31 Low & Zero Waste Gifts For Every Plastic Free Present List
For holiday cheer that doesn’t turn into holiday eco-anxiety, consider giving zero waste gifts this year.
These aim to spread cheer without spreading waste—or as little waste as possible.
Plastic free gifts are the first criteria, but we also look for those that are reusable, upcycled, and compostable so they won’t end up as ghosts of Christmases past by haunting landfills.
Our gift to you is a succinct roundup of the best zero waste gifts so all you’ll need to worry about is what zero waste gift wrapping you’ll use with them.
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The Full List Of Plastic Free Gift Ideas
Zero Waste Christmas Gifts
Sutainable candles are a surefire (get it?) gift for just about any occasion.
Siblings takes this plastic free gift idea to the next level by offering non toxic coconut oil wax refills in a compostable bag.
Just heat in boiling water and fill whatever jar or upcycled container you have on hand.
The regenerative and Fair Trade palm wax candles from Certified B Corp Keap Candles come with a reusable jar, but the labels and all other packaging are home compostable.
For UK zero waste gift ideas that flicker, Jungle Culture’s coconut shell candles are biodegradable through and through.
2. Zero Waste Gift Boxes & Kits
What better zero waste gift idea than the gift of going zero waste itself?!
If a loved one has New Year’s resolutions to be less wasteful, give them a head start on their low waste journey by gifting a zero waste starter kit.
Here’s our best picks for ready made kits:
- EarthHero makes it easy with their premade starter kits for a range of budgets and needs
- ZeroWasteStore has options for various zero waste needs (bathing, shopping, shaving, or general living)
Or spend a little more time building your own customized low waste DIY reusable gift kit with common zero waste products. Here are some further kit ideas:
- Everyday living: food wraps or storage containers, stainless steel lunch tins, and bamboo utensils
- Beauty: skincare, mascara, lip balm and makeup remover
- Personal care: deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, face wash, shampoo and conditioner, sunscreen, hand soap, body lotion
3. Reusable Christmas Crackers
Start the holidays off with a bang with some plastic free Christmas crackers that bring all the POP! with none of the plastic.
Ideal reusable gifts for Christmas, Altered State Studio ensures their crackers will last many celebrations by making them out of repairable fabric.
Handmade in the UK, the FSC-certified kraft paper crackers by Keep this Cracker can fold flat for easy storage after they’ve been snapped.
These affordable plastic free gifts are excellent for those friends or family that have everything. They’re also great for parties, contributing to a fun festive spirit.
4. Plants & Plant Accessories
Whether your loved one is already an avid apartment garden guru or a greenie in all matters of green, plants can be appreciated by all.
They create oxygen, purify the air, look pretty, and provide opportunities to upcycle glass and metal containers.
Add a nice touch to the gift with the beautiful woven grass planters by KAZI.
For vertical vegetation, the macrame plant hangers by Ceremonia will spruce up any space—and cotton is fully compostable.
5. Zero Waste Books
Give the simple zero waste gift of reading without the risk of one day having it end up in a landfill.
AKA: Give an eBook!
Sure eBooks still require some sort of electronic reader, but if your giftee already has one, Bob’s your uncle.
Alternatively, secondhand books keep precious words from the landfill and often contain a bit of character to boot.
Better still if the book is about zero waste. With so many great sustainability and zero waste books to choose from, your giftee stands to learn a lot about our current environmental problems and how to help.
Erin Rhoads’ Waste Not focuses on simple and everyday ways you can reduce waste while Anne-Marie Bonneau’s Zero Waste Chef takes a bite out of food waste, one of the most prolific forms of household waste.
For the foodie in your life, there’s no better long lasting and reusable gift idea than eco-friendly cookware.
Caraway’s wide variety of ceramic-coated aluminum cookware (think: frying pans, saute pans, saucepans, and Dutch ovens) with stainless steel bases and handles are about as non-toxic as you can get.
Besides ensuring a healthy cook-up, did we mention they’re some of the most beautiful homely cookware?
The Our Place Always Pan is always an excellent choice, especially if you want to limit the amount of stuff in a loved one’s kitchen. It’s a frying pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, spatula, and spoon rest all in one.
For zero waste baking gifts, Xtrema’s 100% ceramic bakeware can whip up some delicious muffins without all the nasty PFOA, PTFE, and toxic coatings.
7. Compostable or Circular Pet Toys
We can’t forget about our furry family members when shopping for zero waste gifts for Christmas—lest they decide to try to open other presents instead!
While not 100% plastic free gifts as such, the durable dog toys by West Paw are made of recycled plastic by way of other dog toys. If chewed up, send them back to get remade into something new.
Honest Pet Products uses sustainable fabrics like organic hemp fabric for all their durable and compostable gifts for pets.
8. Voucher for a Zero Waste Store
The most important consideration when choosing a gift is whether or not it’ll actually be used.
Give things that are wanted, not wasted.
Virtual gift cards are the ultimate simple plastic free gifts for last-minute shoppers and hard-to-buy-for friends and family.
And those from a zero waste online store practically guarantees your loved one finding something they actually want.
Sustainable megastore EarthHero offers digital cards that are budget friendly (starting at $5), while an EcoRoots gift card gives access to tons of low waste gifts for the home and bathroom.
9. Digital Entertainment & Wellbeing Memberships
Arguably some of the best zero waste gifts, a digital subscription provides all the practicality and 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, including:
- Headspace: With all the stress in the world right now, guided meditation gifts are not only thoughtful but almost necessary. An ever-growing body of research points to the benefits of meditation and this app makes it simple and effortless (even for the busiest skeptics!).
- 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 a whole year. How’s that for one of the best reusable gifts?
10. Donation on Their Behalf
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 the kid-friendly Daymaker—where the recipient can decide for themselves.
Zero Waste Gifts For Her
11. Zero Waste Clothing
Your low-waste loved one may largely stick to a thrifted or minimalist wardrobe, but that doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy some occasional, consciously-chosen clothing from a zero waste fashion brand.
A pair of upcycled RE/DONE Levis is something everyone can wear in their day-to-day life.
For dressier occasions, the deadstock dresses by Christy Dawn will get your recycled gift recipient dreaming of spring in the dead of winter.
Beyond Retro provides unique zero waste gifts to the UK and beyond through their Reworked Vintage line of statement-making pieces made from reclaimed textiles.
12. Clean, Low Waste Cosmetics
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 biodegradable glitter and glam on that special day are still possible, thanks to zero waste makeup brands providing perfect plastic free gifts for her.
If you know your friend or family member’s best color, look at Axiology’s Balmies, which are 3-in-1 paper crayon colors for lips and lids.
From sustainable pencils to aluminum and cork-packaged colors for eyes, cheeks, and lips, Flavedo & Albedo offers some whimsical gifts for zero waste Australians.
13. Planet-Friendly Pampering
One can always use a bit of pampering, especially #bossbabes and stressed mamas—making plastic free personal care products some of the best zero waste gifts for mom.
Few things sound more relaxing than a Lavender Spa Set by Andrea’s Organic Market, which contains all natural bath salts, roll-on oil, bath oil, and a beeswax candle.
Public Goods is less about “pamper” and more about “practical” with their range of minimalist cleaning and personal care essentials. With numerous gift sets for all different needs, there’s something for everyone.
Conscious Skincare offers designed-in-the-UK zero waste gifts for him and her alike with their Spa Gift Sets filled with things like hand wash, lotion, oils, body wash refills, and more.
14. Wine & Chocolate
Looking for zero waste gifts for Christmas that aren’t just good but Beyond Good, let this ethical chocolatier sweeten up your stocking.
Since their organic chocolate bars are made from rare (found in <3% of the world’s chocolate) heirloom variety cacao, they make for some unique plastic free gifts.
Pair your chocolate or Christmas dinner with one of the vegan, certified organic, and zero sugar wines by Tinto Amorio.
Choose between Glou Glou Red, Orange Wine, and Rosé—or try all three with their Organic Grapes Sample—and know that 5% of your purchase also goes to a good cause.
15. Plastic-free Accessories
No matter what your giftee’s bag is, sustainable accessories make for some of the best zero waste gifts for her.
The cork and linen handbags and wallets from Carry Courage aren’t just minimalist-chic; they’re also plastic-free. The cork is extra special as it’s harvested from trees, in sustainable forests, that never need to be cut down.
Make your favorite zero waster feel extra warm with a GOTS-certified organic cotton scarf from Zestt Organics.
And who isn’t always searching for that ever-elusive hair tie?
KOOSHOO’s Fair Trade organic cotton and natural rubber hair bands and scrunchies make for delightful stocking fillers. They are biodegradable—bringing less guilt when they inevitably break or go missing.
16. Eco Stationery
Even in our digital dependent world, some good old fashion zero waste stationery never goes out of style.
For list writers and poets, the best simple plastic free gifts come in the form of Decomposition notebooks. Colorful soy-ink graphic covers contain recycled pages for jotting down dreams, thoughts, gratefuls and ideas.
They’ll also need something sustainable to write with, and what better than plantable recycled colored pencils from Sprout World or recycled newspaper pencils by Amber + Rose.
17. Conscious Craft Supplies
If you’re not the crafty sort that’s inclined to zero waste home made gifts but know someone who is, why not wrap up some crafting tools. Crafters will always appreciate thoughtful supplies.
For natural and recycled gifts for the knitter in your life, the sustainable yarn by Darn Good Yarn offers a unique selection of compostable and often recycled natural fibers.
GANXXET’s yarn selection is even larger, with OEKO-TEX certified natural yarn options for weaving, knitting, crocheting, and more.
Any one of Sugru’s many repair kits—from wool repair to Kintsugi repair kits–make for excellent affordable zero waste gifts for anyone interested in supporting a circular economy.
18. Fashion Rental Subscription
Some of the best gifts for zero wasters don’t actually involve anything they keep at all.
Instead of gifting a sweater that may or may not get worn, give them the option to wear an ever changing selection of sweaters through a gift card to one of the numerous clothing and dress rental services.
Gwynnie Bee and Armoire have conscious closets covered for those seeking USA zero waste gifts ideas.
For plastic free fashionistas in Australia, a plastic free gift card to GlamCorner can provide either one-time or subscription rental options.
Zero Waste Gifts For Him
19. Upcycled Rope Cozies – Always the Adventure
Looking for gifts made from recycled materials?
Always the Adventure fits the bill as snugly as their Recycled Climbing Rope Can Cozies safely cradle a can of kombucha or beer.
Not only are they 100% made of retired climbing ropes, but they’re hand-scrubbed using recycled water and shipped in repurposed packing materials.
With limited runs and ever-changing colors, these make for some truly unique recycled gifts, especially for the climber or outdoor adventurer in your life.
If you’d like a cozie for something other than a standard-size can, reach out about their custom options for personalized zero waste gifts.
20. Zero Waste Coffee Makers
Dads are notoriously tough to buy for, so what are the best zero waste gifts for dad?
How about the means to that sweet, caffeinated nectar that gets him up in the morning so he can do all he does for you?
We’re talking about zero waste coffee of course, and Coletti Coffee
HARIO makes tons of different styles of Japanese-crafted pour over coffee makers—including those made of plastic, glass, metal, and wood.
So if you’re looking for plastic free gifts for him, opt for their glass, copper or wooden options. Copper in particular is durable enough to handle brewing at home or on-the-go and is recyclable.
21. Coffee Mugs & Water Bottles
Reusable plastic free water bottles and coffee mugs are essential for any zero waste journey and they make handy plastic free christmas gifts.
The colorful and insulated options from Klean Kanteen do more than help 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, tumblers, and mugs for coffee, tea, water, beer, and wine.
22. Reusable Shaving Tools
S(h)ave the planet with this next gift for plastic free living.
Not only do they make perfect minimalist gifts for him, zero waste razors, like the safety razors from Jungle Culture and Imperium Shaving won’t leave razor burn on the planet.
To really give an artful shave, go for a straight razor.
Blue Blades Art offers gorgeous patterned Damascus Steel straight razors contained in a handcrafted IronWood handle. Custom engraving is available for a personalized plastic free gift.
Combine with zero waste shaving cream or a luscious shaving soap bar for the full package.
23. Recycled Shoes
More like recycled kicks with 8000Kicks’ hemp shoes featuring recycled rubber or Bloomfoam recycled algae soles.
Thousand Fell also offers their take on footwear gifts made from recycled materials. Offering the first closed loop sustainable sneakers on the market, their recycled rubber and biobased sneakers can be returned through the brand’s recycling program.
Besides, there’s nothing easier to wrap than a shoebox, and there are few more practical gifts than shoes.
24. Low Waste Camping Gear
The best plastic free gifts not only don’t pollute nature, but help someone enjoy it.
While the outdoor industry is still playing catch-up in terms of sustainability, there are options for more sustainable camping gear.
The Sierra Designs Night Cap Sleeping Bags keep loved ones warm and cozy with 100% recycled plastic bottles and post industrial fabric.
Keep the mountain bike rolling with more recycled Christmas gifts from Certified B Corp Kammok. Their Mantis All-in-One converts between a tent and a hammock, the body of which is 100% recycled and bluesign® approved.
25. Upcycled Wallets
Reusable gifts never go out of style—which is why you can’t go wrong with something as timeless as a daily-used sustainable wallet.
If you want made-in-the-USA plastic free gifts, Casupo’s reclaimed vegetable-tanned leather wallets and card sleeves are made in Los Angeles.
Alternatively, if you want a wallet that helps support victims of human trafficking in Cambodia, check out the fair trade wallets by Malia Designs.
Each of Malia Designs’ low waste gifts are made of 100% upcycled materials, and unique ones at that: cement bags, animal feed bags, tire inner tubes, or garment factory leftover cotton canvas.
Zero Waste Gifts for Kids
26. Wooden Toys
Toys can be a hard one as most eco-minded parents prefer less than more toys (for obvious reasons) but it is just so much fun to give to little ones on special occasions like Christmas.
So plastic free gifts for kids is the way to go and there are plenty of low impact toys for a Sustainable Santa to stuff in his sleigh
Like PlanToys and their sustainably harvested rubberwood toys that can be composted once they’ve been handed down many times. From dollhouses, doctor kits, cars, walker bikes, and more, they have all the classic Nice List requests without the plastic waste.
Turn to Tender Leaf Toys for zero waste kids gifts in the UK. Their reclaimed rubberwood and FSC-certified non toxic plywood toys are designed to help cognitive development.
Ukrainian LisLis Toys also takes a page from the Montessori toddler book with gorgeous wooden toys that encourage unstructured, creative play.
27. Low Impact, Organic Kids Clothing
In the way of kids’ zero waste Christmas gifts, clothing (that can be returned to the earth) is about as useful and low impact as you can get.
Noble makes ethical kids clothing out of 100% GOTS-certified organic Pima cotton—and they’re so adorable, they’ll be perfect for all those holiday photos.
For baby clothes, opt for Finn + Emma’s organic cotton and ethically made basics, tops, bottoms, rompers and everything in between. Or if you simply can’t resist, the cutest holiday themed clothing is adorable.
28. Zero Waste Art Supplies
For plastic free kids Christmas gifts that encourage creativity and stimulate the mind, art supplies are a winner for both kid and parent.
Earth Grown Crayons molds organic, vegan soy wax and mineral pigments into different animals and shapes, bringing an extra element of fun to coloring time.
Zero waste doesn’t necessarily mean zero mess. Kids are sure to enjoy the finger paints by eco-kids. The food-safe, non-GMO organic fruit and vegetable extracts will ease parents’ worries if a little (or a lot) ends up in their mouth.
Since they’re mailed in powder form (just add water), they can be packaged in compostable paperboard pots.
29. Compost Bin or Worm Farm
What embodies compost gifts more than an actual indoor compost bin?
Go for the whole system with the Bionicraft Living Composter. Given its sleek appearance, you’d never know it’s hiding worms inside breaking down food waste.
For something a little bigger, the Urbalive worm farm is just as sleek and just the right height for some toddler fun.
While kids will love the fun composting facts they can learn alongside watching these wriggly wonders, these are just as much zero waste gifts for dad and mom.
Composting is a wonderful family activity that makes sustainability for kids fun, practical, and educational.
30. Toy Library Subscription
When it comes to zero waste kids’ Christmas gifts, you can’t beat a constant flow of “new” toys.
Toy libraries 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 USA, 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.
31. “Adopt” An Animal Or A Zoo Membership
You can’t find a more low waste Christmas gift than an animal to sponsor from afar.
Help your kiddo symbolically “adopt” an animal through conservation organizations that put the funding toward helping the recovery of wild and endangered animals.
To make sure this zero waste kids christmas gift is also an ethical gift, just be sure you’re supporting an organization that helps rather than exploits animals.
The World Wildlife Fund is a truly admirable one. With no shortage of different animals available to support, there’s a good chance you’ll find your child’s favorite on the list.
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust allows for the adoption of orphaned elephants and zebras while the adoptions through the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation aid fighting wildlife crime.
A membership to your local zoo is another way to get regularly involved in the natural world around them.
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Final Thoughts On Zero Waste Gift Ideas
Sustainable giving = sustainable living.
We hope this list of zero waste gifts 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.
Whether you’re shopping for zero waste birthday gifts or plastic free gifts for Christmas (that go beyond “eco-friendly”), options that will place less of a burden on the planet are always worth unwrapping.
Plus, reusable no waste gifts (like reusable advent calendars) have the potential to be a lot more rewarding than trendy plastic things.
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.
7 thoughts on “31 Low & Zero Waste Gifts For Every Plastic Free Present List”
I love the idea of giving a subscription box. This is such a great idea for friends who live sustainably and like to receive something sustainable but don’t know what they want. This way it is a surprise for both the giver and receiver.
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.
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.
Thank Jad, great idea for a gift! Might be the same as Sprout World? If so – we cover them here
Very helpful and insightful. I talk about these often but will come back to this list. Thanks.
Waooo, thank you so much for these awesome gift ideas. I have picked two of these ideas for me.
Good blog post, by the way.
So happy to hear these ideas were helpful!