Thinking about how someone might dispose of your holiday gift before you even buy it can feel a bit... strange. As a gift-giver, it's easy to get into a one-track mindset, focusing only on the set of socks or high-tech gadget you want to give someone. As a gift receiver, though, you know how quickly packaging adds up. That cute holiday present pile can turn into a mountain of plastic in about five minutes flat, making the case for zero-waste holiday gifts all the more appealing for you, the person you're buying for, and for the environment itself.
Since it should come as no surprise that the holidays and "minimizing waste" haven't typically been synonymous. CNN reported in 2010 that American homes create 25 percent more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year's — or an additional one million tons — per the Environmental Protection Agency. (And no, before you ask, gift wrap isn't always recyclable. Sorry.)
There is good news to all of this, though. The zero-waste movement has become more and more mainstream, bringing with it a bevy of giftable products that cut back on eventual waste, are packaged in recyclable materials, or give back to the environment in one way or another. Online stores like Package Free Shop and Zero Waste Store even use plastic-free shipping, so you can scroll, shop, and order with peace of mind.
Or, just keep on reading. Below are 11 gift-ready products that cut back on waste through recycling, reusing, and minimizing the impact of single-use plastic or other environmentally unfriendly materials. Oh, and they look chic and work great, too.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.