Sustainable Experiences Gift Guide 2021

Whether you’re trying to find alternatives to corporations mass producing wasteful products, avoid crowded malls, or support small businesses with eco-conscious values at their core we’ve got you covered. Check out our gift guides featuring sustainable products and ideas that are sure to make unique and practical gifts for everyone on your list this holiday season.

1. Siblings candle company are on a mission to keep the joy that candles bring without compromises our planet’s health or our own safety. Most candles are mass-produced using a petroleum by-product (paraffin wax). And, even if they are paraffin-free many still contain harmful toxins such as parabens and phthalates, and synthetic fragrances that leach into your home and our atmosphere when burned or not. Sibling candle kits are a great activity to gift a couple, crafty girlfriend, or active kiddo (under adult supervision). They have so many scent options and encourage the DIYer to upcycle their own container to extend the longevity of the vessel and create a sentimental and unique candle. 

2. America’s National Parks are a truly inspiring part of our country’s natural landscapes. Their epic geographic monuments, water features, and educational atmosphere make them a popular destination, especially during summer months. Know someone planning a road trip or family excursion? Gift them an Annual National Park Pass. This pass will cover their entrance fees to any parks they visit within the year and the pass pays for itself if they visit at least 2 parks. This gift supports our Park System and will encourage adventure instead of simply giving them another jacket and the memories they make will remind them of your thoughtful gift for the whole year. For a great 2-part gift you can include a National Park Passport so they can get a stamp at every location they visit (including State Parks, National Monuments, and more), keep track of dates and write any notes about their travels. You can’t go wrong with this Classic Passport or this cute Letterfolk Passport

3. Carbon Offsets may not seem like the most glamorous gift, but our eco-friendly gift guide wouldn’t be complete without them. Instead of gifting a physical present, think about gifting something that might lift their climate guilt. Have family coming to visit? Offset the carbon from their flights. Which relative bought the biggest Christmas tree this year? Better gift them the peace of mind of -12.3 tons of C02 (61 trees planted) to offset it. On Tentree’s website there are dozens of carbon+ options that will make your gift feel personalized. While simply buying carbon credits to neutralize emissions doesn’t solve the root problem, it’s still something. Tentree’s carbon+ efforts make this a reality by planting carbon-sequestering Mangrove and Acacia trees with these purchases thanks to their transparent partnerships with organizations like Eden Reforestation Projects, Trees for the Future, and Plant with Purpose. 

4. Heifer International provides livestock to struggling families to support them with a lifetime of opportunities. When they are gifted an animal like a goatalpaca, or flock of chickens they are able to use earnings from selling its by-products such as wool, eggs, and milk to pay for education or to care for themselves however they need to. You can easily donate the gift of livestock on behalf of someone you love and you’ll be able to create a free honor card so they’ll know the impact of your gift. Your giftee will feel good knowing that your gift to them will directly benefit someone in need and provide them with more than just a one-time donation since the receiving family will also get training and education related to the animal they are provided. 

5. Kintsugi is the Japanese Art of mending. Typically this process involves broken objects such as ceramics with a metallic lacquer, thus highlighting the imperfections. Whether someone specific broke something this year or not, this is a thoughtful gift for that friend or family member who loves to fix things, craft, or work with their hands. It allows them to slow down and celebrate moments of destruction with gratitude to remind them that even mistakes can be beautiful. This Kintsugi Kit from Sandy Leaf Farms is even on Marie Kondo’s list and it comes with 2 mini bowls to break and practice on. 

6. Local Exhibits make their way around the museum circuit and we always kick ourselves for not reserving tickets earlier. This year instead of gifting someone a physical gift think about an experience they might enjoy in their hometown. Places like Meow Wolf in Denver, Santa Fe and Las Vegas are great for all ages to use their imaginations in an immersive art experience. Other ideas could be the Obama Portraits that will be visiting Art Museums like Atlanta or Yayoi Kusama Infinity Exhibits in Washington D.C. in 2022. Check out the lineup on local museums for the upcoming year and set a reminder to get in virtual line and score some tickets for your loved ones. Bonus points if you treat them to the entire outing.

7. Home Gardening has taken off during the pandemic with people at home more than ever. There are many different options for countertop or patio grow kits/setups for those who simply don’t have the luxury of a backyard homestead situation. Lettuce Grow created a modern hydroponic farmstand you can gift to family members who might not have a green thumb or appreciation for getting dirty. This model uses 95% less water than conventional gardening and comes with 200+ types of seedlings to grow. Another more space/budget friendly option is a countertop grow box. This Smart Brass Growhouse from Letterfolk is a pretty chic. 

8. If you think of DIY Pottery and think of Play-Doh or those cookie cutter paint-yourself ceramic spots you aren’t alone. But, Scupld has entered the chat. Their Pottery Kit included everything your giftee needs to sclupt, carve, seal, and paint their own pinch pots, candle holders, bookends/sculptures, and everything in between. Another great gift for that friend with kids or that cousin who has been missing their college pottery classes. 

9. Books about gardening, cut flowers, and sad succulent gardens only go so far. Gift an Annual Membership / Annual Pass to your family’s local Botanical Garden. Most memberships come with extra gusts passes they can use when friends (or you) visit and they’ll get to enjoy the seasonal garden exhibits for free. Many Botanical Gardens give early access to new displays or special discounts to special events to Members as well as parking, cafe discounts, newsletters, and other perks like free admission to sister Gardens across the country.


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