This year has been quite difficult for us and our planet. Now that the year is coming to an end, the holiday season is approaching, and many of us will spend lots of time looking for gifts that will make our loved ones happy. And as we do that, let’s try to keep our planet in mind too. Here are a few zero-waste gift ideas that will please your friends and family without harming the environment.
A Zero-Waste Kitchen Kit
In some of my previous articles, I’ve already mentioned how much waste we unintentionally produce in the kitchen and at the same time, how easy it is to stop doing it (clinge wrap, paper towels and lunchboxes). Therefore, a zero-waste kitchen kit can be a wonderful gift to anyone who, well, eats and has a kitchen! If you have a friend or a family member who is interested in sustainability, you can help them by getting some items that will help them on their zero-waste journey. If your friend is already using some sustainable alternatives in the kitchen, you can just get them refills of some of their favorites. After all, getting something you know the person will enjoy is the best way to ensure your gift won’t go to waste.
There are many ways to approach this gift. Firstly, you can check out your local zero-waste store and pick the items that you know the person would use and appreciate. If you’re not sure, you can always get a gift card from your favorite sustainable store. Of course, there are also many ready-made kits you can get online, for example, from Etsy or something like the The kitchen box from Greenup Box,
In the last few years, indoor gardening has peaked in popularity. No matter if it’s your mom, your grandma, or your niece, people of all ages will be happy to get a houseplant as a gift. If you know they are interested in plants and can take care of them, you can opt for some special plant they have been wanting for a while or something that might be above their regular plant budget. For someone who’s not an experienced plant-parent yet, you might want to get a low-maintenance plant like a succulent, for example.
Traveling is still off-limits for many people, and many of us miss the thrill of exploring a new place and learning something new. However, every city or even a small town has attractions that the locals tend to overlook. Maybe your friend has been to Louvre 3 times but has only visited your local art museum once 10 years ago. Getting a guided tour is a wonderful way to learn more about your hometown and look at it from a visitor’s perspective. Besides, supporting your local museums and galleries is now more important than ever.
A meditation app subscription
2020 has been a stressful year for many people all over the world, and while we hope 2021 will be better, it’s never a bad idea to start taking better care of your mental health. Meditation is a great way to do it without spending much time or money. While you don’t necessarily need an app to get into meditation, apps with guided meditations and special courses are a great way to become familiar with the practice and learn some basics.
The most popular meditation apps are Headspace and Calm. Both have numerous courses for different levels and purposes, as well as sleep meditation and music for concentration. Try taking a free trial to see which one works best for you or might work well for your friend.
A knit kit
While knitting might not be as beneficial for your mental health as meditation, it is a good way to relax while creating something nice for yourself or your loved ones. Even though knitting might still be considered an activity for grandmas, some knitting companies are determined to bring knitting back and make it the next cool millennial thing, just like indoor gardening or baking bread.
On Etsy you can find dozens of knit kits for various items, sizes, and difficulty levels. The kit includes all the materials you need to start knitting and detailed instruction. Items range from a functional handband like above to a super cute pigeon stuffed animal to the left. So how about giving someone a new sustainable hobby?
A compost bin
Alright, a compost bin might not be the most romantic gift ever, but it will definitely make every eco-friendly person love you even more. I’ve already written an article about indoor composting and why it is possible to compost even in a small apartment. Although you can make a compost bin by yourself, a ready-made bin will make a great gift. There are small ones that you can keep on your countertop and bigger options that will work better for large families.
What can be better than a jar of homemade cookies on a cold winter night? If you feel comfortable in the kitchen, your friends and family will probably love getting a homemade treat from you. The possibilities are endless. Cookies or banana bread are great crowd-pleasers, but if you have some secret recipe for anything else, go for it. Maybe you know how to make amazing kimchi or a perfect spice mix. Just make sure to put your creation in a reusable glass jar — this way, it will be even more sustainable.
An online class
This winter we might end up spending more time indoors than we ever had. That means we will all look for ways to keep ourselves entertained from the comfort of our own homes. Luckily, many educational platforms have adjusted to the new realities and are ready to offer hundreds of online courses. For example, Udemy has a wide array of courses taught by experts ranging from cooking to soap making. They also have classes if your friend is more creative from painting and photography to web development and music composition.