It feels great to give gifts (and, let’s be honest, to receive them too), but it’s even better if they give back to the world in some way, with proceeds going to charity or preservation efforts. That’s why we’ve rounded up some great sustainable and eco-friendly food-, cooking-, and dining-related gifts from companies that also donate to various organizations doing good things.
You’ll be happy, your giftee will be extra grateful, and you’ll be helping out. What could be better than that?
The Wonderbag is a simple but revolutionary slow cooker that’s non-electric, portable, and eco-friendly (since it reduces energy and fuel use). It’s also handy for keeping meals warm for long periods if you’re taking them elsewhere; see how it works. The bags are machine washable and come in several sizes and colors—and best of all, for every Wonderbag sold, $1 is donated to the Wonderbag Foundation, which provides the slow cookers to families in need and helps save lives, since wood smoke from cooking fires is a major health and environmental issue in Africa. It also drastically reduces actual time spent cooking, giving girls more opportunity to attend school. Learn more about their mission.See It
Heifer International is a unique organization that allows you to buy gifts for families in need around the world—most of these gifts are in the form of livestock that will provide both sustenance and an ongoing income for the families, so they have better access to education, healthcare, and basic necessities. For instance, gifting a lama will provide wool for clothing and blankets, milk that’s higher in calcium than a cow’s, and improved soil thanks to their unique hooves’ impact on the ground where they roam. The gift of a water buffalo provides nutritious milk and the ability to farm more efficiently, and a flock of ducks provides eggs to eat, as well as income from selling surplus eggs, feathers, and down. While some of these obviously aren’t the best choice for your vegan friends and fam, you can also purchase gifts like clean water and irrigation pumps in their name, or send a girl to school. And although you don’t get any tangible items with this option except a card denoting your food gift, it’s a wonderful organization (and feeling)!See It
The Savannah Bee Company sells lots of lovely gifts, from honeycomb to natural beauty products, but sales of their “Bee Cause” honey will benefit the organization of the same name, which helps fund the installation of classroom observation hives in schools across America, to encourage the next generation to understand, love, and protect honeybees. Since this is a natural product and the bees that produce the honey feed on several different wildflowers, the flavor varies, but is sure to be delicious.See It
For the socially conscious nut butter lover on your list, a jar (or several) of Nuttzo‘s protein-packed nut and seed butters are great stocking stuffers. They’re chock-full of flavor and nutrition, and a portion of all sales goes to Project Left Behind, which helps provide food, medical care and supplies, and education to children in Peru, Nepal, and India. (Similarly, Help Good Spread sells organic, probiotic peanut butter and donates MANA—a fortified, peanut butter-based medicinal food—to malnourished children for every jar sold.)See It
Project 7 is named for the company’s mission to use at least 10 percent of their profits to help support 7 areas of basic humanitarian need both domestically and abroad (historically, they have actually donated between 30 and 50 percent of their profits)—which they make by selling gourmet flavors of gum and chewy candies. So if you know a kinder-hearted version of Violet Beauregarde, gift them a sampler pack of 12 different flavors like Fairytale Fruit, Cotton Candy, Thin Mints, and Coconut Lime. (Or stuff some stockings with smaller packs of gummy candies, like their “Champagne Dreams” brut and rosé gummy bears!)See It
Who among us doesn’t love snacks? Satisfy anyone’s cravings for a whole month with a sampler pack from This Bar Saves Lives, which provides food aid to malnourished children—for every bar sold, they donate a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food to a child in need. “The more the merrier” was never more appropriate, then. Your gift recipient will get 2 of each flavor (Madagascar Vanilla Almond & Honey; Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter; Dark Chocolate & Cherry; Wild Blueberry & Pistachio; PB&J; and Dark Chocolate & Coconut) in this sampler pack.See It
Hot Bread Kitchen has a variety of great breads, from stollen and chocolate babka to global flatbreads (and a New York bread box with bialys, rye, and challah). They come in at various price points, but if you want to splurge, a 12-month bread subscription is a truly great gift for any carb lover. They also run two fabulous community programs: Bakers in Training, a paid on-the-job program that gives women facing economic insecurity culinary training along with key skills like English as a second language, knife skills, kitchen math, and science (100 percent of graduates who seek employment are placed in fair wage positions with access to benefits and opportunities for advancement), and HBK Incubates, a shared commercial kitchen space and business support program that allows entrepreneurs to mitigate start-up risk and grow their food ventures in a community of business owners.See It
The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook: Artisanal Baking from Around the World, $22.86 on Amazon
They also have a cookbook if you know (or are) a home bread baker!
Each bottle of wine sold by One Hope Wines goes to a different charity, including organizations for veterans and for animals. The proceeds from these ultra-festive glittery bottles of sparkling wine go towards children’s charities: each silver and gold bottle sold provides two meals to a child in need, while profits from the rainbow glitter bottles go towards the Trevor Project for at-risk LGBTQ youth. If you want to gift a subscription instead of a single bottle, they also have The Grapeful Club that lets you donate an additional 10 percent to the charity of your choice (while also saving money on every shipment).See It
Faucet Face makes eco-friendly reusable water bottles that not only help prevent plastic waste, but make your drink taste better—and they donate a portion of all sales to clean drinking water charity Third Millennium Awakening. You can save money on multiple gifts when you buy this trio of bottles, but if you only want to buy one, each design is available on its own for $13.99. (If you know your giftee must sip from a straw, check out sustainable straws in metal and glass to go along with this gift, like those from Simply Straws.)See It
This limited-edition truffle collection from Vosges Haut-Chocolat includes three flavors, designed to be paired with cabernet, bourbon, and Champagne, respectively—and 20 percent of proceeds go toward the nonprofit organization (RED)‘s fight against AIDS.See It
Ten Thousand Villages is, in their own words, “a global maker-to-market movement”—they sell handmade items from artisans in developing countries around the world, and pledge that every purchase you make directly impacts the life and community of the maker. They have an array of beautiful kitchen and dining items, from textiles and cutting boards to mugs and utensils—even cool martini glasses and goblets, as well as tons of other handcrafted items, so you can find something for everyone on your list.See It
Missouri-based Askinosie Chocolate not only supports local community organizations Chocolate University and Lost & Found Grief Center, they provide school lunches to students in Tanzania and the Philippines through their “A Product of Change” program. They also pay above Fair Trade prices for the beans they buy and profit share with their farmer partners. You have plenty of gift options to choose from, including traditional Filipino hot chocolate disks, a chocolate tasting kit, and several chocolate bars (both flavored and plain), but big spenders can go with a set of all 12 of their single-origin chocolate bars, plus a tin of cocoa powder for purists.See It
Feed provides meals to children in need around the world, and is committed to products that are hand-crafted under fair-labor conditions, with environmentally friendly materials whenever possible. In collaboration with West Elm, they’re selling these acacia wood serving bowls, boards, utensils, and napkin rings, with between 20 and 30 meals provided to those in need for each piece sold (depending on which item you purchase).See It
For those who love coffee and animals, a gift from Grounds and Hounds is perfect, because they donate 20 percent of all profits from their fair trade, organic, specialty coffees (and related products) to support no-kill shelters for dogs who are between homes. They offer a variety of bean blends, including “Morning Walk Breakfast Blend” and “Hush Puppy” for decaf fans, as well as apparel and accessories—and you can purchase subscriptions, gift sets, or one-off items as you please. (For a double dose of caffeine and warm fuzzies, throw in a little something from Rescue Chocolate too.)See It
Imperfect Produce fights food waste and hunger by shipping customers subscription boxes of “ugly” produce that may not be pretty enough for store shelves but is still perfectly delicious and nutritious—and by donating thousands more pounds of produce each week to food banks and nonprofits. Delivery is currently available in several locations around California, as well as some major metropolitan areas of Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Texas, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin (check here for specifics). If you know a home cook who would appreciate the produce and the mission, this is a great gift to give them this holiday season, especially since it offers full customization for those with more particular tastes.See It
For more great gift ideas, see our Gourmet Food and Drink Gift Guide and our Best Kitchen Gadgets, Tools, and Appliances Gift Guide.
Related Video: The 5 Essential Things You Need to Know Before Making Charitable Donations
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Header image courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages.