A girl's quest to live on the greener side.

50 Last Minute Zero Waste Gifts + How to Wrap Them Waste Free

last minute zero waste gifts

In need of some awesome last minute zero waste gifts? I hear you: Christmas is right around the corner and you need something fast. But fast doesn't mean your gift can't be ethical and sustainable!  Most of the gifts you'll find on this list can be homemade, making them even more special (in my humble opinion). You might already have the ingredients or materials needed to make them lying around your home. Other gifts may have to be purchased somewhere. I recommend checking your local farmers market, artisan soap makers, flee markets, vintage shops and thrift stores for last minute gifts, when in doubt. You never know what you'll find there: One of my farmers markets sells amazing goat milk soaps and hand crafted beeswax candles carved into beautiful shapes. Who wouldn't want that as a gift? Just remember: Gifting is about sharing kindness with one another. The price tag doesn't matter so much (what matters is it came from the heart). So don't stress over how much you spend!

I've also included at the end of the article a few tips and tricks regarding how to wrap these gifts waste free. I know buying zero waste gifts is only half the battle, after all. You also have to be conscious of how they're wrapped. I used to hate wrapping gifts before I went zero waste: Something about the bright colors and endless amounts of tape I needed really bothered me. Now, I love zero waste gift wrapping! It's one of the best parts of getting people gifts, honestly. I look forward to getting creative and wrapping their gift as unique as them. So, if you're here just for some gift wrapping advice, feel free to scroll down to part two right away. Without further ado, here are 50 last minute zero waste gifts.

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50 Last Minute Zero Waste Gifts


last minute zero waste gifts

If you're struggling to figure out what to get your loved ones this year, worry no more. Here are 50 last minute zero waste gifts to choose from. I'm sure they'll offer you some inspiration!

1. Zero waste lip balm.
2. DIY sugar or coffee body scrub.
3. Hot cocoa mix in a jar.
4. Customized zero waste starter kit.
5. Old jewelry in good condition you no longer use.
8. Assortment of beeswax wraps.
9. Homemade dream pillow.
10. Handmade painting or drawing.
11. A vintage antique.
12. Assortment of produce bags.
13. Bottle of their favorite liquor.
14. Customized shave kit (safety razor, shave soap, after shave) in a jar.
15. Homemade baked goods.
17. Ceramic mug.
19. Bulk treats in cute glass jars.
20. Customized manicure kit (eco-friendly nail polish, manicure tools, reusable cotton rounds) in a jar or cloth pouch.
21. Dutch oven.
22. Artisan, all-natural, package free soap.
24. A plant (succulents, cacti, herbs, pothos, etc.)
25. Loose leaf tea from the bulk store (or home grown) put into jars.
26. Customized tea lover kit (metal tea strainer, loose leaf tea in jars or tins, cloth napkin) in a cloth produce bag.
28. Handmade (or homemade) pottery.
29. Travel mug.
30. A book you no longer need/have already read.
31. Growler of locally brewed beer.
33. DIY toiltries (toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream).
35. DIY natural crayons or chalk.
36. Treat them out for coffee, tea or lunch.
37. Homemade elderberry syrup or health tonics.
38. Home cooked meal.
41. DIY plant dyed Playdough in glass jars or tins.
42. Customized anti-anxiety kit (lavender essential oil, amethyst crystal, candle) in a cloth produce bag.
44. Homemade or package free bath bombs.
45. Little plastic free knick knacks.
47. Homemade jams, jellies or syrups from fresh produce.
49. Money in a handmade card.
50. Quality time spent together.

What do you think of these last minute zero waste gifts? Which is your favorite?

As always, be sure to check your local stores before purchasing things online. For example, you may be able to find a dutch oven or cast iron pans at your local thrift store. Get out there and explore.
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Last minute zero waste gifts: How to wrap them

last minute zero waste gifts

After you've gotten your last minute zero waste gifts, there's one thing you still need to do: Wrap them waste free!

I'm not sure about you, but I used to arbor gift wrapping before going zero waste. Now I love it! It's such a creative challenge that really makes the gift you're giving extra special.

I love watching people's faces light up when they see how I wrapped their gift. That's part of the magic, honestly. 

How I wrapped my gifts:

This year, I used salvaged paper (it was originally wrapped around glass jars to protect them) to wrap my gifts. I also used compostable twine to secure the wrapping instead of plastic tape.

For added pops of color, I decorated my packages using pine sprigs (from my real Christmas tree) and dried out lemon slices. I tucked the pine sprig under the twine and tied the lemon to the gift (using more twine). 

For the compostable little gift tag, I just cut a piece off from a toliet paper roll and wrote on it with sharpie. Then I tied it to the gift with twine. 

Super simple, adorable and original! Plus the lemon smells amazing. I love how it came out.

Everything can be composted when it's done. Also, the paper can be saved and reused again (assuming it's not ripped open).

Other ways to wrap/package gifts:

  • Old newspaper
  • Packaging paper
  • Maps
  • Old calendars
  • Fabric (scarves, silk, burlap, lace etc.)
  • Tins
  • Cans
  • Clay pots
  • Blankets
  • Sheets
  • Old clothing
  • Reusable gift bags
  • Boxes
  • Produce bags
  • Silicone bags
  • Jars
  • Crates

Some of these aren't traditionally used to "wrap" items (ex: clay pots, jars, crates, etc.). However, you can use them to conceal gifts or create nice presentations for them.

Some of those can be combined together. For example, perhaps you put together a nice zero waste kit in a glass jar: You can wrap it with old newspaper or packaging paper to conceal it.

How to seal gifts without plastic tape:

  • Twine made from jute, cotton or hemp
  • Paper tape
  • Reusing old ribbons from last year

For gift tags, you can choose to opt out completely, or use:

  • Scrap paper
  • Cut up a piece of toilet paper roll
  • Seed paper

You can just tie it to the gift using twine. Super simple and totally adorable.

For decorations, use:

  • Pine sprigs
  • Dried fruit (lemons, oranges and apples work well)
  • Twigs
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Foraged brush
  • Fallen leaves

Feel free to use all this as inspiration! If you'd like to see more sustainable gift wrapping options, here are 3 zero waste gift wrapping alternatives

Last year, I wrapped most of my gifts using packaging paper and twine, or vintage lace. I decorated using pine sprigs. Very rustic and chic!

last minute zero waste gifts

What are some last minute zero waste gifts you'll be making or getting this year? How will you wrap them?

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Until then, happy holidays from me to you. 🎄💖

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