Introducing the Everybody in the Pool Green Gift Guide
Toothpaste pellets, trash subscriptions, compost bins, biodegradable wipes, diamonds, thrifting, and more, oh my!
As you know, one of my prevailing theories here at Everybody in the Pool is that no one is looking for more problems, only solutions. And sometimes that just means a list of things to buy. I know it’s shopping season, and I know you’re probably trying to think of sort-of-last-minute gifts. I will, as always, caveat this post by saying the best thing to do is to buy as little as possible because people do not need more things.
But you can also use this opportunity to introduce your friends and family to sustainable goods they may not have considered, and hopefully, each of them will become an evangelist in their own right, and pretty soon, yes, a drop becomes a flood. We all have to start somewhere!
So, without further ado (and yes, I’m having serious CNET flashbacks right now), I present to you the first annual EITP Green Gift Guide! There are even diamonds.
Bamboozle compost bucket: Look, yes, sure, bringing compost to the holiday conversations is a big move out of the gate. But also, look how pretty! The Bamboozle countertop composter comes in 12 colors, all of which are gorgeous, and includes hemp filters that are themselves compostable. All the goods on Bamboozle, including the compost bucket, are lovely and practical, and made from highly renewable bamboo. Plus, the company is committed to repairing, not replacing, items if something goes wrong. (Hear more about the importance of repairing old goods in Episode 7!)
Price as of this writing: $40 with a year’s worth of filters
Other compost options:
Lomi: If you’re not about that compost-on-the-counter life, Lomi is a countertop compost device that heats and grinds food waste into nutrient-rich dirt—speeding up the compost process and creating plant food or waste that can go straight into your curbside compost pickup, if you have it. Scratches the gadget itch and the sustainability itch.
Price: $279 plus one-year subscription at $30 per month.
Mill: Granted, you’d be gifting a waiting list at the moment, but Mill is the grand-daddy of kitchen compost appliances—a biggole gadget that breaks down basically every kind of kitchen scrap into dirt that’s mailed off to hopefully eventually become chicken feed. If your family is ready to go all-in on composting, this is the IOU to wrap up. Hear Mill co-founder Matt Rogers on Episode 13!
Price: $33 per month, paid annually, bin included (or $45 per month, if you prefer)
FoodHuggers bundles: Wean the family off of ziploc bags and plastic wrap (not to mention plastic containers that leach chemicals into your food during storage and heating)! There are tons of reusable storage alternatives emerging, mostly made out of silicon, and I like these cute little bundles from FoodHuggers that include food savers (various-sized lids to put over actual food, like half a lemon or a cut tomato or avocado), flexible bowl covers, and sealable silicon bags.
Price: $40 to $109
Bite toiletry kits: A friend gave me a cute little glass jar of toothpaste pellets last year at Hannukah, and I love them! The jar is refillable, the toothpaste pellets take up a lot less space (and make a lot less mess) than a plastic tube, and this company Bite is now expanding into refillable and sustainable mouthwash tablets, deodorant, carbon capture soap bars, and cute accessories like soap dishes, travel tins, and bamboo toothbrushes. They have super cute gift sets, too.
Price: $42 to $70, and even a “daily habits” set for $15.50 a month.
(Learn more about how packaging—and shipping a bunch of heavy water around in the form of shampoo, toothpaste, and detergents, is unnecessary and wasteful, in episode 3!)
Biom sustainable wipes: I will confess that I came across this on Instagram, and at first I was annoyed and skeptical—stop using wipes and use towels, for crying out loud! But then I thought about it and realized that half of behavior change is meeting people where they are, and the truth is, my house is full of wipes! So instead of waiting to change my own wipe-using behavior, I can try to double up—use fewer, yes, but user better ones when I’m going that route. This company got me with its Insta-worthy refillable wipes containers, and they make plant-based, plastics-free wipes that are biodegradable after use. And they’re putting revenue towards plastic recycling programs and job training, and working toward using ocean plastics in their containers. And … pretty. Price: $39 for cleaning wipes starter kit.
Bambaw razors and other toiletries: Here’s a good last-minute collection since, well, this is a bit of a last-minute gift guide. Bamboo razors, shaving brushes, makeup remover pads, reusable straws, water bottles, reusable dental floss and menstrual pads—it’s kind of a one-stop shop for eco-friendly goods from a pair of twin brothers committed to zero-waste living.
Paka Apparel: I love this sustainable clothing startup, founded in Peru, making clothes out of alpaca fiber, traceable materials, and eco-friendly dyes, that also is a Certified B-Corp and uses some of its proceeds to provide scholarships for young Peruvian women. Also I have some of the socks and they are CRAZY soft.
All right, since I know it’s last minute and again, let me remind you, people do not actually need more stuff, here are a couple of subscription options to make folks happy!
Ridwell: If this subscription recycling and reuse service is available in your area, it’s a great gift and it makes you feel infinitely better about where your plastic, batteries, light bulbs, charging cables, old clothes, and a monthly rotation of “featured” items (everything from eyeglasses to yarn to denim to Halloween candy) are going, because you can find out straight from the website! Hear more about Ridwell in Episode 11. Price: $18 per month.
Rent the Runway: If you know me at all, you knew this was coming. The RTR clothing subscription is one of my favorite things in life: it keeps me from buying new clothes, contributes to a circular economy of reuse, and keeps my wardrobe stylish and up-to-date with things I could never afford otherwise. I’ve done the math over and over, and at $100 per month, this subscription has saved me thousands of dollars per year. Price: $94 to $235 per month for 5 to 20 items.
Rocksbox: I was recently alerted to this wonderful jewelry subscription service, because jewelry is something I’ve never been good at shopping for, and now I’m living the stacked-bangles and cocktail-rings dream! Price: $21 per month.
All right, if you really want to impress someone and declare that sustainable living doesn’t come with a single trade-off, consider this:
Aether Diamonds: Aether Diamonds makes fine jewelry out of carbon dioxide that’s captured from the air. Yeah. Boom. So, literally taking carbon emissions out of the atmosphere and developing a process to turn them into lab-grown diamonds that are ultimately carbon-negative. I mean. That is an impressive gift (plus, you can order by Dec. 21 to have things arrive by Christmas). Metals are ethically sourced and Aether is a Certified B Corp, as well.
And finally, here is my number one sustainable shopping gift guide idea for you all, suitable for last-minute and all year long:
GOODWILL. Some of you may know that I’m on the board of SF Goodwill, which is why I’m singling this organization out specifically—when you thrift with Goodwill, you’re supporting programs that provide job training and placement, and all kinds of other services that vary by location. You’re not bringing new things into the world, you’re supporting a circular economy, and you’re helping people in your community while you’re doing it. Pop down to your local Goodwill and find a find that will be unique, fun, and make you and your recipient feel great about it. Or, go online to Shop Goodwill and just straight up get in trouble, because wow, there is some good stuff there.
Happy holidays to all of you and one more tiny reminder that the best gift is AS FEW GIFTS AS POSSIBLE. Choose wisely, and enjoy!
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