Gifts to save the planet

Give the year a proper send-off by doing some good.

a gift wrapped in brown paper and leaves
Don't give trashy gifts.DepositPhotos

The planet is getting hotter, autumn is dead, there are mosquitos everywhere, hurricanes are getting worse ... you get the idea. Everyone loves giving gifts for the holidays, but the best gift we can give to one another right now is a leg up in the fight against climate change and other pending ecological doom. On that cheery note, here are some environmentally friendly gifts to help your loved ones help Earth:

Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug

Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG Stainless Steel Mug
They won't even realize they're helping the environment.Zojirushi

Let’s start off with something fairly universal: a reusable coffee mug. The US throws out around 108 billion disposable cups per year, so there’s a lot of room for improvement here. Several PopSci staffers insist—quite passionately—that the Zojirushi is far and away the best travel mug in existence. It comes in a whole bunch of snazzy matte colors.

Mason jars

Ball Mason jars
Sigh.Amazon

If your hipster cousin has already eschewed travel mugs in favor of mason jars, get them some real pretty mason jars. Actually, just buy everyone mason jars. They’re genuinely great, and these are a nice retro shade of blue.

Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger

Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger
Let there be light.Anker

Something else you don’t have to be a huge eco-nerd to appreciate: a way to charge your devices on the go. Anker is a reliable brand for thing kind of thing, and their 21W Dual USB Solar Charger is the top seller in its category on Amazon. It’s on the bigger side—clearly designed to drape over a backpack during a hike—but folds down small enough that anyone who commutes with a backpack or tote could bring it around for everyday use. Give the gift of going off the grid.

Modfamily Silicone Stretch Lids

Modfamily Silicone Stretch Lids
Snappy!Amazon

Look, not every gift has to be super glitzy. Some of the best gifts are just incredibly useful. Silicone stretch lids definitely fall in that category. Use them to seal up bowls of leftovers—or half-cut-up fruits and veggies—so you waste less food! Use one as an impromptu mason jar lid! Go wild!

Swiffer Sweeper Compatible, Microfiber Mop Pads by Easily Greener

Swiffer Sweeper Compatible, Microfiber Mop Pads by Easily Greener

Remember when we just used mops?Amazon

OK, so, yes, the point of a Swiffer is that it’s like a mop, but the gross part is disposable. If your giftee owns a washing machine, why not encourage them to find a happy medium?

Reusable Makeup Remover Pads - Organic Cotton Rounds Soft Bamboo Toner Pads with Laundry Bag

Reusable Organic Cotton Pads

At least it's not reusable toilet paper.Amazon

Sometimes it doesn’t even occur to us how wasteful the products we use every day are—or how easy it would be to make a reusable version. Case in point: make-up removing pads. Get this eco-friendly version for the eyeliner-lover in your life. And if they balk, just make sure they know that the same company also sells reusable toilet paper. They’re getting off easy.

Luxe Bidet Neo 120

Luxe Bidet Neo 120
Some greening measures you've got to take day bidet.Amazon

A responsibly used bidet will clean your bum using just a few gallons of water per week. The alternative is to use about half a roll of toilet paper, which takes around 18.5 gallons of water to produce. This one pops right onto existing toilet hardware. Give the gift of a cleaner tuchus.

EasyGoProducts Hand Powered Clothes Washing Wand

EasyGoProducts Hand Powered Clothes Washing Wand
No, it's not a plunger.Amazon

If you’re shopping for someone who either likes to go camping or lives in an apartment without a washing machine, you can get them a useful little present that just happens to also be eco-friendly. Hand washing small batches of clothes uses a lot less water than running the washing machine, but it’s also less effective. You can buy a fancy pod to slosh your washing around in—the agitation gets it cleaner—but those aren’t as portable or cheap as a Washing Wand. It’s literally just a tool for poking your clothes around in a bucket, but it’s the right tool for poking your clothes around in a bucket.

Chirps Cricket Protein Chips

Chirps Cricket Protein Chips

Not slimy, but satisfying.Amazon

Eating bugs: it’s good for the planet. Like, really good. And it doesn’t have to be even a little bit gross; it can actually be super tasty. Give your loved ones a sweet and gentle introduction to entomophagy with Chirps. These protein-packed chips are yummy—and they’re also made from crickets. Everybody wins.