The holidays are a beautiful time of year—and also incredibly wasteful. According to a study conducted by Stanford University, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the holiday season, accounting for 25 million tons of excess garbage. Factor in the amount of supplies used and fossil fuels burned to produce and deliver gifts, and the planet takes a pretty hard carbon kick during the most wonderful time of the year. To help combat waste this season, consider powering your lights with renewable energy sources, wrapping with recycled materials, and shopping sustainably. Here’s how to help with your purchases; we’ve rounded up a list of eco-conscious, sustainable holiday gift ideas, so you can feel good about your gifting.
The Nature Conservancy Donation
When most people think of giving gifts, they often think of tangible and material items. Instead of giving your loved one another “thing” to add to their collection, consider making a charitable donation in his or her name. The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit whose mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Your donation will be put toward efforts to tackle climate change, protect land and water, provide food and water sustainability, and build healthy cities. Options include gifting a one-time donation or signing up for a membership.
The Sierra Club Membership
The Sierra Club is the nation’s largest and most effective grassroots environmental movement. With the support of its 3.8 million members, the Sierra Club works to defend the world’s precious resources and wild places. Gift your loved one a membership, which helps the nonprofit protect wild places and endangered species, keep our air and water clean, ensure a clean energy future, curb climate change, and keep the pressure on politicians and corporations to ensure safe and healthy communities.
Biolite Headlamp 330
With daylight hours dwindling, a headlamp is the perfect way to keep the adventure going. Weighing in at just 2.4 ounces, Biolite’s Headlamp 330 is ultra-lightweight and rests flush on the forehead, making it ideal for running, hiking, and high-output activities. Complete with a rechargeable battery, the lamp can last 40 hours on low power and 3.5 on high. As a company committed to the planet, Biolite is a Climate Neutral-certified company and is continually working to reduce its emissions.
Zero Carbon Coffee
Who couldn’t use more coffee? As another Climate Neutral-certified company, Zero Carbon Coffee works to reduce emissions by making its supply chain carbon-neutral every step of the way—and providing carbon offsets for each bag of coffee produced. Available in single bags, a trio sampler, or a membership option, coffees as equally delicious as they are sustainable include a rotating selection from the Americas, Africa, and the Pacific.
Smartwool Cabin Crew Socks
Socks are a classic holiday gift fodder, but Smartwool’s Cabin Crew Socks are anything but average. Featuring a subtle holiday print, the medium-thickness crew socks offer a supportive arch brace and full-sock cushion. Made in the U.S. from 72 percent merino wool, 27 percent nylon, and 1 percent elastane, Smartwool’s socks keep you warm whether you’re trekking in the cold or cozying up next to the fire. Born from a desire to help people spend more time outdoors, Smartwool is committed to using sustainable practices to ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty and resources of our planet.
Bigger Ticket Items
Osprey Talon 22 Pack
Osprey’s Talon 22 Pack is a versatile pack designed for dynamic body movement, making it ideal for the hiker, biker, or peak-bagging junkie in your life. Featuring Osprey’s most advanced back panel to date, the pack offers a close-body, effortlessly comfortable fit. Sustainable features include use of a bluesign-approved fabric made from recycled, high-tenacity nylon and a back panel injection-molding process that reduces plastic waste to net zero.
Patagonia Nano Puff
The Nano Puff has been one of Patagonia’s most popular jackets for years, for good reason. The Fair Trade certified-sewn jacket packs down small while remaining warm, lightweight, water-resistant, and windproof—attributes that serve any outdoor adventure well. Designed with the environment in mind, the Nano Puff is made from PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco (100 percent polyester that’s at minimum 5 percent post-consumer recycled), and is wrapped in a 100 percent recycled polyester shell and lining.
Picture Equation Wetsuit
When water temps drop, ocean fanatics demand a solid wetsuit. While traditional neoprene wetsuits are made from an often toxic manufacturing process, Picture’s wetsuits are instead made with NaturalPrene, which is constructed from 85 percent natural rubber from a Hevea tree. Additionally, Picture’s suits feature recycled polyester lining and shell fabrics bound with a solvent-free Aqua-A glue, resulting in a high-performance wetsuit (in some stylish designs) that’s gentler on the planet.
Nemo Equipment Riff Sleeping Bag
Winter adventures call for a warm sleeping bag to keep you cozy during chilly nights. Available in 15- and 30-degree options, Nemo Equipment’s Riff Sleeping Bag features an ultralight spoon shape to save space, with thermo-gills for ventilation, a blanket fold for temperature control, plus an integrated pillow pocket and a waterproof-breathable footbed. The bag comes with a convenient stuff sack and packs down small while still keeping you toasty warm. As part of Nemo Equipment’s commitment to sustainability, the Riff Sleeping Bag is made from PFC-free responsible down (standard certified 800FP) that’s made to last.
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