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Sustainable Surprises: Low-Waste Gifts for the Whole Family

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

In a season where waste is increased by big celebrations and gift giving, the weight of sustainable living is never more taxing. To hopefully lift your spirits a bit, we’ve compiled a few lists of low-waste gift ideas for your family and friends this holiday season. These thoughtful and environmentally mindful gifts not only help to reduce waste but can encourage a sense of shared responsibility towards the planet. Join us in the journey towards a more sustainable and mindful holiday, one gift at a time.

Gifts with a Second Life: DIY and Upcycled Treasures

DIY Personalized Recipe Book

  • Create a custom recipe book filled with family favorites, personal notes, and photos, making it a cherished and eco-conscious gift.

Repurposed Wine Cork Coasters

  • Upcycle wine corks into stylish coasters, blending functionality with a touch of rustic charm for a thoughtful home accessory.

Hand-Painted Mason Jar Piggy Bank

  • Transform ordinary mason jars into cute, personalized piggy banks for your kids to practice saving money sustainably.

DIY Beeswax Wrap Kit

  • Gift a kit with all the materials needed to make reusable beeswax wraps at home, promoting an eco-conscious alternative to plastic wrap.

Upcycled Vintage Map Art

  • Create unique wall art by upcycling old maps into personalized pieces, highlighting locations that are special to you.

Homemade Bath Salts

  • Mix up batches of soothing bath salts using natural ingredients and present them in reusable, upcycled glass jars.

Handmade Upcycled Fabric Rag Rug

  • Weave a personalized rug from old fabric scraps, adding a touch of warmth and character to any room.

Embracing Sustainability Beyond Material Gifts

Experiential Gifts

  • Consider tickets to a live performance or a movie

Wellness Gifts

  • Encourage well-being by giving experiences like yoga, workout classes, or a spa gift card.


  • Provide the gift of learning through an educational experience. This could range from pottery to cooking classes, promoting sustainability and creativity.

Digital Subscriptions and E-books

  • Reduce the environmental impact of paper production by gifting digital subscriptions to magazines, audiobooks, or e-books. This way, the joy of reading remains, but without the ecological footprint.

Plant a Tree in Their Name

  • Give the gift of a lasting impact by planting a tree in the recipient's name. Check out our partners, One Tree Planted a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which offers tree-planting programs that contribute to reforestation efforts.

Gifts that Keep Giving: Low-Waste Family Essentials

Reusable Produce Bags

  • Help reduce plastic waste by gifting a set of durable and washable produce bags for grocery shopping.

Stainless Steel Water Bottles

  • Insulated stainless steel bottles are great for keeping the ideal temperature of your drink and helps to encourage hydration without plastic pollution.

Beeswax Wraps

  • Replace single-use plastic wrap with reusable and washable beeswax wraps for a reliable alternative in the kitchen. We love the Bee's Wax wraps but any kind will work.

Cloth Napkins

  • Washable napkins are a great way to connect style with sustainability by reducing the need for single-use paper napkins.

Reusable Coffee Filters

Stainless Steel Lunchbox Set

Reusable Straws Set

Kitchen Towels

  • Replace disposable paper towels with durable and washable towels for various household tasks. You can keep older towels on hand for household cleaning.

Solar-Powered Outdoor Lights

  • Illuminate outdoor spaces with solar-powered lights, reducing the need for disposable batteries and contributing to sustainable energy practices.

10 Eco-Friendly Gifts for Kids

1. Used Books

  • Gently used books are always parent approved, encouraging reading and keeping waste out of the landfill.

2. Recycled Art Supplies

  • Encourage creativity while supporting sustainability by choosing art supplies made from recycled or eco-friendly materials.

3. Reusable Snack Bags

  • Encourage mindful habits early with reusable snack bags that reduce the need for single-use plastic.

4. Wooden Toys

  • Reach for sturdy and timeless wooden alternatives to plastic, reducing the environmental impact of toy production.

5. DIY Craft Kits

  • Inspire a love for handmade creations with do-it-yourself craft kits that promote creativity.

6. Stainless Steel Kids Plates

  • Make mealtime fun and eco-friendly with kids plates made of sustainable and dishwasher-safe stainless steel.

7. Solar-Powered Toys

  • Embrace the power of the sun with solar-powered toys that teach children about renewable energy in a playful way. Here is a great option for solar-powered toys made in the USA.

8. Stainless Steel Bento Box

9. Ocean-Friendly Bath Toys

  • Choose bath toys made from safe and biodegradable materials, minimizing the impact of plastic pollution on marine creatures.

10. Pre-loved Board Games

  • Make game night sustainable by gifting games from a second-hand store that might otherwise end up in a landfill.

Including sustainable gift-giving practices goes beyond the act of giving—it becomes a shared commitment to protect our environment. Realizing that not everything needs to be brand new, we can let the exchange of gifts be a reflection of eco-friendly values, a celebration of creativity, and deep gratitude for what we have already been given. May your holidays be filled with joy, warmth, and the fulfillment of knowing that your gifts provide a more sustainable and kind world.

Ready to make a difference? Start by sharing this blog with your friends and family to help drop a hint! Don’t see your favorite sustainable gift idea listed? Please share your favorite gift idea in the comments!

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