Three Bluebirds, but you can also buy them at Bed Bath and Beyond, you can order them online  from Swede Dishcloths, or from Who Gives a Crap.

Three Bluebirds Reusable Swedish Dishcloths

Ok, I know that getting laundry supplies for the holidays might sound like a bummer, but I am obsessed with Tru Earth laundry detergent and wool dryer balls. The detergent comes in plastic-free, concentrated strips. No drips, no waste, vegan, hypoallergenic, biodegradable… The wool dryer balls replace dryer sheets, by improving air flow, absorbing moisture, and cutting down on the time and energy it takes to dry your clothes.

Tru Earth Eco Friendly Laundry Detergent

If buying your loved ones cleaning products is not going to go over well (I’m thinking about that scene in Father of the Bride where the fiancé gets Kimberly Williams a blender and she breaks into tears), here are some ideas that will not result in slammed doors or rolled eyes. Lush makes the most incredible, luxurious hair and skin care, with a commitment to ethical sourcing, cruelty free production, and low waste or no waste packaging. My personal favorites are Dream Cream body lotion and Imperialis Facial Moisturizer, both of which come in the Black Pot packaging that can returned to the store, so you know the packaging is actually getting recycled. They also have a great assortment of bath bombs, lip scrubs, shampoo and conditioner bars, and gift sets.


Everyone likes beverages, right? Whether you have someone on your list who is trying to do better at staying hydrated, a kiddo who always needs a sippy cup, someone who cant function without her morning coffee, or someone who loves a picnic or a peewee football game with a subtle glass of wine, Corksicle makes adorable, reusable, insulated drinkware. I personally love the Rifle Paper Company collab, and am a proud owner of the Mint Lively Floral stemless tumbler.

If you are indecisive, but know you want to get gifts that are eco-friendly, sustainable, and / or ethically made, there are a lot of great shops that do the work for you of curating products that meet that criteria. Here at Sustainimals, we feel lucky enough to be carried in some of these shops, including Greener Goods Mahomet, Shop Little Babet, Earth Baby Boutique, Pop and Nod, Kind Roots, Serendipity Mom, Eco Roots, and Sixth & Zero. Take a browse, and you will be shocked at how many products you can find that are eco-friendly versions of traditional classics. Everything from oral care to crayons, and from pet beds to baby clothes, chances are someone has found a way to make it more sustainably.

Finally, a shout out to some fellow female entrepreneurs who make great products. First up is Karité – shea butter moisturizer created by three Ghanian sisters, one of whom is a dermatologist. Their products are formulated using unrefined shea butter and palm oils that are sustainably sourced from Ghana, and are made without harsh chemicals and solvents that can irritate skin. They are hypoallergenic and free of synthetic dyes, silicones and parabens. You can shop for lip balm, hand cream, or body cream, or, for a truly special gift, they offer the Karité Carryall Product Bundle, that contains all three products packed in a gorgeous carryall bag, designed and handmade in Accra Ghana, in collaboration with Ghanian designer Atto Tetteh.

Karite Ghanian Shea Butter Carryall Gift Set

The next entrepreneur shout out goes to Coco Avila: Art Living. Coco makes the MOST BEAUTIFUL clothing, pillows, bed linens, mugs, and luggage. Many of her products feature images of Hindu deities, which are particularly significant to Coco, who is a long time yogi… and to me – Coco and I actually met in a yoga class years ago, and watching her creative visions come to life has been truly meaningful and special for me on a personal level. Whether you are looking for beautiful pieces for your home, or gifts for someone who is devoted to yoga, mindfulness, and spirituality, you are sure to find it at Coco's website.

Coco Avila Lakshmi Travel BagCoco Avila Lakshmi TShirtCoco Avila Deity Collection Throw Pillows



The last recommendation on my list is Alpine Candle Collection. Candlemaker Ashton Siegner handcrafts her candles using 100% soy wax, a crackling wooden wick and fragrances that are free of carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins, organ toxins, acute toxins and phthalates. Candles come in a handmade concrete vessel that can be repurposed as planters for succulents, containers for art supplies, or anything else you can think of! All candles are labeled and packaged using environmentally conscious materials, and they come in a variety of unique scents that change with the seasons.

Wishing all of you a meaningful, happy, and SUSTAINABLE holiday season! - Julia


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