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Top 5 places to find zero waste gifts

zero waste cloth gift wrapped presents

Gift giving can be difficult when you want it to be a low waste, natural and thoughtfully produced. It gets more difficult around Christmas is a time, when it seems even more wasteful, from food to gift wrapping, to overnight shipping. 

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your impact when it comes to gift giving, especially around the holiday season, check out our top 5 places to find zero waste gifts. From finding the right gift to making something magical, there are plenty of options for eco-friendly gifting. And who knows – you might just start a new tradition in the process! 

Second-hand stores  

Second-hand stores are a great way to do plastic free household shopping all throughout the year. Not only do they have pre-loved items in variety of styles and sizes, but second-hand stores often get new goodies arriving on a regular basis, so you can always find something unique or special, two attributes that make a wonderful gift.  

They are also a great option for finding unique vintage items and specialty items like antiques and heirlooms which make perfect gifts. Even if you don’t end up buying anything at the store, spending some time perusing their goods is guaranteed to enrich your senses with classic and often one-of-a kind pieces. 

shopping at a charity store

shopping at a charity store

Local markets  

Have you been to the best local market lately? If not, you’re seriously missing out! Local markets offer a unique shopping experience that is great for discovering neat things like the best eco friendly soap bars and handmade pottery pieces. You’ll usually find artisanal products that are made with careful attention and outstanding quality. The best part about local markets is getting to talk to fellow shoppers or vendors about their unusual wares. So go now and check them out for yourself – you never know what kind of treasures await! 


Etsy is the perfect destination for those looking for variety, high quality, and ethical products with products ranging from vegan and zero waste to made in the USA. Most Esty shop owners will honor your request for plastic free shipping if they are not already doing it. Add your request for plastic free shipping into the Notes Section at checkout. 

Etsy has something to offer shoppers who care about their carbon footprint. Type ‘Zero Waste Store’ in the search bar on Etsy to find numerous artisans working with recycled materials, up cycled parts and pieces, and natural ingredients. 

Whether you’re looking for a variety of eco-friendly garments or just want to invest in a few waste free products, if it is available on Etsy, it is most likely handmade and it is ethically and sustainably sourced. Shopping on Etsy offers consumers an opportunity to make an impact without sacrificing on variety and quality. 

Make your own gifts  

Have you ever tried making your own gifts? Do you want to do something meaningful for someone you love without contributing to the loading of plastic waste released to the environment? If you take the time to do it, you can make unique and thoughtful presents that you can assure won’t be heading out with a side dish of plastic. By taking some extra steps, you can even make zero-waste, eco-conscious gifts that you know were made with love. The receiver will not only appreciate the special sentiment but will also be guaranteed of no plastics in their gift! Crafting your own gifts is the perfect way to ensure you are giving someone a truly customizable and personally tailored present – no one else in the world has a gift like it. So why not give it a go this festive season! 

child hand making gifts

child hand making gifts

Give experiences instead of things 

Gen Z aka Generation Zero waste living, has the right idea! Giving experiences instead of things is something that resonates deeply with them, and it should resonate with everyone. In an age where virtual and offline experiences are more accessible than ever, there is no shortage of exciting possibilities. From hiking on a nearby trail to trying out a new recipe together, these experiences enrich our lives in ways that physical possessions simply cannot.  

grandparents, kids and grand kids siting together

Time together is a time to learn from each other.

Experiences offer conversations for current and future days, provide quality time with the people we love, and help create meaningful moments that we will always remember. So, resist the temptation to impulse shop during the holidays – instead, give gifts of amazing adventures that truly stay with us forever! 

In Conclusion 

So next time you are standing in line at your favorite big box store, feeling the pressures of society to spend, spend, spend on things that will soon be forgotten, consider some of these other options. Trying these ideas will make it easier for you to find those perfect zero waste Christmas gifts, birthday gifts or any special occasion gifts. 

a camera and passport sitting on a world map

Let the world be your store when shopping for experiences!

Items with a story and items that will not end up cluttering your home or filling landfill sites. What experiences, stores or zero waste products have you purchased before? How did they make you feel? Hopefully, this list has inspired you to think outside the (gift) box. 


Angie Ringler

A lifelong learner with an entrepreneurial spirit inside long before I knew the word entrepreneurial. I care about what goes around me almost to a detriment. Very empathetic and sometimes find it hard to take in and remove the sadness that I feel around me. I'm a big believer in gratitude and love and respect

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