Zero Waste Gifts for the Holidays! Eco-Friendly Gift Guide 2021

Updated: Dec 5, 2021

The holidays are here and with that usually comes excess waste, but it doesn’t have to be that way!


First off, I think asking someone what they want for a gift is great and should be commonplace. Yes, surprises are cool, but what if the person doesn’t like what you got them? That item will end up in the trash, in a pile collecting dust, or at best, the thrift store. You don’t have to ask them for exactly what they want, just some ideas so you get them something useful.



Here is my 2021 eco-friendly gift guide. This year I wanted to focus on the smaller zero waste brands you might not have heard of as well as some small businesses that aren’t necessarily eco, but any small business is less polluting than Amazon, Walmart, Target, and so forth.


Speaking of, if you especially want to avoid Amazon this holiday season, read all the way to the bottom for some zero waste shops you can browse instead of browsing Amazon.


If this list still isn’t enough ideas for you, here is my 2019 gift guide full of some of the big name zero waste brands and my 2020 gift guide which is full of zero waste stocking stuffer ideas.



Last thing before we jump in, here is a list of ways to have a more eco-friendly holiday season this year:


Now, let’s jump in!



Beauty/cosmetics

  1. Face theory: vegan skincare, cruelty free, and limits plastic usage

  2. Sunbutter: Australian based sunscreen, comes in aluminum tins

  3. Sea & Summit: USA based sunscreen, comes in bamboo or recycled plastics

  4. EIR: natural and unisex skincare

  5. Butter me up Organics: natural house cleaning products also makes cosmetics

  6. Raw Love: reef safe sunscreen made in Hawaii

  7. Sun Tribe: natural zinc sunscreen that comes in tins

  8. Butterbean Organics sunscreen and more (use code EMMA832)

  9. Raw Elements sunscreen and more

  10. Check out my full sunscreen review video here for more information and thoughts on these brands

  11. Period underwear:

  12. Modibodi (Australian based, also make pre-teen)

  13. Thinx (also make pre-teen and maternity)

  14. Wuka, European made

  15. For more thoughts on period underwear, check out my initial unboxing and try on here or my thoughts after a few months of testing them here

  16. Glad Rags reusable pads and menstrual cups

  17. The Other Straw reusable bamboo toothbrushes. The head is removable so you only have to replace the head vs the whole brush

  18. Get Flossed: reusable floss holder made from bioplastic

  19. Blue Heron Botanicals lip balm in plastic-free packaging

  20. The Witchery Skincare: natural , unprocessed, and locally made

  21. Bottle None shampoo and conditioner bars (US and Canada)

  22. The Coconut Crush: Las Vegas made shampoo bars, body scrubs, and bath bombs

  23. Nix mouthwash: reusables bottles, just order the concentrate to save waste!

  24. Watch this video for more of my thoughts on Nix/how it works

  25. Yay for Earth: locally made, small business selling lotion and serums

  26. Booda Organics: lotions and more made with raw ingredients

  27. Coco Kind: plant-based and cruelty free skincare for all

  28. The Rebrand: minimal, clean beauty in refillable packaging

  29. The Last Swab: the world’s first reusable cotton swab

  30. Wabisabi Suds: natural soaps and body butters

  31. Badger shaving cream solid bar soap

  32. Huppy toothpaste tabs

  33. Noice: dental gel that comes in glass

  34. Everist: a shampoo concentrate for those who prefer liquid soap to bars



Cleaning

  1. Happy Husks: compostable sponges made from cellulose and coconut husks

  2. CONCENTR8ED: cleaning bar concentrates to reduce water and plastic consumption. They also have compostable cellulose sponges now!

  3. This video is chock full of information on what an eco bar even is and how to use each of the bars from CONCENTR8ED

  4. Earth Breeze: laundry sheets that come plastic free

  5. Dropps active wash low waste laundry pods

  6. TruEarth: laundry sheets that come in cardboard

  7. Lazy Coconuts: plastic free laundry sheets

  8. Molly’s Suds low waste laundry powder

  9. Ethique stain remover, shampoo bars, and more

  10. Kind Laundry laundry sheets, wool dryer balls, and more

  11. I have TWO laundry reviews on my channel full of info on 10 brands, so watch the first one here and the second one here

  12. Who Gives a Crap: recycled and bamboo toilet paper and tissues

  13. Whole Roll: recycled toilet paper

  14. Cloud Paper: recycled toilet paper

  15. To find out more about what makes toilet paper eco-friendly and which brand is right for you, watch this video

  16. Tushy Bidets: bidet attachments, toilet paper, and more

  17. Here’s my initial thoughts about the Tushy and how to install it

  18. Stain remover bars:

  19. Aisle

  20. BunchaFarmers

  21. This video has info on what makes a stain remover eco-friendly and how to properly use the bars for the best results

  22. Petal: refillable foaming hand soap

  23. The Nami Shop: reusable cotton rounds, scrubby pads, and unpaper towels



Decor/home

  1. B&I Metal Designs has personalized metal decals for any occasion

  2. Wanderlust Pottery has homemade ceramics

  3. Branching Together makes home décor from upcycled materials like reclaimed wood and 5 gallon buckets to name a few

  4. Photographer’s prints

  5. Dendler Photography: that's right! We sell our prints now! We may be videographers primarily on the internet, but we both fell in love with photography first. Support our work using the link above and have beautiful art from our travels

  6. Little Island Takara (Laura) one of my good friends from Okinawa who sells beautiful works of art from her travels

  7. Or support photographers buy getting the gift of a photoshoot

  8. Local artwork like paintings, woodwork, yarn work, etc.

  9. Stars and Strings Macramé/Crochet

  10. Subluceo Soy Candles that are cruelty-free and vegan

  11. Sheets and Giggles low waste bedding made of eucalyptus, recycled plastic, and more

  12. Emily Iris Degn: art, photography, homemade and foraged goods

  13. Pure Earth Pets: eco-friendly pet necessities

  14. Eco-Friendly Crafts: eco art supplies

  15. Made Trade: natural and eco-friendly bedding

  16. ECOS Paints: eco-friendly house paint



Jewelry

  1. Ana Luisa: nearly 100% recycled gold and silver jewelry plus lab grown diamonds

  2. This video has more information about Ana Luisa and what pieces I love

  3. Lackadazee: recycled body jewelry like nose and ear cartilage

  4. Here is my quick review on Lackadazee and what makes jewelry eco

  5. Earth Blooms: made from local plants, this jewelry captures delicate nature

  6. Eden Reflex Jewelry: rings made from upcycled spoons

  7. Stockholm Rose Designs: ethical jewelry made in Sweden with recycled materials

  8. Clay and Aloha: handmade clay jewelry

  9. Happy Glass Co: upcycled glass turned into jewelry and home décor

  10. In the Pines: handmade sterling silver jewelry

  11. Aloha Sea Candy: handmade made from upcycled sea glass (AKA litter)



Food/Health

  1. Subscription to Imperfect Foods (this link gets you $80 off)

  2. Watch this video for Imperfect Foods review and unboxing

  3. Subscription to Misfits Market (this code gets you $10 off: COOKWME-FK9NXXNJYIS)

  4. Here are my initial thoughts on Misfits Market PLUS a comparison between Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods

  5. A handwritten family recipe book. I received this as a wedding gift and I cherish it! It’s full of recipes from great-grandparents, parents, aunts, and is so special. You can even add your own recipes too and pass it down one day.

  6. Ever so Qwrkee: plant-based nutrition like plant milks, snacks, and more



Fashion

  1. Genusee: Recycled plastic glasses made from water bottle used in Flint Michigan

  2. Jute Plant Bag: made from 100% jute fiber that is biodegradable and recyclable

  3. The Apple Pine: vegan pineapple leather bags made from pineapple leaves after harvest

  4. Belange Handmade: high quality fashion pieces dedicated to reducing material waste

  5. Kintobe Bags: made from recycled polyester, nylon, and algae

  6. Woven Futures: slow fashion brand that celebrate Latin American culture and textiles

  7. Kula Bags: vegan, and eco-friendly backpacks

  8. Evie Swim: ethically and sustainably made activewear/swimwear

  9. Indosole: flip flops made from recycled tires, natural rubber, and vegan

  10. Parafina: Eco-friendly eyewear made with 100% recycled materials

  11. Kent: undergarments made for the health of the planet and our bodies

  12. Organic Basics: eco-friendly basics like tees, socks, sweats, and more

  13. Grunbag: bags made from repurposed materials

  14. Madewell: eco clothing retailer from jeans to swimwear to bags

  15. Tentree: sustainably made clothing for all and plants trees per purchase

  16. Allbirds: known for their sustainable shoes (sneakers) but also clothing

  17. Alohas: sustainable shoe brand

  18. Terra Thread: organic and fair trade bags