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When it comes to eco-friendly gifts, Mother Teresa said it best: “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving”! I consider zero waste gifts to be simple, create little to no waste and can be reused over and over again—plus they are usually biodegradable or compostable.
Whether you’re buying for a beauty lover, coffee aficionado, chef extraordinaire, or an eco-pro, we've got you covered! These are the best low and zero waste gift ideas for everyone on your list (and maybe a little something for yourself too!).
We love Eco Living Gift Boxes filled with indispensable zero-waste goodies! Whether you have an established zero-waster in your life or you’re introducing the lifestyle to a friend, these products are sure to delight—bamboo toothbrushes, DIY Beeswax Wraps Kit, produce bags, reusable make-up remover rounds, glass straws, loofah scrubbers and much more!
EarthHero has a simple sentiment: Choices Make Changes. Make a small choice today that can make a BIG change to our planet! Composting is an easy everyday action that can make a real difference for our planet—and these stylish composting bins are the perfect way to get anyone on your gift list started! I've highlighted some of my top picks for indoor compost bins too.
3. Zero Waste Coffee Makers
We all love our specific coffee fix, but let’s face it: purchasing to-go coffee or using K-Cups is wasteful, period! This is one of the easiest zero waste swaps, especially for beginners. So, why not give the gift of sustainably delicious coffee?
Bodum makes really beautiful coffee makers that will look great in any kitchen and make outstanding coffee. The Chambord French press coffee maker is for the coffee aficionado; it comes in copper and silver. Another eco-friendly coffee option is the Asobu Pour Over Insulated Coffee Maker. A double-walled, stainless-steel micro-mesh filter eliminates throwaway paper filters and is portable, which makes it a great zero waste camping addition.
4. Gift Apps for Recipes
Give the unexpected and thoughtful gift of a paid recipe app! These are great resources that also offer membership benefits. Such a fun gift idea!
Forks Plant-Based Recipes
Plant-based heaven, this app is ranked #2 in the App Store’s Food and Drink section. It was created by Forks Over Knives and offers a huge range of delicious recipes. $4.99
New York Times Cooking
With over 113 million users, they must be doing something right! They offer “expert-tested recipes, guides for learning culinary skills, and culinary inspiration.” Sign me up! It’s only $4.99 per month.Paprika Recipe
Simple to use, this app allows you to see millions of recipes in one place. It has an integrated clipboard tool to make organizing your recipes even easier. It’s also got an intelligent grocery list feature to make cooking a breeze! $4.99
Every cook needs a really good apron and now you can give them a 100% organic hemp one from Rawganique. These come in 14 colors and are sweatshop and chemical-free. In fact, you could compost this apron! Rawganique has been featured many times on the hub from eco-friendly shower curtains to sustainable men's fashion. They check all the boxes for ethics and I simply love everything they do and offer!
6. DIY Zero Waste Gift Idea For the foodie
This is one of my all-time best zero waste gifts. You need a Mason jar, a cute dish towel, and a wooden spoon.
All you will do is roll a dishtowel, slide it into the mason jar, then tie the spoon to the jar, and voila, look how cute this is! Add a piece of dried rosemary and try hiding a cookie recipe inside the jar—making it an ideal zero waste baking gift. I have a video on how I did this. Give it a watch. It’s so easy and simply gorgeous
If you have a beauty junkie in your life, then take note, as these are some of the most coveted green beauty brands on the market today!
The Low Waste Collection’s top 3 products are the Regenerate Serum, Calm Face Lotion, and Wash Oil Cleanser. For serious glow-boosting results, this is THE brand! Sustainable skincare and a move towards a zero-waste bathroom are wonderful gifts to give, don’t you think?
8. DIY Zero Waste Gift for Personal Care
A handmade present makes one of the best zero-waste Christmas gifts, don't you think?
This beautiful gift box is so simple to make. While thrifting, I found a very pretty wooden box that can be reused, eliminating the need for unwanted wrapping paper.
Then, I bought a few of my favorite beauty brands! I lined the box with an organic cotton facecloth and included:
- Reusable makeup remover pads
- My favorite body oil from Wildcraft Care
- A divine deodorant from Love Fresh
- Some dry shampoo and shampoo bar
- A daily glow facial brush from Province Apothecary (which I use and can’t get enough of!)
- My absolute go-to zero waste lip care for these harsh winter months is from 3 Acres, which is made with fair-trade butter and botanical oils.
- And last but not least, a safety razor. Because plastic disposable razors are SO yesterday!
9. Zero Waste Coffee Cups
Now, of course, we can’t talk about sustainable coffee without giving you the option of some great reusable coffee mugs.
For on-the-go coffee, my top recommendations are:
The Yeti. It’s a collapsible mug for those who don't want to carry anything bigger all day. It comes in various colors and is perfect for the on-the-go coffee lover.
The KeepCup. This is a cult hit with many coffee addicts; I have three! I’d opt for the cork handle or the stainless steel. KeepCup is a Certified B Corp member of 1% For the Planet.
Now that you’ve cooked up all that good food, you need a lunch bag to put it in. Fluf Lunch bags are chic, affordable, and sustainable. They use 100% organic cotton, certified by the GOTS, and are traceable back to the field. The lining is made with GRS-certified (Global Recycle Standard) rPET, and meets the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®.
All Fluf bags are ethically handmade in a small, family-run facility. Choose from a variety of fun colors too. Cute zero-waste gifts for kids and adults!
A zero-waste kitchen really does make the perfect sustainable gift and Net Zero Co. has so many to choose from.
Mix and match your own kitchen gift bundle using these fan favorites:
- Canvas Tote Bag with Side Panels and Pocket
- Pack of 2 Silicone Baking Mats—Reusable Baking Un-Paper
- Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps
- Set of 4 Silicone Sealer Bags—Reusable Food Storage Bags
- Stretch & Seal Silicone Lids
- Mesh Reusable Produce Bags with Wood Toggles
12. Zero waste Books
I have curated a list of 8 inspiring sustainable living books for you! I have always loved getting and giving sustainable books. The gift of knowledge is so powerful. Give the gift of information so we can all make better choices!
PRE-ORDER A COPY OF MY NEW BOOK SUSTAINED NOW. On book shelves February 13, 2024.
13. DIY Zero Waste Gift For The Newbie
Create a basket for your loved one filled with all of your favourite things. I simply love this idea, for a few reasons. You pick the items to go into the basket—items that you know the receiver will love and need.
This basket contains the following items:
- Sustainable Home (book)—A great gift for anyone on this eco journey, not just newbies.
- 2 bamboo reusable straws
- A reusable coffee mug from KeepCup
- A handmade candle wrapped in an old shoe bag
- DIY bath salts
- A reusable paper towel
- A reusable dishcloth
14. Block Soap
There is something very satisfying about a clean home. But sometimes, cleaning our homes is a dirty business for the planet. Conventional cleaning products come with many toxic chemicals we don’t need in our homes. Green cleaning is just as effective!
15. Swedish Cloths
I seriously cannot live without these in my kitchen. They are the BEST alternative to paper towels, hands down! They absorb 15x their own weight in liquid (up to ¾ of a cup) and one can eliminate up to 17 rolls of paper towels!
Swedish cloths are biodegradable and compostable. They can be washed up to 300 times and can be used for cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, garage, patio, car, boat, and more!
You can also use them to wrap a great bottle of wine for the host! LOVE!!
16. DIY Zero Waste Gift Idea For The Home
More and more grocery stores offer refill options for laundry detergent, dish soap, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. If you know someone trying to reduce toxins in the laundry room, this is the PERFECT gift if you ask me!
I added wool dryer balls because dryer sheets are toxic and can’t be recycled. Instead of gift wrap, I placed items in a reusable mesh bag—something every green home needs. How cute is this?
Even More Zero Waste Gift Ideas
Virtual gift cards make a great gift, but make sure they're virtual because plastic gift cards can’t be recycled. Any of the shops I’ve featured in my Amazon Alternatives article as well as Online Zero Waste Stores, all offer gift cards.
You can also give the gift of an experience you can enjoy together. Think of a cooking class or Qigong passes!
No matter what gift you choose, put a lot of love into your giving—and love your planet simultaneously!
The idea of zero waste living is to create as little waste as possible and send as little waste to landfills as possible. One of the most thoughtful gifts is to give something you have made yourself or choose companies that align with your values. I am a huge proponent of re-gifting and shopping second-hand. One man's trash is another man's treasure after all.
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