Easy Zero Waste Gift Ideas

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In many people’s minds, presents and consumerism are the same. You can’t separate one from the other!

Actually, you can. Here are a few ways to do it.


Experiences create memories that last a lifetime. Some experiences, like lessons, are useful for years to come.

  • Dance classes
  • Music lessons
  • Foreign language classes
  • Museum tickets
  • Concert tickets
  • Tickets to the ballet or orchestra
  • Ziplining gift cards
  • Massage gift cards

Charitable Donations

What cause does your loved one care about most? Whatever it is, there are bound to be numerous relevant non-profit organizations. Donate in your loved one’s name.

Research charities before giving. Try CharityNavigator.org to peruse each charity’s financials and see whether donations are being used appropriately.

Turtles and Trees

These gifts are charitable, but they have an added twist: The person you’re donating for can “adopt” and maybe even name something.

Sea Turtle Adoption

The Sea Turtle Conservancy allows each donor to “adopt” and name a sea turtle. The turtle will then be tagged. The STC posts online about beach sightings of adopted turtles.

Tree Adoption

The Orangutan Project will plant a tree in Sumatra and send a certificate of adoption. The trees help reforest the natural habitat of orangutans.

Adopt a Fish

The World Animal Foundation allows you to choose among a variety of sea life when you adopt. Whether you pick sea sponges, sharks, starfish, barnacles, or something else, the WAF sends an adoption certificate and in-depth information about the chosen species.


For a more tangible—and delicious—gift, make something tasty.

  • Cookies
  • Cookie mix or other baking mixes
  • Jarred tomato sauce
  • Jarred salsa
  • Custom spice blends
  • Sourdough starter

Handmade Fashion

Are you crafty? If so, try making the following gifts.

  • Knitted or crocheted mittens, scarves, or sweaters
  • Jewelry
  • Hand-sewn clothing

Handmade Everything

No need to limit it to fashion!

  • Candles
  • Quilts
  • Wall art
  • Lotion

Sentimental Gifts

If you want to make someone’s heart swell, a scrapbook is perfect. Stuff the pages full of memories, both photographic and written.

For a romantic partner, love letters are golden. Choose elegant stationery, use your best handwriting, and tell your partner why you adore them.


Giving a zero-waste present is simple. The ideas here are just a few examples.

Remember that the best no-waste gifts are ones the recipients enjoy and use. If someone doesn’t like scarves, any scarf you give them will be wasteful. If they don’t eat carbs, don’t give them cookies. Always keep the spirit of giving in mind: bringing someone else joy.

Posted in: Eco Environment Tags: featured