8 zero waste gift ideas
It's brilliant to see so many of us aiming to celebrate birthdays, festive celebrations and other occasions in a way that treads more lightly on the planet.
The impact of our sustainable celebrations all add up; by thinking carefully about what we eat, the gifts we buy one another, and the way we wrap them, we can begin to make a real difference.
To help you on your journey to a less wasteful, and more sustainable way of celebrating and gift-giving, we've teamed up with zero-waste expert Kate Arnell, for some innovative minimal-waste gift ideas.
1. Be conscious about your choice of cards and wrapping paper
A shocking one billion cards are thrown away after Christmas in the UK alone. So if you're sending cards at any point this year, always make sure they’re made from 100% recycled content, or opt for cards that carry the FSC symbol. This ensures that you are purchasing paper and card from responsibly sourced forests.
Another top tip: Opt for cards that don't feature glitter, foil or sticky foam bits, as this makes them less recyclable, and glitter can be a major source of micro-plastic pollution. Sending electronic cards is a great low waste alternative, especially if you can't deliver in person this year.
2. Gift a course or experience
Booking someone a memorable learning experience for a date in the not-too-distant future is a wonderful and touching way to move away from more materialistic gifts.
For the foodies and green-fingered growers in your life, why not explore options for gardening, cooking or foraging courses?
3. Refills and reusables
Independent shops around Britain are now offering more zero-waste options than ever, from wines and olive oils, to loose-leaf teas and even bath salts!
Fill up a lovely jar, bottle or container for a friend as a gift and they can keep refilling it long after it's been emptied! Find your closest indie store to get started.
Sometimes functional presents are the most valued - why not make your own starter kit to encourage loved ones to take their first steps towards a more zero-waste lifestyle? Start simple with a reusable coffee cup, water bottle or beeswax wrap, which all make lovely gifts.
Toiletries are always a winner too - you could reuse a basket or box and fill it with a solid shampoo bar or naked body balm. Bamboo toothbrushes make an easy stocking filler too when you are thinking about Christmas!
4. Gift an organic veg box
Signing up a friend for a veg box subscription is an amazing way to introduce them to the organic movement. They'll be receiving fresh, local, and mostly loose veg to their door each week, grown in a way that works with nature and is better for the planet.
Most delivery services offer flexible choices so you can pick an offer that suits your budget too - find your local box delivery options.
Take a pledge for our planet today
Will you make your next gift to a friend a zero-waste one? Take a pledge for our planet today and together, we can start to build a sustainable futuretake the pledge
5. Give the gift of a donation
Gifts don't always have to be material. By gifting a donation to the Soil Association, you'll be supporting a charity that helps farmers discover nature-friendly solutions, puts more good food on the table in schools and hospitals, and makes the case for sustainable farming to our Government.
What's more, you'll be helping to protect our wildlife, the environment and human health for future generations!
6. Baking and making
Homemade gifts are incredibly thoughtful, and DIY beauty products such as body butters and coffee scrubs can make really lovely knick-knacks. See all of our homemade organic beauty recipes here.
With so many of us learning new skills this year, why not put your new-found cooking and creating talents to the test, and whip up a homemade treat for your loved ones? Try making a homemade sourdough loaf, or explore all of our sweet and savoury organic recipes to get inspired.
7. Buy second hand
Look to local charity shops or independent boutiques for one-of-a-kind gifts. Items such as books, clothes, toys or electronic equipment like a digital camera make for great keepsakes.
Top tip! Remember to choose products designed to be repaired instead of replaced. When purchasing presents always ask for plastic free packaging. The more of us who ask, the more likely we are to create change together.
8. Get someone growing
Been inspired to start gardening or growing your own food over the past year? We've learnt that anyone can grow, in almost any space - from windowsills and balconies, to allotments and gardens. Why not gift a seedling or a cutting from a favourite plant this year? Share your advice with them for looking after it and you might just have a zero-waste gift that will go on giving for years!
Join our online community
If you've enjoyed learning about how to become a more sustainable gift-giver, register for our regular newsletter to be first to hear more top tips, as well as opportunities to get involved in our campaigning work.sign up