Zero Waste Gifts

Giving gifts is one of the languages of love. Yes, zero-waste kits are a start, may it be cutlery sets or straw kits — but are there even more genius ways of gifting sans the unnecessary waste? Here are some really great ways!

To begin with — gifts don’t have to be expensive. I find myself enjoying gifts that are well-thought of more than pricier items. Possibly my favorite last Christmas was from a college friend who gave me a Japanese egg timer (because I like soft boiled eggs — and I had been using it daily since!) and those things cost less than a hundred pesos. I also find myself personalizing gifts — like a movie-night bundle I curated for a friend years back. Gifts from the heart — those are the types that really make a difference.

What else are there to consider?

  1. Donations.
  2. Set up a donation for a charitable organization or cause under their name. Helping always feels good, no matter how little.

  3. Live plants.
  4. Don’t just think flowers… Everybody can plant! Plants not only teach us the value of being responsible, they also help purify the air inside our homes. There are lots of indoor plants that are hard to kill — cacti, succulents, snake plants, fern, spider plants, air plants, aloe vera and ivy, to name a few. Step it up and give them a gardening set — a terracota or coconut husk pot, potting mix, and some seeds. And if it does end up dying… well it’ll just go back to the soil.

  5. Vouchers and tickets.
  6. An experience is always fun! Get vouchers for an activity that they like or may want to try (i.e. yoga, sign language classes, pottery class, an indie musical, a haircut, online classes) a great place to get them for much less than their published price is via coupon buying sites. If they like games, why not purchase gift cards through Steam. Or concert tickets for their favorite band via Ticketnet or Ticketworld. Support local artists while you’re at it, they need us.

  7. Gift cards or cash.
  8. I can never stress how much I try to aim for the gift certificates or cash when it comes to exchange gifts and white elephant! Not only am I in charge of getting to buy what I really want or need, it also saves me from the burden of taking home a gift that I won’t really have any use for other than re-gifting. The good news is gift cards don’t necessarily have to be actual cards — for some you just need a code or a bar/QR code you can save straight to your phone. Possible zero-waste options are: massages, iTunes, Google Play, load top-up, AirBnB. If all else fails, we all know someone with Sodexo or department store GCs, there’s always something we really need to buy from there. You can also buy gift cards online via Gifted and GCRegalo

  9. Service.
  10. Offer your specialty. If you’re into arts, make them something they can hang up their wall, or a logo they can use. Take a banging new profile photo of them or a new portrait for their portfolio. Write them a tune. Let them join your class. It’s the thought that counts.

  11. Consumables.
  12. Food is always a good idea, plus we get to support small and local businesses. Opt for homemade delicacies like jams and spreads in glass jars, desserts, baked goods, or local specialties such as honey, wine, and the like. You can also go for non-food items such as soap, lotion bars, and essential oils.

But really, the best gift would be your presence or friendship. Well if you really want to give someone a gift, make sure it is something that they will definitely be using (and be mindful of where it will be after being used, too.) And if you can think of other fun and thoughtful ways of giving gifts (if you really have to!), let us know below.

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