8 Gifts to Teach Your Teenager the Importance of Sustainability

The last several years have brought with them an increased awareness in our society about the importance of sustainable and eco-friendly practices, especially in regards to the purchases we make. When you consider the fact that 91% of plastic isn’t recycled, you realize it’s vital to start at the source and be more conscious of the products you purchase. 

The next crucial step after changing habits is to teach the next generation about the value of making sustainable decisions and continuing the progress we’ve achieved. A great place for the conversation to begin is with the gifts we give to our teenagers. As we make intentional purchases for them, the door opens to talking about why sustainability matters. 

The following list includes several environmentally-friendly gift ideas that can lead to meaningful discussions with the teens in your life.

1. A Reusable Water Bottle

Encourage your teen to drink more water and have a conversation about the harms of single-use plastics. Kleen Kanteen sells eco-friendly, insulated travel cups that can serve as a water bottle and a coffee mug. The company encourages sustainable business practices and supports other companies that are fighting climate change.

2. A Biodegradable Phone Case

Teach your teen about making earth-conscious choices in every detail of their life by gifting them with a biodegradable phone case from Pela. Pela is dedicated to eliminating waste from the world and seeks to educate people on how to more sustainable choices each day. It can start with something as simple as a phone case.

3. A Sustainable Shampoo Bar

Health and beauty practices are a great avenue for cutting down plastic waste from your teen’s lifestyle. Consider the gift of a paraben free shampoo bar, teaching your teenager that you don’t have to compromise beauty practices for sustainability. Lush seeks to reduce packaging waste in an effort to create cleaner business practices and sells numerous beauty and self-care items that would make the perfect gift for the teenager in your life.

4. A Recycled Journal

Karst notebooks are made with paper produced from recycled stone. They do not use any water or trees in the creation of their journals, resulting in a manufacturing process that leaves a 60% smaller carbon footprint than traditional paper. Their beautiful journals make excellent and sustainable gifts.

5. Zero-waste Shoes

Rothy’s has repurposed over 40 million plastic water bottles into their popular and stylish shoes. They strive for a zero-waste production process and make quality footwear for women and children. Consider gifting your teen with a pair of shoes and using the opportunity to explain the company’s environmental impact.

6. A Biodegradable Planter

Teach your teen the art of tending for a plant as an act of sustainability, and pair the gift with a biodegradable planter. Minimum Design uses 3D-printed bio-plastic (made from cornstarch) and recycled wood to create stunning, intricate planters. They strive to make a minimum impact on the environment and create beautiful pieces of art. Your green-thumbed teen will love these planters that come with a mission.

7. An Environmentally-friendly Jacket

Patagonia has been striving to make a positive impact on the environment since before it was trendy. They donate portions of their profits to environmentalist groups, encourage mending and recycling clothing before throwing it away, and strive to make the most sustainable choices in every step of their manufacturing process. Most of their jackets are made out of 100% recycled material and will keep your teen warm and stylish during the winter season.

8. A Plant-based Comforter

For your sleep-loving teenagers, the gift of a new comforter can bestow the double gift of a cozy bed and a lesson about sustainability. Buffy’s cloud comforters are made with eucalyptus, which is grown using 10 times less water than cotton. They also use recycled water bottles to produce the filling, which simultaneously reduces plastic waste and protects geese from potentially cruel animal practices. 

This list represents only the beginning of the possibilities for sustainable gift-giving ideas. Hopefully you can teach your teenagers that nearly every item we use in our day-to-day life can be replaced with a more sustainable option. 

With the surge in conscious brands striving to make a difference in the environment, you can now purchase an eco-friendly version of nearly anything, from beauty products to clothing to household items. Teach your teenager to research sustainable versions of their favorite items, and show them how they can do their part to help our world.

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