The holiday season is a time for giving and renewal, and you can help the planet by giving environmentally friendly gifts. Here are nine ideas to help you choose sustainable gifts for the men in your life — whether friend, spouse, father, or son — that will help them reduce their impact on the Earth.
Society is a long way from complete sustainability, but the products in our list take important steps toward eco-friendly outcomes by reducing plastic waste, reusing materials, and making the leftover materials compostable or recyclable. Let us help you find the right gift for your guy. Because a good story makes a gift even better, we’ve added links to Earth911 podcast interviews with several of the companies we suggest.
The Stone Paper Sketchbook from A Good Company is a statement any artist will appreciate. The pages of the sketchbook are made from limestone in a solar-powered factory. Though waterproof, they can handle watercolors, pen, or pencil. A Good Company offsets all CO2 emissions created in its production and transportation processes, making this one of the most responsible products on the market.
Project Repat turns old T-shirts into memorable quilts, preventing tons of textiles from ending up in landfills. Collect your guy’s favorite T-shirts from an alma mater, a sports team, or a band — just a few of the themes you can choose for a quilt — and send them to Project Repat to create an earth-friendly gift.
The company provides good-paying jobs to U.S. workers in its two factories after one of the founder’s insight that too many T-shirts were being exported overseas and ending up in landfills there. There’s a great story involving a traffic jam in Nairobi and a shirt labeled, “I Danced My Ass Off at Josh’s Bar Mitzvah.” A gift should come with a memorable tale. You can hear the story on Earth911’s podcast.
Man-care Made Better
Neubau sunglasses are made with naturalPX, a castor oil-based material used to make the frames. They come packaged in a recycled and compostable case, with a lens wipe made from recovered ocean plastic. The Neubau glasses make stylish sustainable gifts for men who enjoy making an environmental statement.
Helmm antiperspirants and deodorants combine natural odor-fighting scents with a reusable steel and leather container that can be reloaded with new antiperspirant cartridges. They avoid using traditional antiperspirant ingredients, such as aluminum, that are toxic to humans. We talked with Helmm’s co-founders Zach Groffksy and Taylor Lane in May 2019.
A sturdy bag that looks like natural leather, the Doshi slim pebbled vegan briefcase for men is made to last and features multiple zippered and open interior pockets for storage. Doshi’s vegan leather briefcases, backpacks, wallets, and belts offer microfiber alternatives to animal-skin leather.
Clothing for the Long Run
Rockay athletic socks are made from recycled ocean plastic and resist odor to reduce how often they need to be washed. This sustainable gift for men helps clean the oceans and save water. Because the odor-resistant socks can be worn five to 10 times before they need to be washed, they require less water and energy for washing — and last longer —than traditional socks.
Rockay founder Daniel Chabert talked with Earth911 about the sustainability and washing requirements for Rockay socks. Hear the story for yourself to add a narrative to your gift-giving experience.
My Bamboo T-shirts, underwear, and socks are made from bamboo, which requires far less water than cotton or wool to produce. Comfortable, hypo-allergenic, and odor-fighting, My Bamboo products are affordable and sustainable gift options for the men in your life.
Eat & Drink Well
How you eat and drink makes an environmental difference. B.C.’s Sheringham Distillery Seaside Gin is made from locally sourced grains and winged kelp, juniper berries, coriander, lavender, rose, lemon, and orange peel. It’s a distilled adventure that any spirits drinker will appreciate. At $39.91, it’s a great deal for a crafted spirit.
Take the peanuts out of your man’s bar snacking. Organic Tradition’s baru seeds are harvested by indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Cerrado. They taste like peanuts but have no peanut allergens, so baru seeds can replace peanuts in curries and other dishes. The seeds’ striking mahogany-colored husk makes them an interesting bar snack and they deliver more protein and antioxidants than other nuts, making them a healthy alternative to ordinary bar food. Listen to our conversation with Organic Traditions’ Ally Mamlider about this sustainable superfood.
Originally published on December 13, 2019, this article was updated in December 2021.