Zero Waste Gifts: Your Giving Guide For The Holidays

Gift giving, right? Sometimes it’s a cakewalk, other times it’s a veritable minefield. I’ve found people fall into one of two camps. They’re either super easy to buy for, or they’re super not.

Nowadays, it’s an even trickier endeavor. Remember last year when you got handmade nougat for all your friends? Didn’t go down so well with your newly vegan bestie, did it? Oops.

And now your mom tells you she’s gone zero waste. Can you still buy her a Christmas present? And if so, what? The last thing you need is a repeat of last year’s faux pas.

Guide to Zero Waste Gifts

Fortunately, there are still plenty of shopping days between now and the holidays. So you have loads of time to find the perfect zero waste gifts for the eco conscious humans in your life.

Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas

Money a little tight? Lauren from Trash is for Tossers has you covered with her top zero waste gifts for every budget. For the average Joe, unwrapping a toothbrush, dental floss or roll of toilet paper would be weird. For your zero waste mom it’s pretty much the best gift ever.

Other suggestions include a bamboo straw, a natural bath sponge or a charcoal water filter. Lauren has also included some more expensive ideas, such as a French coffee press and airtight stainless steel containers. You know, just in case your boss gives you a bonus.

Consumable Gift Ideas

Kathryn from Going Zero Waste has a whopping 75 consumable gift ideas that are sure to make even the most hardcore of zero waste heroes happy. This is definitely the list I’ll be sending to my friends and family for the holidays.

She suggests coffee beans (bought in bulk, mind you), cookie mix, nut butters, chocolate and even dog treats, which I thought was super sweet. One thing’s for sure: you won’t be short on zero waste gift ideas for quite some time.

Experience Gift Ideas

I’m a huge fan of experience gifts, and it turns out, so is Kathryn. (I feel like she’s my sister from another mister). In this video, she offers some awesome experience gift ideas that are fun and cost-effective.

Kathryn and her husband often gift each other concert tickets, which is fun if you have the moolah, but what if you don’t? You could invite your friend to a yoga class, take them for breakfast or even just treat them to a coffee. Check out her video for more tips.

Zero Waste Gifts for Kids

Going zero waste with kids isn’t actually too difficult. Kiara has some great ideas on what to gift the little tykes. With three children of her own, it’s safe to say she knows what works and what doesn’t.

Her ideas include an old calculator, blackboard and chalk and a dice cup and die. Helpfully, she also includes a section on what’s age appropriate, which is great for those of us who don’t have a clue.

What I love about her list is that the focus is on upcycling and old school. Kids—especially very young ones—really don’t need expensive toys and gadgets.

How to Wrap Your Zero Waste Gifts

Now that you’ve got your perfect zero waste gifts, it’s time to wrap them up. But how? Believe it or not, you can actually wrap up gifts without trashing the planet. Shiny ribbons and brightly-colored wrapping paper aren’t the only way to dress up a gift.

Martha Stewart’s idea of using old potato chip bags is clever. It definitely ticks the recycling box. Old maps and fabric gift bags are also great suggestions. As is newspaper, especially if you use the comics section.

Zero waste gifts don’t have to be complicated. Have fun with this. Your eco heroes will appreciate the effort. Who knows, they might even share some of their edible spoils with you.

Your Zero Waste Gift Guide for the Holidays

Photo Credits:, Getty