With the holiday season beginning, I offer you this compilation of zero or low waste gifts, hoping that they will help you brainstorm and give with intention this year. In my opinion, gifts should be well thought out, from the heart, and functional. They should bring joy to the receiver (like edible gifts and experience gifts) or serve them for years to come (material gifts). Where applicable, I’ve linked to items that I mention, but of course it’s best to search out items in your local area. Not only will they be more special and personal, you’ll also be supporting your local economy. At the end of the list, I’ve also included some wrapping ideas for less waste that are beautiful and much nicer than brightly colored shiny paper with plastic ribbon.
organic medjool dates (buy a box and portion them out in pretty jars!)
citrus marinated olives
olive oil, maple, and sea salt granola
local loose leaf tea + a stainless steel tea ball
organic coffee + a reusable cotton coffee filter
organic, biodynamic and/or local wine
beautiful handmade chocolate
a nice olive oil and vinegar
membership to a local museum, co-op, botanical garden, aquarium, state park pass
tickets to a ballet, play, opera, concert
classes: ceramics, art, language, dance
gift card to a lovely restaurant
subscription to Headspace (an amazing meditation app)
for people who love books:
Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking : a gorgeous cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi
At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen : one of my all time favorites, lovely whole food recipes.
A Modern Way to Cook: 150+ Vegetarian Recipes for quick, flavor packed meals : a lovely cookbook with TONS of flavorful and quick recipes
Milk and Honey (an empowering feminist collection of poetry)
The Year of Magical Thinking (love Joan Didion. This is especially lovely for someone who has recently experienced the death of someone close)
Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life (a quick read and very inspiring)
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (by Neil deGrasse Tyson and amazing)
beautiful vintage books- you can usually find these cheaply at a thrift store or second hand bookstore
for someone who loves food:
a sharp lovely knife
handmade ceramics- especially if there’s a local potter!
beautiful walnut wooden spoons
reusable silicone baking mat
cast iron skillet: these are an easy find at thrift stores! Just give it a good clean + oil
for people who love to stay active:
sustainable body roller for sore muscles and recovery
pass or punch card to a local yoga or pilates studio
raw, sprouted vegan protein powder in a glass jar
online membership to Ali Kamenova online yoga videos
for beauty lovers:
non toxic, pretty highlighter in glass
spa/sauna/facial/non toxic hair salon gift certificate
set of therapeutic grade essential oils
masculine sorts of things:
vintage silk tie + tie clips/pins
gorgeous pocket knife (engravable, too, if thats your thing!)
minty lip balm in a paper tube
zero waste stuff:
stainless steel chopsticks+ pretty cloth napkins
set of mason jars/weck jars/le parfait jars
for the plant lover:
indoor plants from a local nursery like Fiddle Leaf Fig, Rubber Tree, ZZ plant, spider plant, fern, Monstera, succulents
a lovely pot or stand (thrift stores have tons of cool ones)
pass/gift card to a local museum, bookstore, aquarium, ice cream shop, rock climbing, whale watching, movie theater, pizzeria.
coloring book + a nice set of colored pencils
puzzles + board games
beautiful hair ribbons- you can purchase these at a fabric store by the yard, magnifying glass.
My kids especially love “treasures”: crystals, shells, smooth or interesting rocks, sea glass, acorns, dried flowers + a lovely wooden or metal box/tin to keep them in.
how to wrap with love and care for both the recipient and the earth:
Reuse what you already have: newspaper, brown packing paper, a paper grocery bag are all great. You can also buy a roll of brown paper/butcher paper to use for wrapping gifts. Wrapping in cloth, furoshiki style (tutorial here) is lovely as well because its beautiful and adds a bonus gift- the cloth! For tying up your gift, pick up natural string: cotton, hemp, jute, or kitchen twine. These are easy to find, especially at hardware stores or in the cooking section of stores. If you can’t find that, go with a pretty ribbon. You can buy this at a craft store and it can be reused. For decoration, go with natural adornments that can be used or composted: flowers, rosemary, sprigs from your fir tree or christmas tree, thyme, fresh bay leaves. If you are gifting something edible, try using glass jars or metal tins from the thrift store, lined with parchment paper if necessary. Write and create your own cards if you have time- they’re much more beautiful and I always appreciate them more than something generic. Or, pick up a handmade one on Etsy or from a local artist.
I hope this list is helpful to you, and I hope it inspires you to gift lovely things with a circular economy in mind instead of a disposable, or linear economy. I’d love to see photos of your waste free gifts this season! Tag me on Instagram to share! @mamaeatsplants xx