If 2020 has had one silver lining, it’s that this year has allowed many of us to reconnect with the outdoors. It’s hard to take the earth for granted when you’re hiking the cliffs of Yosemite, splashing in the ocean, or even just enjoying a picnic with friends in your local park. With this renewed appreciation of nature comes a sense of responsibility, though. And especially around the holidays, we want to shop with brands that care about the environment as much as we do.
We’ve partnered with Keen — whose sturdy boots and cozy slip-ons are made with sustainability top of mind — to share nine eco-friendly gift ideas for every taste and budget. Below, shop our top picks for lower-impact products they’ll love, whether they’re spending the season out on the trails or curled up on the sofa.
If ever there were a time your loved ones deserved to feel like they were wearing slippers 24/7, it’s right now. Treat them to pillow-soft comfort for their winter strolls with Keen’s Howser II Chukka boots. The style features premium leather sourced from tanneries certified by the Leather Working Group (which issues rating to facilities with responsible environmental practices) and a quilted upper made from recycled plastic.
The most sustainable products are those that are built to last, and anything made of Merino wool is in it for the long haul. Chrome Industries’ Merino layers are a year-round staple thanks to the lightweight fabric’s natural breathability and moisture-wicking qualities. Depending on the climate, they’re ideal for layering under a jacket or wearing alone. Plus, given that hoodies are practically a national uniform this year, why not gift them an upgrade that’s as durable as it is practical?
Perfect for anyone whose constant refrain this year has been, “Wake me up when 2020 ends,” this weighted blanket (available in 15-, 20-, and 25-lb variations) is naturally dyed and exceptionally effective. Unlike many similar styles, it isn’t filled with plastic pellets or other synthetic materials. Instead, it’s hand-knit from organic cotton, ensuring an even weight and natural breathability — so they won’t be overheating and trying to kick it off in the middle of the night.
Yes, there are a lot of options out there for reusable water bottles, but there’s a reason Hydro Flask’s are so popular. With so many colors, there’s one for every style, and they keep water so cold (or coffee so hot), there’s no temptation to opt for single-use plastic. The 21-oz version is our favorite: It fits in most cup holders, backpack pockets, and bike bottle cages, but it’s big enough that you’re not constantly refilling it. Plus, Hydro Flask’s Parks For All has donated more than $1.5 million to nonprofits dedicated to building, maintaining, and providing better access to public parks.
There are few simple luxuries quite as satisfying as a hot bath, and Daughter of the Land’s signature bath soak is as relaxing as they come. With ingredients like certified-organic French grey salt (hand-harvested in the salt pond of Guérande), rosehip oil, and fair-trade tea-tree leaf oil, it’ll turn your bath into an oasis — without compromising on sustainability. And while the packaging is recyclable, the tubes are so pretty, they’re begging to be reused again and again.
Comfortable, durable, and lightweight, Keen’s Revel IV Polar are the boots they’ll reach for all winter long. While the first things they notice may be the insulated upper and no-slip sole, they’ll also feel good knowing the brand has eliminated pesticides and PFCs — a group of toxic chemicals commonly used to make products more water-repellent. These boots protect against the elements with a proprietary waterproof, breathable membrane, and recycled PET insulation rated to -25°F.
Ever think about all the shampoo and conditioner bottles you’ve gone through in your lifetime? Yeah, it’s not a pretty picture. Plus, only around 9% of all plastic ever made has been recycled, so there’s a high likelihood that many of those bottles are sitting in a landfill somewhere. Enter HiBar. The shampoo and conditioner are free of plastic packaging, perfect for those trying to live a lower-waste lifestyle. Plus, the company uses plant-based ingredients and ships in compostable, recyclable or biodegradable materials — all the way down to the packing tape.
We could all use a good stretch and some deep breathing these days — and with the right mat, it’s easy to do that from the comfort of your living room. For a more sustainable savasana, Lululemon’s Arise mat is made from natural rubber that’s Forest Stewardship Council-certified — a guarantee that the product supports not just the forests it sources from, but also the people, plants, and animals that rely on them.
A candle in a bag? Yep, that’s right. Siblings’ candles can be poured into any suitable vessel (finally — another use for that cupboard full of empty candle jars), and the DIY element is perfect for quarantine craftiness. The brand also sells stylish ceramic “forever vessels” for those who don’t have one on hand, and every candle uses plant-based packaging and an eco-friendly blend of coconut and soy wax.