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October 13, 2021 5 min read

It’s that special time of the year yet again. Get ready for holiday carols, gatherings with loved ones, glorious feasts, and of course, presents! We’re all looking for the perfect gifts that will put a smile on the faces of those near and dear to us. To help you get the inspiration you need as you go gift shopping, we’ve put together our holiday gift guide 2021 for all the sustainability conscious people in your life.

One huge plus point about these eco-friendly gifts is that you get to help Mother Earth in the process. These are exactly the win-win kinds of gifts that embody what the season is all about!

Without further ado, let’s get started!

A cork yoga mat beside flowers


1. Plantable Pencils & Eyeliner 

Every year, around 82,000 trees are cut down in order to manufacture 14 billion pencils. This is why the creators of Sprout Pencils and Sprout Eyeliners designed a product that allows you to enjoy your pencil (or eyeliner) and still give back to the environment. 

Once you’re finished with a Sprout Pencil or Eyeliner, simply plant it and watch it grow into beautiful flowers, fragrant herbs, or yummy vegetables. You can even get a bunch of customizable options! 

Simply put, these products carry a strong message of sustainability with every pencil planted. Moreover, you can get coloured pencils for your kiddos to encourage any budding artists and/or green thumbs that it’s more than possible to pursue your passion without compromising the environment’s well-being.

It’s an all-in-one present that’s high up on our Holiday Gift Guide 2021! 


2. Cork Yoga Mat 

Though yoga is great for your health, the yoga mats that end up being thrown away are not so healthy for the planet. This is because traditional yoga mats are made with PVC and will not biodegrade for thousands of years. So for anyone who wants to do yoga while still having a sustainable lifestyle, the cork yoga mat is a perfect gift!

Cork is one of the most environmentally friendly materials out there, for three main reasons:

  1. No trees are cut down when harvesting cork;
  2. Cork is biodegradable; and
  3. Forests where cork is harvested support high levels of biodiversity

Aside from all the eco-benefits involved when using this material, cork yoga mats give a sense of being closer to nature. I mean, who doesn’t like the organic feel of cork, right?


3. Bamboo Reusable Pads 

200,000 tons of waste per year come from disposable tampons, pads, and panty liners. To make matters worse, these disposable period products have plastic components that can take 500-800 years to fully decompose. Yikes!

The bamboo pads made by illum can be reused for four years or more, keeping waste from ending up in landfills or oceans. Because these are also made of natural fibres, they fully biodegrade much faster. An added benefit is that these pads give an overall better period experienceall thanks to their size, absorbency, and breathable material. Definitely, a thoughtful and eco-friendly holiday gift!

Close-up of a reusable pad

4. Cork Planters

Potted plants are a great addition to any home. Recently, however, the use of plastic planters continues to rise – a product that often just gets thrown away when it eventually cracks or fades. 

Earlier we talked about how amazing cork is as an eco-friendly and sustainable material. Now, you can enjoy them as planters too. 

Often treated with a special coating, cork planters tend to last much longer. An added benefit is that they are naturally porous, which is great for growing plants. Need we even talk about how wonderfully natural and quirky they look? A perfect gift indeed for any Earth-loving gardener!


5. Bamboo or Cotton Tote Bag 

We’re already well acquainted with what reusable tote bags can contribute to eco-friendly lifestyles. However, by securing tote bags made of bamboo or cotton, you take eco-friendliness to a whole new level by opting for some of the most sustainable natural fibres in existence. 

Illum-inate your life with our planet-friendly cotton tote bag!

illum’s cotton tote bag


6. Reusable Straws: Steel and Silicone 

Plastic straws account for 1% of the plastic waste in the ocean. Though this may seem like a small number, that’s 1% out of a total of 8 million tons of plastic that end up in our oceans each year – so these straws are clearly a huge deal. Moreover, straws are known to injure marine life. 

This is why reusable straws are one of the best inventions of the 21st century. Though these are a staple in every eco-friendly gift guide, some people still have qualms about using them, especially the hard metal straws. 

Good thing there’s an alternative for anyone who wants to keep the soft straw feel; we’re talking about silicone straws. They are soft, colourful, and great for the environment. Therefore, in this holiday gift guide for 2021, we challenge people to give reusable straws a much-deserved second chance!


7. Silicone Food Storage Bags 

Upon touching silicone, many of us may think that it feels and looks like the usual plastic. Therefore, you might ask yourself “Isn’t this just as bad as plastic?” The short answer to this is no. 

Though technically, silicone is plastic, it also is considered part of the rubber family. Because of its properties, many consider it to be a convenient, durable, and reusable alternative to plastic. 

Silicone is microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, and resistant to caustic detergents. All these factors make silicone one of the best materials for food storage bags. They also take up very little space in your purse making them convenient as an on-the-go must-have! 


8. Silicone Bakeware 

Silicone’s high-thermal stability makes it the perfect material for bakeware. Do not be fooled by their soft appearance; silicone bakeware can actually be put directly on an oven rack. 

With silicone muffin cups included in some bakeware sets, you will never need to buy a pack of disposable paper cups ever again. It’s a genius innovation – and that’s why it’s part of our sustainable gift guide! 


9. Reusable Bowl Covers 

Fabric bowl covers are available in various sizes and colours. Use these to cover your leftovers and you will be able to keep a lot of cling wrap from ending up in the landfills or in the oceans. Say hello to more stylish looking bowls that are kinder to the planet.  


10. Solar Powered Charger 

Use the power of the sun to keep your phone charged during long trips or off-the-grid vacations. Some of these can be clipped securely to a backpack to soak up that sweet sunshine while you walk or hike. 

Anyone who gets this sweet present from our holiday gift guide this year will have the chance to benefit from the most sustainable source of energy known to man, the sun. Now, this is a gift that just keeps on giving, wouldn’t you agree? 

a group of women exchange eco-friendly Christmas gifts


Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Conclusion 

And that wraps up our 2021 holiday gift guide of eco-friendly gifts! With the items in this sustainable gift guide, you are sure to put a smile on someone’s face while also letting Mother Earth breathe a little easier. 

Happy Holidays, from us at illum


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