Practical Zero Waste Gift Ideas

I have a love/hate relation ship with gift giving.
I love giving gifts and making people happy.
What I hate about gift giving is the general focus on just buying more stuff that may not even be used or wanted creating more waste. I am going to try and focus on a few practical zero waste gift ideas to spark the recipients interest in reducing their impact on the planet.

Gift Experiences – a Practical Zero Waste Gift Idea

I wish I could get my family behind this one.
Instead of gifting items, gift experiences.
Memberships to local zoos, museums, aquariums. Maybe even just tickets for the whole family for a day. Although in my experience, a year membership for a family of four is almost the cost of a year’s membership.
Massages, concert tickets…

DIY Food and Drink Mixes

This has been a life saver with family many times.
I have been known to whip up a cookie mix in a jar, or make hot cocoa mix and send it out in cute little jars. I have seen people online make soup and chilli mixes too. As a picky eater, I recommend sticking to something basic like chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or hot cocoa … something that most people like.
If you have the ingredients and some jars on hand, “cookies in a jar” and “soups in a jar” make a great zero waste gift that also doubles as a last minute gift.

Zero Waste Gift Idea jar mix

What to consider

Be cautious of food allergies.
Make sure to list the ingredients for the recipient as either a cute tag or a card that also has the directions on it.

Glass or Metal Food Containers

Always welcomed in my home. Glass or metal food containers make a very practical zero waste gift. It would help to replace plastic containers in people’s lives and acts as a great housewarming gift. There are so many sizes and options available. For a more personal vs family touch, reusable lunch containers or bento boxes are a great idea.

Dryer Balls as a Practical Zero Waste Gift

It’s pretty much assumed that everyone does laundry…
As much as I love to hang my clothes to dry, these Canadian winters make it a little bit hard. Add to the fact that I live in an apartment so I have limited space and a family of four. I use dryer balls to help reduce the amount of time (saving money) that it takes to dry my clothes and avoid using fabric softener sheets. I personally like to add a few drops of essential oils to my dryer balls to help add a little bit of scent that is all natural, as well as act like a diffuser spreading the wonderful benefits of the oils through my laundry area while I am drying the clothes.

zero waste gifts wool dryer balls

What to look for

100 % wool works best, especially if you are planning on adding any oils.
Support your local farmers markets, health food, bulk and zero waste stores as they usually carry 100% wool dryer balls from local farmers and artisans.

Travel Mugs and Water Bottles

A good starter zero waste gift, also great for basic zero waste starter kits. A travel mug or reusable water bottle is great gift to get people to switch from using disposable cups and single use water bottles.

Stainless Steel Wine Glasses

This is kind of a “want” on my list.
According to what I have read about stainless steel wine glasses, they can keep your drinks cooler longer than glass.

Gift Cards to Local Zero Waste or Bulk Stores

A gift card to a local zero waste, bulk or natural health food store could possibly be one of the most practical zero waste gift. The recipient can pick out items that they would prefer and you are supporting a local business at the same time. When the recipient goes into the store, they will be exposed to so many items and the people at the stores can help guide them on their zero waste journey.

Local zero waste shop

The Best Advice for Giving Zero Waste Gifts

Know the person that you are shopping for.
Listen for items that they may have mentioned wanting to try out but wouldn’t normally splurge on. If you’re crafty, you can try your hand at making some items that the recipient may want or need. Check out second hand shops for items instead of buying new ones.

Reusable Gift Bags

Wrap up your gift in a cloth gift bag to ensure that it will be reused.
I happen to keep all gift bags, my family members even gather them at holidays and give me them to take home. They also call me up if they need any on a short notice.

Pin for Later

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Moms with a Green-ish Thumb that they are SURE to love!

Mother’s Day is pretty much around the corner.
Being a Mom, I thought I would share some of the things that I would be excited to get. This list is essentially a snippet from my wish list.

Plants can help create a sense of well being and help lower stress levels.
Plants can also improve indoor air quality.
And they’re pretty.

Nature’s Blossom Sow & Grow Kits

This “sow and grow” seed starter kit by Nature’s Blossom has everything you need to grow succulents and cacti. This is right up my alley as I often forget to water my plants.

This one is totally inspired by my husband, Andy.
We ere looking up bonsai trees and I found this sow and grow bonsai tree seed starter kit on Amazon. The reviews mentioned needing different pots for the bonsai trees and I fell in love with this set.

Succulent Pots

Succulent Terrariums

Plant Hangers

Mini Plant Stand

This mini plant stand comes with tiny tools.
Ideally, I would love to have a couple of these to add to my bookshelf.
This little shelf would maximise the number of succulents I could display and give me a reason to invest in more adorable little pots and planters.

Vintage Style Plant Spritzer

To be honest, this beautiful vintage style plant spritzer would be added to my plant shelf just for the aesthetic.
I have read online that misting and spritzing plants can lead to shallow and unhealthy roots. I would use it when we started seeds, so it would get some use. I would love to find an actual antique plant spritzer, but I have never found one “in the wild”.

Glass Watering Birds

These glass self watering bird shaped globes wouldn’t be used for my succulents, but for my other plants. They would come in handy outside in the summer.

I feel like I should add a side note.
If you notice, these are all amazon links.
I am not an affiliate. I happen to do a lot of “window shopping” on amazon and use it for product comparison and reviews.
I encourage you, if you can, please support local stores.
Especially during this time.
But do it SAFELY!
Right now, in Quebec we are under pretty strict social/physical distancing measures. I’m not overly familiar with my part of the city and many businesses are not online — I know, crazy!
I am looking forward to hitting up the thrift shops and finding funky little planters … and who knows, maybe I can find a genuine vintage spritzer.