I don’t know about you but even being Zero waste and a little bit minimalist, I still love the idea of getting presents and also giving Presents! Christmas for me is always exciting and yes part of that excitement is getting gifts and seeing the look on everyone’s face when they see what I got them. The only problem? it creates a lot of waste just the wrapping paper alone can make an entire large garbage bag full of waste, and you also end up with alot of junk you don’t need. So in the spirit of Zero waste, here is my ultimate Christmas list! everything from packaging, to stocking stuffers 🙂
The following ideas are generally easier if you are a somewhat crafty person, but if you are not, never fear! Check out local craft fairs and markets. People often sell a lot of these items. They also might seem a lot more time consuming, and maybe they are but it depends on how long it would take you to shop normally for gifts!
Of course we can start with the cutting down of the amount of gifts given. I personally like the idea of:
Something they want
Something they need
Something to wear
Something to read.
Alright are you read for some ideas?
To start we have some basic do’s and don’ts for wrappings.
Don’t buy anything that is wrapped or packaged in plastic (buy second hand if possible)
Use Fabric Bags with a drawstring or wrap it in an old shirt/sweater/towel or whatever.
Use Brown packing paper or newspaper as opposed to traditional wrapping paper and tie it with a natural string like hemp for example (you can draw or paint on it to make it more festive if you want)
Or don’t wrap it.
Try to use all natural thing for decoration instead of ribbon and bows, use branches/flowers/herbs and natural string and fabric.
Try homemade glue or biodegradable paper tape
What not to buy/use
Traditional wrapping paper
Plastic products (try and find a stainless steel/wood version of item)
Single use items, like travel toiletries (Usually thing that end up in stocking stuffers)
Décor items (unless specifically asked for it, or you made yourself)
Kitchen Items (unless asked for it). Most of us have everything we need, the rest are just extras we can live without.
Any other items that don’t have a purpose, or an alternative that we already have.
Homemade foods such as Salsa, Antipasto, Cookies and other baking, jam pie fillings, etc.
Candy/ Chocolate (make or buy unwrapped items in bulk and use a reusable container like a Mason jar or fabric pouch)
Gift cards to your favorite places mine are: Rona, Canadian Tire, Walmart, Pier 1, Homesense, Etc. (because we will be buying a house soon and will need to do some renovtions.)
Make Crafts. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather if someone made me something rather than buy it.
Homemade products (perfumes, lotions, scrubs)
If you sew, ask for scrap fabrics, they can often buy old curtains/scarves and more at thrift shops.
If buying new fabric, try to get organic and or naturally dyed stuff. (compost for the win!)
Sewing/craft supplies. This one is practically impossible to go plastic/waste free on. But the stuff does last a long time!
Buy clothes from the thrift Shop
Experiences such as movies/play tickets, Restaurant gift cards, concerts or other events and such around the area.
Used Books, or Gift card to a Used Bookstore.
Book some Lessons: Knitting, pottery, music… the list is endless!
Do something nice (deep clean the vehicle, clean the entire house including all the nooks and crannies that normally get forgotten, finish off that project for them that keeps getting sidetracked)
Stocking Stuffer Ideas (most ideas found on Pintrest)
Homemade or used dish towels
Homemade candy/Chocolate or from the bulk section (stored in a jar)
Other homemade treats or again from the bulk section
Homemade bath products (lotions lip balms, perfume, Bubble bath, Bath bombs, soap, Etc.)
Homemade mug or tea pot cozy
Toques and or mittens
Make magnets from old photos
Paint rocks for their garden
Reusable bags for shopping, or smaller ones bulk or for carrying around cutlery or napkins and what not.
Small books/Comics (preferably used)
Drink mixes (chai, hot chocolate, pumpkin spice… All either homemade or bulk and stored in jars)
Chore Coupons. (Make on compostable paper)
Glass jar of local honey/Jam from farmers market/craft fairs.
Make a Zero Waste starter kit (bamboo toothbrush, hanky/napkin, reusable bag…)
Make your own ornaments out of clay or something that can be biodegraded if it breaks. A good idea is a piece of cotton for a string and a small piece of wood, just paint something Christmas style on it.
Wool Dryer Balls
Make small vials of your favorite extracts.
Pine cone fire starter
Cloth “Saran wrap” Alternative or Bees wrap
Hot/cold Bean Bags (can be homemade but they often frequent craft fairs and such)
Eco cubes (buy them at Chapters/Coles) (It is a plant inside a box)
If they are a pop or beer drinker, get one or two of the vintage glass bottles.
Basically any other homemade crafts/ foods and put them into a reusable container or wrapping if needed. For those of you who are not crafty just go to your local craft fairs/farmers markets and I’m sure someone has some gift options for you to choose from. Happy Shopping!