Shopping for teens can sometimes seem daunting. With the ever-changing trends in our world and many products on the market, where to start to arrive at the perfect gift can feel overwhelming. Furthermore, many younger people now demand more eco-friendly credentials from those they shop with. Eco-friendly gifts for teens make a great match appealing to environmentally-conscious young people and the trend toward more sustainable products and choices.
You might want to give a teen in your life something for their birthday, festive season, or a celebration. Whatever the occasion is, it’s always a good idea to go for timeless, quality, and green gifts.
One of the most important tips for giving sustainable gifts is choosing items that’ll be useful to the receiver and last. To help you choose, we’ve created a list of some of the best eco-friendly gifts for teenagers. All are stylish, useful, and kind to the environment.
A biodegradable, eco-friendly phone case is one of the most useful go-to eco-gift ideas for teenagers. With smartphones ever-present in their lives, protection from the occasional drop or damage can prevent the need to replace broken phones.
As a result, a well-protected phone can save a new product requiring manufacturing resources, waste from disposing of old phones, and some cash.
Unfortunately, many of the cases in the market are made from plastic and other unsustainable materials. You can imagine how many phone cases people toss in the trash after switching their phones. Eco-friendly phone cases allow teens to enjoy stylish cases while protecting the planet.
These phone cases from CaseMill are biodegradable and made from eco polymers and bamboo fiber. Printed with UV, available for iPhone and Android, and in various colors and designs, see what you think they might fancy sporting the most.
Looking for other phone case gift ideas? The Pela phone case collection features sustainable products free of plastic materials. They champion a way to protect smartphones while reducing one’s carbon footprint and promoting green living. See some of the options from the collection that we shared here.
Bracelets are a cute gift idea for kids and teens. Instead of regular bracelets, why not go for those made with eco-friendly materials?
This bracelet and collar set is ideal for teens with furry friends. The set features a cute dog collar crafted from hemp and a bracelet made from cotton canvas. We believe this set and the eco-friendly packaging will thrill any dog lover. It’s also an excellent way for the receiver to deepen their bond with their dog friend. Pettsie also does lines for cats, should that be their preference.
If your eco-teen is a pet owner, you may find some other great ideas in our list of zero-waste and sustainable pet care products. Click over for other gift additions, including eco-pet toys, hemp collars, and even eco-friendly dog wash bars.
With its combination of silver materials and recycled beach glass, this bracelet speaks to the eco-conscious user.
With various designs, each bracelet serves as a reminder to preserve marine life by reducing plastic use. Any teen who’s into the boho or hippie style will love this.
They make items to order, so you’re sure they’re not randomly mass-produced. For a full look, you can purchase more than one bracelet.
Another brand that had to make it to the list is 4Ocean. They also have a sustainability program in which part of the sales contributes to protecting marine life.
The great part is that they use post-consumer recycled glass bottles and post-consumer recycled plastic to make their bracelets. This is a great way to divert waste from landfills.
We included 4Ocean in our list of brands making jewelry from ocean plastics, where you might find some other ideas that help reduce waste and look fantastic.
Regular skateboards seem entirely harmless. After all, wood is the primary material, right? As much as this is true, many brands use purely maple tree wood to make their boards.
Eco-conscious skateboarders are switching the kinds of boards they buy for a good reason. Maple trees face deforestation, with some species being critically endangered.
So, if you’re looking for a fantastic skateboard deck for a skateboarder, this bamboo deck is the answer. Not only are these boards unique eco-friendly gifts, but they also feature six-ply bamboo for durability.
What we appreciate most about this gift idea is the graphic elements for added aesthetics. Whether your receiver is new to skateboarding or a pro, there are various sizes you can choose from. Teen boys will love this, as well as girls who love to board.
This allows your teenager to perform all sorts of tricks while protecting the trees on our planet. So, if you’re looking for unique green gifts for skateboarders, it’s only ideal to surprise them with an eco skateboard deck.
Whether for older generations or teens, the love of music is almost universal. As a result, a speaker will always serve as a great gift idea for music lovers. Instead of spending money on conventional plastic-based speakers, you can choose an eco-friendly one.
These speakers are made from carbon fiber, generally considered a cleaner green material. Do keep in mind that they still use oil in manufacture, so perhaps they don’t have perfect eco creds; however, they make these to last. The brand also has a bamboo alternative, which was out of stock at the time of writing but worth a check.
Each speaker is solar-powered with energy-efficient solar panels, which are safe for the planet. If there’s no sun, you can also charge it using its USB cable. It’s easy to carry around, and the entire family can enjoy it.
Teens appreciate multipurpose gadgets, and that’s something that makes this device stand out. Apart from enjoying listening to music, it also serves as a portable charger for phones. So, there’s more than one way to have fun with this device. If the black design seems too plain for the person you’re gifting, you can always get creative. Pick up a paintbrush or get some stickers to decorate these great eco-friendly gifts.
This DIY Beauty guide is a good resource for the entire family. It houses various all-natural recipes for teens to make beauty and skincare products. The recipes are based on products from big brands like Burt’s Bees, Laura Mercier, Lush, and many others. It covers easy-to-make tips for bath bombs, face masks, scrubs, and body butter.
Many teens are into the DIY culture, and giving this as a gift is a great way to honor that. Don’t think beauty, skincare, and DIY gifts are only ideal for teen girls. The book contains details that anyone can benefit from.
Through the recipes provided in the book, self-sufficient kids can make products at home. It helps to save money, protect the environment, and, of course, boost creativity. Organic products are safe for the environment, so you’re sure the tips support green living.
This item is something the receiver can continue to enjoy even in the future. In a world where so many beauty items are expensive - accessible and affordable alternatives make for perfect gifts. Learning tips from this guide can help to save the additional cost of beauty and personal care items.
The J&L Naturals lip balm checks the boxes of cruelty-free, zero-waste, and organic. It serves as an eco-friendly swap for regular lip balms that come in plastic containers.
This lip balm contains natural skincare ingredients that provide moisturizing qualities, including shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and a range of essential oils. You can also choose from various scents, including heal, orange, cedarwood, mint, lemongrass, and clove. There’s also an unscented version.
The brand packages the product in a brown cylindrical container made from organic materials that are compostable, biodegradable, and recyclable. J&L Naturals recently improved its container size by making it bigger to contain 20% more balm. You can help your gift receiver build a collection by purchasing four of these. J&L Natural gives you the fifth one for free, which you can include as a gift or try out yourself.
If these aren’t quite right, you can also check our guides for other zero-waste gift options across a range of personal care items:
Have a browse and choose the ones just right for him or her for a toilet kit complete with eco-friendly products made from natural and organic ingredients. Or, grab one or two suitable for the occasion.
As an alternative to the traditional backpack design, this one provides a crossbody design to carry essentials. The manufacturers use recycled bottles to make this sustainable water-repellant alternative to conventional bags, thereby reducing the carbon emissions associated with virgin material products. Anybody who carries water bottles in their bag to school will appreciate this feature because it keeps items dry.
The Vera Bradley bag comes in different colors and designs. There’s also a mini version that the owner can use as a shoulder bag, belt bag, or crossbody bag. Apart from school, teens can enjoy this versatile bag to hold essentials for outings.
Not quite right? We have loads more eco-friendly backpacks a click away.
What’s better than an eco-friendly notebook? That’s right, one that you can reuse practically forever. What sets the Rocketbook notebook apart from other eco-friendly books is that the brand designed it for the digital age. There’s no denying that many teens are digitally savvy and, therefore, use their phones a lot. Therefore, a tech-related gift that is also eco-friendly may just prove the perfect choice.
Although the Rocketbook notebook provides the regular paper and pen experience, it also offers a unique feature. After writing in it with its pen, you can easily scan the page and then wipe off the contents. This way, you store information on a device, giving room to reuse the book’s pages endlessly.
The notebook prevents paper waste and, therefore, prevents the constant felling of trees. The owner can continue to use it for years. This is a gift that the receiver will continue to appreciate even in the future. Each notebook has a Pilot FriXion pen for writing and a microfibre cloth for wiping.
Other items, such as sustainable clothing and eco-friendly lunch boxes for snacks, are gifts teens will appreciate in and out of school. In contrast, a smaller item, eco-friendly reusable straws, is another excellent option for school use as well as in the home.
Furthermore, gift a set, and every time your teenage recipient ditches plastic straws, they’ll make something of a statement. While at the same time growing awareness amongst their peers for how easy it is to reduce plastic waste.
With everything from scented candles to bath bomb sets, our list of ethical and environmentally friendly gifts for her may also have some ideas suitable for the teenager you have in mind.
While shopping for him, our non-age-specific gift guide, full of environmentally friendly gifts for men, may present something just right. From stylish lamps for the slightly older teenager's bedroom to another choice of blue tooth speaker, more gift-buying inspiration awaits should you still feel you need to hunt a bit harder for the perfect fit.
Or look out for sustainable t-shirts to suit their unique clothing style (our list of some of the best has designs suitable for either sex), many made from upcycled materials or organic cotton. Everyone loves and appreciates a new t-shirt, especially when they’re great to wear and good for the planet.
We created this green gift guide for teens to make shopping a smoother process for you. By prioritizing eco-friendly items, recycled materials, and zero waste, you’ll protect the environment and our world. Eco-friendly gifts also provide cool alternatives to regular products - whether for your own kids or someone else's.
When purchasing products, pay attention to those that are fair trade, environmentally friendly, and made from responsibly sourced sustainable materials.
Whether new clothes, staple items for the bathroom personal care, or something specific to their tastes, there’s a surprising amount of eco-friendly gift options a few clicks away. We hope they enjoy your choices, and we’ve inspired new ideas to help you choose.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.