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19 Simple Sustainable Gift Basket Ideas for Raffles and Holidays

Looking for sustainable gift basket ideas for a charity raffle or a fun gift? Check out these themed gift basket ideas that include a handful of specific items to include in each basket while also doing a small favor for the planet.

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sustainable gift basket ideas

Aren’t all those themed raffle baskets for charity fundraisers so cute? I love the creativity that goes into curating a basket of gifts to auction off to support a meaningful non-profit organization. I definitely appreciate the art of this task because it’s not something that comes naturally to me.

This year, however, I was tasked with preparing one of several raffle baskets for the annual fundraising dinner for our local library, an organization for which I sit on the Board of Trustees. I decided to go all in on making a sustainable gift basket for our fundraising raffle that reflected my values (so as a non-drinker, this was not another wine basket).

Preparing these themed raffle baskets really pulls at my sustainability heartstrings. I want to create a sustainable gift basket people will love without feeling like it’s a bunch of stuff for which their love will be short-lived. I also prefer to use this consumption opportunity to support local small businesses, promote sustainable brands, and encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle. These parameters offered unique guard rails within which I hoped to pull together a charitable raffle basket that would raise a meaningful amount of money for our local library.

While the basket I made was for a raffle, the same sustainable gift basket ideas work for holiday gifts, birthday gifts, and so much more. Some of these might even make great eco-friendly baby shower gift baskets or sustainable wedding shower gift baskets.

sustainable gift basket ideas

19 Sustainable Gift Basket Ideas for Raffles and Holidays

To help come up with some ideas, I reached out on Instagram to ask for your suggestions and you definitely stepped up to the plate. There were so many ideas that never occurred to me! As I said, this is really not my forte, so I was thrilled to have support from so many of you with your great green ideas.

General Tips for Sustainable Gift Basket Ideas

Some people provided very specific ideas while others offered more general tips about how to more sustainably source items for your charitable raffle baskets like:

  • buy items from local small businesses
  • purchase directly from vendors and artisans
  • choose items people might buy for themselves anyway
  • choose consumable items
  • purchase items secondhand (if they are in new or like-new condition)
  • purchase through small and sustainable marketplaces, and
  • avoid the quick fix of Amazon (they really don’t need your business anyway)

Favorite Places to Buy Sustainable Gift Basket Items

I’ve included some of my favorite places to buy a lot of the items on the list below. But there are some online marketplaces that have lots of options for sustainable alternatives to the things we buy.

It’s no secret I’m not a huge fan of Amazon. They have more than their fair share of questionable ethical practices, and the United States government is suing them for anti-trust violations for a reason. Amazon doesn’t need our money and really doesn’t care about us as customers.

How about supporting smaller shops instead? Many small shop owners appreciate each and every order we send their way to support their families and livelihoods. Check out online marketplaces like:

  • Etsy – they have so many small vendors and shops but a large enough marketplace to find many things in one spot
  • Tiny Yellow Bungalow – one of the OG online zero waste shops, you’ll get a note directly from the owner when she sends you your order
  • Simple Switch | This online marketplace curates things you need for everyday life from vendors with a mission to have a better impact on the world.
  • Mightynest | With a focus on items for your home, this company offers all sorts of better-for-you and better-for-the-planet alternatives to basic supplies like kitchen items, cleaning supplies, and more.
  • Uncommon Goods | This online market has so many neat and novel items, mostly with a focus on gifts. You will surely find some great options that will make your sustainable raffle basket like none other.

Without further ado, let’s dive into several more specific sustainable raffle basket ideas sorted by theme, each including a handful of items you might consider including in each of the respective baskets.

Screenfree Storytime Basket for Kids

This is the basket (minus the LEGO bricks) I ended up doing for the library. It’s a mix of new items that I think can be reused again and again. I purchased most of the supplies from Target (except the Yoto Mini and Yoto cards which I got online). I got the magnetic tiles from the discount section at a store because they were an older model.

I built the basket around the Yoto Mini Player, a screen-free audiobook and music player for kids. I’ve only heard rave reviews about it, and I figured it would be a big hit for the library’s patron group, many of whom are parents of young children.

Most years, the raffle baskets cater to adults, so I thought it would be fun to do something parents could buy for their kids. Heck, this could even be a good holiday gift if the kids haven’t seen it yet!

  • Yoto Mini Player
  • Yoto Cards
  • DIY Melted Crayons
  • Coloring Books
  • Puzzle
  • Art Supplies (clay, paper, scissors, etc…)
  • Magnetic tiles
  • Building block sets (like LEGO or Knex) – these are a great option to purchase secondhand and wrap up nicely in a cloth bag or fun box

Composting Kitchen Basket

Composting. You knew I was going there, right? This is like a little composting starter kit. It includes the supplies to get started in your kitchen as well as some everyday compostable kitchen items, something the basket winner can use once they start composting!

Shameless plug: you can even encourage them to come back here to our Composting Resource Hub for all sorts of information on how to get started composting at home!

Zero Waste Kitchen Basket

Zero waste living often is about using what you already have just as much as buying new reusable alternatives. But if you’re giving a gift of sustainability, why not help them with some fun and lovely reusable kitchen items?

Natural Spa and Self-Care Basket

I doubt anyone will complain about a little at-home spa day, and it’s even better when it’s green. All of these sustainable alternatives for self-care will not only look beautiful and

Gardening Enthusiast Basket

Got a group with a bunch of green thumbs? They’ll love a sustainable raffle basket with gardening tools, seeds, and other accessories to hone their garden artistry.

To keep it sustainable, consider looking for garden tools in great condition from local thrift shops or purchased secondhand on sites like Mercari or Facebook Marketplace. So long as they are in like-new condition, the raffle basket recipient will never know (and likely won’t care). You can also be sure to include seeds for plants that are native to your area.

Green Cleaning Essentials Basket

Start your raffle basket winner on their way to fewer chemicals in their cleaning routine (or majorly appeal to the natural cleaners already in the habit) with some ingredients, tools, and supplies to make their cleaning routine more eco-friendly.

Outdoor Adventure and Picnic Basket

Picnics in the park are romantic but rounding up all the things can feel like a slog sometimes. Prepare this set of all the gear so they can just toss in their snacks and meals and enjoy some time together outside. An outdoor picnic doesn’t need all of these accessories, but they are definitely fun to have and help reduce use of single-use plastic alternatives.

Upcycled and Handmade Crafts Basket

For the artist community and those who like to use their hands to create, consider a gift basket filled with materials and tools to make handmade crafts.

  • Handwoven basket made from natural fibers
  • Upcycled stationery or journals
  • Handmade beeswax candles
  • Eco-friendly art supplies (pencils, brushes)
  • Organic cotton or hemp fabric scraps
  • Upcycled glassware or vases
  • Sustainable craft guidebook or magazine

Mindful Meditation and Wellness Basket

This basket offers the winner tools and supplies to relax and spend a few moments focusing inward. In today’s fast-paced world, this could be great for a community looking to slow down a bit.

Farmers Market Bounty Basket

If you don’t need to plan the basket too far in advance of your event, a basket full of goodies from your local farmers’ market is a great way to support so many local food producers and introduce your basket recipient to new artisans and farmers.

  • Fresh, organic produce from local farmers
  • Handmade jams and preserves from a local artisan
  • Artisanal cheese or dairy products from a nearby farm
  • Locally roasted coffee or tea
  • Handcrafted bread or baked goods from a local bakery
  • Natural honey from a local beekeeper
  • Handwoven market tote made by a local artist

Handmade and Local Crafts Basket

If you have local farmers’ markets or even a seasonal holiday market in your area, that’s a perfect place to find items for a basket like this. The items in this basket basically sum up the goods found at my local holiday markets which are chock full of the neatest handmade mugs, candles, jewelry, and wood crafts.

  • Handcrafted pottery or ceramics
  • Local artisanal candles made from natural materials
  • Unique hand-knit or crocheted items (scarves, mittens, etc.)
  • Handmade soaps and skin care products from local artisans
  • Wooden crafts made by a local carpenter – a cool mini cutting board or set of coasters could be really neat.
  • Hand-painted artworks or prints from a local artist
  • Handmade jewelry from a local artisan

Local Outdoor Adventure Basket

If your likely recipients appreciate spending time outside, consider putting together a basket to help them enjoy the best of what your community has to offer in terms of green spaces and outdoor adventure.

  • Guided tour or experience voucher with a local adventure company
  • Handmade outdoor gear (e.g., paracord bracelets, leather goods)
  • Locally sourced snacks and energy bars for hiking or camping
  • Eco-friendly sunscreen and bug repellent from a nearby brand
  • Reusable stainless steel or silicone water bottle from a local store
  • Sustainable outdoor gear cleaning products from a local supplier
  • Tickets or passes to local nature reserves or parks

Neighborhood Dining Experience Basket

Many local restaurants and shops will provide small gift cards to include in a basket to get their name out in the community and support local organizations. This could be a great way to help them garner interest and create a basket that doesn’t necessarily cost too much to prepare.

  • Gift certificates to locally-owned restaurants or cafes
  • Locally roasted coffee beans or ground coffee
  • Handcrafted wine or craft beer from nearby vineyards or breweries
  • Artisanal chocolates or desserts from a local patisserie (no one will be upset about chocolate, right?)
  • Gourmet condiments or sauces from a local producer
  • Handmade serving platter or cutting board from a local artisan
  • Cooking class voucher with a local chef or culinary school

Green Gardener Kids Basket

If you have kids involved in your organization for which you’re raising money or parents and caregivers who might be interested in winning a raffle basket for the youngsters in their lives, consider a basket designed just for kids spending time in the garden.

  • Organic, non-GMO seed packets for kid-friendly plants (e.g., sunflowers, cherry tomatoes)
  • Biodegradable plant pots or seed starter kits
  • Child-sized gardening tools made from sustainable materials
  • Eco-friendly gardening gloves
  • Children’s book about gardening and nature
  • Reusable water bottle featuring kid-friendly designs
  • Recycled paper and non-toxic crayons for drawing garden scenes

Eco-Explorer Adventure Basket

If your gift recipient or raffle basket community enjoys the great outdoors, consider an eco-explorer adventure basket. Give them a bunch of tools and resources to spend time outdoors, explore nature, and find the hidden treasures Mother Nature has to offer. The items below are geared towards kids, but you could modify them to be more adult-focused if that appeals to the people entering to win the raffle basket.

  • Nature exploration kit with a magnifying glass, bug-catching tools, and field notebook
  • Eco-friendly binoculars made from recycled materials
  • Sustainable and toxin-free sunscreen for outdoor adventures
  • Kid-sized reusable water bottle with nature-themed graphics
  • Children’s books about wildlife and conservation
  • Plantable wildflower seed paper for kids to grow their flowers
  • Backpack for carrying exploration essentials

Creative Recycler Kids Basket

The basket might feel like it contains a bunch of trash, but if you’ve got the right audience and the right presentation, the basket is really a bunch of supplies to create. Breathe new life into old things when you recycle materials to make something new. This basket has a bunch of items to spread that idea.

It’s also worth noting that many of the basket ideas are new items made from recycled materials, not materials you are grabbing from your own recycling bin (though your bins probably have more crafting supplies in them than we might think).

Green Tech Savvy Kids Basket

My younger son is totally into tech and would love something like this basket. He’s the tech department in our house – always fixing things much faster than any of the rest of us can despite being the youngest in the house.

Sustainable Storytime Kids Basket:

Lottery Ticket Gift Basket

So this one is pretty self-explanatory. You probably don’t need a list of what to include. Head to your local convenience store and grab a half dozen or dozen lottery tickets (or whatever amount fits within the budget you want to spend on the basket). Attach the lottery tickets to popsicle sticks, chopsticks, or wooden skewers (or display them however you’d like), and let people enter to win a chance to win some cash.

Lottery tickets aren’t sustainable, per se, but they’re simple and don’t create much waste. And they almost certainly ensure that the winner of the basket will actually put the gift to good use!

sustainable gift basket ideas

Eco-friendly Gift Basket Wrapping Ideas

Once I decided what to put in the gift basket, my sustainability adventure still had some juice left in it. I needed to wrap everything up so that it looked appealing to raffle ticket buyers and nothing fell out. Last year, I didn’t wrap up the gift basket, and I’m pretty sure the largest gift card fell out before it got to the final recipient. What a bummer!

Baskets Abound at Thrift Stores

If there’s one thing I recommend you get secondhand, make it the basket. Thrift shops have tons of baskets in great condition! Head straight to the home goods section, and I bet there will be tons of options available.

I got the basket for my Screenfree Storytime theme gift basket from my local Goodwill store. It was sturdy enough for everything I wanted to include in the basket and large enough to hold everything. Last year, when I donated a gift basket of gift cards to local restaurants and shops, I found a much smaller gift basket at the same Goodwill store.

Sustainable Plastic Wrap Alternatives

Although I would prefer to limit the plastic on any gifts, I know it’s important to have the gift basket wrapped in some type of clear plastic cellophane or thin mesh so that items don’t fall out. In our case, we also had to ensure items were not stolen (or innocently taken by curious children) because they were on display at the library for several weeks before the fundraising dinner.

I didn’t have any eco-friendly gift wrap on hand that I could use for clear wrapping paper, and I really didn’t want to buy a whole roll of plastic cellophane. So I reached out to my Buy Nothing group to see if anyone had some extra cellophane I could have. While it’s still plastic, I wasn’t adding to the consumption cycle, so that felt like a small win.

One of my neighbors happened to have a bit left on a roll in her home, and it was just enough to cover the basket. The perfect fit was a clear sign that I made the right choice to ask to borrow from a neighbor!

If you liked this post about Sustainable Gift Basket Ideas, you might also like

12 Questions To Find The Perfect Gift For Everyone On Your List

8 Important Reasons To Buy Gifts Secondhand

10 Free Zero Waste Gift Wrap Alternatives From Upcycled Shipping Materials

Jen Panaro

Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and advocate for sustainable living for modern families. To find her latest work, subscribe to her newsletter, Sage Neighbor.

In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.

You can find more of her work at Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.

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