10 Gifts for the Zero Waster in Your Life

©. Collection of photos

Have a friend or family member who's trying to reduce trash? Give them the tools to succeed!

If you have a friend or family member who is interested in pursuing a zero waste lifestyle, then this is the perfect time of year to give them some of the tools that will make that transition easier. Giving gifts might seem at odds with the zero waste lifestyle, but the fact is that a few basic supplies can be enormously helpful – and the more supplies one has, the more likely one is to stick with it. So, in an effort to give gifts that are conducive to zero waste success, here's what we recommend.

1. Shampoo Bars

shampoo bars

© Lush (used with permission)Give the gift of plastic-free hair care. Shampoo bars are a brilliant way to keep one's hair clean without relying on plastic bottles. Check out the fun offerings at Lush Cosmetics, or the beautiful shampoo-conditioner bar sets by Unwrapped Life, a Calgary-based company.

2. Set of organic cotton produce bags

cloth bag with vegetables

Unsplash/Public Domain

Reusable produce bags are a staple in any zero waste grocery shopping kit. They hold fruits and vegetables while allowing the cashier to see through easily. The drawstring holds snugly to prevent items from falling out. I've been using mine for years and they're still in great condition. You can buy mesh or solid cotton ones here, or make a set of homemade.

3. Stainless steel food container

stainless steel tiffin

MaxPixel/Public Domain

Make transporting food easier than ever with a stainless steel tiffin. It has several layers for different foods and snaps together for convenient carrying. You'll never want to reach for another Ziploc bag again, nor will you ever have to accept packaging from a takeout joint if you keep this handy. Available in different sizes.

4. Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

Disposable wipes, begone! These super-soft makeup remover pads are used in exactly the same way as disposable ones. Just add water, toner, makeup remover, or facial oil and rub to remove makeup. Launder after use and reuse indefinitely. Comes with a laundry bag to keep pads contained.

5. Abeego wraps

Abeego wrap

© Abeego

Also known as beeswax food wraps, these wax-infused wraps are a far better way to store food than in plastic. They allow the food to breathe, inhibiting rot, while protecting it from moisture. The wraps last for at least one year and come in small, medium, and large.

6. Yogurt Maker

yogurt maker

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

If you are shopping for someone who likes eating yogurt, why not give them the tools to make their own and get rid of all those plastic containers? Making yogurt is incredibly easy once you get the hang of it. See yogurt makers here.

7. Reusable menstrual kit

reusable cloth pads

© Zmunki, pinklemonadeshop, Aaylas

These products are a must-have for any female zero-waster. Every reusable pad replaces 125+ disposables. Buy a menstrual cup or a set of cloth pads or pantyliners – or get them together, as offered here by Luna Pads.

8. Refillable fountain pen

fountain pen

MaxPixel/Public Domain

Take writing to the next level with a beautiful fountain pen. When the ink runs out, it gets topped up again, instead of tossed in the trash. Life Without Plastic offers stainless steel Diplomat pens made in Germany, with minimal plastic components.

9. Mason jar accessories

drink attachment

© Ippinka

You already knew that Mason jars are amazing, but did you know they can be converted into a number of handy tools, thanks to some cleverly-designed tops? EcoJarz sells a cheese grater lid, drink tops, pump-action soap dispensers, toothbrush holder, a pour-over coffee and tea kit, and a cool connector that allows you to screw two jars together. Check out all the options here.

10. Reusable coffee cup

Owning a great reusable coffee cup will make a person eager to use it and less likely to forget it at home. There are many options out there, from the gorgeous pottery ones pictured above to double-walled glass to insulated stainless steel.