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Gifts That Really Keep on Giving – Reusables

by Tiffany in A Green Home


Some people like indulgences and luxuries as gifts for the holidays. Items such as glittery body lotion, jewelry, and handbags really appeal to them. Other folks like sensible, practical gifts that will make their every day life a bit easier such as kitchen appliances or a new vacuum cleaner. Personally I take a page from both worlds I think. One of my favorite gifts is new gym gear. I may not really NEED them but I just know I will be able to backsquat #250 lbs if I have those lovely pink Olympic lifting shoes. I like practical gifts too. A new water bottle is always welcome as would be a steam cleaner for my carpets. I think usefulness makes a gift a real winner for me.

Sparkly body lotion? No. Baubles? No. Give me something I truly need or at the very least something that will be helpful to me. This is why reusables top my list of great gift ideas for the holidays. They are practical and they will hopefully be used by the recipient for years to come. They make sense in our fast paced, hectic world where everything is go, go, go. If we aren’t prepared to pack lunches and eat on the go or carry our own water to events then we will be sucked into the world of disposables, convenience food, and the utter waste of money that comes along with that.

Reusable Gifts for the Eco Conscious

If you’re looking for a gift for the eco-conscious person in your family (or maybe YOU are the  eco-conscious person), why not give them reusable water bottles and other reusable containers? As you well know pollution is a major problem in the world today, with non-biodegradable materials like plastic clogging up landfills, washing up on beaches, killing wildlife, and generally interfering with natural ecosystems. The massive amounts of trash in our environment is in part due to our dependence on disposable plastic cups, utensils, bottles and the like. By using reusable containers, you help cut down on the amount of waste that humans produce, ensuring a cleaner earth for future generations.

Reusable Gifts for the Financially Conscious

What though if your giftee does not care about any of that?? That may be the case. There are many who are blind to environmental issues. It may not be something that touches their life in a direct manner or perhaps politically they see environmentalism as something unsavory. Kinda unfathomable I know, but this attitude exists. So they may not care so much about saving the planet but they may care a great deal about saving money. Who doesn’t? Well, reusable containers are also a great gift for the financially conscious. Using disposable containers is expensive, adding hundreds of dollars to your yearly budget. What’s good for the earth is also good for your wallet!

Practical Reusables As Gifts

My number one recommendation has to be the classic water bottle. I have a fairly large collection of them and they get used ALL the time. I have a family of five and we all go the gym (CrossFit and CrossFit Kids). We all need a water bottle to stay hydrated. We also like to take them on long drives and other outings (trips to Grandma’s house) because if we don’t then inevitably someone will want to stop for something and that something always comes in a disposable cup or bottle. Plus these are the slippery slope purchases. Donuts or fry pies might also be requested. It’s just better all around not to go there.

Water bottles are a lifesaver for us. We have many different kinds (plastic, glass, bamboo, stainless steel) but my personal favorites (and my husband’s) are our stainless Klean Kanteens. We have bigger ones and little ones in many different colors, my two favorites are pictured at the top of this post. They are durable and quite lovely. We love the sport tops for the gym but I also have some with wide mouth lids for when the sport top is not required. You can also get double-wall vacuum insulated bottles if you want the contents to stay hot or cold for any length of time. You can use them at local coffee shops and cafés to avoid disposables. Plus we have used this brand since my kiddos were wee ones. We had the sippy tops way back then so Klean Kanteen is the gold standard in reusable bottles and always has been in this family.


Another clever reusable gift idea is a lunch box or tote. Kids need them for school and adults need them often times for work. Without them it is easy to get sucked into eating out for lunch or buying from the workplace cafeteria or vending machines where the food isn’t the greatest, everything is wastefully packaged, and you pay a hefty price for it. If you gift stainless steel lunch boxes or tiffins then the whole family can use them. We prefer LunchBots for ease of use.

Yet another gift idea is a set of reusable utensils in a carrying case. These can be stored in a purse or lunch tote and then the recipient will be able to pass on plastic cutlery when eating out or when eating at work. That waste adds up and you are eating off of plastic which can leach nasty ingredients.

If you have someone in your family who is into sustainable living or is just financially conscious, consider getting them reusables this holiday season. They truly are the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Anna @GreenTalk

    Love this post. It shows how practical gifts especially reusable one are tops on most people’s holiday lists.

  • Nicole Whitney

    I agree, function before fashion is my rule personally. In my work, I’ve had to bring form and function together – as you mention in your post. We use crushed recycled glass fused into pottery to create useful pieces of art As for the water bottles, my favorites are the mason jar lids that convert any jar into a useful drinking vessel. Thanks for the post.

  • I’ve always been one for sensible and practical gifts too. I just can’t handle the thought of friends and family wasting hard-earned money on frivolous and unnecessary items for me. This subject is actually a source of irritation for my husband who wants to “spoil” me :-) ~Alicia