top of page

5 Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Ideas

Over the past year of searching out natural / organic / sustainable products for home, play, and keeping warm, these are some of our favourite Holiday gift ideas for 2021!

* Please note, we have no affiliation with these stores beyond loving their products. In all cases, we use these products ourselves and/or for our children, have met (many) of the shop owners, and feel excited about sharing who they are and why they produce what they do. Additionally, all items/shops listed are Canadian-made, have organic options (where possible), and outline transparent sustainability practices on their websites.

1. Outdoor Learning Items:

Our hunt for durable magnifying glasses (for toddlers) ended with the not-for-profit Outdoor Learning Store. Not only did we find the glasses, but also, an amazing selection of awesome options for supporting outdoor adventures.

Described as "a charitable social enterprise with all proceeds going back to outdoor learning non-profits that support schools and communities," there are many fantastic items that facilitate outdoor learning / play, including resources for both parents and teachers.

We love it because there are options from "early years" through post-secondary (and beyond!). Our favourites:

This pack includes:

  1. Large & durable magnifier

  2. 2-way nature viewer

  3. Outdoor learning sit pad

  4. Bugs & Slugs laminated fold-out guide

  5. Butterflies & Pollinators laminated fold-out guide

  6. Animal Tracks & Traces laminated fold-out guide

  7. Basic backpack made from recycled pop bottles!

The Big Book of Nature Activities:

"is a comprehensive guide for parents and educators to help youth of all ages explore, appreciate and connect with the natural world.
Perfect for families, educators, and youth leaders, The Big Book of Nature Activities is packed with crafts, stories, information and inspiration to make outdoor learning fun!"

2. Refillable Containers / Products:

Earlier this year, we began moving toward a "zero-waste" lifestyle. This does not mean that we are completely zero-waste (mostly impossible in today's world), but that we consciously make small, significant changes in the products we buy and use to reduce waste. Focusing on organic, natural products packaged reusable and/or recyclable natural materials, here are some top pics that are perfect as gifts or for a bit of self-love:

Refillable pump containers (picture from Canary Refillery Calgary) for:

  • hand soap

  • hand lotion

  • dish soap

  • shampoo

  • conditioner

Not only are they beautiful, but they last and cut the cost of using organic, all-natural soaps and lotions.

Canary and DYP refilleries in Calgary both sell containers, pumps, and organic, all-natural product options.

This surface cleaner by DYP:

We use alcohol from a local distillery called West Of The Fifth, distilled water, lavender, rosemary, lemongrass and sweet orange essential oils.

makes cleaning a pleasure. Knowing that it is disinfecting with safe, natural, and great-smelling ingredients makes cleaning the bathroom a much less-dreaded chore. Add two potty-training toddlers, and this refillable cleaner is high on our "must-have" products of the year!

Shampoo and conditioner bars that look beautiful, smell beautiful, and lather better than liquid shampoo. You can feel good about reducing waste as well, described by DYP,

Silicone and Paraben free, our plant-based hair bars can reduce single-use plastic consumption by up to 3 bottles in one set with proper storage.

It took me awhile to try these as I couldn't imagine how they would be an improvement over my normal shampoo, but they genuinely lather better, are more natural, and also take up much less space in the bathroom. They also (so far) have lasted more than 3 months (after informing my husband that they are not full-body soap bars), and (at this rate), are a significant cost saving when compared to traditional, bottle products.

3. Wool

Looking for a cozy, gorgeous gift idea that will last through the years, as well as provide sustainable, durable comfort? Look no further than a natural wool blanket from ShopRitzyOnline (found on Etsy). This was my splurge purchase this year and is the softest, most cozy, warm, snuggle up anytime blanket. It is just the right weight, not too warm, always toasty comfort. I LOVE this blanket.

We use it for a throw, naps, and most recently as a bed blanket for my toddler (lucky him!). We will have this blanket for years and that it is Canadian-made from 100% natural wool, makes me love it even more!

Wondering how to keep yourself and/or a little outdoor naturalist warm this winter? As we have learned through the 1000 hours outside challenge for 2021, wool base layers are un-beatable when it comes to warmth and comfort in colder temps. Naturally moisture wicking, they keep one warm, dry, and focused on enjoying the great outdoors.

We love these from Wee Woolies as they double as sleep-wear and are durable that they will not only last through both of our children, but also will be shared with other future nature-lovers when we have outgrown them (especially the "grow with me" options from TK Clothing). An investment, but unbeatable value in terms of cost-per-wear (once October comes, we live in ours!).

Two amazing, Canadian companies including Wee Woolies (pictured), and TK Clothing have awesome options for all ages (including adults!).

As a bonus, TK Clothing also offers Organic Cotton Gift Wrapping. A fabulous reusable option when looking to reduce waste this Holiday Season.

4. Tea

A beautiful company, who's founder, Kazuki Nomura, travels herself to source and hand-pick Japanese tea suppliers, such as Sugimoto Farm, based upon commitment to sustainable, organic farming practices.

Inspired by meeting Kazuki at a Calgary market, I was impressed with her commitment to supporting "farmers who care," and are passionate about sustainable, organic practices, not "just for the label." I bought (and am greatly enjoying) the signature Fukamushi sencha tea. How amazing to read about the farmer who produces the Fukamushi sencha tea leaves for ISSA GREEN while enjoying a cup!

The tea itself appears packed with goodness and you seem to require less than the usual number of leaves for a deep green, full-bodied cup (with longer than usual steeping). I both am excited and thankful to find a local, organic green tea option and to spread the word in support! (and not to mention, drink the tea!)

5. Soap

We met the founder of Bowness Soap Works while visiting The Magic Pantry in Bowness, Calgary. We walked into the store and right away were welcomed and enthusiastically invited to learn about and have the opportunity to make some "Bowness Special" soap. This was not only a fun opportunity for my two toddlers, but also a great introduction to a company with an awesome mission (building community and bringing people together), and fabulous product.

Of course, after participating in making some, our favourite product is definitely the "Bowness Special," which is made by reusing soap scraps to produce a "mosaic" of colors and scents.

Definitely a fabulous gift option from a beautiful, sustainable, natural, and community-centred source (and a favourite in our zero-waste product choices!).

Wishing you Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping in 2021!

46 views0 comments
bottom of page