Let’s be honest, gift giving is tough. Everywhere you turn, there's shiny tech toys and newly released catalog items begging to be purchased. With so many options on the market, you may be tempted to just slip your family members a greeting card stuffed with cash. But you don't have to buy the latest gadget for your loved one just to ensure that they feel special. Instead, give them a high-quality zero waste gift that they'll treasure and use on a daily basis.
Zero waste presents are made from environmentally friendly materials that won’t end up in the trash. If their original life cycle does come to an end, these products are biodegradable, compostable, recyclable or repurposed for another use. So, hold off on sending that envelope of birthday cash to your favorite niece. Instead, spend a few minutes going through this list to find her a gift that will really make her feel special this year.
Use the following links to dive right into the zero waste gift ideas that you’d like to see.
Whether you are looking for zero waste kitchen products or other eco-friendly gifts, we’ve got you covered! Keep reading to see the top 5 waste-free presents that we recommend.
The best zero waste gifts: our top 5 recommendations
If you need zero waste gifts that will really wow your friend or family member, we’ve outlined the top 5 eco-friendly presents that are sure to impress. We’ve even included links to the best gifts so that you don’t have to waste another moment worrying about what to give to your co-worker’s daughter for her 5th birthday.
- Best zero waste gift for tech-lovers: Pela Case
- Best zero waste kitchen gift: Lomi
- Best zero waste gift for moms: Ettitude Bamboo Robe
- Best zero waste gift for dads: Classic Crew Supima Cotton T-shirt
- Best zero waste gift for kids: Beeswax Candle Making Kit
30 zero waste gift ideas for everyone on your list
We've compiled a list of the top 30 zero waste gifts so that you can easily pick out a custom present for your favorite person. Whether it's zero waste Christmas gifts for all of your family members or an earth friendly product to give to your vegan coworker, you'll find it all here. Keep reading to find a gift that matches every personality on your list.
1. Pela Case
We’ll take a wild guess and say that almost every adult you know owns a phone. There's also a good chance that they own a phone case. Because phone cases are constantly in demand, billions of plastic phone covers are created every year-many of which will end up in landfills. The solution? A plastic-free and compostable mobile case.
Pela Case creates zero waste, compostable phone cases made from flax shive and a plant-based biopolymer. Once you’re ready for a new case, all you have to do is add their old case to their compost pile or Lomi kitchen composter. Over time, the case will break down into natural dirt. Sure, we know it’s a cliche, but Pela Case is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Great for: Tech-lovers who need a durable and stylish phone case for their device.
Why they’ll love it: Pela phone cases are soft to touch, extremely durable and showcase vibrant designs that will please any mobile phone user’s style preferences. Plus, Pela is a certified b corp.
2. Zero waste kit
Going waste free is a tough mission for anyone to accomplish overnight. For eco-curious folks who need a little more time to make the switch, GreenUp offers plastic-free starter kits. This zero waste kit contains household goods and body care products that are shipped out in four separate boxes over the course of 12 months.
Great for: Anyone interested in going plastic-free or minimizing their consumption of single use plastics. It’s also a great gift for vegans since you can select a bee-free, animal-free box for these friends.
Why they’ll love it: GreenUp curates each of their waste free kits around seasonal themes. Some of their most popular zero waste starter kits are themed around spring-cleaning, summer days, and winter self care.
3. Beeswax food wraps
These eco-friendly food wraps are made from organic cotton and a generous layer of beeswax. Abeego's beeswax food wraps are a wonderful gift for grandparents since they keep food portions fresher than standard plastic wrap. These beeswax wraps are strong and flexible, making them easy to wrap around a leftover sandwich.
Great for: Epicureans on their zero waste journey.
Why they’ll love it: Beeswax wraps can last up to a year with proper care and washing. Once they're ready to be tossed, these wraps go straight into the compost pile, along with food waste, coffee grounds and Pela phone cases.
If you know anyone who loves to cook, you know someone who needs a Lomi. This electric kitchen composter perches on top of countertops and works quietly in the background to break down food scraps into microbial-rich soil in less than a day.
What does this mean for at home chefs? No more stinky trash bags and no overflowing compost bin to attract fruit flies. Because of Lomi’s petite size, it’s the perfect zero waste companion for cooks who need to toss out food scraps as they maneuver between cutting boards and stove tops.
Great for: Chefs and gardeners.
Why they’ll love it: Everyday food scraps are broken down into nutrient rich soil in less than four hours. Lomi dirt can be used to fertilize your house plants or can be added to your garden soil.
5. Sateen robe
Every mother deserves to wrap herself up in a luxurious and silky bathrobe. That's why Ettitude’s sateen bathrobe is one of the top zero waste gifts for moms. This everyday garment is made from sustainable materials and features a relaxed and airy fit. Perfect for anyone living in hot or cool climates.
Great for: Hard-working moms and even dads who appreciate zero waste textiles.
Why they’ll love it: 100% sustainable bamboo lyocell means this robe feels buttery smooth against the skin. In addition to its silky texture, this sateen robe is incredibly lightweight and cool during the hot summer months.
Check out the top 24 eco-friendly phone cases here
6. Beeswax candle making kit
If you need a quick birthday gift for creative kids, give them a beeswax candle making kit. It's a simple craft that any creative child can accomplish within a couple of hours. This zero waste DIY kit includes 10 sheets of beeswax honeycomb and 6 yards of cotton wick. The sheets are made with 100% pure beeswax and they're easy to cut and shape.
Great for: These zero waste kits make a great gift for kids and anyone who considers themselves even a little bit crafty.
Why they’ll love it: Once lit, their beautiful candle creations will burn clean air. Beeswax candles are non-toxic and can even help purify the air in your home.
7. Eco Tugger dog toy
The dog owners in your life will appreciate this non-toxic hemp toy that is both biodegradable and eco-friendly. Pups can chew away to their heart’s content without ingesting harmful chemicals and dyes.
Great for: These hemp chew toys are great zero waste gifts for dogs. For the feline lovers out there, the brand also features a line of adorable hemp cat toys.
Why they’ll love it: This tug-of-war rope is made with natural materials and is antimicrobial. You’ll especially grow to love this feature the next time your canine proudly presents their slobbery chew toy at your feet.
8. Moon Milk cleanser
Are you looking for a gift that will bring out your friends' natural beauty? Fat and the Moon is one of our favorite go-to brands for zero waste skin care gifts. We especially love their Moon Milk cleanser for its ability to soothe and nourish skin. Their secret? Hyaluronic Acid and Coconut Cream. Moon Milk is also thoughtfully packaged in glass bottles.
Great for: Favorite girlfriends who enjoy a little pampering.
Why they’ll love it: Less is more with Moon Milk. All it takes is a couple pumps of this hydrating cream to nourish the skin. Because it's a pure product, all skin types benefit from this zero waste face wash.
9. Classic crew supima cotton t-shirt
Is there a man in your life that you struggle to buy gifts for? Keep it simple and give him a plain white tee to wear with anything in his wardrobe. There's nothing plain about this t-shirt though. Supima Cotton t-shirts are made from pesticide-free and sustainably sourced cotton. This lightweight cotton is also free of plastics, microplastics and azo dyes.
Great for: A special man or dad in your life.
Why they’ll love it: It's sourced from sustainable Supima cotton and is made without the use of plastics or microplastics. The fabric is so soft to touch, you may be tempted to purchase one of these zero waste gifts for yourself.
10. Carpenters play workbench
Children will enjoy hours of play time with a wooden carpenter's workbench. This play bench is made with Forest Stewardship Council certified wood and sustainable dyes. Plus, feel good knowing that a tree is planted for every purchase you make of these zero waste play benches.
Great for: Young kids who enjoy building things.
Why they’ll love it: This lifesize carpenter toy is made with non-toxic wooden “tools” which include a hammer, saw, wrench and bolts.
11. Golden Mango recycled hammock
The Golden Mango Hammock comes in vibrant yellow and is made using post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Nakie created this hammock with straps so that any backpacker can easily tie it up between two trees. Plus, the company plants 4 trees for every hammock purchased.
Great for: Backpackers, campers and dads who deserve a break every now and then.
Why they’ll love it: They'll never have to feel guilty about a quick afternoon nap in this hammock.
12. OmiWoods fair-trade gold bracelet
If you’re looking for a zero waste present for a very special woman, OmiWoods crafts luxury bracelets, earrings and necklaces using fair trade gold. Each piece of jewelry has a rich design that pays tribute to its African roots. Order ahead of time since these zero waste bracelets take 3-5 weeks to make and ship.
Great for: A special woman or man in your life who appreciates gold jewelry.
Why they’ll love it: The bracelets are made from fair trade certified African gold and conflict-free fine metals. All of OmiWoods jewelry pieces are ethically sourced and constructed by hand.
13. Cardboard laptop stand
Looking for zero waste Christmas gifts for coworkers? A cardboard laptop stand makes for a great holiday gift with unique flair. If you're wondering if cardboard can actually hold up a laptop for an extended period of time- it definitely can. Chairigami’s website features other cardboard items such as standing desks, lounge chairs, even bed frames.
Great for: Coworkers or anyone who works from home.
Why they’ll love it: This ergonomic laptop stand is made from 100% recyclable and Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified cardboard.
14. Form Plant-based protein powder
Vegan protein powder is a practical gift for all of your health-conscious friends and family members who enjoy working out. Form Nutrition makes some of the best vegan, gluten-free, GMO-free and soy-free protein powder. Better yet, their packaging is 100% plastic free.
Great for: It's a great zero waste product for athletic friends who may also have food intolerances.
Why they’ll love it: Friends or family members with dietary restrictions can use this protein powder as a supplement in their shakes, smoothies, or baked goods.
15. Face + body SPF 30 natural sunscreen
Sunscreen is no longer just for beach go-ers. Daily sunscreen application helps to protect skin from early signs of aging and sun spots. That’s why beach pals and city slickers alike can appreciate this zero waste sunscreen. It's plastic free, biodegradable, reef safe and contained within a cute recyclable tin.
Great for: Beach buddies and daily commuters.
Why they’ll love it: This eco-friendly sunscreen boasts a broad spectrum of 30 SPF and 80 minutes water resistance.
16. NARM annual museum membership
An annual museum membership is a unique gift for curious-minded friends or family members who enjoy exploring cultural landmarks across the country. Use the North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) Association to give your grandparents a membership to their favorite in-town museum AND free-access to dozens of other museums across North America.
Great for: This is an incredible gift for your favorite art or history buff.
Why they’ll love it: For anyone who prefers quality time over possessions. This gift certificate works for multiple art, science, or history museums and is the perfect zero waste gift to foster curiosity.
17. Bamboo toothbrush
A bamboo toothbrush is the perfect addition to any zero waste starter kit. These biodegradable and eco-friendly brushes make great gifts for college students and travellers who could always use an extra toothbrush.
Great for: College students and globetrotters.
Why they’ll love it: Natural bamboo is waterproof and smooth to the touch. This sustainable gift is a cheap but practical way for anyone to reduce the amount of plastic they use while on their zero waste journey.
18. Sling backpack
You may be surprised to learn that this lightweight and water resistant sling bag is made from recycled PET water bottles. The bags come in a range of color patterns so you can choose a design that matches any teenager's personal style sense. This sling pack also makes it easy to carry books and phones while staying on the move.
Great for: Young girls and Teenagers
Why they’ll love it: Sling backpacks are made from zero waste recycled materials which gives them the added benefit of being water repellent.
19. Bamboo travel utensils
To-Go Ware bamboo travel utensils are a great addition to any care package for bbq lovers and picnic goers. This practical gift includes a bamboo fork, spoon, knife, and chopsticks. It even comes in its own zero waste carrying case made out of recycled bottles.
Great for: People who love to grill or picnic outside.
Why they’ll love it: All of these bamboo cutlery pieces can be composted, helping to reduce the average waste created by common plastic utensils.
20. Reusable coffee cup
If you know someone who enjoys stopping in at a cafe for their daily coffee fix, give them a cup they can bring with them on the go. A reusable coffee mug is a wonderful and practical gift since so many people enjoy drinking barista-quality coffee on a regular basis. The cup itself is made from eco-friendly materials, featuring glass and recycled cork.
Great for: Reusable coffee cups make great zero waste gifts for daily espresso and tea drinkers.
Why they’ll love it: This coffee cup is thoughtfully designed to fit inside a vehicle’s cup holder. It'll also help to reduce the heavy environmental impact created by single use coffee cups.
21. Wine bag & cooler
The classiest "wine-in-a-paper-bag" you'll ever see. Uashmama’s portable wine and beverage coolers are made from AGGO® Basic Paper that is stretched and tanned to look just like natural leather. Plus, the paper is made from cultivated fibers that don't contribute to deforestation.
Who this is great for: Summer birthdays and wine drinkers.
Why they’ll love it: It's not just for wine! This cooler bag is a great zero waste present for anyone who enjoys having a fresh juice, soda, kombucha, or coconut water nearby.
22. Sea & Grass coconut milk candle
This sea & grass wrapped soy candle is the perfect gift for any party host because of its 2-in-1 design. While the candle burns, your loved one will experience the sweet scent of tropical coconut milk flooding their home. Once the soy candle has burned through, its bohemian styled holder can be repurposed as a cocktail glass for the next garden party.
Great for: These candles are great zero waste gifts for party hosts.
Why they’ll love it: They'll love reusing this candle holder for their party drinks because of its ideal cocktail glass shape.
23. EcoCoconut scrub pads
With EcoCoconut scrub pads, you can create an effective zero waste cleaning care package for college students and new homeowners. These scrub pads are made with natural coconut coir and natural rubber latexa. Unlike other plastic-based sponges, these scrub pads are biodegradable and work as a powerful sustainable cleaning tool in the kitchen.
Great for: A housewarming gift or for college grads.
Why they’ll love it: They'll love that it's a non-toxic scrub that can remove tough kitchen stains without scratching surfaces.
24. Sky hanging planter
These adorable planters hang from the ceiling and are made from recycled plastics. Vines and herbs grow completely suspended in the air with the aid of fine mesh and a slow-release, custom water reservoir. Your favorite cook will love decorating their culinary space with these zero waste hanging planters.
Great for: At home chefs who love fresh herbs.
Why they’ll love it: Sky hanging planters can be used to grow vines, tomatoes, fresh basil and more. The sky's the limit!
25. Shampoo & conditioner bars
HiBar's zero waste shampoo and conditioner bars are vegan and safe for color treated hair. Shipped in recyclable and compostable packaging, these moisturizing bars last twice as long as a 12 oz bottle of shampoo or condition. We also hear they're a great zero waste present for thick or curly hair types.
Great for: These bars are a sustainable gift for conscious consumers who want to cut out harsh chemicals from their shower routine.
Why they’ll love it: These shampoo and conditioner bars are both completely practical and gorgeous to look at. No matter who you decide to give HiBar's moisturizing hair bars to, they are sure to appreciate their rugged and curvy stone shapes.
26. Astoria wool house slippers
Looking for the perfect father's day present? Meet Astoria's wool house slippers. Your dad will love strolling through the house in these comfy handmade Merino wool slippers. With suede outsoles and a padded mid-sole cushion, you may never see his bare feet again.
Great for: Perfect for a father's day present to show dad you care.
Why they’ll love it: Breathable and moisture-wicking house slippers made from responsibly sourced, New Zealand Merino wool. Fair-trade, toxic-free and biodegradable.
27. Cotton coffee filters
If you have a friend who enjoys making their own coffee at home, cotton coffee filters will bring any home brewing set up to the next level. They cut out daily use of paper filters, making it a more sustainable choice for the environment. Plus, cotton filters create a cleaner tasting cup of coffee. A win win for your friend and for the planet.
Great for: Home coffee brewers committed to a sustainable lifestyle.
Why they’ll love it: They can be used over and over again as long as you wash them thoroughly after each use.
28. Multi-purpose kitchen spray concentrate
Coming up with zero waste stocking stuffer ideas is a breeze when you have brands like Ethique. Their multi-purpose kitchen cleaner smells like sweet oranges and is absolutely paraben free. It comes as a concentrate but quickly dissolves into water to create a streak-free kitchen spray.
Great for: People who love to clean and tidy up.
Why they’ll love it: They'll love knowing that this deep surface cleaner is vegan and palm oil free.
29. Xbox Game Pass
Not all zero waste gifts have to be bundled up in wrapping paper. A monthly subscription to Xbox's Game Pass gives gamers unlimited access to hundreds of PC or console games. Sometimes, a waste free present can be as simple as a download.
Great for: This is a great gift idea for teenagers and gamers.
Why they’ll love it: Great for hard-to-shop-for teenager who enjoys spending his or her free time curled up with a good game.
30. Dropps dishwasher detergent
Zero waste gifts don't have to cost hundreds of dollars, they can be as simple as a box of dishwasher tablets. Anyone who wants to reduce their plastic consumption will thank you for introducing them to these mineral-based and chlorine-free capsules.
Great for: People looking to limit their plastic waste use.
Why they’ll love it: They'll love how clean their dishes are after one use of these capsules. They come in compostable packaging and are delivered with 100% carbon neutral shipping.
Now that you’ve explored the top 30 zero waste gifts, consider what will be best for your friend or family member. The perfect present will be the one that suits their specific needs or personality type.
If they prefer quality time over physical gifts, a museum pass might be the most sustainable gift idea for them. If they appreciate physical gifts, a compostable Pela Case is sure to please almost anyone on your list. Bookmark this list to use as a quick reference for all your future zero waste gifts.
Written by: Anna Buck