I've been striving to buy less, waste less, and consume less lately. It's not easy - there are so many ways that I know I can improve. I don't always remember to bring my own bags when I buy bulk goods and sometimes Amazon truly seems like the best place to buy something. I knew that the holiday season would be especially challenging, especially since I love to shop for gifts for people and I'd be lying if I said I don't get easily drawn in by fun, kitschy little treats. To stop myself from getting caught in that trap I decided to just gift people books for Christmas this year. However, I know that's not something that everyone can do, so to help you guys out I've compiled a sustainable gift guide full of items that are eco-friendly or give back in some way. Enjoy!
Cotopaxi is a rad outdoor gear company and a certified B corporation that funds sustainable poverty alleviation. They're also the hosts of a fantastic 24-hour scavenger hunt called Questival that I participated in this summer. I love supporting this company! This vacuum bottle comes in a variety of sizes and colors and the double-walled vacuum-insulated construction keeps contents hot for 12 hours or cold for 24 hours and will hopefully help the recipient cut down on coffee cup waste.
United by Blue is another great company doing good. For every item sold they remove one pound of trash from the ocean - a real and measurable impact. I always feel good about supporting them, and they make high quality goods that all come with a lifetime guarantee. This particular trail case is made with 100% recycled polyester so it's truly something that you can feel good about purchasing!
The WWF has done a great job of making an animal adoption fun - with a $55.00 adoption fee you not only make a valuable donation to support their global efforts to protect wild animals and their habitats, but you also get an adorable stuffed version of your animal, an adoption certificate, species card, and a tote bag. This a particularly great gift for the little ones in your life. There are dozens of animals to choose from, but I'd suggest sorting the animals by threat level and choosing an "Extinct in the Wild/Critically Endangered" or "Endangered/Vulnerable" animal to adopt.
I'm all about renewable energy and lowering our carbon footprint so it's no surprise that I love Goal Zero. This solar panel is lightweight and waterproof, making it perfect for your backpacking buddy that wants to charge their camera or phone during a trip. Of course, it can also be used at home to lower your impact! Goal Zero is a great company to support, as their goods were first created to provide power to rural underdeveloped areas in places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to provide power after natural disasters. They donated hundreds of lighting kits and solar panels to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, to Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and to families in the US after Hurricane Sandy, to name a few.
You guys should know by now that I'm the biggest fan of National Parks around - and the gift of an experience is probably the best one out there. This gives back to National Parks and the recipient will think of you every time they go on a new adventure!
Rareform is a new company that creates bags from 100% repurposed billboard vinyl in an attempt to reduce the amount of vinyl going into landfills. They currently divert 20,000 pounds of vinyl per month from landfills and turn them into one-of-a-kind products. They sell totes, duffels, messenger bags, bike bags, phone cases, backpacks, passport cases, and wallets. The products are waterproof, lightweight, and stylish. This particular bag is the perfect tote for a trip to the farmers market, picnic supplies, or a day at the beach.
Osom makes upcycled socks out of 95% discarded textiles. They aim to decrease the amount of textiles that go into landfills - which, in the United States, is 25 billion pounds of post consumer textile waste per year. Their process is completely waterless and they use no chemicals, dyes, or pesticides in their manufacturing process. Once again, this is a company that you can feel good about supporting. They have all kinds of fun designs to choose from for the outdoors lover in your life, from bikes to pine trees to whales!