Science

Can Individuals Actually Make a Difference When it Comes to Climate Change?

A deep dive into carbon footprints and who is responsible for making change

Have you been trying to reduce your carbon emissions throughout the years? Maybe you're trying to drive less, eat meat only a few days a week, or change all of your light bulbs to LED. Are you curious if it's actually making a difference for the planet? There has always been a debate on whether or not it's worth it for individuals to make changes in their own lifestyle because many claim it has no effect on the grand scheme of climate change. That sparks the question, can individuals actually make a difference or is it all up to the large corporate systems and current policies? Keep reading for a breakdown of the carbon footprints of both individuals and the different global sectors of the economy, and to learn ways we can all work to slow down climate change and build a healthier planet.

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is basically a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide (1). The reason scientists determine a carbon footprint is to bring awareness to the current emissions from creating the product or the impact an individual can have on the environment and then use it as a way to push industries or individuals to reduce their total emissions. Carbon emissions are a serious issue because the more these companies and individuals emit carbon dioxide, the more the planet warms causing other issues like ocean acidification, glacier melting, sea levels rising, and more frequent extreme weather events (3). According to scientists, in order to limit global warming from going above 2℃ or about 35℉, a point at which long lasting or irreversible environmental damage could occur, carbon dioxide emissions are needed to decline by about 25% by 2030 and reach net zero by about 2070 (7). Meaning reducing carbon emissions should be a major goal for everyone!

Ever since the term carbon footprint became popular, many organizations have come out with carbon footprint calculators that help individuals and families determine how much carbon dioxide they are emitting from their lifestyle and provide them with a list of ways they can work to reduce it. If you want to check how much carbon dioxide you emit check out this online calculator! You have probably seen ads or campaigns aimed at getting individuals to reduce their carbon footprint by making life changes like flying less, eating less meat, driving electric cars, or wearing less fast fashion, and many more (2). You might have also heard about the carbon footprints of different industries and sectors like agriculture or transportation, among others that are associated with high carbon footprints. But now that we are clear on what a carbon footprint is, who has a higher carbon footprint, individuals or the different sectors of the economy?

Who has a larger carbon footprint?

When we talk about the different sectors of the economy we mean industries like electricity production, food, agriculture, and land use, industrial work and factories, transportation, and buildings. All of these industries combined equate to about 90% of all global carbon emissions. Broken down even further, electricity production accounts for about 25% of emissions, food, agriculture, and land use is about 24%, industrial work and factories are about 21%, transportation 14%, and buildings equate to about 6% (6).

All of these industries combined contribute about 50 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year into the atmosphere. Clearly, these sectors account for most of the carbon dioxide emissions globally and this makes the argument for more individual changes difficult. For the most part, we as individuals do not have control over a lot of these industries. Most people can't pick which type of energy their power grid runs on, what type of building they work or live in, or don't have a choice of driving a car when the city they live in doesn't have any public transportation (4). Seems a little suspicious that most of the blame gets put on individuals when these sectors are doing most of the damage. But before we get distracted, let's compare the individual carbon footprint to these different sectors!

The average American carbon footprint is 16 tons/year and the global average is 4.8 tons a year per person. Americans have one of the largest carbon footprints along with Canada, Australia, and oil rich countries like Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan. The top five things that contribute to this carbon footprint are having children, driving, flying, energy use, and eating meat (2). For individuals to really reduce their carbon footprint, they essentially need to do the opposite of those five things and even if they did all of these things perfectly, the average person would make almost no impact compared to the different sectors of the economy. If we compare the average American carbon footprint (16 tons) with the global carbon footprint of all of the global sectors combined (50 billion tons), the average American's contribution is about 0.0000000003%. Statistically that is 0%! So statistically one person's emissions may just be a drop in the bucket, but that is why we need as many people as possible working towards reducing emissions (4,6).

What can individuals do?

One thing we all need to start doing is talk about climate change! Many studies have proven the benefits of having open dialogue with friends and family about climate change and how it results in further discussions and adoption of scientific facts. This means that when you talk to your friends and family about climate change and the status of the environment, it persuades people to continue discussions with their social circle and do more research to be able to understand and talk about the issue more thoroughly (8,9,10). Another reason talking about climate change has a positive impact is because when individuals take action it encourages others to take action. An example of this is the Great Thunberg effect! Climate activist, Greta Thunberg, has become so influential due to highlighting environmental injustice, that people who are familiar with her and her actions are more likely to take collective action to reduce global warming (11). Many studies have shown similar impacts and other studies have also discussed how making something a social norm pushes other people to take action (12). An example of this would be recycling! Eventually recycling became a social norm and now it is pretty taboo to not recycle. Just imagine what we can do if we make all environmentally friendly habits a social norm! By influencing just a few people we can start a chain reaction of change and passion for fighting for the environment. Instead of shaming others for not bringing a reusable bag or not composting all of their food scraps, we need to be encouraging others to try and make changes that fit their lifestyle and work to create a more united front that we can use to push corporations and policies that can make real lasting change.

Another great way for individuals to fight against climate change is to get involved in any way they can. There are so many opportunities out there to get involved either through volunteering or working for an organization that is pushing for larger change. And if you have always wanted to get involved, but don't know where to start, try this exercise that the hosts of the podcast How to Save A Planet by Gimlet media mentioned on their episode on carbon footprints. Think about what you are good at, what issue you want to target and feel passionate about, and what brings you joy. At the intersection of all of these questions you will be able to find an organization that is the right fit for you and that would benefit from your specific skill set. And if there isn't one that focuses on the issue you're passionate about, you can start one! Pushing for environmental change doesn't have to become your full time job but if you can volunteer or do things after work to get involved you can make a big difference. Remember, a team of people will always be better than one individual when it comes to fighting these corporate systems that are responsible for so much environmental damage.

Even though it may not seem like the changes you have made in your own life are making that big of a difference, just know that you could be inspiring people all around you to make similar changes, spreading positive change everywhere. So if you love vegetarian cooking, Instagram or blog about it and bring others along. If you have time to get involved in local environmental organizations or join campaigns to get more bike lanes in your neighborhood. Do that instead of worrying about every single lightbulb in your house that isn't LED or that you forgot to bring your reusable bags to the store that one time. Every action can help reduce the global carbon footprint, but if you are able to push corporations or change policies by doing something you are passionate about and enjoy, that can make a huge impact!


Sources

  1. Wiedmann, T. and Minx, J. (2008). A Definition of 'Carbon Footprint'. In: C. C. Pertsova, Ecological Economics Research Trends: Chapter 1, pp. 1-11, Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge NY, USA. https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=5999.
  2. Jones, C. M., & Kammen, D. M. (2011). Quantifying Carbon Footprint Reduction Opportunities for U.S. Households and Communities. Environmental Science & Technology, 45(9), 4088–4095. https://doi.org/10.1021/es102221h
  3. Jackson, R. (n.d.). The Effects of Climate Change. Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. Retrieved May 7, 2021, from https://climate.nasa.gov/effects
  4. Hawken, Paul. Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. , 2017.
  5. https://gimletmedia.com/shows/howtosaveaplanet/xjh53gn/is-your-carbon-footprint-bs
  6. https://www.drawdown.org/drawdown-framework
  7. Summary for Policymakers—Global Warming of 1.5 oC. (n.d.). Retrieved May 21, 2021, from https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/
  8. Goldberg, M. H., Linden, S. van der, Maibach, E., & Leiserowitz, A. (2019). Discussing global warming leads to greater acceptance of climate science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(30), 14804–14805. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1906589116
  9. Heald, S. (2017). Climate Silence, Moral Disengagement, and Self-Efficacy: How Albert Bandura's Theories Inform Our Climate-Change Predicament. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 59(6), 4–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/00139157.2017.1374792
  10. Geiger, N., Swim, J. K., & Fraser, J. (2017). Creating a climate for change: Interventions, efficacy and public discussion about climate change. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 51, 104–116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2017.03.010
  11. Sabherwal, A., Ballew, M. T., Linden, S. van der, Gustafson, A., Goldberg, M. H., Maibach, E. W., Kotcher, J. E., Swim, J. K., Rosenthal, S. A., & Leiserowitz, A. (2021). The Greta Thunberg Effect: Familiarity with Greta Thunberg predicts intentions to engage in climate activism in the United States. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 51(4), 321–333. https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12737
  12. Wolske, K. S., Link to external site, this link will open in a new window, Gillingham, K. T., Link to external site, this link will open in a new window, & Wesley, S. P. (2020). Peer influence on household energy behaviours. Nature Energy, 5(3), 202–212. http://dx.doi.org.proxyau.wrlc.org/10.1038/s41560-019-0541-9

We've been spending so much time in our homes these last two years, which is why the products we chose for our gift guide for the home are the best of the best. From super cute home decor like a Peace Vase to more practical gifts (a Cordless Vacuum), our top picks will elevate your home.

This year, we have highlighted many products by many Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) owned/founded brands. Buying from these brands is a great way to support economic opportunities in BIPOC communities and celebrates diversity in the sustainability space. Additionally, since climate change is an urgent issue with so many health impacts, we are also highlighting brands that are Climate Neutral certified. That means that the brand has committed to measure, offset, and reduce the carbon they emit. We believe that consumers and companies must work together to embrace and make true commitments to diversity and sustainability. Look no further for the ultimate gift guide!

non-toxic sustainable at home gift guide 2021


$: Under $50

Defunkify Stain Remover Spray, Free & Clear (Climate Neutral)

Never worry about stinky fabric again with this Defunkify odor removing spray! This EPA Safer choice certified spray is perfect for getting stains and odors out of laundry, carpets, and couches without harmful chemicals.

Nopalera Flor de Mayo Cactus Soap (BIPOC Brand)

Nopalera's Flor de Mayo cactus soap contains skin-loving plant butters and oils, and you'll love the subtle jasmine scent! No synthetic fragrances, palm oil free, and vegan.

Follian Lemongrass Soap

Lemongrass hand soap from Follian looks great on any countertop and also smells amazing! This non-toxic formulation is perfectly safe to use for everyone and you can get refillable containers to cut down on plastic.

The Sill Succulent Assortment (BIPOC Brand)

This succulent assortment from The Sill is the perfect way to brighten up a windowsill. Needing watering only every 2-3 weeks, these succulents are easy enough for just about anyone on your list.

Guppy Washing Bag

Protect the environment against microplastic fibers from synthetic fabrics with this Guppy wash bag! This is perfect for your eco-friendly friend who is looking for every possible thing they can do to save the planet.

Greentree Home Josee Pine Cone Candles

These jumbo pine cone candles are so festive. They come in a beautiful gift box and will fit in on any mantel or shelf. These candles are hand poured 100% beeswax and burn for 50 hours. Beeswax candles burn cleaner than paraffin wax (which is a petroleum product) so you can feel good about this gift in more ways than one!

$ $: Between $50-100

Branch Basics set

Up your cleaning game with a Branch Basics cleaning set! Their non-toxic formula is tough on dirt but not your health. We swear by this cleaning concentrate from counter to floors and even laundry!

Peace Vase by Justina Blakeney™ (BIPOC Brand)

Give peace a chance with this fun ceramic vase from Jungalow! It looks great by itself or filled with dried flowers.

Tushy Bidet (BIPOC Brand)

Why are we including a bidet in our gift guide? Because it'll change your life and save trees! If everyone in America used a bidet, we could save 15 million trees a year... and that doesn't even get into the loads of bleach and water used during toilet paper manufacturing.

AAKS Floor Basket (BIPOC Brand)

This straw storage basket comes in many vibrant colors and looks great in any room! Using traditional weaving techniques and locally-harvest raffia, these baskets are handmade in northern Ghana.

$ $ $: Over $100

Original Favorites Sweatpants and Sweatshirt

Loungewear is having a moment, so why not upgrade to these cozy sweats that are made in a wind mill powered, Fair Trade Certified facility? The cotton is certified GOTS organic and comes in 15 fun colors.

Blueair Air Purifier

Air purifiers are basically a must-have at this point. Whether it's for wildfire smoke, dust, or allergies, we love this Blueair air purifier because of it's sleek look and it's power to effectively clean the air!

Coyuchi Tahoe Climate Beneficial Wool Throw

We love that Coyuchi uses 100% Climate Beneficial wool sourced from a ranch in northern California for this cozy wool blanket. Anyone on your list would love this throw blanket.

Tantuvi Rug (BIPOC Brand)

This 100% flatweave cotton rug is hand-dyed and hand-loomed in India and comes in many different sizes. The founder works directly with artisans to produce these beautiful modern designs. We love their emphasis on sustainability, community, and equity.

Suvin Organic Sheets (Climate Neutral)

You'll feel like royalty sleeping on these Suvin organic sheets from Avocado! Made from GOTS certified organic cotton, they come in an impressive 600 or 1,000 thread count. This is a sheet set worth gifting. Bonus that they are Made Safe and Climate Neutral certified.

Dyson V11 Cordless Vacuum

This Dyson V11 vacuum is definitely a splurge, but it's powerful suction and cordless feature make it a great gift. More frequent vacuuming is always recommended and we love products that make it easier to do.

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Roundups

Non-Toxic and Sustainable 2021 Gift Guide for Men

Guys can be hard to gift shop for. That's where we come in

Why are men always so tricky to shop for? The men in our life always seem to buy themselves the cool products, which leaves us scratching our heads by the time the holidays roll around. That's why our men's gift guide this year focuses on every day items that are made to last. Yes, he has t-shirts, but he probably doesn't have a crisp, classically cut shirt made from organic cotton, or a bloody mary mix that's made from super simple ingredients and tastes so good his friends will swear it's homemade. Check out the best sustainable, non-toxic, gift picks below!

This year, we have highlighted many products by many Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) owned/founded brands. Buying from these brands is a great way to support economic opportunities in BIPOC communities and celebrates diversity in the sustainability space. Additionally, since climate change is an urgent issue with so many health impacts, we are also highlighting brands that are Climate Neutral certified. That means that the brand has committed to measure, offset, and reduce the carbon they emit. We believe that consumers and companies must work together to embrace and make true commitments to diversity and sustainability. Look no further for the ultimate gift guide!

non-toxic sustainable eco friendly men's gift guide 2021



$: Under $50

O'Brothers Habanero Hot Sauce

Upgrade his meals with this habanero hot sauce from O'brother organics! Its flavorful recipe packs a punch.

SUPRUS Lighter Electric Lighter Candle Lighter USB Lighter with Upgraded LED

Never buy a disposable butane lighter again with this electric lighter with a USB rechargeable battery. This lighter is perfect for BBQing, camping, candles, and more!

Agalima Organic Authentic Bloody Mary Drink Mix

Sometimes you just don't have the time (or energy) to make your own bloody mary mix, which is where this mix by Agalima comes in. It's made from great organic ingredients including tomatoes, horseradish, and chipotle peppers and comes in a glass bottle!

The Snowy Cabin Cookbook

This newly released cookbook is the perfect companion to a day of snow play or day of hibernation. Filled with fun snacks, hearty breakfasts, soups and stews, and delicious baked goods, this is the perfect cookbook for any cabin loving person.

Everlane Organic Cotton Crew

This mid-weight GOTS certified organic cotton t-shirt by Everlane has been tested for durability and comes in over a dozen different colors. It's a classic tee, with clean lines and a classic crew neck.

Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler (Climate Neutral)

Once you start using a stainless steel tumbler from Klean Kanteen, you'll never want to leave the house without it! Double-wall vacuum insulation keeps contents hot or iced for hours. The tumbler lid is made from a BPA free polypropylene with a food-grade silicone seal.

Cocokind Sunscreen (BIPOC Brand)

This mineral sunscreen by Cocokind offers great sun protection without harmful ingredients! It's easy to apply with no white cast. The perfect sunscreen for snow sunny days this winter.

Parks Project National Parks ECOCOOL Playmate

This limited edition Igloo cooler is made from post-consumer plastic like milk jugs and yogurt containers. It features a design from the National Parks Project on the lid and a portion of proceeds from this recycled cooler will benefit the National Parks Conservation Association.

$ $: Between $50-100

Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven

This dutch oven by Lodge is perfect for your next camping adventure! is the pot that does it all. The lid holds hot coals and inverts for use as a griddle. Whether you're cooking chili or baking biscuits, this pot is perfect for cooking in the great outdoors.

Klur Symemetry Fluir Anti-Pollution Serum (BIPOC Brand)

Non-toxic skin care is for men too! Upgrade his skincare routine with Klur's Symemetry Fluir Anti-Pollution serum. It repairs and protects skin from daily environmental stressors.

Kaya 3 Piece Ceramic Planter (BIPOC Brand)

A Kaya ceramic planter is the perfect addition for his home or office.... or home office! The deep blue is sophisticated and will help bring a touch of greenery to any space.

Cariuma Shoes (BIPOC Brand)

Cariuma's sleek design and wide range of color choices make this sneaker a winner! Cariuma's commitment to sustainability and ethics is what we would like to see in every shoe company. The materials are thoughtfully sourced, including recycled plastic, organic cotton, and natural rubber, and they pay fair wages to their workers. They also plants 2 trees for every pair of shoes bought!

Organic Basics Recycled Cashmere Beanie

As temperatures begin to drop, make sure he's nice and warm with this recycled cashmere beanie by Organic Basics! This hat is created from worn out cashmere garments that would otherwise go to landfill.

$ $ $: Over $100

Outerknown Apex Trunks

These Apex trunks by Outerknown are designed by Kelly Slater. They are made from recycled plastic and sewn in a Fair Trade Certified factory. Super light weight and comfortable, they are ready to take on any activity.

Estelle Colored Rocks Glasses (BIPOC Brand)

Cocktails just taste better in beautiful glassware. This set of hand-blown beautiful rocks glasses is heirloom worthy and lead-free.

REI Co-op Half Dome Tent

This flame retardant free tent from REI is a great 2 person tent. It has a great mix of being lightweight enough for adventures and spacious enough to be comfortable.

Houdini Ski Jacket

Houdini's waterproof and breathable PFC-free winter jacket is perfect for skiiing or other snow sports. Made primarily from recycled fibers, recyclable, PFAS-free and Bluesign®-certified materials, this top-of-the-line shell jacket has all the features you need without unnecessary bells and whistles.

Roundups

Non-Toxic and Sustainable 2021 Gift Guide for Women

Something for every woman in your life, and maybe something for you too!

Whether you're shopping for a friend, spouse, or family member, it can be hard to find something that strikes the right balance between unique and practical. And if you throw on top wanting a sustainable and non-toxic gift from a brand that has good sustainability and ethical pracitces, it can make your head spin. With the holidays are right around the corner, we've been putting together the ultimate gift guide that takes all of these things into consideration for all ranges of budgets. Looking for non-toxic, sustainable, eco-friendly, and fun gifts for her? Look no further!

This year, we have highlighted many products by many Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) owned/founded brands. Buying from these brands is a great way to support economic opportunities in BIPOC communities and celebrates diversity in the sustainability space. Additionally, since climate change is an urgent issue with so many health impacts, we are also highlighting brands that are Climate Neutral certified. That means that the brand has committed to measure, offset, and reduce the carbon they emit. We believe that consumers and companies must work together to embrace and make true commitments to diversity and sustainability. Look no further for the ultimate gift guide!

$: Under $50

Cocokind Mymatcha All over moisture Stick (BIPOC Owned)

Matcha tea powder, beeswax, and organic coconut oil come together in this all-over moisture stick by Cocokind! Dry skin doesn't stand a chance against this moisture stick. Perfect small gift for anyone on your list.

Henne Luxury Lip Tint (BIPOC Owned)

Beautiful, pigmented colors make this Henne Luxury Lip Tint a must-have this holiday season. It's a super moisturizing formula that can be worn sheer or built up into a deeper color. We love this clean beauty brand!

Aya Paper Manifestation Journal (BIPOC Owned)

This beautiful journal by Aya Paper Co is made from 100% recycled, chlorine free paper. It's the perfect tool for manifesting goals for any woman in your life.

Vertly CBD Infused Bath Salts (BIPOC Owned)

Unwind after a stressful day with these CBD infused bath salts by Vertly. This is the perfect gift for anyone who needs an extra umph in their self-care routine.

Mount Lai Jade Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool (BIPOC Owned)

Gua Sha is definitely having a moment, and this jade gua sha facial lifting tool by Mount Jade is the perfect way to get started! Pick up one up for yourself and a friend.

Coyuchi Mediterrnean Organic Towel

These organic, GOTS-certified Turkish cotton towels from Coyuchi are lightweight, super absorbent, dry quickly, and take up less space in the linen closet! They are stunning and very functional.

$ $: Between $50-100

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask (BIPOC Owned)

There's a reason Tata Harper is such a well-known clean beauty brand. Their products are safe but super effective. This resurfacing mask makes a great gift for anyone who wants glowing smooth skin.

Shelf Bra Camisole 3 pack

These GOTS-certified organic cotton shelf bra camis from Pact are super comfortable and perfect for lounging and layering!

Innersense Shampoo and Conditioner

Innersense shampoo and conditioner is made with quinoa, rice extracts, shea butter, and coconut and avocado oils for extra shiny, healthy hair. This clean hair care company sets the bar for what is possible without harsh chemicals and surfectants.

Cuyana Panama Folding Hat (BIPOC Owned)

A Panama folding hat from Cuyana is the perfect travel companion- it's lightweight, packable, and stylish but still offers great sun protection. This hat is handmade in Ecuador, woven by woven using traditional techniques. The Toquilla straw is a renewable resource made from young Toquilla palm fronds that are harvested without harming the main tree.

Jade yoga mat

This om-azing yoga mat by Jade Yoga is made in the US from natural rubber! It's grippy texture will help create a better practice without the use of plastics like PVC. Perfect for beginners or advanced yogis on your list.

Avocado Silk Pillowcase

This silk pillowcase from Avocado is the perfect eco-friendly luxury gift item. The silk is certified Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX and is machine washable.

Natural Wine Club

A subscription to Mysa's wine club is the perfect introduction to the natural wine world! Choose from 3, 6, or 12 bottles of natural wine delivered on a schedule of your choosing. Mysa works with small growers, that use low-intervention farming and cellar practices, are sustainable, organic and/or biodynamic, use minimal or no sulfites, and who ferment with native yeast.

Allbirds Wool Lounger

Calling all fans of slip on shoes! These Allbirds wool loungers are soft and cozy, but supportive enough for a day of running errands. Allbirds uses sustainability sources materials like merino wool and sugarcane. They have also made bold carbon footprint reduction commitments.

$ $ $: Over $100

Estelle Colored Wine Glasses (BIPOC Owned)

These delightfully colored wine glasses from Estelle are hand-blown and designed by Stephanie Summerson Hall. A gift worthy set that will make any happy hour fun!

East Fork Large Shapes Vase

Since these ceramic vases from East Fork are hand thrown, each is completely unique! With a unique shiny glaze, this vase is perfect alone or with a bouquet of fresh flowers.

Cuyana Recycled Cashmere Soft Wrap Sweater (BIPOC Owned)

The perfect balance of cozy and stylish, this recycled cashmere wrap sweater is a sustainable luxury gift. Made from 98% recycled cashmere fibers in Italy, this is a sweater that can last a lifetime.

Aurate x Kerry Venus Necklace (BIPOC Owned)

An ethically sourced golden shell necklace made from 100% recycled gold vermeil. This necklace is delicate and bold at the same time. A perfect gift for someone special.

Roundups

Non-Toxic and Sustainable 2021 Kid's Gift Guide

These fun toys and games will be a hit with everyone!

The holidays are right around the corner, which means we're on the hunt for cool and unique gifts! First of all, especially for kid's gifts, we encourage you to look for hand me downs among friends and neighbors. That's always a super sustainable and cheap solutions. But if you're looking for a new purchase that is both non-toxic, healthy, and sustainable, we put together a great kid's gift guide. We've chosen some fun, eco-friendly gifts for kids of all ages.

This year, we have highlighted many products by many Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) owned/founded brands. Buying from these brands is a great way to support economic opportunities in BIPOC communities and celebrates diversity in the sustainability space. Additionally, since climate change is an urgent issue with so many health impacts, we are also highlighting brands that are Climate Neutral certified. That means that the brand has committed to measure, offset, and reduce the carbon they emit. We believe that consumers and companies must work together to embrace and make true commitments to diversity and sustainability. Look no further for the ultimate gift guide!

$: Under $50

Uno Nothin' but Paper Card Game

This classic card game game will keep kids and adults entertained for hours! This edition of UNO is made with all-paper and is fully recyclable. The deck and packaging are all made with FSC certified materials, soy-based ink, and water-based glue. We love this kind of attention to environmentally friendly materials and want more of it!

Little Like Kids Floor Puzzle (BIPOC brand)

This floor puzzle will entertain kids while encouraging brain development. The original artwork represents diversity by depicting families of mixed race and ethnicity. Plus these large puzzle pieces are durable enough to withstand years of use!

Klee Kids Natural Mineral makeup (BIPOC brand)

Natural, mineral-based makeup makes this kit by Klee Kids a no-brainer for dress-up play dates or costume parties. From a Snowy Star kit to a Rainbow Fairy kit, your kids will be begging for more. Formulated without parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances, you can feel good about he quality of this play makeup.

Monopoly Go Green Edition

Go green with this limited edition Monopoly game! Everything from the packaging to the gameboard are made with 100% recycled paper and the houses and dice are made from FSC certified wood. Moreover, the utilities in this version of the game are a wind farm and a solar field and the railroads are now bike paths! We love this opportunity to talk about sustainability and environmentally friendly practices while having some family fun.

Make Maki Sushi Game

Compete against a partner to see who can be the quickest maki maker! This wooden game is made from sustainable, FSC-certified wood, and non-toxic, water-based paints.

Klean Kanteen 12 oz Water Bottle (Climate Neutral certified)

This durable water bottle from Klean Kanteen is perfect for little hands! Cute designs and a metal straw make this bottle a winner. It's also easy to take the cap apart so that no mold grows in nooks and crannies.

Haba Doll

A doll without PVC! This HABA doll is sturdy enough to withstand rough play but also soft for cuddling and carrying. She has beanbag bottom so she can sit on her own. Your kids can also dress up the doll in other HABA compatible outfits and accessories. Plus the doll is machine washable so if it really gets dirty you can give it a good cleaning before bedtime.

Great Pretenders Dinosaur Cape

Bring Jurassic Park to your home with this super cute dinosaur pretender cape from Great Pretenders. Made to last for hand me downs, this costume is durable and machine washable.

Zip Top Reusable 100% Silicone Baby + Kid Snack Containers

These silicone snack containers with animal faces are so cute we want some for ourselves! Perfect for snacks on the go.

Minikin Black History Paper Doll (BIPOC brand)

These Black history paper dolls by Minikin Paper Dolls are educational and seriously cute. Each doll includes a short bio and 1 additional outfit.

Brio Rechargable train

This rechargable train toy by Brio means no more batteries in the trash! Fully compatible with most wooden railway sets, this train is sure to become a favorite.

Hedley & Bennett Kids Apron (BIPOC brand)

Your little sous chef will look adorable in this kids apron by Hedley and Bennett. It's two size options can fit kids as young as 2 and old as 8

$ $: Between $50-100

Kiwico Fort Builder Kit (BIPOC brand)

Let creativity run wild with this fort builder kit from Kiwico! It's strong but flexible wooden polls and connectors allow kids to create countless different structures.

Hape Castle Escape Quadrilla Wooden Marble Run

Kids will develop a love for STEM with this award winning wooden marble run by Hape. It's built from wooden and recyclable materials and the paint is non-toxic. Help your kid develop spatial and reasoning abilities with this fun gift.

Lovevery Building Block Set

The Block Set by Lovevery contains 70 toy pieces that offer 20+ fun activities for many growth stages, starting at 18 months to 4+ years. Crafted using FSC-certified, sustainably harvested wood and water-based finishes.

Meri Meri Jeremy Crocodile Toy

Made from knitted organic cotton, this Jeremy Crocodile from Meri Meri will be the perfect addition to any playroom!

$ $ $: Over $100

ECR4Kids Table and Chair set

A kids table and chair set that boasts clean lines and a simple modern structure. Bonus that it is also certified Greenguard Gold and lead and phthalate free. Super sturdy and easy to clean, it's perfect for arts and crafts and snack time.

Burton One piece Winter Snowsuit

Keep kids warm on the slopes without the use of PFC (PFAS) chemicals with a snowsuit from Burton! Plus, the sleeves and pant legs are extendable so it can be used for many snow seasons!

Lorena Canal Play Rug

Washable rugs are so in right now, but many are made from synthetic fibers. This play rug from Lorena Canals is crafted from natural cotton and uses only non-toxic dyes an is easy to wash. No more worrying about spills and messes that are just a natural part of childhood!

Looking for non-toxic, sustainable, and fun gifts for your home chef? We created a gift guide this year for those people on your list who love cooking and hosting. Whether it's elaborate dinner parties or weeknight meals, these gifts are sure to bring some joys in the new year. We looked for gifts that avoided waste (like a stovetop popcorn maker), or that avoided harmful chemicals (like a cast iron skillet), or that could bring a little fun into the kitchen (like these fabulous cloth napkins).

This year, we have highlighted many products by many Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) owned/founded brands. Buying from these brands is a great way to support economic opportunities in BIPOC communities and celebrates diversity in the sustainability space. Additionally, since climate change is an urgent issue with so many health impacts, we are also highlighting brands that are Climate Neutral certified. That means that the brand has committed to measure, offset, and reduce the carbon they emit. We believe that consumers and companies must work together to embrace and make true commitments to diversity and sustainability. Look no further for the ultimate gift guide!

$: Under $50

Handheld milk frother

This stainless steel milk frother is the perfect way to warm up your milk (or milk alternative) without having to sacrifice counter space! Whether you're drinking coffee or matcha, this it the perfect tool to take things up a notch.

Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes (BIPOC brand)

Want to eat less meat, but don't know how to make vegetable dishes stand out? Step up your cooking game with delicious recipes from this unique cookbook from Bryant Terry. Bryant is renowned for his activism and efforts to create a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food system, so this cookbook is right up our alley.

Mother Grains: Recipes for the Grain Revolution (BIPOC brand)

Looking to up your whole grain intake? Expand your baking skills with Mother Grains: Recipes for the Grain Revolution. You'll be amazed how a simple cookie can change texture and flavor based on the flours you use. Learn about the world of ancient grains like buckwheat, sorghum, rye, barley, and heirloom wheat and bake some delicious treats.

GreenLife Bakeware Healthy Ceramic Nonstick, Muffin Pan

This ceramic baking pan by GreenLife is non-stick without harmful chemicals and comes in a bunch of cute colors. Weekend muffins are calling you!

Great Northern Popcorn Original Stainless Steel Stove Top Popcorn Popper

Microwave popcorn is expensive and the bags are coated in Teflon like chemicals, but it's so convenient. Enter this amazing popcorn maker. You'll never look at microwaved popcorn the same way after you use this Great Northern stovetop popcorn popper! It's stainless steel body perfectly cooks kernels to tasty perfection.

Heath Ceramics large coffee mug

Elevate your morning coffee with this beautifully crafted mug from Heath Ceramics. It comes in many lead-free glazes and is as sturdy as it is beautiful.

$ $: Between $50-100

Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker

Sunday brunch just got so much better with this waffle maker by Hamilton Beach. Most waffle makers use a Teflon-like coating in their waffle makers, but this waffle maker uses a ceramic non-stick. It's really easy to use and the ceramic grids pop out for easy cleaning.

Diaspora Co. Single-Origin Spices (BIPOC brand)

Spices can make or break a dish, which is why we love upgrading our spice drawer with this set of single origin spices from Diaspora. We love that they pay a living wage to partner farmers and their partner model allows them to provide quality control that results in fresher, more delicious spices. That also means that they can also better control potential contamination and test for lead contamination. They are also working on organic certification for their partner farms.

Emile Henry Deep Food Storage Bowl

Who says food storage has to be boring? Beauty meets function with this deep food storage bowl by Emile Henry. The cork top serves as a fruit bowl, while the lower level with vents and darkness acts as a mini pantry to store root vegetables and onions.

Siafu Home Congolese Napkins

The scalloped edge and fun pattern of these napkins make them a great hostess gift! These are screen printed by hand in Kenya and are a great way to add some color to your table.

$ $ $: Over $100

Graf Lantz Felt Placemats

These sturdy place mats will protect your table from the messiest of eaters! The merino wool material is naturally water and odor resistant, and also offers amazing thermal protection.

Olivewood Serving Board

These hand-carved cheese boards are made from a single piece of olivewood, which means no glues or adhesives are added to the wood. They are the perfect backdrop to your next charcuterie board.

East Fork Serving Bowl (Climate Neutral certified)

This handmade pottery serving bowl from East Fork is perfect for all your serving need- whether it's for movie night popcorn or a salad at a dinner party for 10!

Brightland Olive Oil Duo (BIPOC brand)

There's a reason you've seen Brightland all over social, it's high quality olive oil and beautiful bottle make it a star! The Duo set is the perfect way to try two of their most popular flavors! The olives come from a family-run California farm that does not use pesticides and is committed to organic practices.

Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet

Le Creuset is known for it's quality and beautiful color choices and this enameled cast iron skillet is no exception! This pan will last you a lifetime and is naturally non-stick enough for scrambles and fried eggs. No Teflon chemicals needed.

Fellow coffee Pour Over Coffee and Electric Kettle

This Fellow electric kettle and pour over set are perfect companions for your coffee! These products don't contain any plastic and will make you feel like a certified barista.

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