20 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Zero-Waste Enthusiast

holiday gifts zero waste enthusiast

Since the holidays are coming, it is quite natural that you will be thinking about gifting to your near and dear ones. Well if you have already made up your mind for gifts then why not to make it plastic free.

Our nature is in fragile condition. And the continued use of harmful substances is only going to worsen it. So, it would be a great idea to gift commodities and items which are environment-friendly and produce zero waste!

20 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Zero-Waste Enthusiast

It sounds harder than it really is, but yes! You can find plenty of gifts for the zero-waste enthusiast in your life! Let’s discuss 20 coolest and trendiest gift items you can gift for them!

1. Mesh produce bags

These are the best available reusable bags made from a variety of materials like mesh. These bags are durable, washable, and way better than any other bags available in stores. Adding up, these are breathable and can last longer.

2. Silverware utensils

Instead of thinking for plastic cutlery, you can gift a cheaper set of silverware that can be washed off and used over and over again. This also ensures no use of plastic forks, spoons, or knives.

3. Metallic razors

Gifting metallic razors could be a great idea since plastic razors cannot be discarded. So, invest a little more on the metal razor and buy one for your dear ones, as they will last much longer than traditional plastic ones. Just be careful when handling those feather razor blades!

4. Handkerchiefs

Handkerchiefs are one of the easiest and effective ways of encouraging people to reduce waste. The handkerchiefs can be repeatedly used just by washing them. Just make sure you buy plenty for those days when you have a very runny nose! 

5. Organic Cotton Socks

Instead of gifting nylon, spandex, and polyester based clothes, which contain plastic, cotton clothes could be the best gift, as they are hand spun and entirely natural.

Now we get it. Socks aren't exactly the most glamorous gift out there. But cotton socks are very good to wear year round! Also, cotton controls moisture, provides insulation, and is a durable fabric.

6. Stainless Steel Cooking Pans

If you have been using or gifting non-stick cooking pans to people, you should avoid it, and instead gift stainless-steel cooking pans as they are durable, easy to clean and they don’t conduct heat as fast as some other materials. Also, they are safer to deal with.

7. Bamboo Earbuds

Bamboo earbuds are much readily available at cheaper rates and are eco-friendly. PVC should be avoided as these are not degradable and produces harmful smoke and fumes when burnt.

8. Wooden Christmas trees

Plastic Christmas trees these days have become very common. So, gifting trees made of recycled woods can be a good alternative. These trees also, like every other tree look attractive if appropriately decorated. Plastic trees if dumped add to a lot of pollution to the environment. Hence the use of wooden trees can prevent it to some extent. These trees even after Christmas can add to the beauty of the house.

9. Organic Cotton Muslin Bags

America is the biggest consumer of muslin bags. These bags are made with 100% cotton and weaved using substances which are completely non-toxic. These bags are by far the best replacement for plastic bags. 

10. Paper Tape

Decorated and self-designed paper tapes look attractive if used for packaging and wrapping purpose. Since paper is degradable, these tapes can be decomposed very easily.

11. Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries have replaced regular alkaline batteries in almost every aspect. These batteries are very productive as they last for years, and at the same time solves the problem of decomposing in the environment.

12. Bouquets with natural flowers

People are used to plastic and synthetic flowers over natural ones as they are cheap and readily available, but this season gift your dear ones a bouquet with natural flowers, as natural flowers look not only good but also have a pleasant aroma and then avoid the bigger problem of degradation.

13. Cotton tote bags

Tote bags or canvas bags are not only a replacement for plastic bags but also serves a useful purpose because of its larger size which can be used to carry groceries, laptop, yoga mat or any other utensils. These bags are best if gifted to a traveler.

14. Solar Powered Phone Charger

One of the best things you can think to gift is solar powered gadgets, as the source of power is available everywhere. Also, it requires no maintenance and is one of the most user-friendly sources of power which cause zero pollution and harm to the environment. Nearly everyone has a smartphone today. A solar powered phone charger is a great way to save electricity!

15. Sweet Baskets

Cakes and sweets, given as a present (packed in paper boxes) instead of gifting a plastic memento will avoid the promotion of plastics. Further paper packing looks more decorative and attractive which can further be used for other purposes. Otherwise, a basket is another environment-friendly option as well!

16. A Bottle of Wine 

Wine bottles available in stores nowadays come without plastic cork which is an excellent alternative to avoid plastic and hence can be a good idea to gift. Bottles without corks can also be further used for other purposes like decoration and storing fluids. These can be discarded without any harm to the environment.

17. Wooden or Biodegradable Hair Brushes

In the long run, these brushes are handy to the scalp as they prevent irritation for hairs and also contribute to less use of plastics. Wooden brushes look trendier and are easily disposable.

18. Steel Water Bottles

At camping, plastic bottles can be easily replaced with steel bottles. Also, fiber strands rope can also be gifted instead of plastic ones which will not only reduce the use of plastics but also promote cleanliness around the camping area.

19. Wooden Toys

If you have to take a present for kids, wooden toys are a better option in every aspect than plastic ones. Plastic, if taken inside the mouth is very harmful to small kids and can lead to severe health problems. Also, these plastic toys if broken cannot be discarded and will further lead to environmental issues.

20. Glass Decorative Lights

Glass made decorative lights are more attractive and eye-catching than a plastic one. So, we should avoid using or gifting plastic made lights this season, as after use they cannot be recycled for any other purposes whereas glass ones are more environmentally friendly and can be quickly discarded.

Today, the world is struggling with pollution whether it comes from the air, water, or elsewhere. In nearly all cases, plastic plays a role in each of them. This is why the zero-waste enthusiast is so passionate about buying the items he or she uses every day.

With that in mind, let us all pledge for this holiday season to give our level best to avoid plastics or any other non-biodegradable products and gift items which leave no waste behind.

Author: Karen Lamar

Karen is the Chief Content Officer at Organic Cotton Mart. She has a Master's Degree in Environmental Science from NC State with a special focus in Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy. Since her High School days, she has been an Environmentalist and was the President of her High School's Environmental Club for 3 years before starting her freshman year at NC State. She has a deep knowledge and understanding of various environment-friendly movements like zero waste, minimalistic living, recycling, and upcycling.

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