16 Sustainable Gifts for the Home Cook
These thoughtfully produced goods come from makers working to create a healthier, fairer world. We've got gift ideas for the cook, baker, or coffee lover, including wild salmon, fair trade vanilla, reusable produce bags, and stylish ways to store leftovers.
From an olive tree snd extra virgin oil to a cast iron skillet and reusable produce bags, we've got sustainable holiday gift ideas for everyone on your list. While you're shopping, be sure to gift yourself a couple of things, too. Indulgent, yet practical, these sustainable, beautiful, and thoughtfully produced goods come from makers working to create a healthier, fairer world. If that's not a gift worth giving this year, we don't know what is.
Some of these sustainable gifts will help reduce plastic usage in the kitchen, while others are sure to become family heirlooms. Others still will become staples for cooking and dining at home. The one unifier? All of our gift ideas will bring joy to your favorite home cook this upcoming holiday season, even if it's one in which we can't travel to hug loved ones in real life, make Christmas morning pancakes with Grandma, or sneak the nieces and nephews Gelt when their parents aren't looking.
Travel to India with spices straight from the farm, give the gift of practicing mindfulness with tea from Cameroon, or make coffee at home better with beans selected for flavor preferences and a paper filter-free pour-over maker that keeps that cup piping hot long after brewing. Several of the items ahead are created by women-owned companies; many add transparency to our food system by sourcing their goods directly from farmers and fishers. You'll find everything from stocking stuffers to hostess gifts and even some salmon to put under the tree (well, in the freezer) for the dad who loves to get busy in the kitchen.
Better act fast, though: The holidays are coming, and several of these gorgeous, sustainable gifts are sure to sell out.
Turmeric, Pepper, and Chili Spice Set
By sourcing single-origin spices direct from farmers, Diaspora Co. is revolutionizing the spice industry. In addition to being super fresh—on average, spices are three years old by the time they reach supermarket shelves—you know precisely where they came from. Their Trio, available in two sizes, features Pragati Turmeric, Aranya Pepper, and Sannam Chili.
Shop Now: Diaspora Co., from $36, diasporaco.com.
Reusable Produce Bags
Doesn't every cook need these? No matter how good we are about bringing reusable bags to the market, it always seems like a few items end up in plastic bags. Enter reusable produce bags from Colony Co. Made with organic cotton and machine washable, they tuck nicely in a stocking.
Shop Now: Colony Co. Reusable Produce Bags, $17, amazon.com.
Few experiences lend themselves to mindfulness (something we could all use more of these days) quite like the ritual of making a cup of tea does. Bon Et Bio Tea founder and CEO Jeanne Ngang created a line of organic tea blends based on her Cameroonian grandmother's recipes. Organic, fair trade, and produced in 100% recyclable packaging, the Wellness Bundle includes Green Detox, Parisian Red, and a Virilitea blend.
Shop Now: Bon Et Bio Tea Wellness Bundle, $56, bonetbiotea.com.
Reusable Glass & Silicone Lids
Reduce plastic use with these reusable glass and silicone lids from Food Huggers. The silicone helps keep an airtight seal while stretching to fit a variety of bowl sizes while the glass makes them sturdy enough for stacking. Your recipient will also love the fact that they're dishwasher safe.
Shop Now: Food Huggers Reusable Glass & Silicone Lids, from $34, food52.com.
Cast Iron Fry Pan with Copper Coil Handle
Classically made but featuring a signature modern design, Finex's cast iron fry pan is the type of cookware that becomes a family heirloom. Exclusive to Williams Sonoma, this model comes with a copper coil handle for a heightened style perfect for taking the pan straight from the oven or stovetop to the holiday table.
Shop Now: Finex Seasoned Cast Iron Fry Pan with Copper Coil Handle, $225, williams-sonoma.com.
Wild Alaska Coho Salmon Box
For the cook who loves to throw some salmon on the grill, Salmon Sisters ships sustainably-sourced Alaskan salmon straight to their door. Limited in availability, each box of coho salmon comes with a copy of their cookbook. Coho salmon is a Pacific species known for its mild flavor and firm texture, which stands up well to grilling.
Shop Now: Salmon Sisters Wild Alaska Coho Salmon Box, $209, aksalmonsisters.com.
Pure Vanilla Extract
Started as an aid project after a cyclone hit Tonga in 2002, Heilala vanilla is now one of the favorite ingredients of professional bakers and chefs in the United States. Through its vanilla, the company provides employment opportunities particularly for women. The bakers on your list will reach for the vanilla extract time and time again.
Shop Now: Heilala Pure Vanilla Extract, Sugar-Free, $14.57, amazon.com.
Pour Over Coffee Maker
A great cup of coffee adds a bit of magic to any morning, and with this pour-over coffee maker, there's no need for paper filters. There's also a removable, insulated portable carafe, so the freshly-brewed coffee will stay hot when taken on errands or a hike.
Shop Now: Asobu Pour Over Coffee Maker, $50, amazon.com.
Adopt an Olive Tree for Olive Oil
This olive oil is like a delicious love letter sent straight from Italy. Through Especially Puglia, you're able to gift an olive tree located in a particular grove to someone who loves olive oil. They'll receive a certificate of adoption and lots of extra virgin oil from that grove.
Shop Now: Especially Puglia Adopt an Olive Tree for Olive Oil, $160, especiallypuglia.com.
Stand-Up Silicone Bags
Doesn't everyone want more ways to store food and prevent waste? Beloved washable silicone bag maker Stasher now has Stand-Up bags for storing soups, marinades, and more. The mini bag is just right to freeze a single-serving of soup (and can be dropped in hot water when its time to eat) or keep multiple servings in the mega size. They easily store in the freezer.
Shop Now: Stasher Stand-up bags, $63, stasherbag.com.
Stainless Steel Countertop Compost Bin
For the friend who wants to be more eco-friendly at home, doing so is easy with this stainless steel compost bin. It's compact enough to fit on countertops, and the replaceable cotton and activated charcoal filter keep odors at bay while turning food scraps into nutrient-rich soil rose bushes will love.
Shop Now: Package Free Stainless Steel Countertop Compost Bin, $17, packagefreeshop.com.
Stoneware Bar Pan
A simple unglazed stoneware pan that's extremely versatile. Microwave-, freezer-, oven-, preheat-, dishwasher-, and broiler-safe to 550°F it can be used for everything from baking brownies to roasting vegetables to heating up leftovers.
Shop Now: Pampered Chef Medium Stone Bar Pan, $35, pamperedchef.com.
Made from recycled sails, these bags are machine washable and can be used over and over again. Pop a favorite bottle of wine or spirit in the bag for a thoughtful holiday gift. The bags are fun to pass on, and each has a journal on the back for keeping a record of its travels.
Shop Now: Sea Bags Cheers Wine Bag, $40, seabags.com.
Brooklyn-based micro-roaster Driftaway offers a customized coffee subscription. For each coffee received, submit feedback, and their roaster will adjust the beans sent. While many coffee companies tout their sustainability and direct to farmer links, Driftaway is very transparent about the prices they pay farmers for beans and subscribers can send messages/feedback to farmers. They also donate a percentage of each sale to World Coffee Research which is working to create to more sustainable coffee for both the planet and the people who grow it.
Shop Now: Driftaway Coffee Subscription, from $44 driftaway.coffee.
Hand-blown drinking glasses in jewel tones like sunset and an emerald dawn add a retro bit of whimsy to dinnerware. Plus, they look chic stashed in kitchen cabinets. Made from recycled glass, natural sand, and limestone, the glasses are 100 percent recyclable. Did we mention they easily stack to save space?
Shop Now: Our Place Drinking Glasses, $50, fromourplace.com.