Passive-aggressive gifts that are also good for the planet

Presents for the people who are, uh, less concerned about the planet than you are.

Passive-aggressive gifts that are also good for the planet
Nudge them into a more eco-conscious 2019.Hasan Almasi via Unsplash

The oceans are rising, wildfires are raging, and time is running out to save the planet we call home. Hopefully you’re already doing your part, but what about the friends and family who are less concerned? If talking their ear off about eco-friendly practices isn’t working, consider giving them a gift that subtly—or, uh, not so subtly—suggests they change their wasteful ways. Here are a few options.

A reusable container

Zojirushi
ZojirushiAmazon

Who doesn't love a hot beverage on the go? If your loved one is frequently spotted holding paper or (gasp) styrofoam vessels to house their morning brew, get them the travel mug the PopSci editors swear by. They'll have one less excuse to rely on single-use products. $24.

Reuseable straws

Kitchen Up
Kitchen UpAmazon

If you're not going to get them to quit their Frappuccino habit, you can at least make it easy for them to quit plastic straws. This highly-rated set comes with a mix of colorful silicone straws and metal ones, plus special tools to keep them squeaky clean. $10.

A canning kit

Granite Ware Canning kit
Granite WareAmazon

Food waste is a huge environmental problem; Americans are especially terrible at eating the food we buy before it goes bad. And then there's the fact that most of the food we eat travels a long way to get to us, meaning it spends a whole lot of resources getting to your kitchen. You can alleviate the effects of both problems by buying food that's in season in your area and canning it to keep it edible for longer. Canning sounds kind of scary, but it's easy to do if you have the right tools. Get your friends a set of those tools and look forward to a future of fruit preserves in your holiday stocking. $45.

A freezer compost bin

Freezer compost bin
Full CircleAmazon

We did promise this list was passive-aggressive, right? Well, if your giftee isn't the type to get into a hobby as labor-intensive as canning, you can skip right to buying them a bin for freezer composting. This is a gift that says "I know you tell yourself you can't compost because it's too smelly and messy, but we both know that's a load of crap." This nifty little freezer bin ensures the food won't lure in pests, which will leave them with no excuses. $15.

100 Easy Vegan Recipes to Munch

Vegan stoner cookbook
Vegan stoner cookbookAmazon

Diet is a personal matter, but one thing is for certain: most Americans eat way more meat than is good for them, and animal products are, on the whole, not so great for the environment. Reach new levels of eco-friendliness by giving your loved ones a book of vegan recipes so easy they could make them while totally stoned. $14.

Cricket chips

Chirps cricket chips
ChirpsAmazon

Is a cookbook for stoners still too difficult for your wasteful little darling to work with? Just buy them some chips made with cricket flour. Bugs are a much more sustainable animal protein than beef, and sneaking these critters into a crispy chip is great news for everybody (and every body—unless they have shellfish allergies). $20.

Save some water

Drop-a-brick
Drop-a-brickDrop-a-brick

It's like giving someone coal, if that coal was a brick they were supposed to drop into their toilet tank. Doing so saves some 1.5 liters of water with every flush by keeping the tank from filling up all the way. $15.

A bidet

Luxe bidet
Luxe BidetAmazon

Give the gift of a squeaky clean tush! Bidets are generally less wasteful than toilet paper. $35.

Recycled toilet paper

Recycled toilet paper
Who Gives a CrapWho Gives a Crap

Toilet paper as a gift is probably just plain aggressive, but this company does offer jaunty holiday designs on their rolls. Plus, Who Gives a Crap's paper is so soft and smooth that your giftee is sure to thank you—just don't expect a gleeful reaction when they first see what you've gotten them. $1 per roll.

A classy bike bag

A classy bike bag
OrtliebOrtlieb

Here's another "no more excuses" present: Ortlieb bags are the absolute best for all your cycling needs, and they make a few models designed to seamlessly transition from transit to chic urban living. In other words, this snazzy bag can guilt your bike-riding friend into actually riding their bike places instead of driving or taking public transit. $175.

A cozy sweater

A cozy sweater
Amazon EssentialsAmazon

I love climate control as much as the next person, but most of us have gotten pretty spoiled about fiddling with the temperature to suit our fashion whims instead of the other way around. A simple, cozy sweater makes for a lovely (if kind of generic) gift, and when you tell them to put on a dang sweater before jacking up the heat, they'll have this super soft option at the ready. $29.

A Rent the Runway gift card

Rent The Runway
Rent The RunwayRent The Runway

About a year ago, I started renting my clothes. It's cut down on my shopping for sure, and made it possible for me to be indecisive about what I wear without buying fast fashion—which, let's be clear, is super fun but super terrible for the planet. Rent The Runway is something every Earth-loving fashionista should try, and a RTR gift card might well be the least passive-aggressive object on this list.

A Package Free Store gift card

Package Free Store gift card
Package Free StorePackage Free Store

If you want an eco-friendly gift for someone in the "wow what the heck do I get this person" category, consider a gift card to an establishment like the Package Free Store. They work with wholesalers to make sure their products create as little package waste as possible, from production to the time they arrive at your door. $10.

A reusable deodorant stick

Helmm reusable deodorant stick
HelmmHelmm

Helmm might surprise your stinky giftee: the company’s deodorants and antiperspirants come in recyclable little pods that screw into a reusable, high-quality container. Gift kits provide two refills sent on your recipient’s schedule, so you can set them up for months of living stench-free with some 60 percent less plastic usage.

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