A person standing on a balcony and tending to their houseplants.

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We wish you a sustainable holiday and a reusable new year.

Key points

  • A great gift is usable all year long. Swap short-lived flowers for a potted plant, disposables for reusables, or a CD they’ll scratch in a week for a year of digital downloads.
  • Memories are made of experiences, not stuff. Give the gift of a great adventure or a donation to their favorite cause.
  • Yummy food never goes to waste. Just be mindful of the packaging.

After years of being inundated with single-use items and disposable everything, many folks are looking for ways to cut the waste materials in their own lives. Not only are zero-waste gifts better for the planet — they’re better for your finances , too. For every single-use item you throw away, another must be bought.

If your loved ones are eco-minded (or you are plus you’d like to spread the love), consider picking holiday presents that keep the plastic and product packaging to the minimum. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Potted plants

A living plant in a pretty pot (ceramic, not plastic! ) makes a wonderful present, and the options are endless. If you want something festive, you can go traditional with a poinsettia plant. They’re inexpensive at most garden centers, and with the little care, poinsettias can easily be kept year-round (the red foliage will come back each winter).

For the eminently practical friend, use container-friendly herbs or other edible plants. You can buy them at the garden center or even from most big-box stores and supermarkets. Or, if your gift recipient likes a little DIY in their particular life, skip the grown plants entirely and include easy-to-grow herb seeds like basil or mint.

2. Baked goods

If your loved ones are usually anything like mine, baked goods are definitely a zero-waste gift — there won’t be so much as a crumb going to waste! To keep your own waste materials to the minimum, bake all at once, preferably on a cool day so the heat of your oven is a welcome addition. And you can pack your own delicious gifts in containers that can easily be easily recycled and / or are reusable.

3. Memberships / subscriptions

Pretty much every thing requires a membership or a subscription these days, so why not really give the gift of not having to deal with that nonsense? Many places will let you present a subscription to their service or even provide a digital e-gift card (skip the particular plastic gift cards if you can).

Stick to memberships to places they like in order to go — the aquarium is always fun! — or digital subscriptions for media they enjoy. Avoid anything “… associated with the Month” that will generate excess packaging or even products that may not get used.

4. An experience or adventure

An excellent experience is worth 1, 000 candles that somehow smelled way better in the store. Maybe it’s dinner at their favorite restaurant or an afternoon of rock climbing. Bonus points if it’s some thing you can do together to create memories that will last long after that ugly sweater has lost its last googly eye.

5. Reusable household essentials

So many of the things we use each day are actually single-use or disposable — but these people don’t have to become. You can find functional, practical, plus downright enjoyable versions associated with many everyday products that are also very easily reusable. Here are just a few popular ideas:

  • Reusable straws (metal work best, bamboo are great for water)
  • Reusable cotton pads and makeup wipes
  • Stainless steel or glass water bottles
  • Reusable produce and grocery bags
  • Beeswax food wraps

6. A donation to a worthy cause

There are countless organizations working hard to help improve our lives plus our planet, any of which would make a great vacation gift. You can donate on your loved one’s behalf, and most organizations will offer some sort of certificate you can print to show a person donated in their name. (Want bonus factors? Print the particular certificate on recycled paper, or proceed all out and pick up several plantable seed paper! )

Don’t forget that most cash donations are tax-deductible . Alternatively, dip into your credit cards rewards in order to donate without denting your holiday budget.

7. Buy-It-For-Life upgrades

Some things within life are going to need replacing no matter what. But in some cases, investing in a high-quality product in the outset can give you decades of reliability. In case your adored one has something they use regularly that could use the decent upgrade, do a little research into the best buy-it-for-life brands which will stand the test of time. Or even, if they already have the item, look for a high-quality maintenance kit so they will can keep it in top shape for years to come.

In case they won’t use it, don’t buy it

All of us are prone to viewing gifts with regard to loved ones in our own filters. But no issue how a lot we love something, there’s no guarantee that our friends and family will love it, as well. The least zero-waste gift is one that is never used. Before you blow your own holiday spending budget , make sure you’re buying the gift they actually make use of — not really the one you think these people should use.

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By Ellie

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