The 26 Best Zero Waste Gifts of 2023

Reduce waste and spread joy with these sustainable gifts.

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Best zero waste gift guide include beeswax crayons and fabric scrap shirt

Treehugger / Lecia Landis

Zero waste living has been gaining steam year-over-year as consumers take getting rid of waste—and plastic waste specifically—personally. It can seem overwhelming to go zero waste if you are used to taking a plastic bag full of garbage out once (or more!) a week. But as any and every zero waste guide will tell you, if you really want to reduce your waste footprint, it’s a one-step-at-a-time process. 

Making your gift-giving a zero waste endeavor this holiday season is a great place to start—specifically because this is precisely when more trash is produced than any other time of year. Finding, making, and buying zero waste gifts is also a great way to start learning the ins and outs of how to produce less trash, and be turned onto products and ideas that can be solutions to single use and disposable stuff.

Below, we've rounded up some of the best zero waste gift ideas, which are either made using zero waste techniques or can help our loved ones reduce single-use waste with style.

Låga Fire Supply Co. Fire Gems: Zero-Waste Fire Starters

5
LÃ¥ga Fire Supply Co. Fire Gems

Etsy

For anyone who loves to host friends around the fire pit or light a cozy log in the fireplace, this gift is a beautiful and unique option. Instead of harsh lighter fluid, each fire starter adds a wonderful aroma thanks to natural beeswax blended with botanicals and herbs. They're handcrafted by an Etsy maker in Philadelphia, using bio glitter and home grown plants. Several different color options are available.

Price at time of publication: $12

Axiology Of The Earth Balmies Trio

5
Axiology Balmies Tio

 Courtesy of Axiology

Conventional makeup is often drowning in excess plastic packaging, and it can be hard to find less wasteful alternatives. That's why we love Axiology's Balmies, which come in minimalist paper wrappers and boxes that can easily be recycled. The ingredients are equally sustainable, made from a vegan blend of that includes organic oils, sunflower seed wax, elderberry extract, and plant-derived vitamin E. Use them on your lips, cheeks, or eyelids.

Price at time of publication: $38

Abeego Variety 3 Pack

4.2
abeego beeswax food wrap

Package Free

This is one of those things a busy home cook might hesitate in buying for themselves, so it makes a great gift. These beeswax food wraps will help them cut down on the plastic they use—especially non-recyclable cling wrap (AKA plastic wrap). It’s useful for storing food in bowls, wrapping cut produce, and even storing cheese. It’s made with simple beeswax-coated fabric, so when they are done with it, it can be composted although the last for many years and can be washed with cool water.

Price at time of publication: $18

For Days Everyday Stripe Tee

For Days Everyday Stripe Tee

For Days

A cool striped shirt is a great addition to anyone's wardrobe, and this one is made from 100% recycled fibers. It's available in either black and white with a bright collar (shown here), or in a green and pink stripe. For Days is striving to be a zero waste fashion brand through its Take Back Bag program, which also earns you store credit for returning old and even ratty garments from any brand.

Price at time of publication: $38

Sacred Resource 3 Bin Worm Composter

Sacred Resource 3 Bin Worm Composter

Etsy

If you have a friend who is into both cooking food and is interested and thoughtful about where their food comes from, they might enjoy a beautifully crafted worm composting system like this one from Etsy's maker Sacred Resource. Made from rare blue pine sustainably salvaged from trees killed by pine beetles, this will help your giftee follow the full cycle of their food, get some compost tea for their garden or houseplants, and is a great learning experience for kids.


Price at time of publication: $185

Headspace Meditation App Subscription

Headspace Meditation App

Headspace

A digital subscription is a way to give a gift that doesn't involve any new physical stuff. Headspace is a great gift to consider for anyone who could use a little help finding time for self care. The app has guided meditations, breathing and relaxation exercises, calming playlists that include nature sounds, and gentle stories designed to help lull you to sleep.

Price at time of publication: $70 for 1 year

Coyuchi Conserve Organic Bowl Covers

Coyuchi Conserve Organic Bowl Covers

Coyuchi

Bowl covers are an easy swap for single-use plastic wrap, and add a pretty touch of color to the fridge. These covers from Coyuchi are some of the most sustainable on the market, because they're made with certified organic cotton. They're also reversible, featuring a solid color on one side and a neutral stripe on the other. We love that they are machine washable. Available in blue and ginger, this set of three would make a lovely holiday or housewarming gift.

Price at time of publication: $58

Firebelly Tea The Must-Have

5
Gift set with tea sampler, teacup, and tea strainer.

Firebelly Tea

A zero waste tea ritual is worth adding to any day. We're infatuated with this perfect set, which includes a tea cup and infuser that sit together perfectly to brew up a cozy cup without a single-use tea bag. Then there's the delicious sampling of teas, with a black tea, a green tea, and a minty decaf tea that's blended with rooibos and valerian. The cardboard display box is recyclable, and all of Firebelly's bags are fully compostable, made from a eucalyptus and cassava root fiber blend.

Price at time of publication: $55

Plant Nanny

5
Plant Nanny

Amazon

These handy little spikes are a clever way to recycle an empty wine bottle and water plants at the same time. You can use them to help hydrate potted plants (which tend to dry out faster) or use them in the garden if you can’t water as frequently as you might like. “It's easy. It's super efficient,” says Treehugger writer Sami Grover. 

Price at time of publication: $20

Rewilder Airbag Backpack

4.8
Rewilder Airbag Backpack

Rewilder

This ultra-tough bag will last a really, really long time, because it’s made from car seatbelt material and airbag fabric that would otherwise end up in the landfill. This super-durable material is designed in such a way that it looks really mod and fresh, and it’s got all the pockets (for laptop, water bottle) an on-the-go person needs.

Rewilder claims that this backpack not only utilizes material that would otherwise be wasted, it also helps reduce an amount of carbon emissions equivalent to planting six trees.

Price at time of publication: $118

KeepCup Brew Cork Tempered Glass 12oz Press

4.8
KeepCup Brew Glass Reusable Coffee Cup, 12 oz/Medium, Filter
Amazon.

Designed by Australian baristas for use in busy coffee shops, the Keep Cup has spawned many imitators, but the original still gives you the most options—and not only does it come in drinks sizes from cortado to large latte, the company also lets you buy components like tops individually. So if you lose or break either a top or a bottom, you can simply buy the half you need to replace.

Keep Cups last for many years, the company is B-Corp certified, and cups are independently lab tested to ensure they're free from BPA, BPS, phthalates including DEHP, lead, and cadmium.

Price at time of publication: $32

The Zero-Waste Chef: Plant-Forward Recipes and Tips for a Sustainable Kitchen and Planet

4.8
The Zero Waste Chef Cookbook Cover

Amazon

For someone who loves to cook and wants to cut back on packaging in the kitchen, this book is a wonderful primer. As Treehugger Editor Katherine Markinko notes, the recipes provide directions for making pantry staples that are hard to find unpackaged and thus could be seen as an obstacle to going zero waste. "Hot sauce, sour cream, tortillas, ketchup, mustard, tomato paste, lemon curd, vanilla extract, buttermilk, sourdough starter, and more are set out with clear, concise directions, as well as a generous pinch of humor," she writes.

Price at time of publication: $16

Pela Case

4.9
Pela Case

Pela 

These plastic-free phone cases are fully biodegradable when it's time to get another phone, but are durable and attractive. "I've been using a Pela case for my phone for nearly a new now," says Treehugger's Associate Editorial Director Margaret Badore. "I'm happy to report that my phone has survived all kinds of drops and bumps without any scratches or breaks." There are a range of colors and designs to choose from, and a wide array of phones that they're compatible with.

Price at time of publication: $20

Wilderdog Leashes

Wilderdog Leashes

Wilderdog

Rock climbers have to replace their ropes when they’ve gotten damaged or after five years of use—which means there’s plenty of colorful rope that can be repurposed into tough dog leashes. Wilderdog offers these in a few sizes, many colors, and with various clips—include carabiners to go with the theme. Some of these leashes are even reflective, making them a good pick for night walks.


Price at time of publication: $32 and up

Free the Ocean Eucalyptus Cleansing Shower Discs

5
Free the Ocean Eucalyptus Cleansing Shower Discs

Free the Ocean

For the friend or family member who doesn't have time for a long soak in the tub, these shower steamers are a great way to sneak in a little self-care. Place them in the shower to release a relaxing steam of eucalyptus and mint essential oils. They're held together with a blend of natural clay and salts. Each disk is good for two showers, and each jar comes with nine steamers. They are made in the United States, and each purchase funds the removal of ten pieces of trash from the ocean.


Price at time of publication: $30

Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Pint Cups

Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Pint Cups

Amazon

If you know someone who whips out those big disposable plastic cups every time they have an outdoor gathering, these endlessly reusable, (almost) impossible to destroy, stainless steel pint glasses are a great gift. You don’t have to worry about breaking them, ever, and they look great even with some nicks and scratches. They're BPA-free and can be cleaned in the dishwasher.


Price at time of publication: $12 for one cup, $40 for a four pack

Honeysticks Beeswax Crayons

Honeysticks Beeswax Crayons

Amazon

These eco-friendly crayons are made with natural beeswax, and are packaged in a recyclable or compostable cardboard box. The Original size has a wider diameter than traditional crayons, making them easier for little kids to hold and also harder to break. The 12 fun colors come from food grade dyes, and they smell good too.

Price at time of publication: $23

OhSevenDays Mix & Match Scrunchies

OhSevenDays Mix & Match Scrunchies

OhSevenDays

OhSevenDays is a sustainable clothing company that makes garments in Istanbul from deadstock fabric, which is new but has been discarded by other designers. These scrunchies are a smart way to make the most out of even the smaller factory scraps. They're sold in a mix-and-match set of three, and you can choose the fabrics that are best suited to your recipient's taste. This set would make a great stocking stuffer.


Price at time of publication: $25

EKOBO Claro Recycled Bamboo Large Storage Jar Set - Sunrise

Storage jar set

Made Trade

These elegant bamboo jars are capped with natural cork lids and are perfect for storing leftovers, grains, or snacks. They could also be handy in the office or bathroom for keeping all kinds of odds and ends organized, from cotton swabs to paperclips. They’re made with deforestation-free bamboo, and come in two different color combos. The body of these jars can be cleaned on the top rack of the dishwasher, but keep in mind that they’re not microwave safe.

Price at time of publication: $34

Zero Waste Daniel Mixed Floral Short Sleeve Tee Shirt

Zero Waste Daniel Mixed Floral Short Sleeve Tee Shirt

Zero Waste Daniel

For someone who loves color and creative upcycling, these bold tees make for one-of-a-kind gifts. Zero Waste Daniel crafts these shirts from cutting room scraps that would be discarded by other designers. If florals aren’t your recipient’s cup of tee, check out the all-black or mixed print variations of this style. Each item is made to order in Brooklyn, so be sure to give yourself at least two weeks of lead-time when you buy. 

Price at time of publication: $100 sale ($135 regular)

Clean Faced Cosmetics Zero Waste Mascara

Organic Natural Zero Waste Mascara

Etsy

This one-woman cosmetics brand is thoughtfully crafted in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The mascara's jar is fully recyclable and the applicator has a compostable handle—the only part that has to be thrown away when you're done with it are the bristles. The natural ingredients include activated charcoal, kaolin clay, and aloe vera juice.

Price at time of publication: $19

Tinggly Gift Box of Experiences

Tinggly Experience

Courtesy of Amazon

Experiences are another great way to give a zero waste gift. Tinggly lets your recipient choose the experience, with hundreds of options around the world. Your gift can be delivered as an e-voucher that never expires. The company plants 20 trees for each "Happy Holiday" collection purchased, and offsets the emissions of every experience by 200%.

Price at time of publication: $129 and up

REI Co-op Beyonder Saddlebag Panniers

REI Co-op Beyonder Saddlebag Panniers

REI

These panniers will upgrade a commuter bike to a grocery-carrying machine—and look great doing it. While these aren’t made from zero waste materials, they are a tough nylon which means they should last a really, really long time (and keep their contents dry on wet days or through splashes). The materials are Bluesign-approved, which means they meet a high level of environmentally responsible manufacturing.

Price at time of publication: $100

Audible Gift Card

Audible Logo

Audible

Another subscription that makes for a thoughtful gift, Audible offers thousands of audio books and podcasts. You can find popular memoirs narrated by the authors themselves, like Viola Davis reading her "Finding Me" or Matthew Perry narrating "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing."

Price at time of publication: $90 for 6 months

Tushy Spa 3.0

4.2
Tushy Spa

 Courtesy of Tushy

Most folks who aspire to live a zero waste lifestyle still use toilet paper, but a bidet or bidet attachment is one way to lower the amount needed. An attachment is much more affordable and less work to install, and this one doesn't even require an electrical hookup, but it does need the toilet to be next to sink—since it uses the same hot water line that runs to your faucet. It even comes in a range of color and know options, so you can pick one that suits your recipient's taste.

Price at time of publication: $129 sale ($159 regular)

Once-Kids Eco-bricks Color Plus Wooden Toy Blocks

Eco-bricks Color Plus Wooden Toy Blocks

Earth Hero

We love this wooden take on a plastic classic. These eco-bricks are made from wood that's certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, meaning they don't contribute to deforestation. Big enough for kids as old as two (but not younger), they come in a wooden box with a chalkboard paint interior. For every set sold, a donation is made to help clean up ocean plastic.

Price at time of publication: $50

More Gift Inspiration

If nothing on this list hits the right note, consider giving an experience or an act of service instead of a physical gift. Concert, theater, or movie tickets make for memorable gifts, as well as cooking classes or a subscription to a streaming service.

What to Consider When Shopping for a Zero Waste Gift

One super-simple way to start your zero-waste gift-giving journey wherever you get gifts? “I personally try to avoid any single-use or individually wrapped items,” says Kathryn Kellogg,  founder of the site Going Zero Waste.

When buying online, be aware that “zero waste” is a trendy buzzword and some companies might be exaggerating their claims. “I’ve found that brands who are doing really good things for the planet are very upfront and honest,” Kellogg says. That means you should clearly be able to tell from their website what the company’s ethical bona fides are. Any claims they make should be “easy to verify because they’re spoken about in very specific terms and they often have third-party certifications like being B Corp certified, Fair Trade, Bluesign, or their factories are SA8000, etc.” 

If you are buying a gift, your best option is to go local. Attend a holiday market, farmers market, or local craft fair and choosing unique presents for your giftees is fun, keeps money in the local community, and it’s easy to ask for items to be unwrapped (be sure to bring your own bag or basket to carry your gifts home in). 

Buying gifts online will always involve more packaging, simply because you are always going to have packaging waste with any product that is shipped. If you are going this route, think about the possibility of buying multiple items from one site and shipping them together, to cut down on packaging. If you are mailing gifts you can also reuse the packaging that you’ve gotten items in as well. 

You’ll find some specific gift recommendations on this list, but for more options, check out sustainable markets that do all that hard work for you like Earth Hero, Goldune, Wild Minimalist, Package Free Shop, and of course, Etsy (search for “zero waste gifts” or the specific item you’re interested in). 

DIY gifts are another great option, since most gifts you make yourself can be put in reused containers. Consider making scented moisturizer and putting it in glass jars, snacks or treats, or making holiday ornaments for people to hang. 

Why Trust Treehugger?

Starre Vartan has been researching and reviewing environmentally sustainable products for 15 years and wrote a book on eco-friendly, healthy living.

The picks included on this list would make durable, useful, and thoughtful gifts for people who hope to live more sustainably. Our selections come from eco-friendly companies, any many of our gift suggestions are made using zero waste materials.