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How to buy zero-waste gifts

For conscious consumers, buying gifts for loved ones doesn’t have to be difficult. There are various ways to give gifts that result in little to no waste at all. What better way to show appreciation and affection to a loved one than with a sustainable and waste-free present. These tips apply to birthdays, the festive season and anniversaries.

The gift of experiences

The first waste-free gift idea is an experience rather than a product. By removing the materialism from the gift-giving process, you can spend your money on experiences for your loved one. Think of festival tickets, weekend trips to a resort, a day at a spa or a helicopter ride. These experiences will leave the recipient with a memory that can last a lifetime.

Experiences are the best way to spend time with someone and create beautiful memories together. They also mean no wrapping paper and excess packaging on products. These types of gifts are always highly appreciated and sometimes necessary to help the recipient to relax and get away from the stress of daily life.

Gifts that last a lifetime

Reducing waste should not stop you from giving gifts to friends and family. There are numerous products available that do not have excess packaging and can last a lifetime. Plants and trees are a perfect example of gifts that can be looked after and grown for many years. They will always remind the recipient of you and they do not need to be wrapped in any way. 

Gifts that do not have excess packaging

Look for sustainable products and brands that do not use additional packaging. For example, certain brands will sell clothing or bags made from recycled plastic fibres, without the extra boxes that cover the products. Many cosmetic companies have also started to sell their creams, fragrances and ointments without cardboard packaging that is always discarded immediately.

Shop at zero-packaging stores for gift ideas, or you can look online for e-commerce stores that sell gifts with zero packaging. This is one of the easiest ways to minimise waste during the festive season or in the gift-giving process.

Give homemade gifts

Spending time making a unique gift is one of the best ways to show someone that you care about them. Some of the easiest gifts are homemade treats, such as biscuits, rusks, sourdough bread, brownies and sweets. Fill a large reusable glass jar with some homemade confectionery for the ideal zero-waste gift.

Alternatively, you can upcycle old household items into new homemade gifts that can last a lifetime. Make a picture frame from driftwood, weave old cable straps into a lampshade, roll magazine pages into a mirror frame – the ideas are endless. There are so many sites on the internet that have these homemade gift ideas. 

No matter what gifts you buy this for the festive season or for a loved one’s birthday, try to avoid excess packaging and wrapping it in paper. If necessary, use old newspaper or recycled paper to wrap the presents. Buying recycled products is a great way to achieve sustainability and to protect the environment through the gift-giving process.


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