By Elizabeth Schultz, Certified Integrative Health Coach/Environmental Toxin Specialist

We may not be Oprah giving away cars or Julie Andrews singing “These are a Few of our Favorite Things” in the Sound of Music, but we are three eco-chicks who are passionate about sharing our favorite safe and sustainable products with the masses!

Origins of Gift Giving. The giving of gifts may be one of the oldest of human activities that pre-dates civilization and may go back to the origin of our species. Even in primitive cavemen culture, the giving of gifts was fairly common as it was used to show love and affection towards one another. ~ from Curious History

Here at Spunky Avocado, we always choose the gift of presence over presents and we also love the thought of giving experiences to those we love, like a day of whitewater rafting or skiing.  But, if you must buy a physical gift, why not give a gift that is sustainable and has both the welfare of your recipient in mind as well as the welfare of the planet?  And unlike a fruitcake, you can give these clean and green gifts all year long!  If you managed to survive Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday but still have a few folks on your list, why not take a stroll through our Suburban Smackdown Survival Gear Store with us for a little something Smackdown approved, unconventional, and eco-worthy without leaving your couch?  Maybe you are stumped on what to get the rock star teacher who taught your child common core math, what fresh hell is this?  Or for the person who has everything and possibly too much of everything, here are some out of the box ideas for you that show you care about your recipient and about the planet.


Our first stop is our cleaning section.  Wait, really?  Yes, have you ever wondered what is in your detergent that smells so good? Chances are they are loaded with phthalates and other nasties that are just simply not meant to come in contact with our largest organ, our skin!  So, for the clean freaks in your life or for that disheveled pal that needs a little help in this area, make a gift basket full of Molly Suds Starter Pack for safer laundry options.  Or, wow them with an alternative to cleaning your wears that they may have never seen before, Eco Nuts, combining perhaps the Eco nuts and dryer balls for a theme of interesting and never seen before laundry options, of course!  Maybe a gift bag full of Reusable Flour Sack Towels and Microfiber Towels would be perfect for the paper towel abuser that you know?  (raises hand, reformed single use paper towel germ-a-phobe).  Combine this with one of many Green cleaning recipes in one of our Glass Spray Bottles for a toxin-free gift that says, “I care about you…not inhaling toxic fumes”!  Ok, this category may seem a little like the “socks and underwear” of our list, so let’s get off the proverbial soapbox, pun intended, and get on to more fun ideas!  Just needed to throw some love to our underrated cleaning section! 

Our next section of the store is food and while there are not a lot of options in the store, we are Thrive Market affiliates where you can find all sorts of healthy and yummy treats for your people!  Or, for the gym rats on your list, you can purchase an Rx Bar Sampler and put it with a 32 oz. Stainless Steel Water Bottle so that all their health-conscious efforts in the gym are supported by what they then put in their bodies as well!  And you can always whip up some love from the kitchen with one of our Recipes and deliver it in a reusable Glass Jar or Stainless Steel Mini Containers that they can re-use for life when they are done!

For your friends that prefer to grow their own, check out our garden section for a gift that grows on you!  Here you will find an Organic Sprouting Starter Kit, and an Indoor Culinary Herb Garden Starter Kit.  Or fill our Counter Top Compost Bin with Organic, Heirloom Herb Garden Seeds and Organic, Heirloom, Garden Seeds to give them something fun to do outdoors this spring.  We also have the hard workers of the garden like our Tower GardenTumbler Composter and Rain Barrel.  And for the non-squeamish, we have the Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin that is fun for the kids too!  These are gifts that keep on giving long after the holiday season.

Our kitchen section boasts lots of items for the chefs on your list.  I mean who wouldn’t like a little help in the kitchen?  From Unbleached Parchment Paper for safer baking to an All Clad Stainless Cookware Set, a Bamboo Cutting Board or even a Veggie Spiral Slicer . For the little helpers in the kitchen, we have Stainless Drinking Straws and, a kid favorite for sure, Popsicle Molds.  For those java junkies, why not present them with a safer, plastic free Percolator  or French Press?  These old school and energy efficient options are free of plastic internal parts so they are safe from chemicals leaching into your morning cup o’ joe.  Then, throw in some Percolator Filters to filter out the coffee oils that can potentially raise cholesterol if coffee is a daily habit.  If coffee is not your cup of tea, how about a Tea Strainer with some lovely loose teas?  Switching gears, perhaps a gift basket with some awesome micro-brew/craft beer is more your style and then add in our Stainless Steel Pint Cups for those times when glass isn’t an option but you wouldn’t dream of using plastic to drink your fine brew!

Our next store category is lunchbox, where you will find all sorts of sustainable items to replace those single use plastic/paper bags and plastic water bottles.  A cute Waste-Free Reusable Lunch Kit will make your recipients lunch a little more fun and a whole lot greener!  You will be saving them money in the long run since they won’t need to buy wasteful throw away items again!  And, of course, we think one of the best gifts to give is a Stainless Steel Water Bottle or Glass Water Bottle.  You can pack it up with some favorite beverages of your choice and know that your recipient will have a safe vessel to drink from everyday with no plastic residue leching into the mix. 

In our category called other, you will find a few unique gifts like a Solar Cell Phone Charger for camping and hiking.  You will also will find some Essential Oil Diffusers for a natural way to freshen the home without using chemical air fresheners. And, don’t forget these little Glass Mist Bottles and Essential Oils Roller Bottles to make your own essential oil blends for your friends on the go!

“Remember to take care of yourself.  You can’t pour from and empty cup” ~ anonymous

Sometimes, the last thing we think about is our personal care regime.  But it’s often the most important because these are the products we use on a daily basis.  Check out our Personal care section and find some little stocking stuffers, like homeopathic Arnica Gel for your athlete’s aches and pains or some everyday Everyday Grooming Items that replace some less healthy ones currently in use.  Perhaps you want to help your loved ones get a good night sleep with this Bucky Buckwheat Pillow which is stuffed with natural buckwheat and millet hulls to ensure a peaceful slumber without the off-gasing chemicals of standard pillows.   And, don’t forget to check out our #betterbeauty gift ideas from Beautycounter.  This amazing company has taken the guesswork out for us and banned over 1500 harmful chemicals from their product line.  There is no better way to say you care, than to protect your people from chemicals in the things they use daily and Beautycounter delivers on form, function and presentation!

Our storage category has great options for storing all the wonderful food you make over the holidays. To bypass leaching plastic containers, opt for these Stacking Glass Containers, Ball Mason Jars, or Stainless Food Canister that you can fill with goodies like Homemade Goji Berry Granola, spiced nuts, or Dark Chocolate Pistachio Bark, all of which make great gifts.  They can reuse these containers again and again.  Next, these stylish Reusable Bags will be sure to please, especially if you fill them with other goodies.  Or, simply give an ECO Shopping Bag System and throw in some Reusable Produce Bags as well to do your part in keeping plastic trash out of our landfills.  Giving a gift of an alternative storage solutions like these reusable, beeswax Abeego Storage Flats or these Suction Lids, not only replace plastic and foil wraps, but are really cool ideas that your recipient may not yet know about.

And finally, don’t forget to check out our Eco conscious Books section for some thoughtful Children’s Books , Cookbooks Mindful Musings and Environmental Reads.  We have a whole Collection to choose from!

While you are at it, get creative with your gift wrapping.  I recycle bows, ribbons, packaging, and reusable wrapping paper and re-purpose them in new and fun ways.  Here I took a Yogi tea box and turned it inside out!  It has a lotus mandala design on the inside that I thought was beautiful so it got one more use before being recycled! 

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, and REPORPOSE whenever possible to save money and save waste.

The products mentioned in this post send you to our Amazon Affiliate Program links.  If you choose to purchase anything, we receive a small commission at no additional charge to you that helps keep this site running, so we thank you! Here is the link to our full store: Suburban Smackdown Survival Gear Store


For more eco-awesome ideas check out our other posts: Holiday Gift Giving Eco-style  and Eco Your Holidays and Discover More Joy

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