Gifts are a wonderful way to show the people you love how you feel. We dare you to try a slightly different approach to gift giving this holiday season, one that shows how much you care about your friends, family, and the environment.
Making gifts at home isn’t just for kiddies. Try your hand at some DIY personal care products, like body lotion, lip balm, soaps, perfume, or shaving cream. Knitting, sewing, and candle-making are also fun crafting projects that make wonderful gifts for any occasion.
Feel like spreading some holiday cheer? Why not bake some gingerbread cookies or pumpkin bread for your co-workers and neighbors! Make sure to store them in reusable containers (no plastic wrap please!) Plus, your kitchen will smell so festive 🙂
Do you have a friend who always wanted to try skydiving or who wants cooking lessons? Other experience gifts include a day at the zoo, an Audible membership, or piano lessons. Tickets to museums, sporting events, or concerts are great too!
We love books!!! Patronize your local used bookshop or take a look online at ThriftBooks to give a book a new home. Vintage jewelry or clothing are perfect for your fashion-forward family members. A used bike or scooter serve as good exercise and excellent gifts. For those who love technology, scout out refurbished options and maybe throw in a solar cell phone charger or a biodegradable phone case for good measure.
Zero Waste-Inspired Gifts
If you know someone who is interested in trying out zero waste living, feel free to give them some bamboo toothbrushes, a tea infuser along with some bulk organic tea, organic wool dryer balls, handmade ceramic coffee mugs, organic cotton beeswax wraps, a stainless steel bento box, or organic cotton facial rounds. Our personal favorite zero waste online shop is called Tiny Yellow Bungalow 🙂
Gifts for Children
In addition to used books from ThriftBooks, other adorable ideas for gifts for the little ones can be found on our Kids board on Pinterest. We suggest sticking to toys made from non-toxic, eco-friendly materials such as wood and natural fabrics.
There are tons of amazing environmental charities that will happily take a donation from you in the name of your loved one. Here are a few of our favorites: Cool Effect (a carbon offset non-profit), Union of Concerned Scientists, National Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace, The Honeybee Conservancy, and the Rainforest Alliance.
Now that everyone knows what we are giving them this year… let’s chat about wrapping!
Reusable gift bags made from recycled fabric work great if you can get your bag returned to you. If not, use these 100% recycled gift bags. You can line your gift bags with this 100% recycled tissue paper. This kraft wrapping paper (you guessed it… also 100% recycled) or old newspaper are great for giving presents too.
For that extra touch, add some jute twine or, if you want more color, biodegradable cotton ribbon is a good alternative to traditional ribbon. Instead of stickers or labels, tell your recipient a gift is for them with these cute kraft paper tags.
Because so many of these materials are, let’s face it, a little dull in appearance, add some homemade pizzaz to your gifts with highlighter pencils or fountain pen with colorful ink. You can also add a sprig of fresh rosemary or lavender for additional decoration. Potato stamps with eco-friendly paint can help bring in more color too.
When you have to have a gift delivered, you can offset the carbon emissions from shipping your package. Holiday travel carbon emissions can be offset here! Learn more about carbon offset credits on our post.
To find more zero-waste gift inspiration, take a look at our Gifts board on Pinterest!
Disclaimer: We receive no financial compensation for any of the products recommended or shared anywhere in this blog.