1 Dec 2022


Gen Z make up 20% of Australia's population and 30% of the world's. Born between 1995 and 2009, this is the first fully global generation, shaped by the 21st century and linked through digital devices and social media. By 2025 they will make up 17% of the workforce and are expected to have 18 jobs across 6 careers.

They are acutely aware of global events and the state of the world thanks to a constant stream of news updates. Research shows that Gen-Zers are deeply concerned about climate change and the environment (29% globally and 37% in Australia) and in terms of career and lifestyle choices, they motivated by a desire to bring about positive change to the world. They are thrifty shoppers and prefer to make purchases online.

So, whether you’re shopping for that special Gen-Zer in your life, or you’re looking for some ideas for your own Christmas list, these 7 environmentally friendly Christmas gifts will help you shop with purpose this season.

1. Help Australia's most iconic animals by making an adoption!

Koala eating a leaf in care, southeast Queensland, April 2017
Koala eating a leaf in care, southeast Queensland, April 2017 © © Doug Gimesy / WWF-Australia

An animal adoption is the perfect gift for any animal lover, and a great way to inspire friends and family to care for nature as much as you do. You can choose to symbolically adopt a koala, platypus, turtle or more. Your adoption will support critical work going towards these animals. Make a difference this festive season and join us in securing the future of this iconic native species.

2. Gift an experience

Girl in art class
Girl in art class © Photo by Bárbara Fróes on Unsplash

A present doesn’t always have to be physical or materialistic. Find an exciting local experience for your Gen-Zer to enjoy. Some ideas include an escape room experience, cooking class, art class or a bush culture tour. There are so many options to choose from! 

3. Practice mindfulness and awaken your inner child with a WWF puzzle

Jigsaw puzzle pieces
Jigsaw puzzle pieces © Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash

These gifts are relaxing and fun for all ages and our puzzles are all made of FSC certified wood.

4. A reusable water bottle fits Gen Z's sustainability goals

Friends using reusable water bottles
Friends using reusable water bottles © Photo by quokkabottles on Unsplash

One reusable water bottle can save hundreds of plastic ones from entering landfills every year. Australians throw away over 370 million plastic bottles every year. Besides the environmental benefits, a refillable bottle will save your Gen-Zer's wallet. Trendy water bottles like Hydro Flasks or S’wells make fighting the impacts of climate change cool again.

5. Vintage clothes: trendy and functional

Vintage clothes on rack
Vintage clothes on rack © Photo by Lucas Hoang on Unsplash

Eliminate waste and pollution caused by fast fashion by spending your hard-earned cash on vintage clothes. Not only are they cheaper and more unique than most clothing from retailers, but they’re also easier on the environment and a small way you can contribute to lessening your (and your lucky gift recipient’s) carbon footprint. You can find vintage and pre-loved items at second-hand stores, op shops and vintage/retro shops like Swop.

6. Sustainable transport: Bicycle or scooter

Bicycle with basket along seaside
Bicycle with basket along seaside © Photo by Rayyu Maldives on Unsplash

Sometimes the best present is showing someone the way forward. If your city or town is bike-friendly, consider gifting an eco-mode of transport such as a bicycle or scooter to your Gen Z. It’s the healthier (and greener) way to get around, not to mention makes for a great New Year’s resolution!

7. The gift of fresh oxygen: Plants!

Indoor plants inside home
Indoor plants inside home © Photo by Prudence Earl on Unsplash

Start your Gen-Zer's garden with chic succulents. These little cacti are easy to take care of (in theory) and perfect for decorating a room, apartment, or home. Plus, successfully growing something has been shown to improve self-confidence. If your millennial already has a few of these around, herb plants like basil are an option that requires a little more upkeep. They’re the gift that keeps giving since these types of plants also grow fresh ingredients for your millennial to cook with over and over again (no trip to the grocery store necessary). Orchids, lavender, amaryllis and more can also be beautiful gifts that will last well beyond when the Christmas tree is taken down.

Want more ethical and eco-friendly gift ideas? Check out this blog.