The Best Zero Waste Gifts for the Holidays

There are plenty of ways we can reduce our waste and be more sustainable during the holidays from thinking about and reflecting on how we can reduce waste in our kitchens and at the dining table to sharing our love of zero waste and sustainability with our friends and families to giving away a zero waste gift or two. For those of us who want to give gifts but don’t like the waste it can create, this article is for you!

From here, there are many paths we can take, be it sharing some of the zero waste products we’ve started to use in our own life, giving consumable items like zero waste snacks or baked goods or just being more thoughtful about the materials we’re using for wrapping gifts, the holidays are a great time to introduce others to how simple and straightforward zero waste and sustainability can be.

It’s always fun to try to find the things people can actually integrate and use in their everyday life. Think about what types of things they enjoy or use regularly. This will help you find something that they would appreciate and use.

Gift giving can sometimes be challenging, especially so when you bring sustainability and zero waste into the mix. Giving a gift that someone can’t use could have unintended consequences if the person you give a gift to ends up not using that item and it just becomes waste. Because of this, I like to think about what people might enjoy and how they could utilize certain items. Providing a bit of a story or personal note with each gift on how we incorporate certain items into our day-to-day activities is another useful way to not only provide a personal touch but also gives people a cursory idea of how to use an item.

With that, what do your friends and family enjoy doing?

Does anyone on your list enjoy gardening? Gardening gloves might be a good idea!

Does someone on your list like cooking? A reusable produce bag would be a great gift idea since it’ll encourage them to shop in bulk or at their local farmers market.

1. Reusable Gifts

Giving reusable gifts is a great way to show someone a great zero waste alternative to an item they may already use in their everyday life.

2. Consumables

Another great holiday gift idea is something that can be consumed – think cookies, bread, fudge, coffee, tea. These items can also provide a more personal touch by allowing you to share your favorite coffee, tea or zero waste snack recipe. The great thing is, even if you aren’t making a zero waste or vegan snack to give as a gift, you can still likely find coffee or tea at your local farmers market.

  • Bees Wax Candles
  • Honey
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Zero waste snacks or baked goods

3. Experiences

Another fun way to share the holidays with your friends or family and reduce waste at the same time is to gift experiences. This could be anything from an escape room to movie tickets to even a local CSA (community supported agriculture) subscription from a local farmer.

  • Escape Room
  • Movie Tickets
  • CSA Subscription
  • Local Park Permit

Even if you aren’t into gift giving, the holidays are meant to be shared with friends and family and spending time with them is another great zero waste option! All in all, there are plenty of ways to share your zero waste and sustainability passion with the people in your life. Doing so can not only be fun and fulfilling, it could also inspire others in your life to reduce their own environmental impact or footprint.

Don’t forget – gift wrapping is a large contributor to holiday waste as well! Have fun and get creative with your wrapping. Reuse old wrapping paper, use junk mail or an old newspaper and use paper tape to keep it held together. However you approach it, there are some incredibly simple ways to make your wrapping game more sustainable.