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Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Looking for the perfect earth-friendly gifts for your loved ones this holiday season? Look no further—these eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious gift ideas will cover everyone on your shopping list while supporting our conservation partners and helping advance the Ocean Connectors mission to educate, inspire, and connect underserved youth with the ocean.

Artistic Creations

Know someone who loves the environment and enjoys creating vibrant artwork? Let them dream in color with these recycled, handmade “Crazy Crayons”! Most crayons are not biodegradable and typically end up in landfills, so by gifting these beautiful recycled crayons, you are not only giving a unique, one-of-a-kind gift, but also helping save the environment by keeping old crayons out of landfills.

Ocean Photography

Nature and animal lovers far and wide will love receiving a stunning high-quality photographic print to hang in their home or office. Photographers Jonathan Lavan of Underpressure Nature Photography and Ralph Pace of Ralph Pace Photography both travel the world to find the most breathtaking underwater scenes and capture amazing photos of aquatic life and environments. Their exquisite prints range from whale sharks off the coast of Africa to our very own kelp forests in San Diego! Best of all, Jonathan and Ralph have each made a commitment to giving back to ocean conservation through sales of their beautiful photographs.

Beach Gear

Protect your loved ones from head to toe! Check out Costa Del Mar’s stylish “Untangled” sunglasses collection made from recycled fishing nets to help clean up the oceans and shield your eyes from the sun’s powerful rays. The San Diego-based and Shark Tank-featured company Sand Cloud provides a wide variety of clothing, towels, and beach lifestyle products that showcase different marine species and directly support ocean conservation efforts by giving back 10% of profits to their marine conservation partners, including to Ocean Connectors.

Don’t forget to protect your feet as well with Randall’s Sandals! This San Diego-based company started off small and is now a big player in giving a helping hand to nonprofits and charities. Help your friends and family stay safe, comfortable, and stylish on the beach by shopping with these amazing companies.

Clothing and Jewelry

Have a free-spirited adventurer on your shopping list? Check out designer and jeweler Tree Myriah’s chic handmade jewelry collection! Every piece of jewelry is handmade by Tree herself, and her exquisite Salt Water collection is the perfect gift for any ocean-lover. Tree believes the exposure and education that Ocean Connectors provides is an exciting way for kids to expand their love and understanding of our beautiful blue planet, and she is donating 10% of profits to Ocean Connectors.

Owner, designer, and San Diego-native Grace Zheng creates new from the old and brings recycling to life at her online store “Continuobygrace” on Etsy! By buying upcycled items, you are helping divert old clothing from landfills. Continuobygrace’s handmade, upcycled hats are truly a one-of-a-kind gift that will give your loved ones and the fashionistas in your life something special to show-off.

Local and Less Waste

Holidays often mean gifts and gifts usually mean lots of plastic waste and wrapping—but not here! Earthwell Refill is a bring-your-own-bottle kind of place where you can get a variety of things from lotion, shampoo, hair products, and cleaning supplies, to handmade artwork created from recycled materials. Located in the Kensington neighborhood of San Diego, you can bring in your own empty bottles, purchase one at the store, or take a free donated container to treat the Earth well while shopping their top-quality, all-natural products.

Ocean Connectors Eco Tours

Know a kayaker, hiker, cyclist, or outdoor adventurer? Give them an Ocean Connectors Eco Tour gift certificate this holiday season! Ocean Connectors Eco Tours include kayaking, whale watching, and bird watching tours around San Diego Bay, led by our experts in marine conservation. Proceeds from Eco Tours go directly towards supporting our free educational programs for underserved youth in San Diego County. Discover the natural beauty in our own “backyard” with this fun-filled gift!

Outdoor Equipment

For all the outdoor enthusiasts in your life, check out the high-quality outdoor gear and specialized products made by Patagonia, REI, and Columbia Sportswear. Hiking, biking, boarding, camping, paddling, climbing—you name it and these brands have you covered! Each of these companies makes a substantial commitment to giving back through environmental grants and gear donations to Ocean Connectors and many charities in the U.S. and around the world.

Pet Presents

Pets are part of the family at Ted’s Grooming Emporium and Pet Supply in San Diego! Give your furry family member a special treat or trim so they can look and feel their best. Ted’s believes in a natural and holistic approach to pet wellness, and they seek out products from companies who have made a commitment to sustainability, keeping the health of the planet in mind throughout the manufacturing process.

Check out ZippyPaws to give your furry friends something to bark about this holiday season with a durable dog toy that gives back to the community and dogs in need! The ZippyPaws Philanthropy line includes a $1 donation to a variety of charitable causes with every dog toy purchased.


Have a new reader in the family or know someone who loves learning about ocean animals? Keep the learning going throughout winter break with Squidtoons, by Scripps Institution of Oceanography PhD candidate Garfield Kwan and scientific illustrator Dana Song. These beautifully drawn, educational comics combine fun science facts about marine life, kid-friendly wit, and a strong appreciation for our ocean. For a deep dive into marine science reading, check out War of the Whales: A True Story by The Ocean Foundation Senior Fellow Josh Horwitz, who chronicles the decades-long battle by environmentalists and marine biologists to limit the use of naval sonar in marine habitats, and Blue Mind, a national bestseller by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols that explores the intersection between wild waters and the human brain.

Shore Buddies

Adorable, soft, and made of recycled plastic bottles, these fantastic little stuffed animals will bring a smile to your little one’s face! Shore Buddies makes whales, dolphins, seagulls, seals, and sea turtle plush toys with educational messaging and a commitment to helping the environment. Shore Buddies is a member of $1 for the Ocean, which means for every purchase, $1 goes directly towards ocean protection projects.


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