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Sustainable gift guide: 12 eco-friendly picks for friends and family

It's more important than ever to take caring for the environment seriously, and that means selecting the right gift for someone examining their sustainability habits might be difficult. There's an overabundance of products on the market that do little more than add to the massive amount of waste we produce on a daily basis, and as such you don't want to contribute to it. If you know someone who's looking to adopt a more sustainable or zero-waste lifestyle or simply want to gift some more sensible options to anyone on your holiday list, you might try out some of these products, which everyone can get some mileage from. Whether it's clean body wash and cleansing products or a reusable straw, these gifts go a long way toward making a difference in our environment — just don't wrap them in glitter gift wrap.

Inspire your giftee to enjoy their morning cup of Joe with an eco-friendly mug. Made from ceramic wrapped in matte silicone, it's a gorgeous reusable on-the-go coffee solution that'll replace disposable cups while keeping warm beverages warm. Plus, the silicone makes for easy and quick cleaning. Using the Porter Mug can save around 600 disposable cups from heading to the landfill each year, and that's an accomplishment to be proud of.

Lush's Little Green Bag is an attractive bundle of goodies for anyone looking to get into the zero-waste lifestyle. It comes packing a reusable knot wrap created from recycled PET plastic with naked shower gel in The Olive Branch scent, a Not Sleepy shower bomb, Godiva shampoo bar, Minamisoma Naked Shower oil, and a round tin to keep the shampoo bar in. It's everything anyone could need for an invigorating, relaxing shower. Bast of all, it's handmade, 100% vegetarian, and super fresh.

Everyone needs shampoo, right? Give the gift of Cold Processed cleanser, conditioner, and a scalp detox that'll have your giftee wondering why they're still using harsh chemicals in the first place. Each part of this three-step gift set is meant to help encourage healthy, shiny hair, all while using basic, clean ingredients and sustainable packaging. Take some time out for self-care and give the gift of awesome hair this holiday season.

Take a set of stainless steel silverware everywhere you go with this adorable, slim profile set. A fork, knife, and spoon come packaged in a silicone carrying case, all in a bid to help reduce single-use plastic waste. Simply rinse the utensils and replace them in their pouch in time for the next meal. Plus, you can give them a more thorough cleaning in the dishwasher later.

The skin on our bodies needs the same TLC as the skin on our faces. That's why Nécessaire's The Body Essentials is such a great option to improve overall skin health, while still sticking to a sustainable lifestyle. It comes with clean products scented with a personalized essential oil, and the packaging itself is made from recyclable materials. Help your giftee pamper themselves with this attractive body wash, lotion, and exfoliator set.

As plastic straws are being phased out, it's a good idea to just take your own with you. The attractive, sturdy, multicolor Final Straw is a fantastic option for anyone who's had it with the waste of plastic that comes with trying to sip on a delicious beverage. It's stainless steel and comes with simple brushes to clean it out after sticky or sugary drinks, plus it folds up and travels along with you in a recycled case for safekeeping. Fast, fun, and stylish – the rainbow version is especially cool.

For anyone interested in reducing their overall waste, this attractive zero waste kit is a great starting point. Package Free's founder Lauren Singer put together a bag full of essential items that make replacing common single-use plastic items a breeze. The kid comes with a reusable tote, a bamboo cutlery set, an airtight stainless steel container, a mason jar with a lid, a bamboo toothbrush, a stainless steel straw, and beeswax food wrap. It's everything anyone needs to start making a real difference – and less trash.

Give the gift of sustainable produce with a subscription box from Misfits Market. This monthly delivery contains a heaping helping of produce that was discarded for aesthetic purposes, though the food (fruits and veggies) are still very much viable for cooking purposes. Dinner is taken care of with a box of "misfits," which will change from box to box. It's like opening up a piñata's worth of produce that would otherwise be wasted, and it's a good way to get into the habit of reducing food waste for no real reason – much like supermarkets are already doing.

Plastic tableware is so passé. Pick up a reusable set for ten, so your giftee's whole family has a place at the table. Each place setting gets its own fork, knife, spoon, bowl, plate, and cup. It's all made from recycled plastic, BPA-free, and it comes in an attractive navy blue that can be stored in a reusable zipper bag with the Loop logo on it. That way it can be stored for future lunches and dinners.

When it comes to cleaning, using harmful chemicals isn't the way to treat the environment with care. This Supernatural Starter Kit helps offer an alternative to abrasive cleansers and single-use plastics by letting your gift create their own cleaning supplies. The kit includes 4 reusable glass spray bottles and 4 Conscious Concentrate vials for countertops, glass, bath, wood, floors, and more. All you need is water and a few drops of each formula, and it's time to make your living area spotless. Plus, these spray bottles are Insta-worthy.

No paper towels? No problem. These eco-friendly "unpaper" towels are here to solve any messy issue that crops up. This set of attractive, colorful cotton sheets can tackle juice spills, tough cleaning tasks, and they're even machine washable. Stop throwing away money on rolls and rolls of paper towels and snag a set of these cloths for anyone you know who's interested in helping the environment as well as taking steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle.

These colorful, versatile bags are the ideal replacement for your standard Ziploc bags. They're available in several sizes and can be used for a variety of things, from food storage to organizing your makeup, travel items, and more. They're transparent, featuring a double-lock closure that gives an airtight seal. When not in use, you can compress the bags once more and store them nested together. According to re(zip), just one of these reusable bags replaces up to 300 Ziploc baggies, so you know you're doing your part by switching to these decidedly more useful alternatives.