Sometimes buying presents feel like a burden and you find yourself going around malls, searching online for hours and still have no idea what to give to someone either for graduation, kids' birthday parties, baby showers, and most importantly, the holidays.
Everyone loves presents. I know I love to give presents to my family and friends but most of the time we don't have in mind the "waste factor" of a present.
Now that I've changed my life to a plastic-free eco-friendly one, gifting items that are better for the environment and the person receiving them brings me joy. I feel that I’m doing something good by exposing others to why I live the way I do in hopes that this encourages them to reduce waste and change their mindset too.
Good for you, good for them and most importantly, good for the planet.
Here are 60 zero or low waste gift ideas.
1. Here's my first advice: Skip the card. Greeting cards are a waste of paper (And Trees) TBH. It is something you spend anywhere from $1 - $10 and it goes straight to the trash. If you don't want to handmade one then try Seedy cards which is a good option since it's seed paper so people can plant it, or if it gets "lost in the woods" it won't harm the environment and instead grow either herbs or flowers. An option for Holiday cards as suggested by Julia Burrel @thecrazynoplasticlady is Paper Culture, a sustainable company that plants a tree for every order.
2. Homemade Brownies nicely packed in cardboard boxes or paper bags with a cute burlap or jute bow.
3. Winter Skin Combo (A nourishing plastic-free combo)
4. Plants, like real plants. The kind you water and put in the sun. These are good
5. Concert Tickets.
6. Crocheted Mittens, Scarf, or Blanket. (if you are crafty like that)
7. Homemade Cookies, everyone loves cookies.
8. Vintage Jewelry
10. Bamboo Travel Utensils (This is a wonderful and convenient gift)
11. Restaurant Gift Certificate (the kind you print not the plastic credit card type and maybe aim for a local restaurant, not a chain)
16. Massage Gift Certificate from a local spa.
17. Gift Card from Pela Case (For biodegradable cellphone case or sunglasses)
18. Gym Membership (some might get offended by this so be careful)
19. Fruit and Nut Basket. You can get a vintage basket at any thrift store and make it yourself!
20. Homemade Bread, jams or Jellies.
21. A Gift card for Genusee Sunglasses (Every pair of Genusee glasses upcycles 15 water bottles.)
23. A nice Bar Soap (Everyone loves a good bar soap)
24. Reusable Organic Cotton Rounds Can be used for removing makeup or for cleaning.
25. Cloth Napkins or Hankies. Find those easily at a thrift store.
27. Local Art
31. Stainless Steel Food Container To replace plastic containers.
33. Local Cleaning Services
34. Cooking Lessons
35. Brewery or Winery Tour
37. Locally Made Pottery
38. Used-but-in-good-condition books.
39. Movie Theater Tickets
40. Booze (Wine or nice whiskey is always a nice choice) – Make sure they recycle the bottles! 😉
41. Museum Tickets
42. Tickets to a Ballet or Symphony
43. Lotion Bars To pamper and hydrate your skin
45. Jar of Trail Mix or Nuts (buy in bulk in most grocery stores and reuse any jar you have around)
49. Regift something you no longer want or need that's in very good condition.
50. Secondhand Items – thrift stores and online swap shops are gold!
51. 4Ocean Bracelet
52. Money. Some people think is tacky, but is not. It is an easy gift and the one people like the most.
53. Antique stores are also gold for finding unique gifts.
54. Reusable lint brush. The perfect gift for people with pets
55. A Gift card for Tushy (Bidet)
56. Sporting Event Tickets
59. A Ruggable Gift card for a washable/reusable rug
60. Spend time together! Have Dinner! Hang Out!
Hopefully, this list is enough to get you started. What zero waste gift ideas did I miss? Let me know! Happy gifting!
An extra recommendation is, wrap your presents in newspaper, reused paper (from previous parties, you know as grandmas did! they saved all the papers to reuse), Kraft paper, or if you want something reusable, consider buying old handkerchiefs, cloth napkins or scarves and use that to wrap gifts! it's like a double gift. Another option is The Fab wrap or Rapt.
Also, use paper tape or washi tape in replacement of clear plastic tape.