23 of the Season’s Most Eco-friendly Gifts

From clothing to books and self-care, these green gifts are not just beneficial to the recipients, but to the planet as well

From clothing to books and self-care, these green gifts are not just beneficial to the recipients, but to the planet as well


1. Body Lotion from Hey Humans, $14.99Body Lotion from Hey Humans

Hey Humans is a sustainably minded brand that makes vegan personal care products, including deodorant and body wash, and uses packaging that is 99 percent plastic-free (the other one percent is recycled plastic). Shoppers Drug Mart carries an array of Hey Humans products, such as lightweight body lotions with unisex scents: Coconut Mint, Apple Matcha, Lavender Vanilla, Banana Aloe. The lotions contain no parabens, silicones, phthalates or other nasty ingredients, and they come in bottles made from aluminum—a miracle metal that can be recycled repeatedly without ever degrading.

2. Phone Stand from ChopValue, $15Phone Stand from ChopValue

Each week, ChopValue collects more than 350,000 used chopsticks in Metro Vancouver and transforms them into beautiful new objects, both small and large, from a phone stand to a charcuterie board to a height-adjustable workstation. So far, the company has prevented over 114 million chopsticks from going into the garbage.

3. Coffee from Spirit Bear Coffee Company, $19.99Coffee from Spirit Bear Coffee Company

Indigenous-owned and -operated, Spirit Bear Coffee Company in Coquitlam sells organic, fair trade, naturally certified coffees. The Eagle Medium Roast, which produces a full-bodied cup, is available in bags as well as compostable single-serving pods.

4. The Sacred Balance by David Suzuki, $24.95The Sacred Balance by David Suzuki

The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature combines science, philosophy, spirituality and Indigenous teachings to offer practical suggestions for creating a sustainable future for all. Renowned geneticist and environmentalist David Suzuki has extensively updated this new edition for the book’s 25th anniversary.

5. The Petroleum Papers by Geoff Dembicki, $34.95The Petroleum Papers by Geoff Dembicki

Investigative journalist Geoff Dembicki, who originally hails from Alberta, digs into the big lies that American oil companies have been spewing for decades about global warming. The Petroleum Papers: Inside the Far-Right Conspiracy to Cover Up Climate Change is the perfect gift for any eco-minded reader interested in understanding how and why the tar sands keep flowing today.

6. Candle from SOJA&CO., $35Candle from SOJA&CO.

The scent of the Pine and Cedar Bark Candle evokes a cool, damp forest. SOJA&CO. candles are handmade in Montreal using natural soy wax, and each one comes in a reusable amber glass jar. And for every order received, the company plants one tree in an area of Canada where reforestation is desperately needed.

7. Gift Set from The Body Shop, $36Gift Set from The Body Shop

This holiday season, The Body Shop has taken a reusable basket handwoven from recycled paper and filled it with feel-good products from Community Fair Trade partners, including Shea Body Butter. The end result is called the Gift of Wonder.

8. Mess Kit from MEC, $39.99Mess Kit from MEC

Made entirely from recycled polypropylene, the UCO Eco Mess Kit from MEC can go in the microwave and the dishwasher, making it handy for both backcountry meals and office lunches. This five-piece set includes a bowl/container, a plate that doubles as a leak-proof lid, a fork, a double-ended knife/spoon and a stretchy tether to hold everything together.

9. Toque from The Bay, $45Toque from The Bay

Keep someone warm and cozy this winter with a Madewell Recycled-Cotton Blend Cuffed Toque from The Bay. This laid-back beanie is crafted from a blend of recycled cotton and recycled polyester.

10. Gift Box from Great Bear Essential Oils, $60

Gift Box from Great Bear Essential OilsEight Nations from Haida Gwaii and B.C.’s North and Central Coasts came together to create Great Bear Rainforest Essential Oils. This nonprofit society focuses on protecting the region’s lush biodiversity while also providing employment for Indigenous individuals in remote communities. The Great Bear Rainforest Essential Oil Gift Kit contains three bottles of essential oils—Shore Pine, Hemlock, Rainforest Blend—in a handmade cedar box.

11. Skincare Gift Set from Om Organics, $64Skincare Gift Set from Om Organics

Handcrafted in Invermere, near the B.C.-Alberta border, skincare products by Om Organics contain no parabens, sulfates, gluten, synthetic fragrances or synthetic colours. Most of the products are packaged in glass bottles or jars, which can be recycled repeatedly. The Pure Glow Holiday Mini Face Set contains a cleansing balm, hydrating face mist, nourishing cream and antioxidant eye cream—it’s like a relaxing spa visit tucked into one small box.


12. Subscription Running Shoes from On, $34.99/monthSubscription Running Shoes from On

If there’s an avid runner in your life who goes through shoes at an alarmingly rapid rate, then check out the Cyclon subscription service from On. The innovative brand’s Cloudneo shoes are billed as “the running shoe you’ll never own.” By making these lightweight, high-performance shoes available only by subscription, On ensures that the shoe’s materials—which are 100 percent recyclable—will be used by the company over and over again.

13. Merino Wool Shirt from Smartwool, $110Merino Wool Shirt from Smartwool

Merino wool is naturally warm, soft and breathable, and Smartwool ratchets up the sustainability factor by using recycled wool blended with hemp and polyester in its Men’s Everyday Exploration Merino Long Sleeve Pocket Tee.

14. Better Period Kit from Somedays, $119Better Period Kit from Somedays

For the eco-minded person who appreciates only 100 percent practical gifts, the Better Period Kit from Somedays ticks all the checkboxes. It includes Cramp Cream, which is made from plant-based ingredients and eases period pain for up to three hours; Magic Mud, which aids in deep muscle relaxation using a blend of ginger root and magnetic clay; and a heat pad, which is perfectly shaped to fit over the pelvis. Filled with flaxseed and infused with soothing chamomile, the heat pad has a removable organic-cotton cover that can be embroidered with any name or cheeky message: “not pregnant,” “ovary action,” “bring snacks,” “leave me alone.” Each kit is ethically made in Canada using natural ingredients and packaged in compostable containers made from renewable materials.

15. Sweatshirt from Good for Sunday, $120Sweatshirt from Good for Sunday

Each Good for Sunday garment is sewn in Toronto by staff working in a bright and airy building and earning a fair wage—the very opposite of the sweatshop mentality found in fashion far too often. The company uses eco-friendly fabrics and ships everything in compostable, recyclable packaging. The newest innovation is EcoFleece, which blends organic cotton and recycled polyester to create a soft but sustainable fabric. Made from EcoFleece, the Stay Wild EcoFleece Crewneck features a fun ’90s colour scheme and a relaxed fit, so it’s the perfect sweatshirt for lounging around on Sundays—or any day of the week.

16. Fleece Pants from The North Face, $134.99Fleece Pants from The North Face

The Men’s Alpine Polartec 200 Pants from The North Face are crafted from soft and stretchy recycled fleece. The pants are just one of the brand’s new Circular Design products, all of which are constructed to minimize waste and to be recyclable once they’re no longer wearable.

17. Boots from Native Shoes, $135Boots from Native Shoes

The Fitzsimmons Citylite Bloom Boots are lined with microfleece, to keep toes toasty warm, and they look just as good in the city as in the country. And the best part? Native Shoes constructed these lightweight, water-resistant boots from Bloom. This clever material removes harmful algae from affected lakes and rivers—cleaning up the waterways—and transforms the algae into cushioning for footwear.

18. Fleece Jacket from Alder Apparel, $219Fleece Jacket from Alder Apparel

Alder Apparel was founded in Toronto by a pair of childhood friends who wanted to do something about the lack of size-inclusive but stylish outdoor clothing for women. Made from 100 percent recycled polyester, the cute and cozy new Go Far Fleece 2.0 is available in sizes ranging from XS to 6X.

19. Cashmere Scarf from Everlane, $219Cashmere Scarf from Everlane

Everlane works with mills in Italy to recycle used cashmere and wool sweaters, turning them into new yarns for eco-friendly creations such as the gorgeous ReCashmere Scarf.

20. Wool Coat from LIVØM, $295Wool Coat from LIVØM

LIVØM is a new Montreal brand that’s all about embracing slow living, minimalism and sustainability. The company prioritizes using natural fibres and recycled materials in its apparel, home decor and furniture. The Long Oversize Wool Coat is made from a blend of wool—which is known for its natural warmth and durability—and recycled polyester.

21. Cropped Puffer Jacket from Adhere to Studios, $560Cropped Puffer Jacket from Adhere to Studios

Launching this month, Adhere to Studios is a Vancouver-based outerwear brand that focuses on recycled materials, designing for longevity, ethical manufacturing and a low-carbon supply chain. At the helm is Alexandra Dean, former women’s outerwear designer for Lululemon. The water-repellent Re:Down Crop Puffer, available starting November 18, is crafted entirely from recycled materials: recycled nylon on the outside, recycled down and feathers on the inside, and recycled polyester for the lining, fleece and cuffs.

22. Diamond Bracelet from Pandora, $1,450Diamond Bracelet from Pandora

It’s true that diamonds are a girl’s best friend—especially when they’re grown in a lab using renewable energy, then set in recycled gold or silver. Chemical Vapor Deposition technology is used to grow Pandora’s lab-created diamonds, resulting in a carbon footprint 95 percent lower than mined diamonds. The Diamonds by Pandora collection features covetable holiday gifts such as the Diamond Double Chain Bracelet, with its 0.5-carat lab-created diamond on a bracelet crafted from recycled 14K gold, either yellow or white. It’s guaranteed to be someone’s new BFF this holiday season.

23. Dive Watch from Citizen, $1,750Dive Watch from Citizen

Good to a depth of 200 metres, the Satellite Wave GPS Diver 200M from Citizen is powered by Eco-Drive. This ingenious technology means that any light source—from desktop lamps to overhead fluorescents to sunlight—can charge the watch. When fully charged, it can run for more than six months in complete darkness.