Ask Eartha: A Holiday Gift Guide for Environmentalists

Based in Steamboat Springs, Grass Sticks makes custom bamboo ski poles.
Grass sticks / Courtesy photo

Dear Eartha, The impending waste that often accompanies the holidays puts a damper on my party spirit. How can I reduce waste while making vacations even more special for environmentally conscious loved ones?

Beyond the plentiful consumption and myriad of plastic-based gifts that will inevitably spend the next thousand years in a landfill somewhere, there are plenty of holiday gifts that put sustainability first. Here are some ideas.

Organic Image

Sold in a few local stores, Picture Organics is a leader in the sustainable clothing and outerwear revolution. Each piece of the brand’s Expedition Collection is made with bio-sourced seashell fabric from sugar cane waste. Its snow jackets and pants are made from a recycled PFC-free membrane comparable to GORE-TEX in terms of technical and waterproof protection. The main mission of B Corp is to fight climate change, noting that 7% of the world’s carbon emissions come from the textile industry. Thus, it uses sustainable and recycled materials in each of its products.


Another earth-conscious B Corp brand, Cotopaxi has led the charge, producing 90% of its outerwear, backpacks and bags with recycled, reused or environmentally friendly materials. The company has announced that by next year, 100% of its products will meet one or all of these green standards. One of his most useful articles met these criteria from day 1: the Bataan Del Dia belt bag is ultralight and fits all the items needed for a fast Nordic ski or morning skin, including your phone, tissues, a snack and a small bottle of water.

Eddie Bauer Astrolite Jacket

Designed for high aerobic winter activities and compressible in pocket size, the Astrolite is made from recycled materials. Eddie Bauer also Responsible Down Standard certifies its down jackets, which ensures humane treatment of the animals that produce the down, and recently announced a new sustainability roadmap with huge green goals to be achieved in the years to come. It aims to manufacture all relevant products with materials 50% approved by Bluesign i.e. safe and sustainable textile production, recycled or organic cotton and recycled nylon or polyester by 2025 and 100% by 2030.

Slice of Sitka salmon

Whether you’re skipping the traditional holiday turkey or hosting a crowd of Pescatarians, you’ll be hard pressed to find tastier or more sustainably harvested seafood. Sitka is a community-supported small boat fishermen’s collective that delivers wild-caught Alaskan seafood in biodegradable containers with frozen cornstarch-based food protection foam that dissolves completely in the water. Each box of fish is labeled with the boat and fisherman who caught it.

Natural Miraflora

With all the cannabis products on the market, it’s hard to know where the sources are coming from. One of the few fully integrated CBD farms in Colorado, the Miraflora operations team oversees every step of the CBD extraction process from the seed planting phase. Boulder Farm grows organic hemp using fertilizers from 10 resident alpacas. Hemp flowers are harvested by hand and extracted into full spectrum CBD oil, then used to formulate CBD-rich pain relief balms, sparkling water, dog food and bath bombs. relaxing – all great stocking stuffers.

saola shoes

Saola is a pioneer of sustainable footwear and recently added a few waterproof models to his collection (Mindo for women and Cannon for men). Soft, comfortable and easy to put on, you would never guess that these shoes are made from recycled plastic bottles (there are three to seven PET bottles used to create each pair). Other materials include organic cotton laces, natural cork, and toxic algae foam insoles / outsoles harvested from lakes and rivers.

Grass sticks

Based in Steamboat Springs, Grass Sticks produces custom made bamboo ski poles, which are much more durable than carbon fiber or aluminum, in addition to being light and strong. Per acre harvested, bamboo produces more oxygen and three times more material than trees and absorbs more CO2. The grass sticks are also made with 100% recycled polyester webbing and come with a two year unlimited warranty.


By working with sustainable tea growers and Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, Chariteas creates personalized and heartwarming winter tea blends and plants a tree with every purchase.


Whatever gifts you buy, this affordable wrapping paper is pretty, durable and 100% carbon neutral because it is made entirely from post-consumer recyclable materials and is itself 100% recyclable.

Shauna Farnell

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