Friday, December 9, 2022

Sustainable Gift Ideas for a Zero-Waste Holiday


‘Tis the season to do good for the planet and sustainable gift ideas top the zero-waste holiday roadmap.

This holiday season, spread Christmas cheer—not unnecessary waste. From upcycled clothing to non-toxic skincare, we have all of the sustainable gift ideas you need to make your holiday truly merry and bright.

Sustainable gifting

Consumers shell out big bucks for themselves and their loved ones during the holidays. 

In 2019, Americans spent more than $15 billion on unwanted Christmas gifts—four percent of which made their way to landfills—according to a survey by   

In addition to waste, the holiday buying season largely fuels global warming. The manufacturing, production, and distribution of holiday products across supply chains are resource and carbon-intensive, meaning the more you buy the greater the impact will be on the planet.

sustainable gift wrapping
‘Tis the season to gift sustainably. | Photo by Monika Stawowy via Unsplash

For those looking to eschew gift shopping during the holidays, experiences like a trip to a local animal sanctuary or a homemade, plant-based meal can make the perfect—and sustainable—gift option.

And if you’re looking to leave something extra special under your Christmas tree, consider shopping for a zero-waste present.

Sustainable brands to shop for a zero-waste holiday

This holiday season, spread Christmas cheer without spreading waste by giving these sustainable gifts, from organic skincare to non-toxic makeup.

no makeup look
Courtesy Julian Myles | Unsplash

1. Botanical skincare 

For skincare essentials that are gentle on your body and the environment, shop Blendily. Founded in 2014, the handmade, zero-waste, botanical skincare brand makes its skin-nourishing products in “seed-to-soul” kitchens using locally-sourced flowers, herbs, and essential oils. Although it does use beeswax in some products, the vast majority are vegan-friendly. For stocking stuffers, shop Lip Lemonade, which features a blend of shea, jojoba, & avocado oils.

2. Upcycled jeans 

sustainable gift upcycled jeans
Re/Done’s jeans are made from upcycled vintage Levi’s. | Photo by Maude Frédérique Lavoie via Unsplash

Born in 2014, Re/Done is on a mission to give new life to old clothing. The Los Angeles-based clothing brand’s upcycled jeans, which are made from vintage Levi’s, have been seen on countless A-list celebrities, including Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid. Since partnering with the denim company, Re/Done has diverted more than 158,000 pairs of vintage jeans from landfills. The brand also partnered with Hanes to upcycled cotton staples like ribbed tanks and classic tees.

sustainable kitchen products
Courtesy Roam in Color | Unsplash

3. Sustainable kitchen essentials

From zero-waste cleaning products to cutting boards made from recycled plastic, it’s easier than ever to curate a sustainable kitchen. For the baker in your life, gift them mixing bowls made from upcycled bamboo. Bamboozle’s Mixing Bowls, available as a 7-piece set, are biodegradable and perfect for all of your cooking needs. 

4. Zero-waste cosmetics

For the perfect pout, Axiology has you covered. The company’s 3-in-1 zero-waste crayon stick—which can be used to add pops of color to the eyes, lips, and cheeks—is 100 percent vegan, cruelty-free, and palm-oil free. For more zero-waste makeup gift options, check out Eco Roots’ zero-waste lip balm, Izzy Beauty’s zero-waste mascara, and Elate Beauty’s range of holiday essentials.

Sustainable gift ideas for kids
Courtesy Cottonbro Studios | Pexels

5. Recycled toys

Don’t buy anything for your kids this holiday season—rent. For the ever-growing toddlers, get a subscription to ToyLibrary, a U.S.-based monthly toy rental service. Their motto: play, return, repeat. Here’s how it works: simply pick two toys per shipment from more than 500 options, play with them as long as you’d like, and return them free of shipping. And if your child falls in love with a toy, worry not! There’s an option to keep the toys they like.

Related on Ethos:


Bringing Sustainability Home With Eco Maintenance and Repair

A crucial part of living more sustainably is to...

For the Apartment Dweller: How to Live Sustainably In 5 Steps

From buying furniture made from recycled materials to conserving water, here's your complete guide to sustainable apartment living.

At Our Daily Wines, Organic Grapes Are as Important as Terroir

What’s in a wine? That all depends on how the grapes are grown. For organic and sustainable wine leader, Our Daily Wines, there’s a detectable difference in every sip.

Sustainable Craft Beer: the Ultimate Guide

Save the planet by cracking open a cold one of these sustainable craft beers.

How Tanteo Leverages America’s Love for Tequila to Support Communities Along Mexico’s Rio Santiago

As Mexico's Rio Santiago and its communities struggle with the impacts of pollution, Tanteo Tequila is using its platform to bring a three-pronged resource effort to the region.