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Zero Waste Gift Ideas

Zero Waste Gift Ideas

Gift giving season is almost upon us. Whether it is Christmas, Thanks Giving, Birthday’s or any other general gift giving day, I have created ideas for eco friendly, sustainable and zero waste gifts.  

I have created the ultimate gift giving guide that is eco friendly, sustainable and of course zero waste. I have sectioned categories into different recipient types to make it easier to find a zero waste gift idea with a specific person in mind. Some items appear in more than one group as a result. What better way to show someone you care by showing that you care about the planet too. Without any planet there of course won’t be any time to enjoy giving gifts right? Remember that the best gifts are those where you create memories and experience things.

Perhaps get down on your knees with kids and make something for someone else together, gift something you no longer use and know a family member or friend will love. Experience something knew as a family over material things. Give more hugs, be more present and be the light in someones life and see what a difference that really makes. These gifts listed in this article are simple, thoughtful and come with a special meaning to.


Food is one of the best all rounder’s you can get when it comes to gift giving. It is not just for people who love to cook, or who love to eat though.  If you don’t have time to make something your self or don’t have the equipment to do so  try to looking at purchasing hand made artisan foods like chocolate, bread or jams. Make it a bit more special by wrapping it in cloth or placing it in a reusable basket or bag. Tailor making things for people like a home made trail mix, popcorn with a home made sauce, fruit basket or DIY food making kit will show that the gift has been thought of and it will be enjoyed and appreciated much more. You can get as creative as you like especially in a bulk food store.

Here are some ideas for gifts to give to an avid cooking lover and an all round general lover of food.

Gifts for those who love to cook

Gifts for Foodies


People who are interested in specific pursuits and hobbies may have all they things they need already. It can be tricky to sort gifts for these types of people. However, there are some items that will always need replacing due to wear and tear so finding a second hand one could be a great idea. There is always the option of introducing zero waste, homemade and/or reusable products in a way that is not to in their face and is simply a kind gift in an area which they love.

Pamper Me  and Personal Gifts

Gifts for garden lovers

  • Plants
  • Compost Pail
  • Water Butt
  • Seeds and plant pots
  • National Trust Membership
  • Name a species gift
  • Homemade hand cream
  • Homemade hand scrub
  • Garden tools
  • Wooden plant markers
  • Bird feeders
  • Biodegradable or hand folded paper seedling pots
  • Wooden seedling paper pot maker

Gifts for going outdoors

Gift for Fashion Lovers

  • Reusable Lint Brush Handmade Socks
  • Reusable Cosmetic Rounds
  • Homemade lotions
  • Vintage clothing
  • Vintage shoes
  • Vintage jewelry
  • Bracelet
  • Jewelry making workshop

Gifts for Sport Lovers

  • Gym membership
  • Water bottle
  • Socks
  • Sports tracker app membership Match tickets
  • Stadium tours


Sometimes what you are looking for is a bit more special than your average gift, you want to show someone you are really thinking of them, you want to show your love and appreciation in a way that really shows that.

For a special occasion, a special person or a grand gesture, all of the gifts below are particularly heartfelt and considerate gifts, and can even be added to a hamper of goodies from the previous lists to really make n impact if required.

The Extra Special gifts are items that would not be deemed as a usual gift but can come in the form of an object or memory but frequently fall inside the ‘expensive’ bracket .
The memory making gifts, on the other hand, are some of the best times people recall for years after the gift has been given, even though the memory making ones can frequently fall into the ‘free’ bracket providing some of the most amazing gifts that are both inexpensive and zero waste.

Giving someone a break is more often than not taken for granted but when gifted it is an overwhelmingly welcomed respite to the daily grind, particularly after a serious bought of tiredness and stress in a good friend or loved ones life.

These are wonderful gifts and should be considered as the cream of the crop for gift giving.

Gifts for making memories

  • Restaurant Gift Certificate or a Bulk Food Store
  • Ice Skating
  • Cooking Class
  • Brewery or Winery Tour
  • Movie Tickets
  • Concert Tickets
  • Museum Tickets
  • Guided Tours
  • Gift Certificate for Family Photo shoot Photo album
  • Afternoon high tea
  • Jewelry making workshop
  • Pottery classes
  • Friends round for dinner
  • Wine and cheese evening at home Picnic in the park
  • Walk in the woods
  • Museums
  • Art Galleries
  • Train ride to anywhere for a day out
  • Tickets to an indoor or outdoor cinema

Gifts to give someone a break

Extra Special Gifts

  • Vintage or handmade Jewelry
  • Art (by you or someone else)
  • Homemade Perfume
  • Charity Donation in Recipients Name
  • Fountain Pen
  • Wooden Bowl
  • Homemade Quilt
  • Gift Certificate for Family Photo shoot
  • Locally Made Pottery
  • Photo album

Gifts for Children

Many people do find arriving at a children’s gift with zero waste in mind a daunting prospect. The range of toys in packaging, the series of wants and desired, trends and phases is a minefield. There is so much glitz and dazzle when it comes to kids toys, not to mention the amount of plastic that come with it to.  In our throw away culture kids toys are used a few times and then mostly forgotten about. It only takes a few steps to begin to change all of that.

Buying second hand is a big one, getting toys from eBay, charity shops, markets and passed down through friends are big zero waste wins, but they are also encouraging children to accept second hand as the norm which is such a great start to teach kids.

Homemade items encourage young minds to consider that not everything needs to be bought and the ‘make your own’ kits go one stage further encouraging both creativity and learning what goes into the things we use and the processes behind each item. It keeps learning fun whilst encouraging a zero waste future.

Books are a wonderful resource too, of course. When providing a gift that has been pre-loved you can also add a message of re-gifting from their own supply of out grown items from clothes, toys, books and even homemade items as a swap-out system; encouraging cluttering and generosity before dumping old items into the bin. By doing this there is often much more care given to items they have in the hope that they can be loved by another child in the future when they donate or pay-it-forward with their own once loved items, or passing on homemade gifts to other loved ones.

Gifts for the kids


Re-gift something you No Longer Want or Need is such a great way to declutter and really put a smile on someone else face. They are getting something that may not be of need to you but of great need to them. Shopping second hand items or making your own as a personalized part of the gift really shows thought and adds in more of a personal flair than straight out purchasing something in store.


These are kits where you supply a re purposed vessel with the dry or raw ingredients and tools for a person to make their own. Remember to add a tag or piece of card with the instruction on and any further ingredients necessary to complete the kits e.g. milk, eggs, vinegar, butter etc.

Kid Friendly

  • Lip Balm (tin, oil or honey, beeswax)
  • Moisturizer (jar, coconut oil, cocoa butter, oil)
  • Cookies (jar and all dry ingredients with a cookie cutter)
  • Watch me grow (cup/pot, soil, packet of seeds)
  • Bath bombs (molds, colors, oil, scent, baking soda, Epsom salt, corn starch, and citric acid, jar for all dry ingredients)
  • Jewelry (necessary parts depending on item plus a few spares)

Adult Friendly

  • Chilli sauce (bottle, chillies, tomatoes, funnel)
  • Meat lovers kit (BBQ sauce, skewers, seasoning rubs, dip bowl, chop board) Homemade Soup Mix Kit (beans, pulses, seasoning in jar)

I hope this has enlightened you for when its time to be buying gifts. Personally I love creating memories over material things and love experiences with my family as much as possible. Zero waste gift giving is so much fun and really show how much you care not just for the individual but for the planet too.


The post Zero Waste Gift Ideas appeared first on Zero Waste Bali.

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