It’s never a bad time to start considering buying your gifts for family and friends. Whether you like to get a head start on your gifting or you’re visiting for the holiday season, you’ll love these low-waste products brought to you by a selection of small businesses.
If you haven’t already trudged down the aisles of a crowded department store, I’ve got a complete low-waste gift guide to help you find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list!
If you’re new to being low waste like me, you’re bound to make mistakes or exceptions while transitioning your lifestyle. For some, it’s easy to believe that by not being a “perfect” zero-waster you spoil the rest of your good habits. Don’t downplay the long-term effect of making small changes to your habits like integrating your values into your gift-giving.
I want to thank all the business owners that collaborated with me on making this post by sending me products to try. Though it may be daunting to find sustainable gifts for everyone, there are plenty of options to choose from, so get to browsing for one that grabs your attention!
Looking for a gift suitable for your mother (or in-law) can be tricky.
They do a lot, so your gifts can’t underestimate all that hard work! But shopping for them doesn’t have to be so difficult. There are plenty of lotions, spa kits, and other self-care goodies available with all-natural ingredients and zero-waste packaging!
Here are just a few of the options to consider while shopping for mom this year:
- Goat milk soaps
- Lotion bars/salves
- Essential oils
- Body scrubs
- Spa kits
- Natural loofahs
- Jewelry (recycled materials)
- Upcycled clothing/shoes
- Bamboo bowls
- Cutlery sets/bamboo straws
Personally, I love the idea of giving someone else a head start in their low-waste journey while giving them a meaningful gift at the same time! Consumable gifts, or a gift that you can use up, are great for people who you aren’t sure what to get. They’re also a good option for people who prefer practical gifts.
Try pairing a few items together for a spa basket of sorts, or create a themed gift set to make your gift shopping easier to narrow down.
While I have never had a hard time finding a good gift from the hardware store, some dads can be pretty difficult to shop for. It would be even harder to try and find a zero-waste gift, especially in that kind of retail environment.
If you’re looking for something more along the lines of hardware, try your local antique shops for something nice to add to Dad’s Workshop. Pair it with some muscle rub for those long hours in the shed or workshop and you’re set!
- Muscle rub
- Natural shave soap
- Straight razor (or all-metal alternative)
- Hand creams/unscented lotions
- Beard cream/soap
- Secondhand toolkits (toolboxes work well)
- Leather travel bags
- Leather wallet
- Secondhand watches
Don’t be afraid to gift something just because it’s secondhand!
The majority of what we buy today will end up in the garbage a year from now, so to gift something that has already proved its worth is nothing to be ashamed of!
In fact, more people are willing to receive secondhand gifts than they are willing to gift them, simply because of fear that the gift won’t be accepted. Help beat the stigma that secondhand gifts mean any less than brand-new ones by gifting some this holiday season!
For gifts like clothing, jewelry, or other accessories, washing is courteous and recommended before gifting. Items from your own home may be different, but regardless, it doesn’t take much time to make it look or feel brand new again!
Cosmetics and body care products should typically be avoided as secondhand gifts, though there are plenty of small businesses that offer zero-waste makeup, body and hair care lines, or bath sets to make the gift even more personalized!
For your siblings
Even though they drive us crazy, siblings deserve presents too!
For those who are a little tricky to shop for, check out the lists below for low-waste gift ideas they’ll enjoy for months to come!
- Hair/face masks
- Bath sets/spa kits
- Recycled cork yoga mat
- Secondhand clothing/jewelry
- Zero-waste makeup/nail polish
- Bamboo straws/cutlery set
Mix and match any of these ideas with the self-care gift ideas from the previous lists!
- Secondhand games
- Wooden sunglasses
- All-natural beard balm
- Recycled beer candle
- Leather wallets/passport holders
- Leather headphone case
For the kids
Kids can be picky and hard to shop for, but there are plenty of options for getting toys, books, and even clothing without producing so much waste or consuming more than we need.
Donation centers with discounted secondhand items are a godsend when it comes to children’s toys. I stick to hard plastic toys or clothing when I’m at these shops for ease of cleaning. In general, it is a good rule of thumb to avoid items that cannot easily be sanitized or have areas that cannot be accessed such as rubber bath toys with an air hole. These areas can easily trap bacteria and create a health hazard.
Books are another practical gift that can last through the ages. Children are often the most expensive people to buy gifts for, but they don’t have to empty your wallet! Find children’s books at secondhand shops or at a free book exchange near you.
Save a few bucks this year and teach the young ones in your family about regifting, passing down, and reusing to reduce waste. For those of you who still have a few stuffed animals laying around, giving one with sentimental value can mean a lot to the child.
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