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Holiday Gift Guide 2019: 15 Eco-Friendly Presents to Give This Year

For the person who tells you they really don’t want anything—because they’re paring back and trying to tread as lightly as possible on the planet. These 15 finds are useful, long-lasting, (mostly) compostable—and designed to delight.

For Tiskets and Taskets

Onion Basket from Sugar Tools of Camden, Maine.
Above: The onion basket is a pantry staple and longstanding Remodelista favorite for gathering produce, eggs, and more—Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves uses hers as a cell phone keeper. This made-in-Maine rattan version is $32 from Sugar Tools of Camden.

Waste-Not Rug

Aiayu home raw rug made from organic cotton fabric scraps.
Above: Danish fashion and housewares company Aiayu has made sustainability a priority since its founding in 2005. Its bathmat-size Raw Rugs, €40, are woven in India from organic cotton scraps and production cuttings. Profits go to a school in Agra.

Alt Sponge

Felted wool scrubbing pads by Farm Fresh Fiber via Etsy
Above: Soft and sturdy Felted Wool Scrubbing Pads—one oatmeal, one brown—are $8 for a pair from Farm Fresh Fiber on Etsy.

Nature’s Laundry Soap

Soap nuts laundry detergent alternative from Battle Green via Etsy.
Above: On our Must Try list: Soap Nuts, a natural laundry detergent alternative: the dried shells of fruit from the Sapindus mukorossi tree are rich in saponin. Three to four nuts per laundry load does the trick—and they can used for several washings, and also to make shampoo and plant spray. Instructions and a small wash bag included; $7.11 for up to 80 wash cycles worth from Battle Green.

Leftover Joy

Konmari food container.
Above: From Marie Kondo’s new KonMari online shop: Food Containers by Orez (zero spelled backwards) are made of oven- and stovetop-safe enamelware with acacia wood lids that have airtight seals; $34 each (larger sizes also available).

Market Kit

Package Free Shop Zero-Waste Farmer's Market Kit.
Above: Brookly’s Package Free owner Lauren Singer has just opened a second shop—in NYC’s Chelsea Market. Her motto: “On a mission to make the world less trashy” Her five-piece Zero Waste Market Kit, $43, is one of several useful kits on offer. For Lauren’s tips, see A Beginner’s Guide to Zero-Waste Living and Use This Not That Plastic Thing: Expert Advice for 5 Easy Eco Swaps in the Kitchen.

Broccoli-Powered Shampoo

Broccoli shampoo from Haeckels
Above: Now you can eat your greens and keep clean with them, too. From UK natural skincare company Haeckels, Bio Energiser + Broccoli Hair Cleanser is £23. Consider pairing with Haeckels’ Kelp Bioferment skin and scalp treatment, £22, and Seaweed Soap, £4.

Bamboo Brushes

MABLE bamboo toothbrushes
Above: Made of sustainably harvested (and biodegradable) bamboo, Mable toothbrushes are designed to stand up; $10 for a two-pack.

Cleopatra-Style Potion

Kindred Black organic damask rosewater toner in blown-glass bottle.
Above: Kindred Black’s reusable apothecary bottles are hand blown in Oaxaca from recycled glass and have wax-sealed cork stoppers. Organic Damask Rosewater Toner, from roses “grown on the slopes of the Lalehzar Mountains in the province Kerman in Southern Iran” is $58.

Minimalist Lunchbox

The Lunch Box from Ode to Things
Above: From Japanese brand THE, The Lunch Box of anodized aluminum—a mere 3.15 inches long—stands ready to be inventively filled; $28 from Ode to Things.

Moveable Feast

Aplat large denim market tote
Above: Aplat of San Francisco specializes in pie, casserole, and bread satchels. Its denim Grand Carryall Tote, $100, is long and shallow f0r holding everything from covered dishes to produce and bulk-market containers.

Full-Use Recipes

Two cookbooks that detail how to make the most of ingredients that otherwise get tossed. Scraps, Wilt + Weeds, $14.98 from Powell’s, is by Noma co-founder Mads Refslund, and Waste Not, $28.66, a collection of recipes from the James Beard Foundation.

Feline Fun

Wool Cat Toy from Sonoma Wool Company
Above: The Sonoma Wool Company’s Cat Toy, $11.95, is modeled after its dryer balls downsized for floor play. The wool is dye free and sourced from American family ranches.

Your Own Sugar Snaps

Kitchen garden kit from Terrain.
Above: From Terrain, the Kitchen Garden Seed-Starting Kit, $40, contains everything you need for propagating a windowsill nine-pot starter veggie and herb garden.

For more ideas, see last year’s Gift Guide for the Zero Waster.

And check out our other 2019 gift guides:

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