Nowadays, most of us associate Christmas with overindulgence and an overabundance of stuff. We buy Christmas gifts we know our loved ones probably don’t want or need.
Then there’s the things we buy for ourselves, and the home, because it’s Christmas. All this stuff then sits in a drawer for a few years before finally making its way to the charity shop.
If you’re following a zero waste lifestyle, this can be contradictory to your beliefs. You might even think you have to indulge, because it’s Christmas.
But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Zero Waste Living Is on the Up
Whilst generating zero waste is pretty difficult (even for the most avid of environmentalists), the trend for reducing waste is on the rise.
Because waste is a big problem.
Non-biodegradable materials like plastic are often burned, releasing toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.
Even more catastrophic is the fate of the plastic items that manage to evade this process. They’re sent to landfill, or make their way into waterways and oceans, where they have a devastating impact on marine life.
Many of us are vowing to reduce our environmental impact by avoiding the consumption of single-use items. Instead, we’re reusing and recycling as much as possible.
This can become trickier during the Christmas period. We typically produce more waste during celebrations than during our average week. But we can get creative.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the festive season, without the guilty conscience. Whether we’re looking for zero waste Christmas gifts for an avid eco-warrior, or to put on our own gift list, there’s lots to choose from.
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Meaningful Zero Waste Christmas Gifts
Here are five zero waste products that’ll make perfect pressies this Christmas!
Zero Waste Starter Kit
Are you or your giftee new to the zero waste lifestyle? A starter kit could be a great way to get going. Available from various retailers, they’re packed with essentials. These include eco-friendly items such as reusable straws and travel cutlery.
Themed kits from Etsy make particularly nice gifts. You can choose the gift box that’ll be most suited to the person who’ll be receiving it.
You can make your own zero waste kit too. Ideally use an old gift box or basket that you already have and fill it with zero waste goodies. Choose from the list of items we’ve added below or get even more creative.
If you like baking or making, add some of your own creations. Jam you might have made in the summer or autumn months using fruit from your own garden. Or your own homebrew!
Handmade items such as purses or glasses cases made using scraps of leftover material are good. If you knit, try making hats and scarves or maybe dolls for little ones. The possibilities are endless if you can make your own gifts.
Oral Care Zero Waste Christmas Gifts
A toothbrush may not sound like the most thrilling Christmas gift, but at least you know it’ll get used!
Perfect as a stocking filler, bamboo toothbrushes are essential for a zero waster. They’re not 100% biodegradable due to the nylon bristles, but they’re a great deal better for the planet than their plastic counterparts.
It’s not just toothbrushes getting the zero waste Christmas gift treatment.
You can now buy plastic free toothpaste in glass jars that are also zero waste. Mouthwash tablets and silk dental floss complete the set!
Organic Cotton Produce Bags
Trying to avoid plastic bags to pack fruit and veg can get us into a muddle at the checkout. Those like me, with germ paranoia, may also dislike their fresh produce touching grimy supermarket baskets and conveyor belts.
Organic cotton produce bags provide a great alternative. Items can still be separated and weighed, but the bags can be reused again and again! Find them on Amazon, Etsy, or in many health food shops around the country.
Beeswax Food Wraps
When it comes to kitchen waste, everything adds up. In an attempt to save food leftovers, we may end up using cling film or tin foil. These inevitably get thrown away once we’re finished with them.
A greener alternative is to use food wraps coated with beeswax. They’re all-natural, breathable, washable and reusable.
BeeBee Wraps source their beeswax from UK hives. They stock a variety of wrap sizes, suitable for a range of food items. They’re decorated beautifully too!
Reusable Drinks Bottles
Plastic bottles are one of the worst single-use items that clog up our waterways. The amount we use is astonishing, especially since using them is often so unnecessary!
There are many well-designed, good quality reusable water bottles on the market. You’ll probably find you’re spoilt for choice when trying to choose one.
The Chilly’s bottle is particularly popular. There are colours, designs and finishes to suit all tastes. For an extra £10, you can get a personalised engraving — making them perfect as a special gift.
For coffee fans, a KeepCup is also a great choice. With each reusable bottle or cup, we’re drastically reducing day-to-day waste.
Merry, Eco-Friendly Christmas!
Following a zero waste lifestyle doesn’t mean being left out at Christmas. If you want to keep up the tradition of gift giving, there are plenty of zero waste Christmas gifts.
If you’re worried about your zero waste Christmas gifts not being well received, that’s normal. We all worry about our giftees not liking what we’ve chosen anyway. Doing something new and different doesn’t always go down well.
But you’re (hopefully) planting a seed. And you’re most definitely spreading the message that Christmas doesn’t have to equal excess and waste. It can be a kinder, more thoughtful time of year, with less reliance on plastic and things we don’t need.
Give your zero waste Christmas gifts with pride, especially to younger family members. They’re like little sponges, absorbing the information that will shape their views in later life.
Be on the lookout for sustainable, waste-free and reusable products. Or you could even try making your own gifts. Don’t worry, you still have plenty of time to plan them!