Being aware of the negative impacts of both consumerism and materialism can make gift-giving feel like even more of a challenge. Although, I don't think anything beats the feeling of being in a shopping mall surrounded by a million products that someone "might like". I've found that getting creative with your zero-waste gifts makes for an easier time shopping and a better gift.
Whether you are shopping for your zero-waste friend or you just don't want to support unsustainable companies, here is a gift guide to help you crush your next present.
GIVE AN EXPERIENCE
From concert tickets to skydiving coupons, gifting an experience is unforgettable.
Wine tastings, scuba diving, sunset sails, movie tickets, mini golf, surf lessons... the list goes on. You won't just be giving an irreplaceable experience, you will be giving them memories and accomplishments.
SHOP LOCAL AND ZERO-WASTE
It seems like everyday a new company is popping up with zero-waste skincare or sustainable clothing. Shopping from eco-minded brands will not only support them, but provide you with high-quality products made with careful thought. You can make your friend a "zero-waste starter kit" or purchase home-decor, jewelry, simple clothing pieces, and skincare.
GIFT AN ACTIVITY
Just like gifting an experience, giving an activity can provide your recipient with tools for personal development, adventure, and joys (almost) beyond materialism. The activity can be a range of things depending on their interests, but here are a few ideas with varying prices.
Skateboards, rollerblades, surfboards, puzzles, board games, sleds, bikes, cooking supplies and ingredients, instruments (if the budget is low, it can even be a kazoo!), art supplies, kits for homemade candles, skincare, etc., kites, chalk, a sewing machine, the list goes on!
MAKE SOMETHING HOMEMADE
Everyone always says these are the best gifts. But what if you have absolutely no drawing skills and your gift recipient would be underwhelmed with a handwritten letter? Making a homemade gift can be fun experimentation for your zero-waste pursuits! Get creative and try making your own lip balm, candles, bread, tapestry, oat milk... see what happens. It might be a disaster but you know yourself best! Either way, your friend will be getting a unique gift, for better or for worse.
If all else fails, buy them a basket of fresh produce. I don't know many people that wouldn't love an avocado or two.