Zero waste gifts are simple, they create little to no waste, they can be reused over and over again and they are biodegradable or compostable. 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”!
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Zero Waste Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List!
Zero Waste Personal Care Gifts
I adore Wildcraft Care and its lovely owner Laura—we’ve known each other for many years! Everything I’ve used has worked beautifully on my skin. This is not something I say often, but it’s true!
When it comes to their new hand-crafted low waste collection, I basically want to hyperventilate into a brown bag! You can now purchase a selection of their top-selling products without the plastic closure and box. All these products will come with a metal lid instead of a plastic closure, so all you have to do is save the pumps, droppers and atomizers from your previous bottles so they can be reused.
The Low Waste Collection’s top 3 products to choose from are the Regenerate Serum, Calm Face Lotion and Wash Oil Cleanser. Here’s a little bit more about each item:
The Regenerate Serum: A good serum does not need 15+ ingredients to be truly fantastic. In fact, I think the fewer ingredients, the more of a workhorse each one must be! Wildcraft Care’s serum contains an impressive blend of only eight powerful and nourishing ingredients: rice bran oil,* jojoba oil,* rosehip seed oil,* hemp seed oil,* carrot* infused sunflower oil,* seabuckthorn oil, frankincense and palmarosa* essential oils, and rosemary leaf extract. (The ingredients with an *asterisk are certified organic.) All of these ingredients work in harmony to give your skin the best it deserves.
Calm Face Lotion: Are you ready for some sweet-scented overindulgence? You are going to want to slather yourself in this special product! It’s lightweight and lovely to use. The combination of chamomile and lavender makes it a really tasty treat for your face.
Wash Oil Cleanser: You will want to add this to your “slow ritual” routine. The key factors here are it rinses away all the dirt and grime using its combination of powerful natural ingredients!
Wildcraft Care is all about simplicity. Their motto is "everyday natural skincare", and that speaks to the exceptional quality and attention to detail. Using non-GMO, organic, vegan, and environmentally friendly ingredients are primary requirements. Every ingredient is chosen for its purity, pepped-up performance, and its collaboration within the formula.
For serious glow-boosting results, this is THE brand! Sustainable skincare and a move towards a zero-waste bathroom is a wonderful gift to give, don’t you think?
They say there are more than 5,000,000,000,000 pieces of plastic found in our oceans. Let that number sink in!
It’s true: recent studies have revealed that disposable wipes are of big concern to our environment, marine life, and ocean ecosystems since they’re made of microplastics.
Why? Because they eliminate unnecessary waste! Wonderous ocean vibes come to mind thanks to the hemp cotton and recyclable packaging they come in. These are on par with conventional cotton rounds, sans all the chemicals and garbage!
You’ve got three options to choose from:
- Individual face packs, which are larger and more like a face cloth.
- A combo pack, which comes with 3 face wipes, 7 eye wipes and a laundry bag, which I highly recommend you use as rounds can end up like those missing socks!
- SeaBae Eye individual packs (refills) these are my top choice, they are excellt at remxinv stubborn eye-liner and mascara, they are so soft and wash really well too.
I love the fact that this product is gender-neutral. Neither men nor women will object to the luxurious, clean packaging!
SeaBae Beauty donates a portion of its sales towards ocean conservation to help Sea Turtles save endangered hatchlings. To date, they have saved 7,500 hatchlings.
DIY Zero Waste Gift for Personal Care
A handmade present makes one of the best zero waste Christmas gifts don't you think?
This is 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 favourite beauty brands!
I lined the box with an organic cotton face cloth and included:
- Reusable makeup remover pads
- My absolute fav body oil from Wildcraft Care
- A divine deodorant from Love Fresh
- Some dry shampoo and shampoo bar from Rocky Mountain Soap Company
- 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 from 3 Acres, made with fair-trade butter and botanical oils. You never know when you might need to pucker up
- A dry hair shampoo in a cardboard tube from Joyous Health
- And last but not least, a safety razor. Because plastic disposable razors are SO yesterday!
Zero Waste Gifts for the kitchen
“Keep food absolutely perky, juicy and tasty for what feels like forever. Abeego protects and breathes, mimicking nature’s peel to extend the life of food to the very last bite.”
Food waste is a major issue in North America. Did you know we waste about $1,200 of food every year?
Abeego will not only help you decrease plastic use, but it will also help your food last longer. These beeswax wraps were another happy discovery for my zero waste kitchen. If you give this zero waste gift to a loved one, I promise you they will save a seat for you at the dinner table.
The wraps are made with four simple ingredients:
Beeswax, which is water-resistant, air resistant, antibacterial, antimicrobial
Tree Resin, which is antiseptic and tacky
Jojoba Oil, which is antifungal, flexible, and has a long shelf life
Hemp and organic cotton, which are both pesticide-free, antifungal, durable, and malleable
They are unbeatable!
To make it even easier for you, they come in a variety of sizes. So whether you want to wrap half an avocado or a large casserole dish, they’ve got you “covered”!
They are SO easy to use! Simply use the self-adhesive wrap for bunches of herbs, half-cut onions, blocks of cheese, homemade bread, and everything in between. Make sure you clean your beeswax wraps correctly, which will help them last much longer.
They are also 100% compostable, will last at least a year (mine are at least two years old) and when they finally reach their end of life, you can use them as fire-starters or even cut them up into twist ties for your garden!
Attention to eco-friendly packaging is another thing I love about Abeego. The cardboard packing can be recycled.
As Canada's first B Corp™ Certified beeswax wrap, Abeego meets the highest social and environmental standards and joins a global community advancing the shift to building a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Best 👏 Zero Waste Holiday Gift 👏 Ever 👏 !
Composting and saving the planet pretty much go hand in hand. The more food we can keep out of landfills the less methane gas we are sending into the atmosphere. A lot of people are afraid of composting and sometimes a little nudge with the right sustainable gift can give them the courage they need to go for it.
Compost bins come in all shapes and sizes and you are bound to find the right bin for your loved one at EarthHero. They carry a big range of compost bins, and two of them stand out to me:
The Breeze Full Circle Compost Bin (.85 Gallons) sits on your kitchen counter. It’s compact, takes up little space and is even portable for on the go. It’s got an innovative design called Fresh Air technology, which means less stink and more aerobic decomposition! It’s made by Full Circle Home, which is a B Corp certified company.
The other one I love from EarthHero is the Natural Home Brands Stainless steel or ceramic bin. I have a white ceramic one in my home and I love it. There is zero smell, it holds a gallon of scraps and it looks pretty cute as well. It’s got a lead-free glaze and an odour-negating charcoal filter snuggly fitted into the lid.
Do you ever wish your next eco purchase was just a click away instead of spending hours researching? Well, now it is! EarhHero gives those of us striving to live green easy-to-use websites to discover eco-friendly, cruelty-free, vegan, and non-toxic product choices to replace conventional brands.
I’m always impressed by their uncompromising criteria and thorough research before recommending products on their site. They are also B Corp certified, a 1% for the Planet Member and a partner of Carbon Free.
Their goal is to make it easier for shoppers with a conscience to pick the right products.
EarthHero has a simple sentiment: Choices Make Changes. Amen to that!
Zero Waste Coffee Makers
Disposable coffee cups are the bane of my existence. In Canada, people use "an average of 250 disposable coffee cups per year. We're talking about 1.5 billion cups per year across the province and they're not recyclable” (Zero Waste Canada).
I used to be one of these people. I get it—it’s quick and convenient. But if you make your own coffee at work or home you will save a TON of money! I was spending about $5 a day on coffee, which is $1,200 per year!
Coffee makers that come with those little K Cups make me want to scream! Yes, the companies tell us that they are biodegradable, but that’s not entirely true. The catch is the consumer has to separate the pieces, which doesn’t actually happen most of the time.! The city of Toronto actually did a study on this!
Let’s face it: coffee making is wasteful, period! But it’s also one of the easiest zero waste swaps to make, especially for beginners. So, why not give the gift of delicious coffee?
Bodum makes some really beautiful coffee makers that will look great in any kitchen. 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.
Gift Apps for Recipes
Ooh, there are so many good ones to choose from. I’ve given three options below, which are all paid apps (I think the paid ones are better.) They all offer lots of membership benefits which I think is in part what makes it a great gift.
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 Manager
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 and much more to make cooking a breeze! $4.99
Every cook needs a really good apron and now you can gift them a 100% organic hemp one from Rawganique. These come in 14 colours and are sweatshop-free and chemical-free. In fact, you could compost this apron! Rawganique has been featured many 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.
DIY Zero Waste Gift Idea For the kitchen
This is one of my all-time best zero waste gifts. You need three things: a Mason jar, a cute dish towel and a wooden spoon.
All you are going to do is roll the dishtowel, slide it into the mason jar, then tie the spoon to the jar, and voila, look how cute this is! I’ve added a little piece of dried rosemary and you can take it up a notch by 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!
Zero Waste Gift Ideas for on-the-go
Zero Waste Coffee Cups
Now, of course, we can’t talk about sustainable coffee without giving you the option for some really great reusable coffee mugs.
For this, there are three options. Etsy has so many cute ones to choose from. I am sure you will find the perfect one.
For on-the-go coffee, my top recommendations are:
The Yeti. It’s a collapsible mug for those who don't want to shlep anything bigger around with them all day. It comes in a variety of colours and is perfect for the on-the-go coffee lover.
The KeepCup. This is a cult hit with many coffee addicts; I actually have three of them! They call themselves the “barista standard” and they offer a range of materials and colours. The lids are plastic and the Brew does have a silicone handle. I’d opt for the cork handle or the stainless steel. KeepCup is a Certified B Corp and member of 1% For the Planet.
Here is a pro-tip: I used to carry around a reusable water bottle and a KeepCup, but it was a major pain. Now I use my thermal Klean Kanteen for both water and coffee. Make sure it’s insulated, otherwise the hot drink can burn your hands. The TK series is the best and make sure to also grab the Loop Cap—it’s leakproof!
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 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 products are individually bagged in 100% compostable packaging made from corn or other food starch. All Fluf bags are ethically handmade in a small, family-run facility in India. Choose from a variety of fun colours too. Great zero waste gifts for kids and adults!
Best Zero Waste Gifts for the Newbie (Or Anyone, Really!)
I am a firm believer that you need the right tools for the job and that is no exception if you are trying to live a waste-free life. A zero-waste kit really does make the perfect sustainable gift and Net Zero Co. has so many to choose from.
Green Kitchens Gift Bundle. Here’s what you get:
3 x Canvas Tote Bag with Side Panels and Pocket
3 x Pack of 2 Silicone Baking Mats - Reusable Baking Un-Paper
3 x Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps
2 x Set of 4 Silicone Sealer Bags - Reusable Food Storage Bags
Pack of 2 Linen Bread Bags
6 sizes of Stretch & Seal Silicone Lids
Set of 10 Cotton Muslin Reusable Produce Bags with Drawstrings
Set of 10 Cotton Mesh Reusable Produce Bags with Wood Toggles
These items help to eliminate single-use bags, plastic wrap, food storage bags, and parchment paper!
Low waste gifts are the perfect addition to any eco-friendly kitchen and your friend will definitely up their gifting game when it’s time to treat you.
Zero waste Books
I always love getting and giving sustainable books. The gift of knowledge is so powerful. It provides us with the information we need to make better choices and with food waste being what it is, a book about reducing it makes it almost to the top of the list. Books can be found in secondhand book stores and antique markets, one of my favourite things to shop for! Books also make great zero waste birthday gifts!
The Zero-Waste Chef Anne-Marie Bonneau shares all kinds of ways to turn food scraps into delicious meals. Not only does this help reduce food waste, it actually ends up saving you a ton of money too. The recipes are super simple and easy to follow. I love to cook and this book has given me so many ideas to reduce my own food waste.
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 possibly need. Don’t get me wrong, I love a well-curated gift basket, but this idea helps you to make it much more personalized. By using a pretty basket, you can eliminate the need for wrapping paper and all the waste that comes with it.
This basket contains the following items:
A book called Sustainable Home. 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.
Best Zero Waste Gifts for home
I love to clean! I know I am weird, but it’s true: there is something very satisfying about a clean home. But in some cases, cleaning our homes is a dirty business for the planet.
Conventional cleaning products come with a whole lot of toxic chemicals that we just don’t need in our homes. Green cleaning is just as effective! On top of that, you’ve got all the plastic packaging. Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of natural cleaning products that still use plastic packaging.
A plastic-free gift like a scrubber with a wooden handle and block soap makes cleaning a breeze. When used properly, block soap can save you a ton of money and it also removes about three plastic bottles from circulation. The same goes for the scrubber. Most people are using those yellow and green disposable sponges. Those can’t be recycled or composted, so they end up in landfills, polluting our environment further.
Make Nice Company has two kits, one with a long wooden handle and one with a short one, pictured above. Zero waste cleaning has never been easier! All of the soap lathers like superstars. They are also vegan and 100% free of palm oil, and handmade in British Columbia using 100% natural ingredients.
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 3/4 of a cup) and they eliminate up to 17 rolls of paper towel!
Swedish cloths are biodegradable and compostable. They can be washed up to 300 times and can be used inside and outside the home 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!!
DIY Zero Waste Gift Idea For The Home
More and more grocery stores are popping up and offering refill options for things like laundry detergent, dish soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner. If you know someone who is trying to reduce toxins in the laundry room, this is the PERFECT gift if you ask me!
I have added some wool dryer balls because dryer sheets are toxic and can’t be recycled. I have also chosen not to wrap this gift. Instead, I have placed them in a reusable mesh bag—something I feel every green home needs. How cute is this? I mean come on.
Other Zero Waste Gift Ideas
Virtual gift cards make a great gift, but make sure it's virtual because plastic gift cards can’t be recycled. Any of the shops I’ve featured in my Amazon Alternatives article well as Online Zero Waste Stores all offer gift cards.
You can also give the gift of an experience that you can enjoy together. Think of a cooking class or a Qigong passes!
What is a Zero Waste Gift and some Final Thoughts
The whole idea of zero waste living is to create as little waste as possible and send as little waste to landfills. 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 for re-gifting and shopping second-hand. One man's trash is another man's treasure after all.
What kinds of gifts do you typically like to get or give? I'd love to hear from you.
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