I walked past a Christmas tree last night and got a heck of a fright. Yes, Christmas is just around the corner! Christmas brings with it a whole lot of joy, fun family times, excellent food, and an excuse to boogie with Grandma to cheesy carols in the living room. But for the environment, Christmas is a huge setback. The amount of waste produced over the Christmas period is, to be frank, ridiculous. There’s the excessive food waste, wrapping paper, disposable plastic plates and cutlery, plus the mandatory gifts bought because it’s polite, which will really just end up in the trash. This happens year after year, and it’s only getting worse. One way to offset the environmental damage is sparking thoughts through conscious gift giving. I’ve put together a list of eco gadgets and tools, perfect for gift giving.
Welcome to your Zero Waste Christmas Gift Guide.
Caliwoods make drinking straws for every kind of occasion. Does your friend or family member like a smoothie in the sun, or a cocktail on a Friday? Each straw style is created for different types of liquid and cup shapes. Plus, they come with cleverly designed straw cleaners too; no one likes dried strawberry stuck up their straw. Also, check out Flora and Fauna’s bamboo straws to mix it up.
The perfect stocking stuffer. A utensil set doesn’t have to become a handbag essential for the eco-enthusiast – though that’s a great idea. This little set is just the thing for your camping, hiking, or travel-loving friend. There’s a variety of options at Amazon such as these reusable travel utensil sets by To-Go Ware and Startostar.
You know it, I know it; reusable bags are a hot topic right now. Rejoice! Plastic bags are finally becoming the bad guy. Made with 100% organic cotton canvas, The Tote Project have teamed up with Freeset to create beautiful tote bags handmade by rescued victims of trafficking. If the person you have in mind needs something compactible, head to Baggu for reusable bags that fold into a little pouch.
These were my absolute go-to for presents last year. They went down a treat. Opt for the classic KeepCup which never goes wrong, or branch out with Joco Cups who have designed trendy glass mugs with words and art you can choose from.
Joy to the world, the reusable drink bottle has come, let earth receive it’s king! Reusable drink bottles are slowly becoming a common site and these days, they can’t be boring. If you’re going to carry something around with you 24/7, it’s gotta look good. Grab a Swell Bottle, Klean Kanteen, or Ohyo to keep your friends and family ‘on trend’.
You’ve got to start your eco journey somewhere, and for many, it’s through their toothbrush. Did you know that every plastic toothbrush ever used still exists out there?! I give bamboo toothbrushes away as little add-ons to the main gift, and so far, I have converted about eight people to bamboo toothbrushes. As their popularity rises, more and more stores are popping up. You’ve got a few options: Brush with Bamboo, Bamkiki, and Mable.
Produce and snack bags
Fill them with nuts, dried fruit, or other goodies before you gift them! Produce bags are great for replacing those pesky little plastic bags which make your veggies sweaty in the fridge. You can buy a whole range of sizes from EcoKeeps, ONYA, and Rethink.
A personal favourite of mine that I know your loved ones will love. Beeswax wraps replace Clingfilm/Gladwrap to leave your sandwiches fresh and your salads covered. They just might be the most fun zero-waste gift as you can pick from a range of patterns and sizes at Lily Bee Wrap or Bee’s Wrap. Or, hey, why not make your own!
Tupperware is expensive because it’s an investment. Plus there’s a lifetime guarantee. But even though it may feel dull, gifting food containers can be a great way to encourage people to save and store their food without having to justify the cost. Pick up a lunch set for the school goers, or a storage container pack for the mums at B-Corp certified Preserve Products. Australian owned business, Hello Green, also stock insulated, stainless steel food jars- great for hot food.
The most ‘Instagramable’ gift you’ll ever buy: a coconut bowl. Based in Australia and New Zealand, Coconut Bowls reclaim the shells of coconuts to make bowls for people to eat from. Talk about reducing waste!
Whether you are a zero-waster spreading the word, a planned and cautious gift giver, or someone who races about at the last minute, consider being conscious of your gifts this year. Avoid the crap you usually grab on Christmas eve in the sale bin, and use this guide to think carefully about how your gift will affect the receiver’s lifestyle, and benefit the planet in the process.
Ho-ho-ho, have a merry zero waste Christmas!
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Disclosure: The curated list does not fully take into account all the ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying particular attention to the product supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. This list also includes affiliate links. Click here to read more about our policies.