Before convenience was crowned the king of consumerism, the mantra was “Do with whatcha got!” My mom bought in bulk because it was affordable. Our tupperware was last year’s yogurt containers. We took our newspaper, glass, and plastics to the recycling center because we might earn a few cents back. But just because zero waste isn’t a new idea, it’s still a GREAT old idea, and we’re as happy as kids in the bulk candy aisle to see the zero waste conversation gaining momentum. Whether you’re wanting to reduce the amount of waste you create because it saves you money, or frees up space at home, or reduces garbage guilt … keep it up! Because all of those reasons are true, and they all matter. And we can all do a little more in our own lives to live lighter. Zero waste doesn’t mean you have to toss out everything you own (please don’t) in exchange for something new that’s maybe been responsibly upcycled out of bamboo, or came without excessive packaging, or because it was featured by someone with a lot of followers and a pristine profile on Instagram. Zero waste simply means “Do with whatcha got!” and when you don’t got it, welllll, just be a bit more selective about what you go out and get!
That’s the idea behind our GladRags Gift Picks: Do with whatcha got, and let’s all be a bit more mindful of the waste that can amass beneath the shimmer of holiday wrapping.
Homemade Sugar Scrub – If you have coconut oil, sugar, and a lidded jar, this gift idea is pretty much done! Tracy likes this base recipe from Love Grows Wild.
DIY Beeswax Candles – These simple candles are fun and easy to make! If you don’t have sheets of beeswax on hand, Toadily Handmade has a variety of kits to get you started.
Tea – Oh the wonders of tea! It smells great, tastes delicious, and is more than just something to consume, it’s something to enjoy and experience! If you have a favorite loose leaf tea of your own, you could divide it into smaller tins or jars to share as gifts. Or support your neighborhood teahouse and pick up tea in tins that can reused again and again.
Cat Toys – Sometimes the way to someone’s heart is through their cat. And while kitty might be super happy chasing around a wadded up ball of wrapping paper, she’d also be thrilled to bat around a pom pom made from an old sweater. Make your own cat treats and toys, or support a homegrown, waste-conscious retailer like Purrfect Play.
Make a Donation – Part of the fun in making a donation in someone else’s name is selecting the organization to suit the recipient. Have a veteran in your life? Make a gift to Team Rubicon! Or someone who loves books? And kids? Make a donation to The Children’s Book Bank! The options for giving are endless, and the love will reverberate throughout the year.
Brew Your Own – Homemade cookies have been a go-to holiday gift for decades. They’re fun, festive, and a seasonal indulgence that suits just about everybody. But if you want to get out of the cookie biz, cook up something new! Kelli started brewing her own kombucha this year. The start up cost was minimal (a gallon jar, a SCOBY, a funnel, and some cheesecloth — less than $20) and now she’s bottling her own in flip-top glass bottles and giving them as gifts to teachers, neighbors, and friends!
DIY On The Go Kit – Put together a bundle of on-the-go dining essentials: cloth napkin, glass or stainless steel straw, fork, and spoon. Put a ribbon on it, and voila! This is a great way to re-home utensils that have mysteriously amassed in your kitchen, or stop by your local thrift store for one of a kind finds. You can do a quick cut and stitch of old fabric to create new-to-them napkins. Zero waste giving that enables zero waste dining. So much winning.
Tickets – Tickets to a show or an event are the gift that gives twice! The first when you give the tickets and say “Hey! We’re going to see Cats On Ice together!” and the second when you actually go! Making memories, not garbage. Also, we really hope Cats On Ice is a thing …