It’s our favorite time of year, and not just because the houses in our neighborhood are swathed in twinkly lights and Christmas music is blaring from every speaker everywhere. While we thoroughly enjoy shopping for the holidays—especially when it means capturing a black Friday deal or 10—we especially love finding meaningful gifts that allow us to give back. Here are this year’s picks.
There are a variety of reusable water bottles out there, but this one from S’well can keep your drink cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12! It comes in a ton of colors and patterns, and, even better, the company gives to public schools throughout New York—more than 320,000 so far!—with the goal of completely eliminating single-use plastic bottles. Starting at $25.
This is great as a gift for friends and also the perfect answer to the question of, “What should I bring to dinner?” For all those holiday parties and get-togethers, make an impression with a bottle of wine that doesn’t just taste great, but also allows you to be charitable at the same time. The company has donated more than $3 million to several causes, including providing almost 50,000 people with global health care. From $25.
Skip Starbucks and buy from Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co., instead. We love this Three-Blend Starter Kit for $44, but 20 percent of the proceeds from all of their products go to local animal rescues. From $14.99.
The animal lover in your life will also certainly love this gift. “True to its name, Rescue Chocolate donates 100 percent of its profits to animal rescue organizations around the country so more abandoned animals can find happy homes,” said Greatist. “Rescue Chocolate sells tons of sweets, but we love the 4 Paw Collection—you’ll get one bar each of Forever Mocha, Peanut Butter Pit Bull, Foster-iffic Peppermint, and Mission Feral Fig, all wrapped up in a box with a bow. All the chocolate is vegan and organic, so it’s basically as nice as giving someone a new puppy.” From $25.
When does a pencil set make a great gift? When it comes from Practical Sprout, which “aims to raise awareness for sustainability through green products and partnerships with national and international educational institutions,” said POPSUGAR. “This Pencil Set ($15 for an eight-pack) can actually be planted and grown into cilantro, basil, and lavender when it becomes a stub.”
With a “delicately floral perfume of ylang ylang and rosewood oils in a hydrating cocoa butter base,” you’ll want to buy Charity Pot moisturizer for all your loved ones and get a few for yourself, too—especially when you learn that 100% of the price (minus the taxes) is donated “to small grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights.” In addition, the silky smooth cream “contains ingredients sourced from some of our Sustainable Lush Fund projects that support regenerative agriculture around the world.” Starting from $7.95.
Speakers aren’t generally known for being so chic, but these, which come in zebra wood and walnut, look as good as they sound. Plus, they have an altruistic advantage that will make you want to buy more than one. “LSTN partners with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, an organization that’s helped over 4,000 people in Kenya and Rwanda hear for the first time,” said Woman’s Day. Priced at $99.
Candles are always a top holiday gift because they are appreciated by nearly everyone, whether you’re buying for your BFF or your favorite neighbor. This chic soy candle can make you feel extra good about your purchase because it promotes the idea of “light for light” by providing “sustainable solar energy to communities in need around the world.” From $55.
“Good Cards (CharityNavigator.org) are the gift certificates of the philanthropy world,” said Oprah.com. “You set the price; recipients pick the charity. Perfect for those bosses, co-workers and clients you’re stumped on.”
Gifts that give back may seem like they’re only for the women in your life, but the Good Trade has numerous options geared toward men. We love this stylish cashmere sweater from Naadam that “comes in nine colors and is made from hand-brushed Mongolian cashmere—plus, they pay their herders fairly, help provide veterinary care for the goats, and use clean energy and support sustainable grazing practices.” Sweater priced at $75.