christmas gift ideas

Christmas Gift Ideas That Will Actually Help You Waste Less This Year

If you decided to start trying to waste less this year you might be scrambling for cheap Christmas gift ideas that are also zero waste.

In the season of spending frivolously it can be a challenge to break out of the mold to try to waste less this season.

Finding cheap Christmas gift ideas that won’t ultimately end up in a landfill can feel like a challenge. Especially with our modern way of living where everything is dispensable.

But it is definitely possible to find zero waste products for your friends and loved ones this holiday season. Gifts that will mean more then all of the useless little tickets that we would normally give combined.

So, if you want to try to waste less this Christmas and find zero waste products to gift instead. Keep reading because here is a list of ideas!

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Less Wasteful Christmas Gift Ideas

Not to sound dramatic but the holiday season is the most wasteful time of year. Between the Christmas parties, gifts, food, and decorations.

Each Christmas 30% more garbage is produced usually getting to around 3 million tons of extra garbage that will end up in a landfill.

I have to admit that, that number is quite startling to me and it should be to you too!

There is no realistic reason why we should create so much garbage let alone during only a few months of the year. It is just so unnecessary and creates so much more harm than we can even imagine.

So, if you want to find even more ways to decrease your addition to that number of waste this season. Keep reading because at the end of this post is even more helpful tips!

Give an Experience

One of the best kinds of gifts to give that doesn’t create any waste at all is an experience!

Maybe your aunt has been wanting to visit the aquarium or your dad has been meaning to go see a certain movie. You can give them the gift of being able to do those things by buying them tickets and passes!

Giving an experience is one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give and will give them more joy than any item could bring.

Here are just a few ideas as to what kind of experiences you could give this year to your loved ones:

  • Movie tickets
  • Concert tickets
  • A spa day
  • A payed hotel room for a weekend getaway
  • A reserved table at a fancy restaurant
  • Tickets to the zoo or aquarium

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An Edible Treat

When in doubt buy an edible gift is my life’s moto.

If you are trying to buy for someone who is hard to buy for or who is just generally picky go for an edible gift!

Don’t just buy something just for the sake of giving them a gift! Buy them something delicious and edible.

This can be as simple as baking a batch of cookies or buying a goody basket for them! Either way an edible gift is sure to be one of the best cheap Christmas gift ideas to go for!

You could gift someone a vegan snack box or a bag of coconut milk caramels or their favorite sweet treat or snack. The options are endless!

christmas gift ideas

Essential Oil Kit

One common gift that we give is oftentimes candles. Because who doesn’t love a delicious scent to fill their home with.

But not only can candles be wasteful they are also so very personal to people and it can be almost impossible to pick one for someone else.

I can’t tell you the number of gifted candles that I have been stuck with because they just weren’t my kind of scent!

This is where an essential oil kit saves the day! Not only are they fresh and wonderful smelling but they are a great way to introduce a loved one to their wonderful abilities!

There are hundreds of essential oil kits out there to get them started with. And you can even buy them an essential oil diffuser to help them get started even more.

This essential oil blends pack would be a very special treat for that very special someone!

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Handmade Skincare Products

This type of gift might not be for everyone, but it can be a thoughtful gift for those who will appreciate it.

Maybe your mom likes to take baths. You can make her some calming bath salts or a luxurious bath oil. 

Or maybe your best friend struggles with dry winter skin and you can make her a moisturizing body butter.

The options are endless, and your loved ones are sure to love your handmade and thoughtful gift!

Here are just a few Christmas gift ideas for homemade skincare products:

A Subscription

I don’t know about you, but I love a gift that just keeps on giving. And you know what kinds of gift are best at doing that? Subscriptions!

This is an especially thoughtful gift for a loved one who you might not live close to or who is having a rough year.

There is no better way to say I love you then to give a gift that will consistently bring a smile to their face.

This can be as simple as a meal subscription for your elderly relative, a sock subscription for your fashionable sibling, or an audiobook subscription for your book loving mom.

Here are just a few great ideas to use as starting off points:

Gift Cards

Gift cards might be one of those gifts that feel less then personal but don’t judge them hastily!

Despite their lack in popularity I don’t know of anyone who would turn down a free gift card! They are endlessly useful and can be bought according to someone’s personal wants or needs.

Despite their reputation they can be very thoughtful gifts that are very low waste in comparison.

Here are just a few Christmas gift ideas for when you are giving out gift cards:

DIY Items

DIY gifts are a great option for zero waste products to give to your loved ones this year.

They can be adapted to everyone they are given to and can add just a little more of a personal touch to the season of giving.

This gift goes along with the cheap Christmas gift ideas that include homemade skincare as both are easy to DIY.

These are especially useful for years where your Christmas budget might be a bit tighter or you find yourself with a long list of people to gift.

These are just a few easy ideas to start out with:

Other Ways of Wasting Less This Christmas

Now that you have some cheap Christmas gift ideas in mind to help you reduce waste this year you can think of other things to do as well.

There are many areas of our holiday season that we could cut back on the waste produced.

Whether it be while eating all of our holiday foods, doing crafts, decorating, or wrapping gifts there is always a way to cut back on waste.

So, keep reading to get some useful ideas.

Ditch the Wrapping Paper

One thing that is so wasteful about the holidays is the copious amounts of wrapping paper!

Now I know that we all love it with its bright festive colors, but does anyone really feel good about having to throw it all away on Christmas morning?

One way that you could reduce waste while still enjoying wrapping paper is to wrap presents in a way that doesn’t require tape. This way it can be unwrapped carefully and saved for next years presents!

Or you could get extra creative and wrap your gifts in a gift! Such as wrapping a gift in a t-shirt or scarf that can also be enjoyed.

Or you could also use scraps of sewing fabric, newspapers, magazines, or brown paper used for packing.

Say No to Bows and Whistles

Another wasteful Christmas wrapping item is the decorative items such as bows and ribbons.

These are pretty but completely unnecessary.

Though of course you can always save them and reuse them for years to come in order to still use them without creating waste!

As an alternative you can make your own bows with scrap paper or ribbons with scrap fabric or string.

Be Picky

Now this might not be the most popular thing to say but sometimes you have to be picky during the holidays.

As much as we may want to, we can’t buy Christmas gifts for everyone, so you have to decide who you most want to treat this year.

Instead of buying all of your coworkers’ gifts why not bake a pie and bring it to work.

Instead of trying to figure out what each relative wants why not make the effort to send everyone a personalized card.

These are small things you can do to let everyone in your life know that you care. Without having to over spend or create wasteful gifts that might not even be appreciated.

Sometimes the gift of thought is much more precious than giving an physical gift.


Matt Dobson 2020, An Often Over-Looked Part of Christmas, GWP Group, viewed September 5, 2020,

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