When COVID-19 started its global rampage, the use of plastic skyrocketed, with takeaway containers and single-use masks being used more than ever before. While the use of these plastic items may have helped to slow the spread of the virus, it is leading to a tsunami of plastic waste that no one is quite sure how to deal with. To stem our use of plastic, Earth.Org has put together a list of 11 of the best environmentally friendly gifts of 2020.

More than 500 000 tons of microplastics are released into the environment each year- the equivalent of around 50 billion plastic bottles! 35% of all microplastics come from washing synthetic materials that contain plastic, like polyester, nylon and acrylic, however we don’t yet know the impact that these fibres have on our health. 

First on our list of environmentally friendly gifts, the Guppyfriend laundry bag filters out the tiny microfibres released from your clothing during washing. After the washing is done, simply collect the fibres and dispose of them properly. 

This Hong Kong-based beauty brand uses natural ingredients and is free of toxic and harmful chemicals. With a lineup of products including deodorant and face and body oils, the brand also uses recyclable or up-cyclable packaging, free of plastic. 

Another Hong Kong-based brand, this new activewear retailer has sustainability at its core, using a range of fabrics which all contain varying amounts of recycled plastic from waste products including plastic bottles, fishing nets and nylon carpets. Where these products aren’t used, the company uses recycled polyester and nylon. Further, the bags used to send the products to the customer are made from bags that will break down within 3-6 months if composted, or within 1-2 years if they end up in a landfill.

Perfect for space-starved places such as Hong Kong, this home composter fits on a kitchen countertop and is 45cm x 22cm x 16cm in size and is odourless.

Drop fruit and vegetable peelings, grain foods and tea bags into a top opening. The worms in the composter will eat at least half of their own weight of scraps per day. The composter can process over 1kg of food a week, enough to keep up with most or all of the scraps in a two- or three-person household. Spread the easily removed compost next to your plants or in pots. 

The average lifespan of a single-use cup is 13 minutes- and less than 1% of this is recycled because of their plastic content.

Ecoffee Cup is created with bamboo fibres and is BPA and phthalate free. According to the company, it feels like “thick, yet super-light cardboard.” The reusable cups come in 250ml, 350ml, 400ml and 460ml sizes.

Another reusable product but slightly different in execution is this Stojo silicone collapsible water bottle that is 18.1cm when expanded and 8.3cm when collapsed into a leak-proof cube. 

According to Stojo, the water bottle can save more than 10kg of greenhouse gas emissions, 8kg of solid waste and more than 1000 litres of water every year.

This handy product is a power bank powered by solar energy that is perfect for taking along on camping and hiking trips and can fully charge most iPhone and Samsung phones in 6 hours.

The charger is also equipped with dual flashlights, an emergency light and a compass kit.

This kit is perfect for those who want to live more sustainably. It includes 4 reusable grocery bags, a string bag, sandwich bags, beeswax wrap, reusable bamboo cutlery sets and a reusable straw set. 

These activewear shoes are made with recycled materials that are better for the environment and look good.

Each pair contains 11 recycled plastic bottles, saves 31 litres of water and captures 64 cubic metres of carbon dioxide. Various other shoes under the brand contain algae-based conditioning and vegan suede.

Last on our list of environmentally friendly gifts, this book is perfect for business owners looking to grow their business sustainably while also helping to fight the climate crisis, giving the reader ideas to increase employee engagement, customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

Written by the founder of Ecomatcher, Bas Fransen, this book will give you the knowledge to address the climate breakdown crisis with technologies and innovative business models. 

You might also like: Top 15 Environmental Podcasts of 2020

environmentally friendly gifts