The Ultimate 2017 Gift Guide

By the Mother Earth Living Editors

It’s the season of giving; what better way to celebrate loved ones than with personal, thoughtful tokens of affection? Generosity is always appreciated, but sometimes it’s impossible to know what form that generosity should take. On top of that, it can be difficult to find something fun and meaningful while also shopping for consciously made, eco-friendly products. Mother Earth Living wants to help ease the stress of finding the perfect product for your greenest friends and family. Whether those you love have an affinity for the kitchen, children to keep in mind, or a newly discovered passion for homegrown food and herbs, this guide will help you discover that one special gift to brighten their holiday.

For the Herbalist

Mesh drying rack

Herbal Drying Rack, $14.99

Dried herbs are vital for countless culinary and medicinal purposes, but space to dry an herbal bounty can be hard to come by. Help the herbalist in your life by gifting them a vertical drying rack. Only two feet in diameter, this collapsible net can be placed or hung anywhere and still provides plenty of room for bunches of fresh herbs (eight drying chambers, to be exact). Covered in non-toxic mesh, herbs will dry without rot, with protection, and fully organized.

Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health book cover

Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, $16.95

Rosemary Gladstar is a renowned herbalist, and this book is just one of the many reasons why. Full of practical, time-tested remedies, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health will teach any herbalist how to put their homegrown bounty to the best medicinal use.  This comprehensive collection promotes health, energy, and vitality at every stage of life — and all recipes can be made from the comfort of a kitchen.

Blue suribachi mortar and pestle

Suribachi Mortar & Pestle, $18.00

Both eye-catchingly elegant and completely practical, this ceramic blue suribachi is made in the traditional Japanese style. It’s easy to clean and dishwasher safe, for convenience, but also handcrafted, for a personal and important touch. The wooden grooved inside of suribachis make them perfect for grinding not only herbs but also berries, resins, barks, and roots, expanding any herbal arsenal.

Simply Earth essential oil kit

Simply Earth Essential Oil Subscription, $39.00 per month, $45.00 quarterly

Sourced from farms around the world, Simply Earth products are pesticide-free, pure, and, better yet, won’t break the bank. In this subscription, every themed box comes with four different, full-sized essential oils, one to two extra accessories, and instructions and recipes for everything. Perhaps most importantly, 13% of the company profits go toward ending human trafficking. Help your herbalist find these affordable natural products without breaking the bank, and give to a meaningful cause.

Mason jar herb growing

Mason Jar Herb Garden, $54.00

This lovely indoor herb garden is perfect for both the advanced herbalist and an herb-growing beginner. The organic herbs can be continuously harvested for at least six months, and the stainless steel net pot and recycled glass jars can take on an infinite number of new seeds as the old plants need replacing. Did we mention that each jar is outfitted with a passive hydroponic system that brings water up to the roots? Less work for your herbalist!

Herbs for medicine
Photo courtesy Getty Images/Nikolay_Donetsk

Online Courses from Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine or The Herbal Academy, prices vary

The Chestnut School is deeply involved in promoting diversity in herbal medicine by working with nonprofits, offering scholarships, and supporting plant conservation. Help your favorite herbalist try one of their in-depth training programs about plant medicine or complete herbal immersion. Likewise, since 2010, The Herbal Academy has been dedicated to teaching the art of herbalism while focusing on sustainability and stewardship. Whatever a student’s herbal experience, they can find a class built at their level that runs on their schedule, and join thousands of enthusiastic learners and inspiring instructors.


For the Gardener

Kitchen sprout kit

Kitchen Sprouter, $17.99

Is the gardener in your life looking for a new way to bring a little green indoors? Sprouts are packed with nutrients, grow quickly, and go on everything from soups to salads to sandwiches. Made from BPA-free plastic and sold with organic alfalfa sprouts, the four stackable trays of this sprouter are hydrophobic, ensuring seeds don’t clump while they grow. Help your gardener enjoy homegrown greens year-round!

Seed saving kit

Seed Saving Kit, $21.95

One of the keys to organic gardening is seed saving, but for the home gardener, keeping track of the best seeds can be a chore. This kit keeps it simple. Everything a gardener needs will be at their fingertips, including glass tins for storage, charts and labels for organization, and a recycled steel case to hold it all. Few things bring more gardening joy than preserving plants for the next season, and for generations to come.

Woman using Garden Kneeler

Deep-Seat Garden Kneeler, $49.95

Weeding, planting, and other vital acts of gardening happen low to the ground, and this takes a toll on a gardener’s back and shoulders. Bring them a little comfort next season with this sturdy, padded kneeler. The thick cushion is much better for knees than solid ground, and the design allows it to flip from a kneeler to a padded bench, perfect for sitting. Lightweight and rust-free, who wouldn’t want a little more luxury in the garden?

Indoor kitchen composter

Kitchen Composter, $55.00

This indoor compost system uses Bokashi, which is a natural compost starter of microorganisms that helps speed the breakdown of natural waste. Besides holding five gallons, being odorless and airtight, and made from 75% recycled plastic, the setup of a strainer near the bottom allows liquid to drain and flow through the spigot, giving two types of fertilizer for the price of one.

Garden planting grid

Garden Grid Watering System, $60.00

Is your gardener low on space, planting crops in one raised bed rather than across open acres? Good, because gardening by the square foot just got easier. This 3x4-foot watering system breaks a bed down into 12 even planting sections, each of which can receive its own drip irrigation or full-stream watering. Made with FDA-approved tubing and an internal mesh filter to keep the water clean, your gardener and their plants will love the simplicity of this system.

Duluth gardening overalls

Gardening Overalls, $89.50

These tough but lightweight overalls can resist any wear and tear a garden might throw their way. They’re comfortable, with enough give not to hinder a gardener’s movements; resistant to abrasions, to keep tears, dirt, and grass stains from sticking; and come packed with no less than 12 pockets, enough for any gardening supplies needed on-hand. Help a loved one garden in style!


For the Homemaker

Hypoallergenic laundry kit

Laundry Starter Kit, $27.95

The tough-cleaning, fabric-softening soapberries that make up this detergent are sustainable, hypoallergenic, affordable, and require less energy than traditional detergent to process and package. The wool dryer balls are handmade, reusable, and also hypoallergenic, making the whole kit perfect for even the most sensitive skin. Adding a few drops of essential oil to the dryer balls gives any laundry load a divine, natural scent.

Terracotta two in one candle

Two-in-One Terra Candle, $42.00

This new candle collection serves a dual purpose in the home: to leave it smelling amazing, and then to act as a pot for any indoor houseplant. The candle itself is eco-friendly, made from domestic soy wax with a cotton wick and scented with all-natural oils. And the terracotta planter is simple, lovely enough to fit the aesthetic of any home. All homemakers can appreciate a gift with multiple uses.

Woven market basket

French Market Basket, $55.00

Take reusable shopping bags to the next level with this handwoven palm-leaf basket. Sturdy, natural, and large enough for any and all Farmers Market shopping trips, this basket is also easy to carry, stands on its own, and looks beautiful. Most importantly, it’s made in Morocco, sourced by a company that values ethical production. The majority of the proceeds go directly to the artisans, helping to keep international families and communities intact.

Faux paper reusable bags

Reusable "Paper" Bags, $65.00

Looking to expand a reusable arsenal even further? These washable, eco-friendly bags will surely satisfy future shopping needs. Made in Thailand using kraft-tex fabric paper and leather, the bags each hold plenty of weight and are tear-resistant. Your homemaker can find multiple uses for the three sizes, whether making a full grocery run to the market or in need of a quick, light lunchbag.

Earthenware teapot

Terra Klay Teapot, $68.00

This handcrafted earthenware teapot is safe and lead-free. Made of materials sourced in Northern India, local artisans create each piece in a traditional, treasured style while the pot remains easy to clean and microwave-safe. It’s non-mechanized production also means that, with every use, the teapot absorbs some of the rich, flavorful oils from each steeped tea, bringing more seasoning to every future sip.

Ivory duvet set

Duvet Cover Set, $99.00 for twin-sized

From a company that adheres to strict social, economic, and environmental standards, these sheets and covers are made for softness and luxury. The Fair Trade Certified organic cotton used to create this duvet set is from India, and SOL works to make its natural products as affordable as possible. Best of all, a portion of every bedding purchase goes toward one of SOL’s four charity partners, inspiring a better world in more ways than one.


For the Do-It-Yourself-er

Red soysilk yarn

Oasis Soysilk Yarn, $16.00 for 240 yards

Soysilk is a great green material. Petrochemical-free, renewable, and biodegradable, the fiber is made from tofu manufacturing waste. Soy protein is liquefied, drawn into long fibers, and then spun just as other yarns, leaving it soft, warm, and 100% eco-friendly. Any DIY fiend can spin, knit, crochet, or weave this silky Oasis fiber into a masterpiece.

Fermentation crock kit

Fermentation Crock Kit, $59.95

Is your DIY friend more into food preservation and cooking than crafts? This is for them! Alongside a durable, BPA-free fermentation crock, the kit includes a rewritable label for their many creations; a booklet with a handful of perfect starter recipes; and Homemade Fermentation, a book full of delicious recipes for pickles, kombucha, and more when they’re ready for more advanced experiments.

Craftsy app

A Craftsy Course, $14.99 for first class

There’s creativity in everyone, and Craftsy is just the place to help others explore their inner Do-It-Yourself-er. Helping their users learn new skills or create handmade anything — from holiday meals to knitting projects to jewelry —this website checks all the boxes. Bring your crafter together with incredible instructors and passionate participants by buying them one of the plethora of online courses, whichever suits them best.

We Are Knitters kit

We Are Knitters Kit, prices vary

Do you know of an accessory your friend wants, but they prefer handmade items, or making their possessions themselves? Enter We Are Knitters and their fully contained kits for any knitting, crocheting, or pointing project. Choose an appealing design, and they’ll send the necessary amount of 100% natural or recycled fiber; the appropriate beechwood knitting needles; and a pattern to follow. Give your Do-It-Yourself-er everything they need to polish off their next project.

Spoonflower gift certificates

Spoonflower Gift Certificate

Maybe your crafter is more interested in graphics; we’ve got you covered. Spoonflower lets users print their own designs on fabric, wallpaper, or even gift wrap — unless they want to choose a print created by another international user. Printed exactly to order using eco-friendly, water-based pigment inks and dyes, designs can be turned into everything from room décor to cotton quilts, and you can order gift certificates in $25, $50, or $100 increments.


For the Eco-Parent

Stainless steel lunchbox

ECO Lunchbox, $25.95

Three food containers nesting together as one, this stainless steel lunchbox makes it easy to keep food safe, separated, and un-squished. Each piece is dishwasher safe and can be used on its own, with closures that can be adjusted to fit more loosely or tightly. Gift it to a parent who needs more convenience in the morning when trying to get themselves or their kids out the door.

Woven collapsible basket

Woven Storage Basket, $45.00

New and experienced parents alike could always do with more places to stash children’s toys, books, and games. This lovely basket is just the right size to stash their stuff without taking up too much space. The top half even collapses. It’s handmade by artisans in Vietnam, woven with recycled paper, and the purchase of this product helps stimulate economic growth in rural communities.

Baby Bullet package

Magic Baby Bullet, $59.99

The best way to ensure a child is eating healthy food without hidden ingredients is to make that food yourself. But not many parents have all the right tools. Luckily, this 20-piece, BPA-free set leaves nothing behind. Parents can puree fruits and veggies, mill oatmeal or rice, and keep it all fresh with date-dial storage cups, silicone trays, and resealable lids. A recipe book comes included for any parent just starting out in their homemade-baby-food journey.

Handmade sari quilt

Recycled Sari Baby Quilt, $60.00

These reversible quilts are hand-stitched by artisans in India. Soft, warm, and lovingly created, each is the perfect size for wrapping up a baby. Every yard of recycled sari fabric is purchased from impoverished areas of Calcutta, bringing funds to a disadvantaged area, and each carefully closed snag or repaired hole in the material brings the handcrafted quality of the quilt to life.

Maternity dress

Maternity T-shirt Dress, $88.00

This simple, soft, comfortable dress takes the hassle out of maternity clothes and can be worn in all stages of pregnancy, including postpartum. Too often, maternity clothing is unfashionable and unflattering, and no burgeoning mother should feel that way. Made in the USA with eco-friendly and natural fibers, this classic design works for any day, season, and silhouette, and will bring some ease to pregnant or nursing mothers.


For the Beautician

Pot of healing clay

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, $10.00 for 1 pound

This 100-percent natural, calcium bentonite clay contains no additives, fragrances, or animal products, just the restorative power it’s contained for centuries. Healing clay has historically been used for everything from facials to clay baths, and now the power of this product can be harnessed at home for tightening skin and cleaning pores. Any beautician will love how easy it is to use and the noticeable healing results!

Organic scrub butter

Awapuhi Scrub Butter, $11.75 for 4 ounces

Every beauty connoisseur knows the importance of exfoliation, and we want to offer an organic option for this critical body-care component. A twist on a classic sugar scrub, this scrub butter is an irresistible mix of organic sugar, red alaea Hawaiian salt, and certified organic shea butter. A product that naturally softens and smooths all at once? Who wouldn’t love it?

Jar of pink bath salts

Pink Himalayan Bath Salts, $27.33 for 250 mL

Himalayan pink rock salt, Epsom salts, and Dead Sea Salt are all historically known for their healing, antiseptic properties, as well as their help in easing aches and pains. These organic bath salts combine all three into the ultimate restorative mix. For an even more relaxing bath experience, the salts are scented with organic essential oils, including lavender and lemon balm. They’ll leave anyone feeling clean, warm, and luxurious.

Emu oil skincare kit

Skin-Care Travel Kit, $30.00

Songline uses emu oil, which may sound strange, but actually boasts a plethora of skin-healing properties: relieving eczema, psoriasis, acne, and minor scrapes and burns, as well as rejuvenating skin. With that in mind, what’s not to love about organic skincare made with the oil from these birds raised ethically on small farms? This travel kit offers a sampling of lotions, oils, and washes, all of which are calming and cleansing. One small size might not be enough!

Organic facial kit

4-Piece Facial Starter Set, $45.00

This restorative set contains all the fixings necessary for a fabulous, natural, vegan, and gluten-free facial. Full of organic products all sourced from USA farms, and almost exclusively made and packaged in Texas, “farmhouse fresh” is not an exaggeration. Beauticians will note the difference. Between the green tea wash, the overnight serum, and the mud mask, see if they can pick a favorite.


For the Foodie

Assorted bees wrap

Bee’s Wrap, $18.00 for assorted 3-pack

Saving food is a must, but the most common storage options are often plastic, or else inconvenient glass. Bee’s Wrap offers a third option. Acting like plastic wrap (only washable, reusable, and compostable), this organic cotton infused with beeswax softens as you work it and holds its shape when cool. One size is small enough to wrap a snack, while another could hold an entire half a melon — whatever the food need, these have them covered!

Snack samplers

Organic Snack Pack Sampler, $22.74

Food that’s good for you can also taste delicious, and this company proves it. Sprouted seeds are mixed with flavorful spices, nuts are hidden in trail mixes, and dark chocolate covers healthy fruit. Superfoods abound in these organic snacks, all with ingredients sourced from sustainable and fair-trade farms from around the world. With enough options to satisfy any foodie, this sampler can’t go wrong.

Set of coconut husk bowls

Coconut Bowls, $39.95 for set of 4

What you see is what you get with Coconut Bowls, eco-friendly additions to any kitchen. Usually coconuts are harvested for their oil, water, and flesh, and their shells are burned as waste. Instead of wasting these resources and allowing the resulting CO2 emissions to leak into the atmosphere, artisans in Indonesia and Vietnam handcraft the husks into lightweight, sustainable, and reusable dining utensils.

Bottles of nonalcoholic spirits

Non-Alcoholic Spirits, $40.00 for 25 ounces

Not everyone can, should, or wants to drink alcohol, but some of the flavors combinations in cocktails sound appealing to all. Now, natural ingredients such as rosemary and hop or allspice and grapefruit can come together in a copper still, with the result being one of two nonalcoholic, aromatic elixirs — all they need is a little tonic added to help them go down. What kind of food connoisseur can’t enjoy a new twist on spirits?

Linen apron

Linen Apron, $45.48

Handmade in Lithuania from local linen and natural flax, this full-length, adjustable apron is perfect for anyone in the kitchen. Its soft, careful design looks relaxed, but don’t let that fool you; it would be a huge help during difficult or messy jobs. Know an enthusiastic cook who gets as many ingredients on themselves as in the oven? This is for them.

Chocolate and cherry gift basket

Organic Cherry Gift Basket, $49.95

Products from Chukar Cherries are made and shipped fresh in Washington. The packages are put together in a facility that grew from a family farm alongside people who haven’t forgotten their roots. Pure artisan chocolate complements locally grown cherries in this assortment of sweet gifts — all USDA Organic, and all delectable. Chocolate as a gift for the holidays is always a winner!

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