The holiday season is upon us which brings the challenge of finding a thoughtful gift for the special people in our lives. If you’re wondering what to get your favorite coworkers while keeping your carbon footprint low, then here’s a must-have guide on sustainable office gifts!

For the Organizers

Use what you already have around the home or office to create a chic upcycled organizer! You can use patterned wrapping paper and old cereal boxes to create a nifty file/magazine holder or a desk organizer. For the coworker who loves adorning their work space with Post-Its and tiny memos, create a DIY bulletin board or a photo display board out of cardboard and fabric.

Choose refillable fountain pens or pen alternatives like Sprout pencils, plantable pencils that yield basil, thyme, cherry tomatoes, sunflowers, and more. Sprout allows customers to personalize their pencils with logos and messages.

Onyx and Green, another eco-friendly office supply brand, manufactures a diversity of products made from sustainable and recycled materials such as sugarcane paper notebooks, recycled rubber erasers, refillable coffee bean ballpoint pens and much more.

For the Entrepreneurs

Gift the go-getters in your office sustainable business cards such as these 100% recyclable cotton cards from Moo or Botanical Paperworks plantable business cards that biodegrade and grow into herbs and wildflowers. Botanical Paperworks seed paper is also used in their calendars, letterheads and envelopes, and personalized journals.

Give your coworkers the gift of knowledge by purchasing a subscription to MasterClass, an online platform that offers 2,500+ lessons covering a wide range of topics – business, community & government, music, wellness, and more –  and taught by the world’s top experts. MasterClass also offers 30-day sessions if you don’t want to buy an annual subscription.

For the Plant and Animal Lovers

Gifting a plant is an easy way to spruce up (pun intended) your coworker’s office space. There are several low-maintenance office plants that do well in artificial low lighting such as bamboo, pothos, Chinese evergreen, and many others.

For the true green thumbs, put together a seed jar that contains a variety of herb and vegetable seeds that your colleague can plant in their gardens at home. Adorn the jar with ribbon, bows and other fun decorative elements. You can do the same with bird seed too.

Tickets to your local AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium are also a great gift for animal lovers.

For the Bookworms

Gifting your work bestie a second hand copy of your favorite book or a book on a topic that they adore makes for a truly thoughtful gift. Get crafty and include an easy sewn fabric bookmark, a cute cat bookmark, or one made with pressed flowers. Find endless DIY bookmark ideas on Pinterest.

If they say they have too many books (which is bookworm lie #1 by the way), then opt for the e-book version instead. Perhaps buy a locally made candle to support small businesses or try NOTES® refillable wax candles, a more sustainable way to set the mood. There’s nothing cozier than reading a good book next to a candle emanating notes of vanilla and pepperwood, citrus and basil, and other scents.

For the Fitness Buffs

A personalized reusable water bottle or tote bag are practical gifts for your fitness friends. But remember! Just because something is reusable doesn’t necessarily mean it’s fully sustainable. Be sure to buy from certified companies who practice sustainable and ethical sourcing and manufacturing.

For the ones who are all about the gains, buy them a case of protein bars from sustainable brands such as LARABAR (Fairtrade certified), Manitoba Harvest (B Corp certified and carbon neutral), and Clif Bar (LEED certified and renewable energy leader).

Sustainable fitness gear is growing in popularity. Check out these eco-friendly resistance bands from MADFITT and plant-based Yoloha yoga mats and blocks made from 70% renewable materials. If you and your work bestie made a pact to prioritize your health this year, then consider enjoying an exercise class together.

For the Fashionistas

Give the office fashionista an accessory that they’ll be proud to wear. Find ethical jewelry from B Corp certified brands like ABLE, SOKO, and many independent artisans on Etsy. An even more sustainable option – find vintage second hand items from your local boutique. This also supports the small business owners in your community.

Sustainable makeup brands are on the rise. Products from brands such as Elate Cosmetics, Axiology, Tata Harper and more are vegan, non-toxic and cruelty-free, include sustainable (often refillable) packaging and ethical ingredients, and help support environmental and social efforts around the world.

For the Sweet Tooths

If you have a mason jar lying around, fill it up with any of these delicious cookie mix recipes and voila! You have a quick and easy sustainable office gift.

Support your community farmers by purchasing a locally farmed honey or look for Fair Trade certified chocolate online or at your nearby grocery store.

And if baking is their hobby, consider eco-friendly kitchen supplies such as reusable Swedish dishcloths, beeswax food wrap, organic cotton plant-dyed oven mitts, reusable silicone baking cups and baking sheets, and so much more from EarthHero.

For the Ones Who Have Everything

If you still can’t figure out a green gift idea for your coworker, then here are some tried-and-true sustainable office gifts for the person who has everything.

  • Tickets to the movies or amusement park
  • A group class such as cooking, pottery, glass blowing, etc.
  • Tickets to see their favorite musical artist, band or stand up comedian
  • E-gift card to one of their favorite stores
  • Thoughtful handmade gift (Here are some ideas)
  • Hand painted portrait of them and/or their pet
  • Poem expressing how much you appreciate them
  • Picture collage made from old magazines

The holiday season isn’t all about material things but choosing sustainable office gifts can set a good example for your coworkers and support a green work culture. Find more ways to be green during the holidays and all year round on our blog!

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