Low Waste & Consumable Gifts People Will Actually Want

So you’re trying to find a gift for the person who has everything? Or someone who has a small home, is involved in the low waste movement, or are on their own journey towards minimalism. Maybe you are on a budget this year or just cant stand the idea of having another consumerist Christmas. Regardless of the reasons, I’ve got the list for you. These are some ideas for low waste and consumable gifts that your friends and family will actually want this holiday season!

Home grown dried herbs

Hang your herbs to dry at the end of the season in a cool dark place, jar them up, and slap a bow and label on them. They are sure to be appreciated and it’s a great way to use up your oregano plant that got a little out of control this year.

You bake it, they eat it

My sister in law loves Danielle Walkers Christmas Fudge recipe from her Celebrations cookbook, so I try to always make that for her around the holidays. Anything that could last several days, ideally that doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Some ideas for this include:

  • Brownies
  • Cookies
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  • Peppermint Bark
  • Fudge
  • Candy
  • Dehydrated fruits
  • Trail Mix
  • Pies, etc

Jarred or canned goodsCall me a hippie, but I love just about anything that comes in a mason jar. It’s great for two reasons; you can use or eat what is inside, and then you can reuse the jar after!

  • Cookie or other Recipe in a Jar
  • Hot Cocoa in a jar
  • Home made slaw, pickles or Sour Kraut
  • Marinated cheese and olives in a jar
  • Home Made Jar Candle – (candles without chemical fragrance are EXPENSIVE and hard to find, Make your own, for a special gift), I did this last year and the process was very therapeutic for me, not for children really though as the wax gets super hot and it can be a very messy process.

Kid Crafts

  • Recycled Crayon melts (for little kids) – Use all your broken crayon pieces to create new rainbow crayons. Shred the crayon with a cheese grater and use silicone molds to melt the wax on low heat until you have new crayon forms. We made some heart shaped ones last year that turned out really great.
  • DIY Bird feeders – enlist your kids help to create some birdseed balls. We love feeding the birds in the winter time.
  • Beeswax roll up candles – We made this set from amazon (pictured above). It was so simple and a lot of fun and a candle making craft kids can do.

Art Supplies

If your loved one is a child or likes to craft, refreshing their art supplies is a fantastic and always appreciated gift. Christmas is a great time to stock back up on supplies the kids have gone through.

  • Play doh or molding clay
  • Colored pencils, Markers, or crayons
  • Coloring books
  • Yarn
  • Experiment kits

Food or Fruit Arrangements

  • Flower bouquet – put together by you or ordered online
  • Edible Arrangements (not great for folks with diary or soy allergies)
  • Meat and Cheese Gift Baskets – Kind of a professional style gesture, but you might have the foodie in your life that will really appreciate this. It’s fun to tailor these to suit people based on their dietary restrictions and preferences if you are like me and your local healthfood store is your Happy Place.
  • College kid-style care package – Pick your loved ones a little collection of the following; favorite candy, gum, chocolate, restaurant or store gift card, a bag of snacks (nuts, crackers, trail mix, or chips, etc), and a book, calendar or journal. It’s a nice personal touch they will be able to tell how much thought and effort your put into it.

Monthly Subscriptions

  • Meat Subscription – We have had several meat services given to us over the years but Butcher Box is by far our favorite service. Their meat quality is phenomenal and they are consistent.
  • Fruit, olive oil, chocolate or wine or book of the Month Club

Gift Certificates

  • Local Restaurant
  • Food delivery service, like GreenChef or Hello Fresh.
  • Memberships to your gift recipient’s local zoo, gym, museum or other members only location.
  • Tickets – to a show, concert, play, movies, etc.

Favorite Bottle of Spirits If you can make these, that’s a nice frugal touch but most people don’t have those resources so store bought can be just fine!

Bath products

  • bath bombs or salts – These from My Tiny Laguna are super adorable!
  • Soaps
  • Candles


  • Feed Them – Invite your loved one to dinner
  • Treat Them – Take your friend to a movie or treat them to ice cream or a dinner out as a way to celebrate together.
  • Coupon books – A well loved gift from children to their parents
  • Clean – Offer to help them organize their garage, attic or pantry for them.
  • Write them a letter and a handmade card that they can treasure forever


  • Cold Hard Cash. Oftentimes for teenagers, cash is king. This is particularly appreciated by teens who are saving for a car, in college or like to shop as a hobby.
  • Donate to their favorite charity in their name

And those are our low waste consumable gifts that people will actually want. Leave us a note in the comments if you would like to share additional ideas or have favorite holiday gift recipes for our readers!

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