15 Zero Waste Gift Ideas at 3 Price Points
I know that other zero wasters suggest experience gifts for zero waste friendly presents. While I totally agree with that advice, sometimes you just need a physical gift to give so I’ve made this list to help ya out.
I’ve broken it down into three different price points (under $15, $15-$30, and over $30). But please know that these are just my guesstimated price points. It varies based on the options you have around you so in some cases, an item on here might be way cheaper than what I listed it as or it might be a little more expensive than I intended it to be.
Zero Waste Gifts Under \$15
Have no fear, there are plenty of great inexpensive kits out there!
I’ve got two easy recipes for scrubs.
The first is a body scrub!
Mix equal parts coffee grounds with an oil of your choice (I love coconut oil for my body). To add in some flair, add a dash of cinnamon and a tablespoon of brown sugar.
Coffee is great as a natural exfoliator as it helps slough away dry, dead skin.
RELATED: How I’ve Saved \$650 from my At-Home Zero Waste Coffee Routine
The second scrub is for your lips!
Mix about a tablespoon of coconut oil, honey, and brown sugar for a tasty yet effective lip scrub. Adjust as needed to get the best consistency for yourself and/or your friend.
To follow up that lip balm, maybe you also want to grab your friend a super luxurious lip balm, because chapped lips are the absolute worst.
Make your vegan lip balm by combining 3 tablespoons of cocoa butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or whatever other oil you love). Add in a few drops of essential oil for adding scent/flavor (I recommend mint or orange oil).
Buy this nourishing lip balm that comes in a compostable container if you aren't feeling up to make your own.
Lush bath bomb
Lush has some great products that are available package free!
If your friend likes to unwind with a bath, buy them a couple of Lush’s bath bombs. Just remember to bring your own container to place them in :)
Who doesn’t love great smelling soap? Buy some from Lush while you’re there picking up your bath bomb or check out local artisans. Push comes to shove, Whole Foods has a bunch of package free soaps!
Locally made Soy candles
If you're in a DIY mood, I highly suggest making candles yourself or with some friends. I did this a while back during a wine and cheese night with some girlfriends and we had a blast (with the help of clean jars we upcycled). Instructions are here :)
However, if you don’t have the energy or just not a DIY kind of person, I suggest checking to see if there are any local candle makers in your area!
It’s great supporting small local business, and candles are of course a zero waste gift.
Just remember to only buy soy candles.
Conventional candles are made from paraffin, which is unsustainably derived from oil versus soy, which is a sustainable resource.
Plus, why would you want to inhale burning oil fumes?
Cookie in a jar
Thanks to my mom for this idea!
Save your glass jars from pasta sauces, peanut butter jars, etc. After you’ve cleaned and dried them, Pre-measure the dry ingredients for different recipes and sort them into your jars.
Slap on a cute label, tie on a bow you’ve saved over the years and gift it away.
Some recipes ideas: cookies, brownies, bean soup
Zero Waste Gifts Between \$15-30
Inbetweener? Love it!
Flowers make me so happy. I love the pop of color they add to any room. That being said, I find it hard to find bouquets not wrapped in plastic.
To sidestep this frustration, I’ve turned to plants! I have a total of 5 plants in my bedroom alone.
They are such an easy gift for anyone, and they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. As a bonus, (if you take good care of them) they are a gift that keeps on giving whereas with flowers, they will die and you will need to compost them.
Insulated Wide Mouth Thermos
I use this wide mouth thermos every single day.
Between carting my coffee from home to work or just keeping my tea warm, this thermos does the trick.
The cap is leakproof (I’ve put it to the test many times, both on purpose and on accident) so your friend will be comfortable throwing it in their bag and going about their day.
And because it's a wide mouth, it's easy to clean out with a compostable brush like this one.
Insulated Water Bottle
If your friend just started to hit the gym again or is someone who just enjoys cold water when out and about, this is definitely the stainless steel insulated water bottle for him/her.
They claim that they test their insulated bottle performance constantly and know that the 20oz will keep drinks hot for 20 hours and iced for 50 hours.
While I can’t speak to the exact numbers, I do know that it will keep drinks cold for a long time, even when its hot outside.
For example, I bring this with me to my 90 minute Bikram Yoga class where the room is heated to 108 degrees Farienheight with 40% humidity. At the end of my session, there will still be ice cubes in it while I can see others’ bottles start to sweat and heat up.
Just be careful to not put the bottle next to anything sharp (like keys) as it might take off some of the paint (I sadly speak from experience).
Bonus: they also offer a bamboo-stainless steel top so your entire bottle is plastic free!
If you know what your friends preferred scent is, try making him/her a personalized perfume present! Companies are not required to disclose what chemicals are used to create their scents. Instead, organizations can just list them all as “Fragrance” or “flavor” leaving consumers guessing that toxic chemical potions they might be ingesting. Help your friend smell and feel good with this present.
Check out this awesome tutorial by another amazing zero waste blogger!
Three-in-One Lunch Box
Your friend pulls out this stainless steel lunchbox at work. All their coworkers gasp and swoon because it's so pretty and efficient. Your friend is the office crush now and you're the hero who bought it for them. Boom. Greatest present ever.
Ok all lame jokes aside, chances are your friend eats lunch. Help them avoid plastic take out boxes and other non eco friendly items with this nifty bento container. It makes it easy to pack a variety of foods and keep them all separate - and safe from squishing!
Big spender you!
I normally try to stay away from Cyber Monday deals as there is nothing I truly need to be spending money on. However, 2017 Cyber Monday was an exception.
I had been using the same sheets for a couple of years and it had started to show. My attempts at extending their life (de-pilling it, lemon and vinegar baths, etc) did help to some degree, but I knew I was going to need to buy a new pair soon.
I also normally advocate for thrift store shopping for all your needs. They seriously have everything, including sheets. But for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to thrift them.
Sheets, underwear, bras, and pillows are the only things I can’t bring myself to thrift.
So this year, thanks to an awesome coworker, I discovered Boll and Branch.
Boll and Branch provide luxurious, fair trade, and sustainable organic cotton sheets and blankets.
Honestly, it has been one of the best investments ever. I feel like a queen every time I slither into my bed after a long day.
Considering I use them every single day, I consider the money spend on it well worth it.
Shampoo and Conditioner
Alright, this one might seem unconventional but trust me, when your friend Plaine Products' shampoos and conditioners, they’ll thank you.
Choose between either rosemary, mint, and vanilla or citrus lavender.
I just finished the former and am trying the citrus lavender and I honestly can’t decide which one I like more.
But more than just the scent, these products are all natural, chemical free, assured to leave your friend's hair silky smooth. In all transparency, I have low maintenance straight hair, so if you have curly hair do some research on these. I think they'd be perfect, but I'm lucky with my straight hair (although it can't hold a curl to save its life).
They put their products in aluminum bottles which are returnable, refillable, reusable, and eliminate the need for single use plastic.
Just FYI: They also have a body wash and a body lotion. I’ve yet to try them but if they are the same quality as their shampoos and conditioners, I know they are fantastic.
Ceramic oil Diffuser Kit
Soy candles not really your person’s thing? Try this adorable handmade ceramic oil diffuser that will surely allow that person’s smell amazing.
The true perk of an oil diffuser is that you can customize the scents whenever you want!
Wrap this bad boy up with a tea light candle and a bottle or two of an essential oil you think that person would like and you’ve got a great gift on your hands.
Stainless Steel Razor
Who doesn’t love a close shave? This stainless steel razor not does a great job of providing a close shave but also has a classic, timeless look that will be sure to appeal to any person you give this gift too.
As a bonus, you’ll end up helping your friend save \$72 a year because the blade replacements are far cheaper than the disposable plastic ones.
RELATED: Easy Zero Waste Swaps
Wrapping it up!
Well that's all I have for you folks! I hope this gave you some ideas for some tangible zero waste gifts you can give! Or if you're like me, make one for your friend and then one for yourself hehe.
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Hi, I'm Taylor
Amateur adult. Zero waste zealot. Personal finance fiend. Spicy food supporter. I’m an mid 20’s gal living in Denver, Colorado. My love of the outdoors has cultivated my zero waste lifestyle, which inadvertently fueled my passion for personal finance. Cheers to everyone interested in lessening their footprint while growing their wallet!