Sustainable Gift Ideas

Who doesn’t love a good gift idea? I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t get joy out of finding the perfect gift for a friend or loved one. With that said, gift giving doesn’t have to be waste-generating! What I mean is there are plenty of thoughtful gifts that friends and family would be thrilled to receive that don’t require the purchase of “stuff.”

I encourage all of us to think twice before buying a “thing” for a friend or family member and maybe consider an alternative. Perhaps your mom loves having nice nails – get her a gift card to the fanciest nail salon in town so she can treat herself! Dad loves golf? Buy him a credit to play at the course he has been talking about so much!

Below you will find a quick gift guide of zero waste and sustainable gift ideas worth considering. Lastly, don’t forget to package present(s) with recycled gift wrap!

Sustainable Gift Ideas:


  • museum pass
  • zoo pass
  • theme park annual pass
  • concert or show tickets
  • movie tickets (my brother is a huge fan of his MoviePass)
  • wine tasting
  • spa day / massage
  • sports game tickets
  • restaurant gift card
  • weekend getaway or staycation


  • xmas cookies
  • bulk bin food items (chocolates etc.)
  • other baked goods


  • cooking class (we’ve enjoyed classes offered at Sur La Table)
  • art class
  • pottery class
  • sewing/knitting class
  • wood working class
  • dance or other exercise class / pass (I have friends who swear by ClassPass)


  • second hand books
  • second hand toys and games
  • high-quality vintage clothing (i.e. an awesome winter coat)
  • sporting goods


  • video (this one still gets me every time)
  • email + photos

Lastly, my mom always appreciates when others make a donation in her name to a cause she cares about.

And if you’re interested in sustainable ways you can decorate, try these pretty dried citrus ornaments!

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