It's that time of year again! The holidays are coming which means more baking, tons of events, and LOTS of shopping.
While gift-giving is my love language, I don’t love the amount of waste that goes along with it. Americans generate 25% more trash during the holiday season than the rest of the year. To help reduce my carbon footprint I’ve started to shop for sustainable materials like bamboo for friends and family this year.
It is possible to give great gifts without harming the environment. We’ve pulled together some of our all-time favorite bamboo gifts that will please everyone on your list.
1. Bamboo Sheets for the One Who Has Everything
After all that holiday fun, most of us just want a long winter's nap. Give your loved ones the gift of rest with super soft bamboo sheets. Bamboo fibers are naturally round with microscopic holes so the fabric is breathable and softer than cotton. The cooling properties help ensure a good night's rest during the busy holiday season when 66% of people report feeling more stressed.
Bamboo sheets always make me think of Oprah because I want to give them to everyone on my list. “You get bamboo sheets, you get bamboo sheets, YOU get bamboo sheets!.” Funny enough, my favorite is the dreamiest Bamboo Sheet Set from Cozy Earth that has appeared on Oprah’s favorite things list 4 years in a row! They’re the perfect gift when you don’t know what to give because who doesn’t want a better night's sleep?
2. Bamboo Cutting Board for the Entertainer
We all have that super cool cousin or best friend who loves to host game nights and birthday parties for everyone they know. For the entertainers on your list, a bamboo cutting board will take their hosting to the next level. Bamboo cutting boards are perfect for the kitchen because they resist retaining water so they don’t crack as easily as hardwoods. They’re also very durable and resist scaring. This keeps knives sharper and reduces the areas where bacteria can hang out on your board. Since bamboo grows up to 7 times faster than trees, a bamboo cutting board is also the more eco-friendly option.
Whether they’re carving a Thanksgiving turkey or serving up an epic cheeseboard, your host will love the XL Cutting Board from Royal Craft Wood. Made from 100% biodegradable bamboo, the XL cutting board is double-sided with helpful handles built right in. It also features juice grooves to save your counters from an overflow from your juice turkey or sticky watermelon. Your happy host can use it for prep or pile it high with seasonal charcuterie you’ll hopefully get to enjoy too!
3. Bamboo Dishes for the Aspiring Chef
You’d be amazed at the high-quality bamboo dishes you can find for your sustainable kitchen. From plates to utensils, bamboo is an ideal material to replace all that kitchen plastic. It’s all natural so you won’t have dangerous chemicals leeching into your foods and won’t absorb the stains and odors while cooking. Bamboo is lightweight but durable enough to last for years of new recipe testing.
For those on your list who love to cook, look no further than the Bamboo Mixing Bowl Set from Bamboozle Home. This seven-piece set is a workhorse in the kitchen. The larger sizes are ideal for mixing up your favorite family cookie recipe while the smaller ones are the perfect size for midnight snacks. Made from biodegradable bamboo fiber that’s dishwasher safe, they’ll be the first bowls they'll reach for over and over again.
4. Bamboo Planter for the Nature Lover
Bring the outdoors in for the nature lovers on your list with a bamboo planter. Filling your home with indoor plants has many benefits like reduced stress, faster recovery from illness, and increased productivity. Plus they help a room feel more alive and finished.
I especially love the adjustable plant stand and porcelain pot from Dear Desires. The width is fully adjustable so as your plant grows and your pot gets bigger you can keep using the same stand. You can also flip it over for a totally new look. The bamboo stand is a modern walnut color that goes perfectly with the clean look of the white porcelain pot. Add a plant that improves indoor air quality for a gift that keeps on giving long after the celebration ends.
5. Bamboo Loungewear for the Holiday Homebody
The holidays are filled with lots of parties and travel, but not everyone on your list may be filling their calendar with events and gatherings. For those who prefer to stay home for some R&R, bamboo loungewear makes the perfect gift. Bamboo fabric is some of the softest on the market. It’s moisture-wicking so it won’t absorb sweat and odor if their nighttime pajamas stay on to become their daytime pajamas.
If you know someone who loves to lounge, you’ll want to wrap up some bamboo sleep pants from Cariloha. Made of viscose from bamboo, these bamboo lounge pants are thermal regulating, moisture-wicking, and allergy-resistant. They’re lightweight and incredibly soft making them the perfect pants for enjoying your holiday vacation from your couch. These are a must-have for all the teens are your list too. Life is hard – give them something cozy to come home to.
6. Bamboo Bath Towels for the Self-Care Queen (Or King)
This is where I’d land on your list. There’s nothing better than wrapping up in a super soft bamboo towel after a hot sudsy bath. Even if you don’t cancel plans for a hot soak like I do, you probably still love the feeling of total relaxation. Bamboo towels give the gift of luxury and make even the most mundane shower feel like a 5-star hotel. They’re incredibly soft, absorbent, and eco-friendly. Bamboo only needs about ⅓ of the water as cotton to grow and doesn’t need any fertilizers or pesticides. Meanwhile, more pesticides are used on cotton than any other crop despite being grown on only 2.5% of agricultural land.
For all your friends and family who love to feel clean and pampered, wrap up some Premium Bamboo Bath Towels from Cozy Earth. Known for some of the softest bamboo fabrics, Cozy Earth also warranties their towels against pilling, discoloration, and shredding. The extra-large size and the premium fabric is luxurious enough to impress even the pickiest mother-in-law.
7. Bamboo Tech for the Gadget-Obsessed
There’s something satisfying about combining electronics with natural materials like bamboo. It’s like pulling a bit of nature into our modern world. Bamboo is a perfect complement to sustainable technology because it’s one of the most renewable resources on the planet. Using it in place of plastic helps reduce our carbon footprint as technology evolves every year.
My favorite piece of bamboo tech is the Bamboo Wooden Watch from Bobo Bird. It's super sleek with traditional links and a glass watch face. You can even have a message engraved to make it really special. Even better, Bobo Bird will plant a tree for every watch sold. It’s a gift that will create a positive impact for years to come.
8. Bamboo Toys for Little World Changers
Every kid I know has toys on the top of their wish list for the holidays. While play is one of the most important developmental activities for kids, the toy industry is very harmful to the environment. It’s the most plastic-intensive industry in the world and plastic toys can contain potentially toxic chemicals. Bamboo is an excellent alternative material to create the best toys for open-ended play and creativity.
My top bamboo toy pick this year is the Bamboo Building Block Set from Lakeshore Learning. Lakeshore is known for toys that educate and inspire curiosity while kids play. The bamboo block set is ideal for imagination and problem-solving as little ones construct castles and create their own games. The columns and bridges are a nice change from traditional square blocks and give endless options for building. The bamboo shape can be a great conversation starter with older kids about the importance of living sustainably.
9. Bamboo Pet Supplies for Your Furry Friends
Let’s face it, sometimes your pets are the most fun to buy for. They have no idea what’s going on so there’s no pressure to pick the perfect gift! While they’ll like anything you wrap up, you’ll still want to be mindful of the material you choose and bamboo supplies are some of the most eco-friendly. From pet beds to toys, you can surround your furry friends with safe, non-toxic bamboo that looks great in your home too!
Our favorite eco-friendly gift for your cat or dog this year is the Bamboo Pet Brush from Ola Bamboo. Every pet I know is looking for love in the form of ear scratches and belly rubs. This brush is a great way to groom them while showing loads of affection. It’s perfect for cats or dogs and is gentle on the most sensitive skin. The handle is compostable and biodegradable so when it finally wears out you can add it to your backyard compost bin.
Sustainable Gift Wrap
Once you’ve finished your shopping, you'll find yourself in the gift wrap aisle trying to figure out how to wrap it all without creating extra waste. Americans send 2.3 million pounds of wrapping paper to the landfill each year. It’s important to be mindful of how you are presenting your gifts this season. Try a few of these reusable gift wrap alternatives:
- Reuse gift wrap. If you already own wrapping paper and gift bags, use them instead of tossing them out. The key is to reuse them whenever possible.
- Try Furoshiki. This reusable fabric wrap is a traditional Japanese wrapping technique that allows you to reuse your wrap over and over.
- Wrap gifts in a towel. If you don’t want to invest in new reusable cloth, try folding up a bamboo towel for double the gift!
- Invest in reusable gift boxes. These work especially well if you’re giving to those you live with. I use my fancy boxes to store holiday ornaments and decor during the off-season. Then I wrap up gifts for my family so they’re not sitting empty while the decorations are up.
- Just don’t wrap your gifts. No one says you have to wrap your gifts. Your loved ones will remember the thought you put into selecting the item. No one remembers the wrapping paper.
Celebrate a Greener Holiday With Bamboo
Holidays are a time of celebration and creating memories. The last thing you want to leave behind is extra trash and microplastics. This season is the perfect time to become a more conscious consumer. Do your research on products and companies to find those who are socially and environmentally responsible. Fortunately finding the perfect eco-friendly gift is easier than ever when you choose sustainable materials like bamboo.