Zero-Waste Gift Giving Tips

zero waste gift

This holiday season, it’s time to think about your consumer impact, thoughtfully engage your community and get creative with your gifting!

Whether that means finding ways to upcycle and re-gift for true zero-waste gifts, opting to gift experiences, choosing eco-friendly wrapping solutions, or selecting products using sustainable packaging, there’s always a way to give with more impact on the heart and less on the planet.

Here are some of the things we keep in mind when giving zero-waste gifts.

Zero-Waste Gift Ideas

wrapped flowers

One of the easiest ways to sidestep a carbon footprint is by selecting an experience over another object headed to a landfill. Plan a weekend getaway for a partner, go to a ceramics class, get tickets to the match or next concert with your mate’s favourite band. Making memories together lasts a lifetime and is fun for both the giver and the recipient. Donating to charities, supporting environmental conservations or planting trees are feel-good routes as well.

When giving goods, ask yourself these questions before purchasing:

  • Are they useful? Giving a special gift that the receiver wouldn’t buy for themselves is one thing, but grabbing random or cheap goods just because you feel you have to give a gift is another.
  • Are they reusable? Any item that can only be used once is a no-go in our eyes.
  • Can they be consumed? Consumable gifts, whether they’re tasty treats, sustainable loose-leaf tea or soothing essential oils, are a great option when thinking about reducing long-term waste.
  • Were they made ethically? Support businesses that produce their products in an ethical, sustainable manner rather than mass-producing goods simply for profit!

Making gifts is a great way to cut down on waste as well. Use what you have! Place cuttings from your garden plants in recycled glasses, planters or ceramic vessels to spread the homegrown love.

You can also create your own body scrubs, mouthwashes, lip balms or essential oil blends. You can even make your own beeswax wraps!

You can also create your own body scrubs, mouthwashes, lip balms or essential oil blends. You can even make your own beeswax wraps!
Of course, baking and preparing yummy goodies is a great way to give something from the heart that won’t end up in a landfill. (Just make sure to package your treats in a sustainable, plastic-free way! For example, instead of giving cookies on a single-use plate or tray wrapped in plastic wrap, artfully wrap them up in a Waxed Bags instead. Not only will the wrapping be plastic-free, but part of the gift as well since the receiver will then be able to reuse it for years to come!)

Zero Waste Gift Wrapping

gift wrapped in beeswrap

Less is more, especially when it comes to creative wrapping solutions to substitute the pounds of shiny plastic papers that make their way to the bin each year.

Furoshika is the traditional Japanese style of wrapping gifts where the way a gift is wrapped speaks volumes about the intent and value of the relationship with the recipient. Beautiful pieces of square cloth made from various fabrics are used to wrap around a gift and knot at the front. No paper or plastic necessary, Furoshika is a gift for the recipient and the earth that embodies minimalist utility. Find fabric at second-hand stores, use scarves, tea towels or SuperBee wraps, that can function as part of the gift as well.

Glass jars, woven baskets and upcycled ceramics can also be used to nestle items for thoughtful gift sets.

If you still need to use paper for some gifts, make your own wrapping paper with recycled newspaper or rolls of recycled brown paper instead of purchasing plastic-wrapped rolls. Use wood, soap bars or potatoes to carve designs for simple block printing with non-toxic paint for a bit more personality. Tie up the parcels with recycled ribbon, bits of twine or hemp, and then finish your masterpiece with organic materials like sprigs of cinnamon or rosemary, pine tree clippings, dried flowers for decorative touches.

Buy Sustainable Gifts that Give Back

Super Green Family Gift

If you buy new, opt for quality items that will last longer than their cheaper counterparts. Avoid plastics, polyesters, hardwoods and non-sustainable materials which produce toxins in their production and consider what sort of packaging is used. Choose to support one of the many brands who produce sustainable products or create with zero-waste ethos. Seek out bamboo, wool, cotton, organic and non-toxic paints.

Buying reusable wares like canteens, bamboo or eco-conscious cutlery, bamboo straws, beeswax wraps and tote bags help friends get started on their own zero-waste journeys. Want to gift beeswax wraps? Our Jumbo Pack contains 10 individual Beeginner Sets at a reduced price – perfect to separate and give to friends! Have even more people on your list? Our Party Pack comes with 20 Beeginner Sets at an even lower price per set. Our collection of four themed zero-waste Gift Baskets (like that pictured above) are also available for a limited time for easy gift giving.

DIY beeswax wrap kits are perfect for kids who are curious about their planetary impact and the science behind non-plastic wraps.

Whatever you choose to buy this holiday season, look into the ethos of the companies you are investing in, and support the businesses in your community that are prioritizing the health and welfare of the planet. By supporting companies in your community, you also build local resiliency that can keep your local economy strong despite environmental changes.

So, there you have it, some of our favourite zero-waste gift giving tips. What do you do for thoughtful, sustainable, zero-waste gifts? Let us know in the comments below!

Also, if you’re looking for more zero-waste holiday ideas, check out our Zero-Waste Christmas guide!

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