For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Stasher #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Stasher
For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by EarthHero #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by EarthHero
For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Carry Courage #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Carry Courage

25 Low & Zero Waste Gifts for Greener Giving


For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. 

These are gifts that align with the philosophy of zero waste living: to send no (or low) trash to landfills or incinerators, thus minimizing impact by using compostable, or reusable products.

This boils down to low waste gifts that are compostable (or edible), digital, or reusable, and gifts that are packaged, shipped, and wrapped (see our zero waste gift wrapping ideas) without plastic, too.

We also look beyond simply not having a negative impact. Like our searches for ethical gifts, eco friendly gifts or gifts for vegans, we seek gifts that keep on giving—back to other people or our planet!

In this spirit of giving, we’ve rounded up some of the best zero waste gift ideas to share with you, hopefully making your present preparation as stress-free (and plastic free) as possible. 

*This post contains affiliate links

Simple & Affordable Zero Waste Gifts

1. ZERO WASTE KIT OR SUBSCRIPTION BOX

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by ZeroWasteStore #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by ZeroWasteStore

What better zero waste gift than the gift of going zero waste itself?! 

If a loved one has a zero waste plan on their holiday wishlist, give them a head start with gifting a complete zero waste starter kit.

  • ZeroWasteStore has some kit stylish options for various zero waste needs (whether it be bathing, shopping, shaving or general living)
  • EarthHero makes it easy with their premade starter kit gift boxes for a range of budgets and needs. 
  • Etsy (surprise, surprise) also has a near endless selection 

For the green gift that keeps giving, consider a greenUP zero waste subscription box. Rather than open just one gift, your giftee will receive unique plastic-free products seasonally.  

Alternatively, you can spend a little more time building your own DIY zero waste kit with common zero waste products

Think: beeswax food wraps, stainless steel lunch tins, bamboo utensils, and the like.


2. VOUCHER FOR A ZERO WASTE STORE

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by EarthHero #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by EarthHero

The most important consideration when choosing a gift is whether or not it’ll actually be used.

Give things that are wanted, not wasted.

Vouchers make excellent zero waste Christmas gifts (or other holidays!) for friends and family that are far away. Gift cards may not look very impressive under the tree, but they are the one sure-fire way to give your loved one something they actually want.

Fortunately, there are numerous zero waste stores to satisfy the whims of any giftee. 

Our favorites are EarthHero, ZeroWasteStore, EcoRoots, and Package Free Shop – all of which offer gift cards at prices to fit every budget.

For zero waste gifts in the UK, Jungle Culture is your zero hero.


3. ZERO WASTE BOOKS

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Zero Waste Home #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Zero Waste Home

Give the gift of reading without the risk of one day having it end up in a landfill. 

AKA: Give an eBook

Sure eBooks still require something to read them on, but that’s what ethical electronics brands are for. Alternatively, secondhand books are always a great option.

Even if it’s not a zero waste book per se, the message can be. Between sustainability books and zero waste books, your giftee stands to learn a lot about our current environmental problems and how to fix them. 

If they’re just getting started on their zero waste journey, Bea Johnson has something right on point: Zero Waste Home (available secondhand here)


4. DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT & WELLBEING MEMBERSHIPS

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

For one of the most practical options and arguably the best zero waste gift, a digital subscription provides all the entertainment with none of the waste.

From media streaming platforms to hundreds of digital guides or workout memberships, there are oh-so-many of these, but here are some common suggestions:

  • Audible: For a more productive subscription that can be enjoyed any time of day, try the world’s most comprehensive audiobook service. All downloadable offline with no monthly limit.
  • Spotify Premium: For $99 you can give the gift of ad-free, downloadable offline music for an entire year but many electronics stores offer gift cards at various budgets.
  • Netflix: Ah, good ol Netflix. Binging TV has never been easier. Neither has gifting because Netflix sells gift cards.
  • Headspace: With all the stress in the world right now, meditation gifts for him or her are not only thoughtful but almost necessary. An ever-growing body of research points to the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, so what better gift! We personally use this guided meditation app and love it for how simple and effortless it makes meditating (even for the busiest skeptics!).

Zero Waste Personal Care & Beauty Gifts

5. MINIMAL-IMPACT MAKEUP

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Axiology #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Axiology

Gone are the days of stockings stuffed with plastic lipstick tubes, single-use eyeshadow containers, and chemical-laden mascara.

It’s a good thing that glitter and glam on that special day are still possible, thanks to zero waste makeup brands

If you know your friend or family member’s best color, look at Axiology’s Balmies, which provide 2-in-1 plastic-free colors for lips and lids. 

If you’re not in-the-know about their beauty preferences, a gift pack from Elate Cosmetics covers all bases


6. PLANET-FRIENDLY PERSONAL CARE

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Ethique #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Ethique

Zero waste personal care products make excellent sustainable gifts. One can always use a bit of pampering, after all!

SO MANY zero waste beauty and personal care products these days come either naked, in glass or tin jars, or in paperboard boxes. We’ll just dip our toes in the bathwater with a handful of ideas:

  • Ethique samplers feature their bar soaps, lotions, and shampoos—making them a fun, zero waste stocking stuffer.

Spa aside, more practical products, like a zero waste toothbrush, get bonus points in the “usefulness” column!


7. ZERO WASTE TOILET TIME

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Tushy #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Tushy

Don’t turn up your nose at the thought of a toilet-related gift! 

When it comes to necessary gifts, there’s nothing nearly as universal as essentials to support healthy #1s and #2s (so maybe also some of your probiotic-rich home-flavored kombucha?!).

Nothing says “toilet treats” like a zero waste holiday gift box of eco friendly toilet paper from Who Gives a Crap.

For seasoned zero waste enthusiasts, reusable toilet UNpaper from Marley’s Monsters might be up their alley (er… down their drain?). 

For an even more unique zero waste toilet paper solution, introduce a loved one to the wonderful world of bidets with one from Tushy.


8. SUSTAINABLE SHAVING TOOLS

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by ZeroWasteStore #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by ZeroWasteStore

S(h)ave the planet with this next zero waste holiday gift.

Zero waste razors, like the safety razors from EcoRoots, ZeroWasteStore, and Jungle Culture, won’t leave razor burn on the planet but they will leave YOU with a smooth, mistletoe-ready, kissable face (and/or legs!).


9. ZERO WASTE PERIOD PRODUCTS

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Saalt #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Saalt

There’s no greater annoyance than making it to that time of the month—only to find you’re unprepared. 

Give the gift of everlasting sustainable period preparation by introducing a menstrual cup or period panties! 

Saalt is a top-rated brand for conscious cycles, with both cups and panties. They also give plenty themselves, by providing menstrual products and care to women in need.

HEVEA is well known for their natural rubber menstrual cups and Modibodi does period underwear really, really well. 


Zero Waste Gifts for The Kitchen and The Home

10. ZERO WASTE KITCHEN GEAR

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by U-Konserve #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by U-Konserve

The kitchen is one of the best places to stock up zero waste essentials. 

Regardless of their culinary skills, anyone can benefit from reusable plastic free food storage containers, like those from Glasslock and U-Konserve

For the bakers in your life, consider silicone baking sheets by Zefiro

Still, a truly zero waste kitchen is nigh impossible.

For waste that can’t be avoided, a Terracycle box can come in handy (and therefore makes an excellent gift) for hard-to-recyclable items like batteries, snack and candy wrappers, laminated wrapping paper, and so much more. 


11. ZERO WASTE HOME SUPPLIES

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by ZeroWasteStore #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by ZeroWasteStore

The best zero waste gifts are those that your giftee would otherwise have to purchase anyway.

Spread the love by making laundry day more eco friendly or making someone feel better about having to do the dishes. 

Dropps has planet-friendly biodegradable pods for both occasions. They’re shipped carbon neutral, too.

If you know of more specific zero waste cleaning needs, check out what’s on offer from ZeroWasteStore and EarthHero. They have everything from zero waste bathroom essentials like dental care all the way to dish soap.

If you’re in Australia, Zero Co can help you do the same via returnable packaging (did someone say “refillable cleaning product subscription”?!) 


12. COMPOST BIN OR WORM FARM

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Uncommon Goods #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Uncommon Goods

For a seriously sustainable gift that has changed the waste management game for us personally, consider the unassuming indoor compost bin!

If you’re on a budget and simply want to nudge someone towards composting, opt for a simple kitchen collector bin, a precursor to actual composting.

Etsy has a bunch, from wood and ceramic countertop bins to refurbished vintage bins. Similarly, Bamboozle’s bamboo bin is a good-looking way to stash scraps. 

For something to impress tree huggers and tech enthusiasts alike, check out the unique (and odorless) Uncommon Goods’ Living Composter. The “living” comes from the live worms it uses to break down organic matter.

While worms might not sound like a nice way to celebrate something special, they’re actually an interesting and engaging gift for the whole family.

Kids will love it because, well, worms, and adults will love it because composting with worms is one of the easiest ways to break down scraps in exchange for worm tea to feed their plants.

The more traditional vermicomposter by Sacred Resource is handcrafted from rare blue pine sustainably salvaged from trees killed by pine beetles in Colorado.


13. ZERO WASTE CANDLES

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by EarthHero #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by EarthHero

What better way to brighten up someone’s home than with a wonderfully scented sustainable candle?

Even better if they’re vegan candles, like the non-toxic and handmade-in-the-USA candles sold by Nightshift Wax Co. 

P.F. Candle Co. also has small-batch, hand-poured goodness that comes in recycled amber-glass jars. They’re so lovely, your giftee will have no trouble finding a second use when the wax is gone.

Jungle Culture offers the most beautiful ethically sourced coconut shell candles made with naturally scented, vegan friendly soy wax.

For the DIY-inclined, make your own candles in recycled jars or tins using organic soy wax, essential oils, and organic cotton yarn.

14. PLANT ACCESSORIES

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Ceremonia #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Ceremonia

House plants, perennial shrubs, succulents, veggies, you name it: nothing says sustainability like plants. 

Whether your loved one is already an avid apartment garden guru or just a greenie in all matters of green, plants can be appreciated by all. They create oxygen, purify the air, and look pretty.

Plus, they provide great opportunities to upcycle glass and metal containers.

If you don’t have an up-cycled vessel, add a nice touch to the gift with reclaimed planters from Etsy or beautiful woven grass planters by KAZI

For vertical vegetation, the macrame plant hangers by Ceremonia will spruce up any space. 

Zero Waste Gifts for On The Go

15. COFFEE MUGS & WATER BOTTLES

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Klean Kanteen #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Klean Kanteen

Having a reusable water bottle is a good starting point for any zero waste journey—so what better for a zero waste gift?!

While any stainless steel or glass bottle will do, the colorful and insulated options by Klean Kanteen do more than keep our planet clean of plastic. They also keep your drinks hot or cold all day.

If someone you know likes their espresso before prosecco, look into the huge selection from Hydro Flask. Ready for any adventure, they make stainless steel bottles for coffee, tea, water, beer, and wine. 

All is S’well with their stainless steel water bottles that come in cute designs to suit anyone’s interests.

16. CUTLERY & SNACK BAGS

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Stasher #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Stasher

Reusable cutlery and snack bags have become some of the most useful zero waste products out there—not to mention a perfect gift for parents, teachers, and co-workers.

For stylish, convenient bamboo cutlery, the elves from To-Go Ware have what you need. 

No one expected reusable, silicone snack and sandwich bags to become trendy, but brands like Stasher are leading the munching march forward (these make for a fun idea for gift wrapping too!). 

Zero Waste Gifts for Kids

17. WOODEN & ORGANIC TOYS

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Finn + Emma #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Finn + Emma

Buying zero waste gifts for kids can be tricky, especially when a quick walk down the toy aisle will leave you feeling suffocated by plastic.

If you don’t want to take away that unbeatable feeling that comes with opening presents on Christmas morning, know that plastic-free gifts for kids do exist!

A collection of natural wood pieces can be as good as Legos (and will hurt far less if you step on it). Some come in abstract shapes which will help exercise the kiddo’s imagination.

There are tons of beautifully handmade options on Etsy, such as these hand-carved animal toys by Eco Toys Store

Lovevery optimizes playtime by offering a range of stage-based wooden play essentials. 

Finn + Emma have both sustainable wood and organic knit toys that are super cute to boot.

Not only do organic baby toys not require dangerous petrochemicals, but they can be composted for a good end-of-life bedtime story.

18. TOY LIBRARY SUBSCRIPTION

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Whirli #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Whirli

Rather than clutter the world with toys that will likely be thrown away in a few months or years (if lucky), get the kiddos in your life a subscription to a toy library. 

These systems allow you to borrow toys specially designed for certain age groups to help develop children’s physical and intellectual capabilities. 

There are dedicated online toy library services around the world, including the ToyLibrary in the US, Whirli in the UK, and Toy Libraries Australia

Many local councils also offer cost-effective options so try Googling toy libraries in your area.

There’s no more sustainable way to satisfy a child’s boundless curiosity, and with some subscriptions, you can get nearly $2,000(!) worth of toys for what it would cost to purchase one or two outright. 

Besides, when it comes to zero waste kids’ Christmas gifts, you can’t beat a constant flow of “new” toys.

Zero Waste Fashion

19. ZERO WASTE SHOES

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Alice + Whittles #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Alice + Whittles

There’s nothing easier to wrap than a shoebox, and there are few more practical gifts than shoes.

Zero waste shoes, in particular, save valuable materials from entering landfills. 

Take Alice + Whittles: their vegan, eco friendly boots are made of 90% traceable and sustainable materials like recycled nylon and natural fair trade rubber.

Indosole’s sandals are made with recycled tires, while Eating The Goober’s ‘Ethical Magical Sliders’ are made with Pinatex (a vegan leather made from pineapple industry waste) and other upcycled textiles. 

Christy Dawn’s vintage-inspired boots, ethical sandals, and oxfords are made with upcycled leather. 

20. ZERO WASTE CLOTHING

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Beyond Retro #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Beyond Retro

Upcycled is the new black and never before have low waste gifts looked so good.

There’s no better way to celebrate the holidays or someone you love than by enhancing their wardrobe with zero waste fashion brands.

RE/DONE is accomplishing this by rescuing vintage jeans—more than 145,000 pairs, to be exact—and transforming them into one-of-a-kind pieces. 

NYC-based zero waste daniel was the FIRST company to successfully make 100% zero waste clothes using leftovers, waste, and deadstock. They’re also a gender neutral clothing brand.

In their Reworked Vintage line, Beyond Retro has a constantly expanding range of men’s and women’s reclaimed clothes. Every year, they save around 600,000 garments from landfills! 

21. ONLINE THRIFT STORE GIFT VOUCHERS

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Thredup #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by ThredUP

What if you don’t know your giftee’s size or style?

Once again, let a gift card give the freedom of choice. Trust us, that gift card won’t seem generic when it’s to an online thrift store that offers tons of unique, one-of-a-kind finds.

For zero waste gifts for her or him, ThredUP is a well-known favorite for women and kids. With tens of thousands of top-notch brands, your giftee is sure to find the perfect addition to their closet. 

For fancy friends, a gift card from Luxury Garage Sale can go a long way in helping them wear something from the world’s most luxe fashion brands. 

For everything in between, you cannot go wrong with Etsy. If we were so lucky to receive a gift card from this maker-to-peer marketplace, it would probably be used at zero waste shops like Persephone Vintage or MAW Supply (just sayin’).

No wonder we have an entire article dedicated to sustainable Etsy gifts!

22. ZERO WASTE ACCESSORIES

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Carry Courage #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Carry Courage

Accessories are a gift-giving staple—whether during the holidays or as zero waste birthday gifts

They’re fun, often stocking-sized, and allow your loved ones to pump up their style. 

For ethical handbags, Carry Courage and Elvis & Kresse use materials like natural and compostable cork or repurposed fire hoses, respectively. 

Eyes will light up at a solar-powered watch from Solios.

And who doesn’t need a hair tie (or 100)? For those, organic fabric makes KOOSHOO the go-to for an up-do.

Unique & Homemade Zero Waste Gifts

23. TIME SPENT TOGETHER

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Josue Michel on Unsplash #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Josue Michel on Unsplash

A memory is a much, MUCH better gift than any thing

Between ski passes, a tasting at a local winery, skydiving, horseback riding, helicopter rides, guided mountain climbing, or just a class on something new, the possibilities for experience gifts are endless!

You can find great local experience gift ideas on Airbnb and Tinggly.

If your gifting budget is small but your creativity reserves are boundless, create “coupons” for services like babysitting, dog-sitting, rides to-and-from the airport, a home-cooked meal, or help to declutter down to a minimalist wardrobe.

Life is about experiences, not stuff. There’s nothing as heartwarming as a gift that brings you closer to your loved ones.

24. TASTY HOME-BAKED TREATS

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Leigh Skomal on Unsplash #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Leigh Skomal on Unsplash

Try baking or making some yummy food, and deliver it in a reusable (preferably second-hand) tin or jar. 

Classic, low-cost, and delicious, you can’t go wrong with this zero waste gift—especially since it has the added element of being thoughtfully handmade. Who doesn’t like homemade cookies?! 

These are perfect gifts for minimalists or for people you aren’t close with, like coworkers or your boss. 

Here are some great eco friendly recipe examples to get you started:

  • Vegan gluten-free banana bread: We make this once a month and it’s always a treat. There are a lot of banana bread recipes out there but we can definitely vouch for this delicious one.

Mmm, we can smell those zero waste baking gifts already!

25. DONATION ON THEIR BEHALF

For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Global Giving #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle
Image by Global Giving

The gift of charitable giving can be one of the most heart-warming gifts for zero waste living. 

Who doesn’t like the feel-good realization that they’ve indirectly supported a good cause?

Obviously, the best choice is to make a contribution to a cause they really care about. If you don’t have any specific ones in mind, use a flexible donation platform (like MyCause Australia, Global Giving, and Daymaker—great for kids) where the recipient can decide for themselves.


FINAL THOUGHTS ON ZERO WASTE GIFTS

Hopefully this list of gifts for zero waste focused family or friends equates to zero worry as you prepare for the holiday season. 

At the very least, your low waste loved ones will sincerely appreciate any gift that doesn’t also give to landfills.

As you can see, low waste Christmas gifts (or gifts for whatever holiday you celebrate) are easy and have the potential to be a lot more rewarding than trendy plastic things. 

Supporting these brands helps to reform their respective industries so that, hopefully, zero waste gifts will be the only gifts of the future!

Start the giving season early by giving this list a share. Pass it along to friends and family so that we can all do our part to make the holiday season as low-impact and high-love as possible.


For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year. Image by Carry Courage #zerowastegifts #sustainablejungle

6 thoughts on “25 Low & Zero Waste Gifts for Greener Giving”

  1. This is such a great list – something for everyone! I love sustainable gift giving and find the consumerism of gift giving season difficult. My daughter gets so many gifts, I’ve had to tell people to stop giving her ‘stuff’, it just ends up as clutter. She doesn’t need so many things but they get offended, maybe now I can offer an alternative.

    Reply
  2. WOW! Great article. Can I recommend checking plantable pencils, as well, that are made from 100% recycled newspapers, They are designed to include chili, tomato, coriander, mustard, or fenugreek seeds. Once the seed pencils become too short for use, they can can be planted in soil along with water and sunlight, to sprout into a plant.

    Reply

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