When it comes to buying the perfect Christmas present, you might be on the hunt for “unique” or “practical” — but what about “eco-friendly”? Let’s face it: We’ve all been at the receiving end of a gift that ended up in the trash after a couple weeks — in fact, one study found that we throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than any other time of the year (yikes!). So instead of contributing to all the unnecessary waste that occurs during the most wonderful time of the year, consider being kinder to the environment this holiday season and buying some eco-friendly gifts for mom, dad and your friends — not only will they appreciate it, the earth will too!
But wait, what does “eco-friendly” really mean, anyway? Words like “environmentally-friendly,” “green” and “earth-friendly” get thrown around often — but the Good Housekeeping Institute prefers the term “sustainable,” which means that there is at least one specific way that the product benefits the environment in the long run. “Sustainability, for us, is using the Earth’s resources in such a way that future generations can meet their needs,” says Birnur Aral, Ph.D., director of the Health, Beauty & Environmental Sciences Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. All of the products in this list have at least one sustainable attribute (if not more!), and include everything from great stocking stuffers to the perfect unique Christmas gift for your eco-minded friend. Looking to gift sustainable clothes? Be sure to check out our list of the best sustainable fashion brands, too!