101 Zero Waste Gift Ideas

Spread the Sustainable Gospel!

101 Zero Waste Gift Ideas

Last Revised: October 29, 2020

Like you, I’ve gotten tired of the materialism and waste that go along with the Holidays. It’s hard to ignore the impact that our umpteen Target runs and early morning Black Friday obsession is doing to the planet. I think this is the reason that Zero Waste gift giving is getting more and more popular.

Zero waste gift-giving is one of my favorite things to do. I love giving gifts to my friends and family that I know won’t sit in a box or end up contributing to the mountain of waste we already produce during the holidays. I define zero waste gifts has handmade, homemade, secondhand, or items that help someone refuse and reduce disposable or plastic waste.

Related: How I Avoid Getting More Stuff During the Holidays

Do you ever feel that buying presents have turned into more of an obligation – a hurry up and buy something – type event. Before my drastic lifestyle upgrade, I found myself making multiple trips to every nearby retail store, buying the cheapy holiday-themed gifts – you know – the house shoes that look like penguins, and slapping someone’s name on it just so I had “something” for everyone. Oh and worrying about how much money you’ve spent on someone like that had something to do with how much your love was worth? It was more stressful than enjoyable. That’s when I knew I had forgotten the meaning of gift-giving during the holidays.

Related: How Zero Waste Improved my Holiday Spirit

Gifting items that are better for the planet and for the recipient has given me that joy of giving once again. I no longer feel that “obligation” to give someone anything but feel that I’m doing something good by exposing others to why I live the way I do. I hope that the gifts I give spark some interest to reduce waste as well.

101 Zero Waste Gift Ideas

101 Zero Waste Gift Ideas

Sorry but I shamelessly have to suggest my book as the PERFECT zero waste gift this holiday season to not only plant the seed for sustainable living, but to provide a useful guide and tool for anyone looking to start reducing their waste.

Buy my book Zero Waste Life

Get MY BOOK Here!!!

Zero Waste Gifts for the Kitchen

Since most of our waste happens in the kitchen, it makes sense to gift items that help your friends and family reduce waste in that department. Before you buy, make sure that the gift fits that person’s style and avoid anything that would probably never get used.

zero waste gifts for the bathroom

Consumable Zero Waste Gift Ideas

  • Audible Membership
  • Homemade Candy
  • Homemade Lotion
  • Concert Tickets
  • Homemade Cookies
  • Homemade Salsa
  • Restaurant Gift Certificate
  • Massage Gift Certificate
  • Netflix
  • Gym Membership
  • Fruit and Nut Basket
  • Homemade Bread
  • Dancing Lessons
  • Homemade Lip Balm
  • Candles
  • Homemade Flavored Salts
  • Sugar Scrubs
  • Homemade Perfume or Cologne
  • Homemade Shaving Cream
  • Cleaning Services
  • Cooking Lessons
  • Brewery or Winery Tour
  • Homemade Hot Sauce
  • Digital Magazine Subscription
  • Ice Skating
  • Homemade Pet Treats
  • Guitar Lessons
  • Personalized Coupons
  • Movie Theater Tickets
  • Zip Lining
  • Booze – Make sure they recycle the bottles! 😉
  • Museum Tickets
  • Homemade Spice Blends
  • Bulk Loose Leaf Teas
  • Guided Tours
  • Gift Certificate for Family Photos
  • Tickets to a Ballet or Symphony
  • DIY Cookies in a Jar
  • Homemade Jams or Jellies
  • Homemade Soup Mix Kit
  • Lotion Bars
  • Bulk Coffee
  • Jar of Trail Mix or Nuts
  • Bulk Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
  • Homemade Hot Cocoa in a Jar
  • Money
  • Homemade Vanilla
  • Infused Olive Oils
  • Sporting Event Tickets
  • Homemade Candied Nuts
  • Homemade Play-dough for Kiddos
  • Homemade Crayons for Kiddos
  • Bath Salts
  • Brownie Mix in a Jar
  • Holiday Light Tour
  • Tickets to a Dinner Theater
  • Bus or Train Credits


Handmade Zero Waste Gifts

  • Crocheted Mittens, Scarf, or Blanket
  • Local Art
  • Locally Made Pottery
  • Homemade Pet Toys
  • Homemade Quilt
  • Handmade Wooden Toys
  • Handmade Socks
  • Handmade Jewelry

On the Go Zero Waste Gifts

other zero waste gifts

Hopefully, this list is enough to get you started. What zero waste gift ideas did I miss? Happy gifting!


Also, check out my other gift guides!

Zero-Waste-Gifts-for-Kids Zero Waste Gifts for Men



12 thoughts on “101 Zero Waste Gift Ideas

  1. Sharing this far and wide. Thank you for taking the time to put it together. It’s so important that we don’t lose sight of the fact that presents, no matter how lovingly purchased and gifted, are still ultimately “stuff.” At least let’s make it useful, consumable or sustainable stuff.

    • Oh, thank you, Mickey! I’m so happy you enjoyed it. You are absolutely right, it is just stuff so I think we all need to change our expectations on what recieving and giving gifts is about. 🙂 Less getting, more doing.

  2. This was so inspiring. We tried to keep it simple this year but still felt wasteful (so hard when your family hasn’t grasped minimalism or zero waste yet). I already created an (electronic) list of tons of ideas for gifts for next year and birthdays! Thank you for this lovely and actually realistic zero waste gift guide!

  3. Thank you for the inspiration!! It is only June, but I am already thinking ahead for birthdays and Christmas gifts: homemade spa treatments for my pregnant sisters, candles, crocheted items, sprout pencils for the kids… And I have to make sure there’s no liquid as I’ll have to fly back home!

    • I have so much fun with zero waste gifts. I truly feel it brings back that joy of gift giving in the first place. 🙂

  4. AUDIBLE ?!?! I don’t think giving money to one of the worlds most problematic billionaires is in line with the sentiment of this list… I would feel more comfortable buying a new hard copy of a book from a small store than giving money to that guy. Making Jeff Bezos richer could not be more problematic/wasteful.

    • Or if you’re uncomfortable with Audible, there’s always Libro.fm. The cost is comparable to Audible but the proceeds can support a local Indie bookstore of your choice, and the selection is very large too. Not sure how easy it is to gift, but another option!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.