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October 02, 2020 7 min read

The Benefits of Zero-Waste Holiday Traditions

In days of yore, zero-waste holiday gifts were the norm. Waste not, want not, right? But in recent years, consumerism has driven holiday traditions to a whole new level. 

Unfortunately, this creates a negative impact on the planet :(

With all the influences telling us that this is how to spend the holidays, it’s easy to go with the flow.

But consumerism-driven habits often lead to increased waste. And an overflowing trash bin at the end of the holidays.

You Can Curate Eco-Friendly Traditions

Here’s some jolly news: making your holidays more eco-friendly is easy. A few small changes go a long way.

Zero-waste holiday celebrations aren’t only good for the planet—they help you by making things simpler. And you’re spreading environmental awareness as you go!!

The Key to Giving Zero-Waste Holiday Gift

One common holiday tradition is gift-giving. Giving and receiving gifts is a great way to show appreciation and love.

An important key to a low-stress holiday is, in a word: Preparation. 

Preparation is extra important when it comes to gifts. (If you’ve ever made a mad dash the night before a special event, you already know this.)

With everything else on your plate, we wanted to help you out by doing the hard work for you. So we’ve compiled a list of the best zero-waste gifts to consider this year. 

Top Zero-Waste Holiday Gifts for 2020

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, Thanksgiving, or any other holiday, giving gifts is a time-honored way to show people you care. 

These zero-waste gifts are sure to please everyone on your list. 

Sustainable Stocking Stuffers

soap bar bundle

When our predecessors checked their stockings on Christmas morning, they often hoped to find a fresh orange in the toe. Here are some more ideas for small, simple gifts to include in stockings or gift bags.


1. Humby Organics Soaps. If you haven’t smelled our Humby Organics soaps yet, you’re missing out. This bundle of 8 soaps gives you a sampler which you can split between gifts to share the scent of sweet eco-friendly goodness. 


2. Humby Organics Shampoo & Conditioner Bars.The same goes for Humby’s hair-care line. Delicious scents like Orange Crush and Mango Breeze are guaranteed favorites. They always go fast, so order early to make sure they arrive in time.


3. Bamboo Toothbrushes& Holder. A charming, sustainable bamboo toothbrush is definitely a reason to celebrate. With this 10-pack, you can give someone a year of waste-free dental hygiene. For an extra touch, include a carved holder to give the toothbrush a special home. 


4. Stainless Steel Drinking Straws. Plastic straws are a huge source of pollution. Whether your friends enjoy sipping iced coffee, water, or lemonade, these straws add eco-friendly flair. Choose from Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, or a Multi-Pack. 


Other sustainable stocking stuffers could include things like the traditional fresh fruit, drawing pencils—if the stocking fits, gift it!


Fun Eco-Friendly Gifts for Kids

Between school breaks, family parties, and presents, it’s no wonder children are eager for the holidays to begin. These zero-waste gifts are sure to win a smile from the little ones in your life.


1. Plastic-Free Hair Ties and Scrunchies.You may have noticed that scrunchies are making a comeback. Made from Organic Cotton, these adorable Cotton Hair Ties and Scrunchies have all the fashion & comfort and none of the plastic.


2. Stainless Steel 3-in-1 Lunchbox.Taking lunch to school is a great way to reduce waste and eat healthier. This shiny new lunchbox will make your little one feel special. And you can rest assured knowing this lunchbox is safe and non-toxic.


3. Kids Bamboo Toothbrushes.With colorful bristles and carved handles perfect for small hands, these toothbrushes make brushing fun again. A few months down the road, you can help the kids find creative ways to repurpose their old toothbrushes, too!


4. Eucalyptus Fairy Shampoo Bar.This whimsical shampoo bar looks like a rainbow cupcake and smells delightful! It’s gentle enough for young scalps and leaves hair healthy and happy. 


5. Bamboo Adhesive Bandages.Life’s adventures inevitably lead to a few scraped knees. Why not be prepared? Kids will love these eco-friendly bandages, complete with cute patterns and skin-friendly bamboo. 


You could also write children a special holiday note or invite them to spend some one-on-one time with you.


bamboo adhesive bandaids

Unique Eco-Friendly Gifts

Sometimes you want a gift that’s outside the box. Now, there’s no need to get drastic and send a live partridge complete with a pear tree. Here are three earth-friendly ideas that are both unique and useful. 


1. Eco-Friendly Hand-Stitched Notepad. This handmade notebook is made from 100% recycled and repurposed materials. High-quality and utterly charming, these make an ideal gift for the creative types in your life. (We only make a few of these at a time, so be sure to order in advance!)


2. Handmade Bamboo Cup.Each hand-carved, sustainable bamboo cup is as versatile as it is lovely. It’s just the right size for a cozy cup of tea. Consider gifting your loved one with a packet of your favorite tea or coffee as a tasty finishing touch.


3. Sea and Summit SPF 36 Face Stick.Our skin needs protection year-round. What better way to protect it than with skin-loving, eco-friendly sunscreen? This makes a thoughtful gift for your outdoorsy friends and family.


We know you’re creative and determined, so you’re sure to find unique presents for everyone on your list. But you might know someone who’s downright impossible to shop for. What then?

Eco-Friendly Gifts for the Person Who Has Everything

Maybe you know someone who’s been living a zero-waste lifestyle for years and seems to have it all figured out. When in doubt, here are a few rock-solid options.


1. Zero Waste Cartel Gift Card.Yes, you probably saw this one coming. But giving a gift card allows your giftee to choose what they want—and when you choose a ZWC gift card, you know that whatever they choose will be great for the planet, too. :)


2. Natural Laundry Soap.Everyone has to do laundry. Especially around the holidays, with visitors, extra layers, and the occasional hot chocolate spill. This all-natural laundry soap is made with simple, eco-friendly ingredients—and giving it as a gift it might even make doing the washing more enjoyable.


3. Dissolving Mouthwash Tablets.They may already have sustainable toothbrushes… but do they have fancy, earth-friendly mouthwash tablets? (Our guess: probably not.) For fresh breath and a healthy mouth, all they have to do is drop a tablet into water and swish away.

Zero-Waste Gifts for Him

For the eco-friendly fellows in your life, we’ve picked out a few products we know you’ll love.


1. Double-Edge Butterfly Safety Razor.The Albatross Safety Razor is perfect for all shaving needs and is 100% plastic-free. The razor is built to last and swapping the blades out is a breeze. It’s classic, practical, and easy to use.


2. Shea Oat Soap Bar.These luxurious soap bars are amazing for the skin and easy on the planet. With a variety of earthy scents like Rosemary Sea Salt and Activated Charcoal, Humby Organic Soap Bars promote healthy skin and zero-waste pampering. 


P.S. Once you’ve sniffed the soaps, you may want to keep one for yourself: so order extra!


Zero-Waste Gifts for Her

Women are often prone to get caught up in holiday hustle and bustle. With these eco-friendly gifts, she’ll be all set for a rejuvenating self-care session.


1. Coffee Citrus Face Scrub. (It smells just as amazing as you think.) Made with repurposed artisan coffee grounds, this antioxidant-rich face scrub helps maintain glowing skin and fight aging. For extra facial care, throw in some Face Serum with Coffee Oil, too. 


2. 100% Natural Cheek + Lip Tint.Conventional makeup is often bad for the skin and the planet. But this Cheek + Lip Tint is made from all-natural ingredients that nourish the skin with every swipe. With its rich plummy color, this is perfect for holiday parties and pictures. 


And while you’re pondering on gifts, don’t forget to give yourself some much-needed downtime too. 


zero waste beauty

Other Zero-Waste Holiday Ideas

By now, you probably have plenty of gift inspiration. Before we wrap up (pun intended), we have a few more ideas to share with you. :)


1. Use reusable wrapping.Most conventional wrapping paper is unrecyclable. But there are other options! You can wrap your gifts in plain paper for a rustic look. 


Or you can even give your gifts in reusable packaging like these cotton totes. This saves waste from the landfill and leaves less to clean up after the celebration.


2. For stress-free holiday cooking, make cleanup easy and earth-friendly.Many of our holiday traditions center around food. Latkes, pumpkin pie, gingerbread cookies… Delicious, but sometimes messy. 


Consider treating yourself to a zero-waste food storage bundle or dishwashing set to make cleanup and storage a piece of cake.


Simplifying and eliminating waste is one of the best gifts to give the environment—and yourself.


Happy Holidays from Zero Waste Cartel

There are as many ways to celebrate a holiday as there are people who celebrate it. The beauty of this diversity is that you can find a balance that works for you.


The holidays are a time to come together, slow down, and share love. Giving gifts is one way to show the people in your life you care. And when you choose zero-waste gifts, you’re sharing love with our beautiful planet, too. 


We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best zero-waste holiday gift ideas. We look forward to hearing about how you celebrate—and we wish you a happy holiday season. :)


Click here to browse our shop and get started on your list today.

What are your favorite holiday traditions or memories? How have you made your festivities more eco-friendly?


Jessica 
Writer, baker, and lover of nature.



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