Zero Waste Holiday Gift Guide


Gifting and Going Zero Waste

I absolutely adore the holiday season, and gift giving is one of the many reasons why! 

If you know me personally, then you know I consider myself to be a pretty master gift giver. I love buying and giving gifts. I'm not as good as Leslie Knope (yet), but that's essentially what I strive for.


Cards on the table, I started writing this post in September because that's how excited I get every year for the holiday season.

However, the holidays can be very tricky when you are trying to maintain a zero waste lifestyle. 

Giving gifts that people actually want while maintaining your zero waste values can be a bit challenging and confusing. 

So here is a list of awesome holiday gift ideas for those of you trying to stay zero waste, minimal waste, or just eco-frindly in general this holiday season! 

Stay Away from stuff

The easiest way to stay zero waste for the holidays is just not give stuff. Who needs more stufF?

Not going to lie, I do, I'm still pretty young, I move around a lot, and I am working on cultivating some different hobbies. HOWEVER, that does not mean that you need to ask for stuff nor give it! 

Giving Experiences 

My absolute favorite example of zero waste gift giving is giving experiences!

Last Christmas my brother and his fiance got my partner and I a "date night" as a gift. They gave us a gift card to a local restaurant (Urban Root) and to a couple's pottery class at our local arts center! It was so fun and such a creative gift!

  1. A "date night" - pay for dinner and a movie, or for a "wine and painting" class, something a couple could do together!
  2. Tickets to a movie, concert, play, ballet, or museum
  3. Taking them out to eat yourself! 
  4. A fun class like cooking, improv, soap making, pottery, rock climbing, etc. Whatever you think you're person might be interested in!
  5. Spa treatments like massages, facials, etc.  at a local place 
  6. For those long distance friendships, an airplane or train ticket to come see you (or a partial pledge)

Charitable Ideas

Make a donation to a charity in the name of your giftee! 

Try to pick a charity that you know they would like.

Some of my personal favorites are: Heifer International, World Vision, The Earth Organization, and the NRDC

Ok, some Stuff

Ok, so experiences and charitable gifts are awesome, but you may want to actually get some stuff for your loved ones. This is where things can get a little more challenging, but it's totally doable!

Firstly, keep things as local as possible. Try finding locally made soap, tea, coffee, pottery, or yarn shops and get something they'd like made right in your area!

Secondly, go second hand if you can! 

The only reason I don't go second hand at times is because I want people to have the option to return their gift. In this case, I want to make sure that the company that I purchased from meets my own zero waste / ethical standards. 

Stocking Stuffers (under $15)

  1. Stainless Steel Straws
  2. Bulk Spices or Spice Blends
  3. An herb or other plant
  4. Homemade Vanilla Extract
  5. LUSH body products
  6. Organic Socks from PACT 
  7. Bulk Tea or Coffee
  8. Soy or Beeswax Candles
  9. Bamboo Travel Utensils
  10. Cotton Produce Bags
  11. Bamboo Toothbrush

Small gifts ($15-50)

  1. GUPPYFRIEND™ Washing Bag
  2. LUSH body products, maybe a little set!
  3. Hydro-flask Wine Tumbler
  4. Little Seed Farm Soap
  5. Pela Compostable Phone Case
  6. Klean Kanteen Tumblers
  7. Beeswax Food Wraps
  8. Organic Wool Dryer Balls
  9. French Press
  10. Yarn, or other knitting/croceting supplies
  11. French Press with bulk coffee

Gifty Gifts ($50+)

  1.  Wrapped gift sets from Lush
  2. Wine or other Booze - Go for local stuff if possible!
  3. Safety Razor, Blades, and homemade shaving cream
  4. Locally-made pottery
  5. Klean Kanteen Gift Sets