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Zero Waste Gift Ideas
I know what you’re thinking, gift ideas for a zero waste lifestyle?! Does that even make sense? Let’s say you have a friend who wants to pursue more of a zero waste (or realistically low-waste) lifestyle and you want to find them an awesome gift. Or maybe you’ve recently begun a journey to lower your waste and want to encourage others to do the same. Either way, these gift ideas for a zero waste lifestyle are ideal for anyone.
Some of the best zero waste gift ideas are non-physical gifts. Gifts that are subscription or experience-based generally have no packaging, which is a big win for reducing waste.
I absolutely love reading books, but I also enjoy listening to Audiobooks. I prefer audiobooks during walks or even working out. If you know someone who loves to read and is passionate about zero waste, an Audible subscription is a great gift idea!
Kindle Unlimited Membership
The Kindle Unlimited subscription is another paperless book subscription service. I’ve read 30 books (and counting!) this year, and many have been on my Kindle. Some of my personal favorites:
There are so many books on Kindle Unlimited, it would be a great gift for any reader, including kids!
If your gift recipient is a music lover, concert tickets are a great experience to gift!
Sporting Event Tickets
The same thing goes for sporting events.
Restaurant Gift Cards (bonus if it’s eco-friendly)
Restaurant gift cards are always a great gift. Bonus points if the restaurant is taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint.
Digital Magazine Subscription
I don’t read many magazines, but I know that a lot of people do! Why not gift a digital subscription?
Charity Donation in the recipient’s name
Charity donations are a wonderful gift for those who really don’t want to receive gifts for themselves. Choose a charity that they love and make a donation in their name.
Museum tickets or membership
There are so many other tickets and memberships that you can gift, like museums, food festivals, and more.
Gift certificate for family photos (I’m a photographer, I had to include this!)
I’m a professional photographer by day, so I couldn’t leave this out. Family photos are a gift that almost anyone will love!
Thrive Market Membership
I absolutely love Thrive Market. Thrive Market offers healthy food options at reduced prices. They are also very conscious about their packaging, which I also love. If you live in an area where healthy staples are hard to access, a Thrive Market membership could be a great gift idea.
Purple Carrot Membership
Purple Carrot provides a meal subscription service with all plant-based foods. They are also careful with their packaging in an effort to reduce waste. That’s a win-win all around!
Tangible zero waste gift ideas
Now, let’s get on to some actual gift items. When you start being more conscious about your purchases, you do reduce what you buy. However, in order to reduce your single-use items, you do need to buy high-quality reusable items.
You might also enjoy: 7 reusable items that save money and reduce waste
If you’re not quite into the reducing waste movement, some of these gifts might seem kind of strange. I promise that the recipient will enjoy them! At my daughters baby shower, a friend gifted me a set of “un-paper” towels that she had sewed herself and they were my favorite gift! I still have them and use them to this day, and that was over 7 years ago! These are some of my favorites zero waste or low waste gift ideas.
I love my bamboo utensils and I take them everywhere! It’s so convenient because I can skip plastic cutlery and have a snack any time I want. 😉
Stainless Steel Straws
I feel like this is the most obvious gift with the movement to stop using straws, but it’s a good one! I’ve been using stainless straws for years and never think about plastic straws. Bonus, I keep one in the bag with my bamboo utensils, so those two things would be great to combine!
Koffie Straw sent me two straws over 3 years ago and I have (no exaggeration) used them almost every single day since then. This is a unique product because it helps keep teeth whiter and doesn’t heat up like a stainless straw would.
Reusable K-cup filter
Everyone hates on Keurig’s so much because of the waste, but it’s a very simple fix! No one wants to waste money or create waste with those stupid little cups, so just buy your own coffee and use a reusable filter!
Pair the filter with a bag of coffee for a gift for anyone who loves coffee.
Another great coffee option is a french press. I don’t personally have one, but I have a friend who loves hers.
You could make your own and sew them with snaps to fit on a paper towel roll like my friend did years ago. If sewing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of nice cloth napkins on Amazon! I’ve had a mostly paper/plastic free kitchen for years, and I don’t feel like I am missing out.
I am going to be honest, I haven’t taken this plunge yet. However, this is one huge step toward a zero waste lifestyle and I’ve seen lots of people rave about this razor.
Did you know that plastic toothbrushes can take tens to hundreds of years to decompose? That means most of the toothbrushes that have ever been are still around somewhere. Gross. There doesn’t seem to be a perfect option, but Bamboo toothbrushes are a much better option!
I bought one of these a while back and I love it. It’s a combination shaver and epilator, so it removes hair without any waste. It might seem like a weird gift, but it’s a great gift idea for zero waste!
I used shampoo bars years ago and I love that they are becoming mainstream! I bought mine on Etsy, but you can buy them just about anywhere now. There are lots of different options on Amazon, and I plan to try some when my current shampoo runs out.
Reusable Shopping Bags
You can never have too many reusable shopping bags. Well, that’s not true. You can have too many, but chances are that most people could use another one. One of the best and most simple ways to reduce waste is by using reusable bags.
If your gift recipient already has a lot of bags, they might enjoy some reusable produce bags instead.
Homemade body scrub
I love gifting consumable items like body scrubs or body butter. Here is a great recipe for a vegan homemade body scrub.
Homemade lip balm
I have made lip balms as teacher gifts, stocking stuffers and more. They tend to be a big hit since most people love lip balm. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am not particularly crafty but sometimes I try. Here is a recipe for vegan lip balm.
I love giving consumable items, especially when they are items that I know the recipient will love! An essential oil diffuser or gift set is a great choice. This Greenair diffuser sits next to my desk every day. My favorite oils are by Plant Therapy.
They are excellent quality and a great price. I have nothing against MLM brand oils (they are great too!) but I don’t want to pay extra simply due to the sales model. Plant Therapy oils have been independently tested to be just as good.
Sand cloud towel
I absolutely love my Sand Cloud towel. Yes, it’s kind of a trendy teen girl gift but it’s really a great gift for anyone. Even my husband loves it! Sand Cloud donates 10% to charities that save marine life, so it’s a win-win.
I use my towel for a beach towel (obviously) but I use it for so much more. It’s great as a blanket on an airplane (in compacts well) or even as a sarong. You can use the code AmyFil25 at checkout to save 25%!
The Hydroflask is amazing for keeping beverages hot or cold. There is a smaller version that is great for coffee as well as multiple larger water bottles. I bought a large bottle and my husband stole it for work.
I now have a 24 oz bottle. It’s great because it fits in a cup holder but is big enough to only refill a couple of times per day.
Reusable Makeup-Removing Pads
Reusable makeup pads are great instead of using face wipes. You could even combine it with a jar of coconut oil. Coconut oil is great for removing makeup, along with hundreds of other uses. This cute set even comes with a laundry bag.
Yes, this is plastic but it will last for a very long time reducing food waste along the way. Making your own tumbler compost bin is outside my DIY skills, but if you’ve ever done that I’d love to hear about it!
Bento boxes are fun for kids and adults. It’s a great zero waste gift idea for anyone who takes their own lunch to school, work or for traveling.
Silicone baking sheets are a great way to remove the need to use parchment paper. They also work better! They are the perfect solution for crispy oven fries without using oil.
The Instant Pot will probably be on every gift guide that I ever write. I really think everyone needs one! I can’t believe that I waited so long to get one. They are the perfect gift for busy people who want one pot dinners, quickly!
I hope that this list of zero waste gift ideas helped you in your journey to find zero waste gifts. If you’re trying to reduce your waste, let me know how you are doing it in the comments below! Do you want more sustainable living tips and plant-based recipes sent straight to your inbox? Get the latest news every Saturday by signing up for my newsletter.