Updated: Apr 23, 2020
Not everyone cares about the planet as much as you do, but what sustainable, eco-friendly gifts can you give for people who absolutely couldn't care less about the environment?
You can find zero waste and eco friendly gifts that are a little more subtle, and the gift receiver doesn't even need to know they are sustainable and great for the planet (and available in Australia).
Forget beeswax wraps, reusable straws, expensive shampoo bars that they are never going to use. If you're gifting a present, you need to tailor it to the receiver or run the risk of them never using it, or worse, throwing it in the bin!
Here are some fantastic gift ideas for people in your life that just don't don't give a shit about the planet, but still meets your lifestyle ideals.
This post does contain some affiliate links, meaning if you click, the price is the same to you and I may receive a tiny commission that helps me keep this site up and running while I try and save the planet. Thanks for your support 💚
This gift list is in no particular order and you will find suggestions for mum, dad, kids, teenagers, work colleagues and everyone in between.
(This post was originally published in November 2018 and updated September 2019)
1. A Gift in a Box (Delivered)
They don't give a crap, so gift them a giant box of recycled or sustainable bamboo toilet paper and they WILL use it because at some point they will run out of their plastic wrapped loo paper and resort to opening the box.
They might even read the paper wrappers and start to get why you care about the earth.
Convert them via their vulnerability and make sure they know it's free delivery to the door if they order it themselves. Check out Who Gives A Crap (there's usually a festive edition available in November).
2. For People Who Love Coffee
Who doesn't love a good strong coffee in the morning to start the day?
Cold brew coffee is the bee knees when it comes to creating the best cuppa with a full flavour and less acidity.
This Kilner Cold Brew Set allows you to make up to 2 litres of coffee, so there's no waiting around twirling your hipster moustache and philosophising on local politics.
Made from glass with natural muslin cloth filters, everything is reusable and no trash created, and it's shipped waste-free.
3. Classic Gift - With A Difference
Socks are just the classic gift for hard to buy blokes, but don't let tradition stop you from addressing the sock gender gap in Australia, these make a great gift for men AND women.
sustainable socks These organic cotton, fair trade plant trees in rain forests, give books or make the world better. Perfect for people with feet, these are very vegan (until worn).
4. Thongs that Tread Lightly
There's nothing more Australian than wearing thongs all summer, and nothing more sad than stomping on our precious beaches with unethical footwear.
The receiver of this gift will tread lightly on the planet all summer, blissfully unaware of how thoughtful you were.
Made from natural and recycled rubber, when you buy a pair of these Natural Rubber Thongs , you are actually helping support the community where they are made as well as aussie animals.
5. For People You Work With
For all the haters you have to work with everyday and still can't put things in the right bin but find plenty of time to mock your efforts to save the planet.
Too right they donut give a shit! Celebrate their monumental crimes against the planet or other failings and show that yes, greenies have an awesome sense of humour!
The joke is on them! They now own a non-plastic reusable coffee cup !
6. Time Conscious People
These sustainable, 100% Eco-friendly Wrist Watches are ethically made out of recycled aluminium rather than producing new aluminium and causing greenhouse gasses .
The leather is vegan and the company is committed to keeping a low carbon footprint while still making a fashion statement with beautiful watches.
They also ship all around the world. Send your loved one the message it's TIME to change their shitty ways and care for the planet!
7. For Anyone With 50 Years (or less) to Live
That is 50 years they don't need a ridiculous desk calendar with a piece of paper to rip off every single day of the year - they will be saving over 18,250 pieces of paper that you just know they aren't even bothering to recycle.
8. For Climate Change Deniers
If your recipient is a bit like a mushroom (kept in the dark and fed on bullshit about how climate change isn't a thing and how plastic bags are sooo much better for the planet than paper ones) then what could be more appropriate than a mushroom growing kit.
They might not change their views anytime soon, but they will start growing their own food, which is great for the planet.
9. For Air Freshener Addicts
We all know that one person who loves to spray and cover every available spot with a chemical air freshener or plug in fragrance.
They usually don't have an aversion to enthusiastically using fly spray directly over food or whipping out the Glen 20 whenever they feel threatened by a smell that didn't come from a aerosol can.
Sneakily change their ways by introducing them to a non-toxic luxury Cinnamon and Nutmeg Triple Scented Candle.
Hand poured wax with lead free cotton wicks these Australian made candles give 80 hours of burn time and wont poison your recipient
(keep that to yourself though as they probably deeply distrust anything of a non-toxic nature).
Check out the other scents here.
10. For Dad's That Suck at Doing Stuff
This book is a gift that keeps on giving. The father of your children will be able to impress you AND the kids with his ability to preserve wildflowers, get bees to hang out in your garden, not to mention cooking, cleaning and general handyman skills.
101 Amazing Dad Skills is a one way ticket to kicking him into the right direction of that self sufficient life you've been dreaming about!
11. Give Mum a Non-Toxic Break Already
Most people know the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the home for accidents. Mainstream bathrooms are also full of plastic, disposables and crazy levels of toxins.
Well, this natural, organic and cruelty free Relax Bath Soak (handmade in Melbourne) will help mum (and you) relax.
Don't forget to ask for the bottle back, you just know she wont reuse it and you can totally use this for hand crafted bathroom goodies for yourself.
12. For Mums that Are a Little Bit Crunchy
While we're on the topic of chilling out, any mum with a bit of crunch would welcome an Essential Oils Wellbeing Box.
Focused on self care using natural oils and recipes, these seasonal wellbeing boxes are sure to calm the Christmas chaos.
No gift wrap required!
13. Gift An Unbreakable Educational Toy
Toddlers don't really care about the ecosystem and are focused on destroying, throwing and hitting everything just to see what happens. Give them something that will last and won't end up in landfill within 3 months.
This Wooden Latch Board is hand made and really does keep toddlers busy repeatedly locking and unlocking the latches instead of cupboard doors.
It is practically indestructible, we had one of these for several years which was abused on an almost daily basis.
I secretly parted with it when we lost a toy from the library and I donated the board to avoid paying a fine. Unfortunately, years later, we still see it every time we go to the local library and my daughter still doesn't know it was hers.
(Don't tell, I'll be in a world of shit if that info gets out! I had a hard enough time when she heard I wasn't really the Queen of Australia)
14. For Pint Sized Kings and Dirty Rascals
Wood gifts are so much better than plastic and this Eco-friendly Build and Learn Block Set would have rocked my world as a child.
This set is made from FSC certified beechwood, coloured with non-toxic water based paint and it's 80 pieces come in a drawstring bag. Such a fun way to play without plastic and technology!
15. For Screen Addicts
Get them off the blue screens and participating in real life again, just like the 1980's with a Tetris Jigsaw Puzzle
It might drive them mad, but this gift requires no electricity or batteries and is made from recycled chipboard.
16. Get Teens going Green
Teens might be onboard with the cool zero wasters on instagram and snapchat (whatever that is), but what they really want is cash.
Don't give in and let them have free reign where to spend their money.
You are giving the gift and you can define where they spend that virtual cash - so gift them a voucher for a store that is sustainable and eco-friendly like Biome Eco Stores or Flora & Fauna, and let them go wild.
Its all sustainable - you can't go wrong and neither can they.
(oh and these are a great last minute gift too which can be printed or emailed from home)
17. Go Local and Handcrafted
What's more sustainable than buying handmade, upcycled or locally produced items?
Etsy has some amazing finds that are often unique and can be personalised.
Don't forget to ask the seller if they can post plastic free.
If you have never checked it out, you're missing a whole world of beautiful things (and no, you don't even need to sign up in order to purchase something)
18. For Cat Lovers....or maybe your Nan
While your friends and family try to cope with their first world problems, and destroy the ecosystem with their purchasing patterns, you can be safely gift shopping at home for things that help the planet and communities.
The Australian Firefighters Calendar supports so many great causes (including wildlife hospitals, animal rescue, aussie farmers and more)
This is also fabulous gift for those that fail to show any reaction to presents.
Get a sneek peek into the Cat calendar here
(or browse some of their other options like dogs, horses and farm animals)
19. For Almost Any Woman
Taryn has inspired millions of people around the world to stop hating the skin their in and start living with her book Embrace Yourself.
This may seem like it has very little to do with living green BUT imagine if women around the world started loving themselves and realised they just don't need to strive towards photo shopped perfection!
No wrinkle cream, cellulite scrubs, hair dye, diet shakes, shape wear, botox, oh the list is endless.
The amount of plastic and waste an outlook like hers can save is astounding.
(you can get an e-book version here )
20. You Choose!
It's hard work putting a list of secretly sustainable gifts together to suit people who don't give a shit about the planet.
I would LOVE to add an extra item here to round it off to a neat 20, but I just couldn't decide on what it should be.
So, this is a chance to tell me
Let me know in the comments below what gift ideas you would recommend.......
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*Update - I've had some brilliant suggestions for #20, here's my favourite so far...
>This is perhaps more a gift for yourself - a Plant Based Yoga Mat made from natural cork and rubber, chemical and odour free. So no yucky smells while your practicing your Eco-warrior pose and finding your inner zen to cope with your trash loving relatives over the holiday season.