Sustainable Gifts for the Eco-friendly Couple
Leading an environmentally sustainable life comes in many forms, from adopting the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra to considering how to lessen our carbon footprint. But living sustainably also means giving sustainably. Whether your shopping for an already environmentally conscious duo or hoping to spread your own eco-friendly attitude, there is absolutely no reason not to choose a green gift.
As Cayley Pater, Founder and CEO of Made Trade, a women-owned and family-run company whose mission is “to make it easy for people to discover beautifully designed, ethically made and sustainably sourced goods for their home and wardrobe in one place,” says, “I think weddings are a wonderful opportunity to start your journey bringing meaningful and responsibly-sourced items into your life. Whether it’s creating a registry or picking out a unique gift for the newly weds, looking for handcrafted and earth-friendly gifts is a win-win for both the recipient and the world.”
Giving a sustainable gift is more than a present, it’s an easy way to inspire a sustainable life. Here are 7 eco-conscious ideas:
Bedding, but Better!
Is anything better than crawling into luxe linens at the end of the day? How about that but the added bonus of knowing those satin-soft sheets also make Mother Nature rest easy at night? If you’re looking for bedding to add to your registry or give to a special couple, seek out green options through companies like Made Trade or California Design Den.
California Design Den’s non-toxic & chemical-free biodegradable bedding is sourced from the highest-quality, earth-grown materials and crafted by skilled artisans in their award-winning, certified green facility. Committed to sustainability, the brand’s packaging is also biodegradable and contains zero plastics to help prevent polluted waterways and oceans.
California Design Den has various products for newly-weds from beautiful bamboo sheets to plush towels to cozy weighted blankets. These products are the perfect gift to liven new homes with soft, and sustainable products.
When it comes to items you use everyday, like pots and pans, durability is everything.
Being sustainable is an important pillar of our brand and business. Hestan cookware is unique in that they own all their factories and materials, so they have the most control over the design, production, and manufacturing of their products. From sourcing the highest quality raw materials for their premium cookware to developing packaging from recycled materials, they ensure they are sustainable throughout the entire process. Their patented NanoBond technology bonds thousands of nanolayers to 18/10 stainless steel construction, making the cookware 100% toxin-free and 400% stronger than typical stainless steel, creating near-indestructible cookware that will last a lifetime.
Michael Kane, the expert behind Hestan’s Cookware Concierge service, offers the following advice:
- Do your research. Become knowledgeable about what distinguishes one brand from another. If possible, try out the cookware in person to make sure it’s comfortable and well balanced in your hand. There’s a very wide range in quality, and therefore, price. Don’t sell yourself short by selecting an inexpensive set to save a few dollars—making a good investment initially will save you money down the road.
- Opt for a well-rounded collection for everyday cooking. Hestan Culinary’s 10-piece set is by far our best seller, it’s the perfect combination of pots and pans for anyone setting up a kitchen. Available in our CopperBond™, NanoBond™, and ProBond™ collections, the set contains 2 skillets, 2 saucepans, 1 sauté pan and 1 stock pot.
- Consider those “must-have” cookware items. When it comes to “must-haves,” I would pick something from our NanoBond™ line which offers revolutionary stainless-steel cookware that’s 400% stronger than the average stainless. You can’t go wrong with the 11-inch Skillet, 3-quart Saucepan, 3-quart Soup Pot, or 5-quart Essential Pan.
- Sets versus individual pieces. Sets can be expensive and more money than an individual might be willing to spend, so sometimes a group of guests combine their purchases into one big gift. Many couples register for each piece individually and then configure their collection once everything has been gifted. This is a wish list, so don’t leave anything out!
Give Greens, Literally!
“Plants are the gifts that keep on giving. They improve air quality while reducing stress and anxiety, and promoting focus, creativity and productivity,” notes Elisa McCurdy, Plant Expert and Creative Consultant at Greendigs, an innovative company whose mission is to “make beautiful, thriving plants accessible to growers of all experience levels, in whatever space they call their own.”
McCurdy describes some notable perks of picking a plant-centric present: “We learn a lot from our plants. They teach us how to nurture our growth, awaken our environment, and embrace the light. But perhaps the most important thing plants teach us is how to slow down. Many times we feel pressure to grow, succeed, or live at the pace of others. Caring for our houseplants shows us that each individual plant grows in its own time and its own beautiful way.”
At Greendigs, “The plant you ordered arrives potted with premium potting soil in the container you selected, making it easier than ever to welcome your plant home and eliminate excess soil and plastic nursery pots. Our clay pots are hand crafted from locally sourced clay and stained with natural oxides, and provide the ideal growing environment for plants.”
Another fabulous way to give a little slice of nature to a couple you know appreciates the outdoors: the Flower of the Month subscription program at Winston Flowers, a Boston-based florist that is committed to local blooms and fair trade practices. Kate Evans, Director of Marketing, says, “Winston Flowers’ Flower of the Month is perfect for the couple that appreciates the beauty of the natural world. Our designers carefully select the most exquisite flowers of the season and feature them in a simple design that allows their natural beauty to really shine. It’s something that is unique and thoughtful, and will bring reoccurring joy to the celebration of their engagement or their first year of marriage.”
Help Make a House Home
Big ticket items and furniture help lay a foundation for a new home, but the small details are what really make us feel held and loved in our new space. For environmentally friendly home decor, Made Trade has countless options. Pater says, “One Made Trade product I always love to recommend as a gift for couples is a Nipomo upcycled Mexican blanket. These beautiful blankets have a wonderful story, as each one is handwoven by artisans in central Mexico with leftover yarns from the garment industry. They also have a really nice hefty weight, and they are super versatile as the perfect on-the-go picnic/camping blanket, or ready to cozy up with on the couch. ..Another great wedding or engagement gift I love to recommend are sustainably sourced, heirloom quality quilts. Most of the beautifully handcrafted quilts on Made Trade are made by artisans in India using premium earth-friendly materials like GOTS certified organic cotton.”
In exciting news, Pater says, “We actually are launching our new registry on Made Trade this week! Anyone can create an ethical and sustainable registry on madetrade.com. We work hard to make sure we have a curated yet wide assortment of ethically made goods on Made Trade, no matter your aesthetic. You can choose from thousands of responsibly-made products across home decor, bedding, furniture, kitchen and dining, as well as baby products, clothing and accessories to add to your registry for your next big life event.”
A Romantic Green Getaway
After a wedding, couples can be wiped out and drained physically, mentally, and emotionally. What better way to pamper the newlyweds than a romantic overnight where they can kick-back and let others take care of them? For an environmentally-conscious pair, consider opting for a hotel with a similar mindset, such as the Kimpton Marlowe Hotel in Cambridge, MA. General Manager Joe Capalbo and regional director of operations for Kimpton Hotels of New England suggests that you consider offering an experience from a particular hotel or hotel company that promotes or offers various ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
Capalbo also adds that a hotel getaway gifted to eco-friendly couples should offer a stay that’s part of the solution to take better care of our planet. He says this heartfelt care goes beyond the well-being of our guests and employees, it also extends to the world around us. He says, “We’re passionately committed to extending care to our communities and that begins with how we treat our planet. At Kimpton, we’ve proudly implemented more than 100 practices to make our hotels, restaurants, community, and the world around us a better place. So when you’re staying or dining with us, rest assured we’re doing everything we can to create an environmentally-responsible experience.”
As a brand, Kimpton was the ﬁrst hotel brand to become 100 percent portfolio-wide certiﬁed by the Green Key Eco-Rating Program and the brand has won multiple awards touting its environmental leadership, such as the Condé Nast World Savers Award and the National Geo Tourism Award, presented by National Geographic and the Travel Industry Association of America.
Reuseables for the Win
As many couples are making a pledge to reduce on single use plastics, a simple way to support that goal is to offer a great alternable in reusable plastics. Stacey Feeley, Co-Founder of GoSili, says “The GoSili brand was founded on the principal that it was time to stop the endless cycle of buying things that don’t last and single use products that spend half a millennia in a landfill. GoSili believes that by bridging the gap between great design and affordability we can create a cultural shift to better sustainable habits improving the way we live…GoSili products allow environmentally-conscious couples to incorporate sustainability into their daily routines, by creating a cultural shift away from single use plastics and providing the alternative to them. “
Here are some of Feeley’s recommendations for great wedding or engagement fits:
- goSili travel mugs, practical for everyday use and available in a variety of stylish colors and designs ideal for both the groom and for the bride
- A gift package of assorted goSili items to help outfit and build their sustainable kitchen with items including GoSili reusable drinking cups, straws, snack bags and more
- goSili reusable straws in travel tins, a fun and practical gift for them to take on their honeymoon.
- For the couple who lives near the ocean and/or who are doing an ocean destination wedding or honeymoon, a gift package of GoSili’s Ocean cups and Straws that support ocean conservation
The Matress of All Matresses
One of the most crucial decisions a couple can make together is the mattress– from firmness to temperature, these seemingly small decisions have a major impact on their day to day life. One factor that should not be overlooked is the environmental impact of a mattress. Jessica Hann, SVP Brand Marketing + Sustainability at Avocado, says “Environmental sustainability is at the heart of every decision we make. From the beginning, Avocado just wanted a new kind of mattress. One that was greener — better for people and the planet — affordable, and comfortable. It was a simple idea rooted in a much bigger vision…Our Eco Organic Mattress is perfect for a newly-married couple looking to reduce their environmental impact. It’s the first of its kind — a 100% GOTS certified organic mattress at an incredibly affordable price (starting at $699.) It also features GOLS certified organic latex and GOTS certified organic wool from our own sustainable farms. Wool and latex are naturally breathable. Wool keeps you cool and dry in summer and warm in winter, and latex features an open-cell structure that keeps you from sinking in and trapping heat. Meanwhile, body contouring coils are individually pocketed for effective airflow and motion isolation — so it’s ideal for couples.”
Emily Marcus is a Boston-based freelance lifestyle and travel writer. A recent graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Emily’s work can be found in numerous regional and national publications including Connect Corporate Magazine, Alma, New England Living, and Bride and Groom. She has served as the Arts Editor for both Southeast Florida Style and Design Magazine and Charleston Style and Design Magazine. Emily is currently an Academic Advisor at Northeastern University where she also teaching writing courses.