The holidays can be a time of immense and unnecessary waste where people are consumed by materiality. This blog post will give you some ideas on what sort of gifts to buy/make with thought, and how to consciously give to people you love with the environment in mind as well. Also, giving zero-waste gifts to friends brings up the the zero waste conversation and it's a great way to include the people you love into it!
Here are some low-impact gift ideas:
1. DIY self-care products
Homemade products are a great way to show the thought you put into the gift and are a sustainable option! You can see all of the products we make and their recipes here.
2. Reusable straws
Americans toss 500 millions straws DAILY. Reusable straws are a great gift and also bring awareness to the problem. You can find them online here.
3. Straw Sleeves
Odds are they'll want a place to put the reusable straws while on the go! You can find them here.
4. Bamboo Cutlery
Disposable plastic cutlery is a huge problem, and they're not even recyclable. Educate your friends and family and get them bamboo, reusable cutlery and they'll never go back! Look here.
5. Essential Oils
Essential oils have countless uses, from disinfecting your surfaces, adding them to your homemade products, reducing blemishes, etc. They can be expensive so they are nice gift to give and also a great stocking stuffer!
6. Charcoal Water Filters
Charcoal naturally absorbs impurities in the water and removes toxins, while also adding healthy minerals to the water such as calcium and magnesium. 100% plastic free! Find yours here.
Keep in mind that plants are a responsibility gift, so make sure the person you're giving this to is reliable enough. If that worries you, choose in-door plants that don't need a lot of water, such as cacti, snake plants, etc. You can find hard-to-kill plants here.
8. Pela Case
The Pela Case is made from plants and completely biodegradable! But remember, make sure that the person you're buying this for is in need of a new phone case first! You can find them here.
If you're shopping for someone that doesn't want anything, an experience is the way to go. You could treat them to a movie, yoga class, cooking class, spa day... you could also buy them a membership to your local co-op, get them a giftcard, or just simply treat them to a 3-course, homecooked meal. The possibilities are endless!
10. Cotton Rounds
An awesome gift for someone who is constantly using disposable cotton balls or wipes. Reusable cotton rounds are sustainable and chic! You can find some here.
11. Reusable Bags/Totes
Reusable bags are probably the first thing zero-wasters change when transitioning. But the thing is anyone can use them! A lot of non-zerowasters have them because they're efficient and you can get them at nearly any grocery store.
12. Steel Tupperware
Containers are very useful for someone who eats at work and wants to save money by bringing food from home. Some great brands are Ukonserve and Eco-Lunchbox.
13. Fountain Pen
A fountain pen is a reusable and refillable ink pen, so you'll never have to buy any more pens! Keep in mind that these can be pricey if you buy good quality. You can find plastic-free shipping here. If you want to buy in person, they sell them at office stores, Barnes & Noble and Papyrus.
14. Cookbooks and/or Lifestyle Books
You can get your friends and family books on how to live more sustainably, such as topics like Minimalism, Zero-Waste, Veganism, Natural Cleaning, etc.
15. Bamboo Toothbrushes
Billions of plastic toothbrushes end up in oceans and landfills every year. Help prevent further pollution and get bamboo, compostable toothbrushes for your friends and family and also spreading sustainability! They're sold in a lot of online stores, but I buy them from here.
16. Refillable Dental Floss
For those who floss, compostable dental floss is a great gift. Traditional dental floss pollutes our environment and chokes marine animals. Dental lace and be thrown into the compost right after use and have a refillable, glass container! and the refills come in a plant-based plastic that is also compostable. You can find them here.
17. Reusable Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles are really easy to come by, and kind of a no-brainer. Plastic water bottle cost more money because you need to constantly buy them, but they're also extremely harmful to the environment. Steel water bottles are preferable to reusable plastic ones because they're less likely to break.
18. Coffee Travel Mug
Although disposable coffee cups are made of paper, they are lined with plastic and can't be recycled. They are only used for around ten minutes then thrown to landfill. Help avoid that by getting friends and family one to reuse! You can find them here.
19. Reusable Produce Bags
Plastic produce bags are awful because they're only used for the drive home and then immediately thrown away! Reusable produce bags are a great gift because, unfortunately, some people don't want to make the investment while plastic produce bags are free. Some grocery stores sell them, but you can also find them online here.
20. Bee's Wrap
Bee's wrap is an awesome alternative to plastic wrap, and it's reusable! They can last around a year depending on frequency of use, then composted at the end of it's life. Find them here.
Note: It's important to keep in mind that unless you're buying something for someone that would replace their disposable version, don't buy them an item that they already have, just made of plastic. Example: if they already have cutting boards, don't buy them a bamboo one because it's plastic-free- that only creates waste and feeds into consumerism.
Good luck and happy holidays!