When deciding what kind of gift to give your friends, family, significant other, or anyone else, why not give something that ensures a better tomorrow for you and the ones you love? There are so many ways to help the environment nowadays and that’s become even more so when it comes to products we use every day.
Whether you’re aiming to live a life with zero waste, plastic-free, vegan, or any other eco-friendly lifestyle, there’s no doubt that there’s a special gift for everyone. I spent a lot of time thinking about the gifts my loved ones and I would appreciate as a holiday, a birthday, or a “just because” gift, so I thought I’d share them with you.
So what are the best zero waste gift ideas?
1. Phone Call
Nothing beats a good ol’ fashion phone call. With texting, snapping, and everything in-between, we sometimes lose that human touch. Give your loved one a call and let them know you appreciate them.
2. Organic Package-Free Soap
Giving a unique, eco-friendly gift like soap is a great idea. It can be used in a kitchen, bathroom, or simply as a decoration. If you get your loved one’s soap, find a stylish soap.
3. Bamboo Serving Tray
Whenever I have friends or family over, I always use my bamboo serving tray to bring out drinks, snacks, coffee, and anything else for the occasion. Plus, they look great for both serving and decoration!
4. Reusable Metal Drinking Straw
Plastic drinking straws are really wasteful plastic products since they almost never get recycled or aren’t recyclable at all. That’s easily solvable with reusable metal drinking straws that are easy to clean.
5. Reusable Water Bottle
One of the biggest contributors to modern day pollution is the excessive use of plastic water bottles. Giving a reusable water bottle as a gift is probably one of the most useful and eco-friendly gifts out there!
6. Hemp Socks
Most socks are made out of cotton, which isn’t the most eco-friendly since they require chemicals to be processed and a lot of water when growing. Hemp socks are not only very eco-friendly, but they’re incredibly soft and comfortable.
7. Homemade Play-Dough
If you’re giving gifts to children, there’s a good chance they like to play with play-dough. Why not give them the gift of imagination while ensuring there’s no danger of toxic chemicals in the play-dough by making your own.
8. Sports Tickets
For the sports fans out there, there’s no better gift than game tickets to their favorite sports team. This is a common gift I give out to my sport fanatic friends, and they always love it!
9. Amazon Prime Subscription
How often do you order products on Amazon? For my family and I, it’s quite often! With an Amazon Prime subscription, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll get faster delivery and a bunch of other extras like Amazon Prime Video and free books!
10. Organic Bath Salts
After a long day, there’s nothing else like winding down in the bathtub with some beautiful aromas filling the air. Organic bath salts are a great gift for those you love that sometimes just need a break.
11. Portable Coffee Mug
Instead of always getting a “to go” cup from your favorite coffee shop, using a portable coffee mug can not only help save the environment but it can also save you some cash along the way.
12. Homemade Pet Treats
Don’t forget our little animal friends! A fantastic gift to give to your cherished pets is a set of homemade pet treats backed fresh in the oven. My dogs go crazy for these cookies and I’m guessing yours will too.
13. Movie Tickets
With all the different movies and series on television nowadays, it’s not as common as it once was to go to the movies to watch a new release. Give your loved ones a nice night out with some movie tickets at their local cinema.
14. Fountain Pen
Instead of constantly using disposable plastic pens that are most likely ending up in the trash, why not get someone a nice, professional fountain pen. For that special someone who spends time in the office, I’m sure they’ll love it.
15. Plant Seeds
For the loved one who has a green thumb, one of the best gifts you can give is the beginning of a new plant life. That way, you can both watch the plant grow together, and thus take part in something together.
16. Homemade Jam
When having toast in the morning, it’s almost always the case that you want to throw a little butter and jam on it. Why not surprise your loved ones with some delicious homemade jam.
17. Zip Lining Lessons
For the adventurous types, I’ve found gifting zip lining lessons to them has been a huge hit. Even for those not particularly interested in high-adrenaline activities, this is great for outdoorsy people in general.
18. Netflix Subscription
Sometimes you just want to stay at home and just relax watching your favorite new Netflix series. My family and I love doing this, so no doubt the gift of a Netflix subscription would be an amazing gift!
19. Homemade Crayons
Children love to color and explore their imagination with crayons. I’ve found giving homemade crayons to children is a lot of fun for them because you can customize them with fun colors!
20. High-End Liquor
I have friends who are big aficionados when it comes to high-end liquor, in particular whiskey and rum. It’s almost a guarantee that they’ll love a nice bottle of high-end liquor.
21. Reusable Shopping Bag
Most shopping bags you get from the store are made out of plastic, which is one of the least eco-friendly items today. Giving a reusable shopping bag is not only super useful but very eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable.
22. Guided Tour
The time I really ever explore some of the more “touristy” spots in my hometown is when friends and family come to visit. Why not give the gift of a professionally guided tour to someone who may not have explored the many parts of their hometown.
23. Museum Tickets
I’m a huge fan of going to museums and getting lost for hours on end. Museum tickets are a great gift idea for those who love history, art, and everything in-between.
24. Homemade Spice Blends
For those cooking fans or foodie friends, giving them some personalized homemade spice blends can be a great gift idea. It’s easy and fun! And who knows, maybe they’ll make something for you with them.
25. Bamboo Toothbrush
We go through so many toothbrushes in our lifetime, we never really stop and think that these plastic products end up in the garbage never to be recycled. Well, bamboo toothbrushes are not only very eco-friendly, but they’re stylish and unique!
26. Reusable Recycled Material Razor
Using disposable razors can be pretty wasteful and are sadly not often recyclable. Instead of constantly using more and more plastic, why not gift that special someone with a reusable razor made out of recycled material.
27. Spotify Subscription
I remember listening to my music with records then cassettes then CDs. Nowadays, streaming music apps like Spotify are amazing because they have everything you’d ever want to listen to at your fingertips. A Spotify subscription is a great gift for practically everyone!
28. Reusable Food Storage Containers
We all know what it’s like to make a big meal and not be able to finish it all. Well, as a gift idea that helps keep those leftovers for tomorrow, why not give the gift of some stylish reusable food storage containers.
29. Pottery Lessons
There’s always someone who loves to make things with their hands, so gifting pottery lessons can be a great idea for that special someone. Let their imagination break free!
30. Holiday Light Tickets
I remember when I was growing up we would go to light festivals in our local area. The great part is they still do this, so why not share that magic with someone you love by getting them holiday light tickets.
31. Eco-Friendly Trash Bags
Not only do we throw away trash that goes straight to a landfill, but we often times wrap it up in plastic which can take up to 1000 years to biodegrade. To avoid that, why not give someone some eco-friendly trash bags.
32. Meditation App Subscription
I’ve been trying to meditate recently and I have to say it’s so helpful using meditation apps. Giving a meditation app subscription as a gift is a great idea because we could all use a bit of mindfulness from time to time.
33. Biodegradable Bamboo Cutlery
It’s usually the case that parties have a lot of disposable dishware and cutlery, and they’re always made out of non-recyclable plastic. I’ve found biodegradable bamboo cutlery to be a great alternative!
34. Google Play Gift Card
Do you have a loved one who loves to play games on their phone or use some app all the time? A Google Play gift card could be just the right gift for your Android phone fans!
35. Apple App Store and iTunes Gift Card
If you know someone who uses their iPhone or iPad all the time, getting them an Apple App Store/iTunes gift card is a perfect gift. Like me, I’m sure they’d use it right away!
36. Local Art
One great way to support your local community while giving a unique gift to your loved ones is to purchase local art. I love this gift idea because it’s very personal and long-lasting.
37. Homemade Lip Balm
All of my friends use lip balm and recently started to make their own from home. I loved this idea, so I started to do the same! Go ahead and give some to your friends and family as a gift. I’m sure they’ll love it.
38. Personalized Coupons
Is there something you’d like to give someone in terms of service, but don’t know how to present it as a gift? Why not make your very own personalized coupons, so they can cash them in whenever they want!
39. Restaurant Gift Certificate
It’s always nice getting out of the house and going to a nice restaurant. I think this is one of the best gift ideas because it gives them a fun experience with the people that they love.
40. Beeswax Food Wraps
If you cook at home, then you’ll likely use plastic cling wrap quite often. Sadly, this is seriously wasteful because plastic cling wrap isn’t recyclable. Give the gift of environmental sustainability with beeswax food wraps!
41. Bamboo Bed Sheets
For the longest time, my family and I have been using normal cotton bed sheets in our home. Once we discovered that bamboo bed sheets are not only eco-friendly but less expensive and more comfortable, that changed fast! This is truly a great gift for anyone.
42. Homemade Bread
I love being able to make something at home and give it as a gift because it’s so personalized. Consider giving your loved ones some delicious homemade bread straight from your kitchen.
43. Groupon Gift Certificate
There are more gift certificates out there than you might think. Groupon gift certificates are a fantastic way to say “I appreciate you” by giving them an experience they’ll never forget.
44. Scuba Diving Lessons
Do you know someone who just loves getting in the water? Well, I’ve found scuba diving lessons to be a huge hit for them because they get to learn something new while participating in their favorite pass time.
45. Audible Subscription
I love to read, but a lot of the times I just don’t have the time to do it. Well, that’s changed after I got an Audible subscription, and I’m sure anyone else you know who loves to read would absolutely love this as a gift.
46. Winery or Brewery Tour
Some people like wine and some people beer, so why not spring for a fun winery or brewery tour! I’ve done this a few times and it’s always been a blast exploring new drinks while learning about how they’re made.
47. Name a Star
There are literally billions and billions of stars in the sky and being able to name one after someone is a gift that can last a lifetime. That star will shine for a very long time and so will your gift.
48. Loose Leaf Tea
My friends and I are big tea drinkers, so over the years we’ve migrated away from teabags and toward using loose leaf tea. Loose leaf tea is a great gift idea because there are a lot of different flavors and they’re usually very fresh.
49. Homemade Shaving Cream
If you like DIY projects where you make homemade items, give homemade shaving cream a try! I’ve given this as a gift to a number of people and they always asked me how I made it.
50. Amazon Gift Certificate
My family and I are huge Amazon shoppers, and I know that’s the case for other families as well. Why not give them an Amazon gift certificate. They’re guaranteed to use it!
51. Mason Jars
If you like to buy in bulk from bulk bins or simply like to store items for safekeeping, mason jars are a great way to do this. They look great and they last forever!
52. Bamboo Tote Bag
Sometimes I don’t feel like taking my purse around with me, so I started using a tote bag more often. Getting an eco-friendly bamboo tote bag as a gift is great for anyone who brings a bunch of items with them on a regular basis!
53. Bamboo Makeup Remover Pads
Most makeup remover pads are made out of cotton, which is arguably one of the most wasteful, non-eco-friendly fabrics on the planet. As an alternative, let your loved ones try using bamboo makeup remover pads instead.
54. Wool Dryer Balls
I don’t know about you, but I love using wool dryer balls! They keep everything static-free and it’s a breeze when folding my laundry. This is one of my most favorite gifts to give to friends and family.
55. Organic Bulk Coffee
Who doesn’t like a nice cup of joe? I get bored with basic coffee sometimes, so I like to switch it up from time to time with some nice organic bulk coffee. This is a great gift for any coffee lover!
56. Digital Magazine Subscription
Getting a digital subscription for a magazine is a great eco-friendly gift that keeps on giving. Why buy the paper version when you can have it on your tablet or iPad all the time.
57. Homemade Quilt
I’m a big fan of homemade items as gifts for friends and family, and if you’re into quilting, I suggest you make one as a gift. It’s a very lovable gift item and you can reuse some fabrics you have lying around.
58. Staple-Free Stapler
If you know someone who spends a lot of time at their desk and is pretty paper heavy, consider getting them a staple-free stapler. I didn’t know these existed until I got one as a gift, and I use it all the time now!
59. Stainless Steel Food Recycler
Sometimes saving food in containers is just not an option, so being able to recycle it properly is a great alternative. Giving a stainless steel food recycler as a gift is extremely thoughtful and eco-friendly.
60. Homemade Candles
One of my favorite homemade gifts for friends and family are homemade candles. They’re super easy to make and they can not only be used to light up the room, but also as decorative pieces.
61. Bamboo Toilet Paper
We waste a lot of paper by not recycling much of it, especially the kind that gets flushed down the drain. On top of that, paper isn’t the most renewable resource out there. That’s why bamboo toilet paper is a great gift!
62. YouTube Premium Subscription
I use YouTube all the time to learn DIY projects and new topics in general, but the advertisements can be a bit much at times. That’s why I got a subscription to YouTube Premium, which is definitely an absolutely fantastic gift for any of your family or friends.
63. House Plants
The best way to liven up a room is by filling it up with some pretty house plants. Not only do they add a warm aura to rooms, but they can even make it smell good and more breathable. I suggest a perennial plant to give as a gift since they keep growing year-round.
64. Loose-Leaf Tea Infuser
If you’re a tea drinker like me, then you’ll know how much loose-leaf tea can be compared to teabags. A great gift for tea drinkers is a loose-leaf tea infuser, which lets them drink loose-leaf tea anytime.
65. Personalized Photo Collage
One of the best, most sentimental gifts you can give someone close to you is a photo collage frame filled with memories you shared with them. Friends and family alike will absolutely love this gift.
66. Dancing Lessons
Do you have a friend that can cut the rug better than the rest of you? Well, maybe dancing lessons will give them the encouragement to take their skills to the next level!
67. Reusable Sandwich Container
Reducing the use of plastic on planet earth is very important if we ever plan to move toward a more sustainable environment. A good start is replacing plastic sandwich with reusable containers. This is always a great gift, especially for those packing daily lunches.
68. Stainless Steel Compost Bin
It’s amazing how much waste we go through on a daily basis, which is why I always like to gift people a stainless steel compost bin if they don’t have one already. It’s a great way to help the environment and if you have one, your garden.
69. Cooking Lessons
The best kind of gift is the one that keeps on giving. When it comes to cooking, almost everyone can benefit from lessons. Make it fun and get someone cooking lessons for a type of food they like (Thai anyone?)!
70. Reusable Coffee Filters
In my house, we’re big coffee drinkers, and I know many of my friends are the same way. A great gift that keeps us moving toward a more eco-friendly environment is reusable coffee filters. They work amazingly and they’re very easy to clean.
71. Boat Tour
If you’re close to the water or know of a nice place where boats go out for the day, consider getting someone a boat tour as a gift. It’s a great opportunity for getting out on the water and exploring!
72. Homemade Hemp Jewelry
It’s been a very long since I’ve made hemp jewelry, but I remember it being easy and fun! Best part, you can include hand-picked beads specifically picked for that special someone.
73. Greeting Card with Money
Sometimes we just need a little extra cash, so giving a pleasant card with some cash inside is a nice gift. The combination of a nice written message plus cash is always welcome.
For those family members or friends that are a little more technologically inclined, I’m guessing they’d appreciate getting some Bitcoin. I got this as a gift and now it’s just sitting somewhere growing. It’s not much, but kind of fun knowing I have a little!
75. Biodegradable Bandages
Do you have any friends or family members that are active in sports or any other rough and tumble activities? If so, then I’m sure they’ll eventually need some eco-friendly, biodegradable bandages!
76. Family Photo Session
Getting someone a professional family photo session is such a great gift idea. They’ll be able to use those photos countless times and they’ll remember you for getting them such an amazing gift.
77. Reusable Bowl Covers
If you want to shake off the use of plastic in your everyday life, switching from plastic cling wrap (aka Saran wrap) to reusable bowl covers is a great idea. Whether your covering soup, salad, or anything in-between, this is a great and easy gift!
78. Stainless Steel Food Container
There are all kinds of food containers out there, but if you’re going to get brand new ones you might as well avoid plastic. That’s why stainless steel food containers are a great gift idea year-round.
79. Ice Skating Lessons
I love giving gifts that can bring amazing experiences to the ones I love, so lessons are always a good option. In particular, ice skating is a wonderful skill to learn and comes in handy during the holiday season.
While I’m a big fan of physical books, e-books are a great way to become more eco-friendly. If you know someone with an Amazon Kindle or Barnes and Noble Nook, consider getting them an e-book!
81. Uber or Lyft Gift Card
The days when you had to remember your local cab service phone number are over! Now, all you need is Uber or Lyft and you can get a cab sent directly to you in minutes. That’s why an Uber gift card or a Lyft gift card is a fantastic gift for anyone.
82. Hulu Subscription
Sometimes it’s nice just to sit back and relax in from of the television. A Hulu subscription is a great gift for anyone who watches movies that aren’t necessarily available on Netflix.
83. Bamboo Travel Utensils
Do you know someone who’s constantly on the go and needs easy access to eating utensils? Well, consider getting them eco-friendly bamboo travel utensils!
84. Reusable Bamboo Drinking Straws
Plastic drinking straws are known to be not very eco-friendly and consistently contribute to our seemingly never-ending plastic pollution problem. Reusable bamboo drinking straws are not only helpful in helping the environment but they’re stylish and fun to use!
85. Bamboo Cutting Board
If you haven’t used a bamboo cutting board, you’re definitely missing out! I love bamboo cutting boards as a gift because they’re not only eco-friendly but also antibacterial and extremely durable (as opposed to wood or plastic).
86. Cloth Napkins
It’s always nice when throwing dinner parties to have beautiful and reusable cloth napkins. Everyone can notice the difference in quality compared to disposable paper napkins, so it’s a great gift for anyone.
87. Insulated Bamboo Window Curtains
Do you want to help someone help improve the style of their home while saving them money? Well, insulated bamboo window curtains do just that by looking great and keeping heat in the home.
88. Homemade Flavored Salts
If you have a friend or family member that just loves to cook, then definitely considering giving them a set of homemade flavored salts. This gift gives them the chance to explore their cooking potential even more!
89. Crocheted Clothes
Do you like to crochet? If you have the crochet skills, then consider giving your loved ones clothes you made yourself! From hats to socks to gloves to sweaters, I’m sure they’ll love it all!
90. Massage Gift Certificate
When was the last time you had a good massage? I bet a lot of people could use a good massage, so giving it as a gift is likely going to be very well received.
91. Whole Foods Gift Card
I don’t always get the chance to go grocery shopping at Whole Foods, but whenever I do I love it! This is a great gift for anyone who likes going to Whole Foods and explore everything they have to offer.
92. Sailing Lessons
My family and I have friends who are big into sailing and they’ve been known to give sailing lessons as gifts to other families. I love the idea of gifting sailing lessons!
93. Cleaning Service
A great gift for anyone is a gift that lets that person relax and not have to worry. Well, gifting someone a subscription to a cleaning service is just that!
94. Reusable Lint Roller
You know that feeling when your lint roller runs out. A great gift to anyone who uses a lint roller is a reusable lint roller, which is not only eco-friendly but also extremely practical.
95. Recycled Plastic Jewelry
There’s so much plastic waste in the world that we really need to do a good job at reducing it. A fantastic way to do that is to reuse plastic that already exists, which is popular when it comes to recycled plastic jewelry.
96. Pressure Canner and Cooker
A great eco-friendly, zero waste gift is a pressure canner/cooker, especially to your loved ones who like to save food in storage. I’m a big fan of this as a gift because practically anyone can use it!
97. Bamboo Cotton Swabs
Do you know someone who’s trying to reduce the amount of waste they’re producing? How about getting them some bamboo cotton swabs, which are naturally biodegradable and antibacterial compared to plastic and paper cotton swabs.
98. Reusable Produce Bags
Plastic produce bags are all too common and almost always one-time use items. If you have family or friends that often times buy produce items, consider getting them some eco-friendly reusable produce bags.
99. Online Course
Who doesn’t like learning new things? I love the idea of getting someone an online course as a gift because it shows you know what they like to learn and it’s something they can keep forever!
100. Ski Lift Tickets
Whether you know someone who’s into skiing or snowboarding, there’s no doubt they’d love a set of lift tickets to their local mountain. This is the easiest gift to give someone like this!
101. All-Natural Deodorant
If you know someone who’s trying to reduce their contact with harmful plastics and toxins, I’m guessing they’d very much be interested in all-natural deodorant. Modern deodorant can contain lots of plastics and harmful aluminum, so this can be very helpful.
102. Homemade Cookies
You can never go wrong with baking someone some cookies! If you know someone who has a sweet tooth for a particular kind of cookie, go ahead and bake it especially for them!
103. Reusable Snack/Sandwich Bags
We use a lot of plastic on a daily basis, especially plastic that doesn’t have the chance of being reused or recycled. That’s why moving toward reusable snack and sandwich bags are a great eco-friendly gift for anyone.
104. Stainless Steel Sippy Cups
Sippy cups are perfect for kids because it’s likely they’d make a mess without them. That reason, along being more eco-friendly, is why I suggest passing on plastic sippy cups and going with stainless steel sippy cups.
105. Biodegradable Paper Drinking Straws
Plastic straws are troublesome because they don’t get recycled and they’re almost always one-time use items. An amazing eco-friendly solution as a gift is to use biodegradable paper drinking straws instead!
106. Homemade Candy
Every so often, it’s nice to indulge our sweet tooth a little. Giving homemade candy as a gift is not only incredibly sweet (pun intended), but also very personable!
107. Homemade Hand Lotion
Do you know someone who always has hand lotion on them? I’m definitely one of these people, which is why I started making my own homemade hand lotion! Try it out yourself and consider giving it as a gift to someone.
108. Concert Tickets
Most people like music, whether they’re into classical music or more modern music, so why not get them some concert tickets to their favorite artist! I love giving gifts that offer great experiences because those experiences will last forever.
109. Tree Planting Kit
Giving gifts can be eco-friendly and fun, which is why gifting someone a tree planting kit is an excellent gift that’ll last a lifetime. Imagine giving them this gift and seeing the tree growing as the years go by!
110. Charity Donation
If you know of any cause your friend or family member is passionate about, a great gift could be a charity donation. Better than money, you can show that you not only know their interests and concerns, but you’re also willing to participate in and support them in a positive way.