Last Minute Zero Waste Gifts

December 21, 2021

Last Minute Zero Waste Gift Ideas

A shocking amount of our gifts end up in landfill. Approximately £42 million of unwanted Christmas presents are thrown away every year. So it's important, when we're participating in gift giving, we're doing is it in a way that is sustainable and eco-friendly to avoid turning even more things into trash.

Sustainable gifting is about considering what someone would actually like, want, and use. Gifting should be meaningful and heartfelt, not an overbearing obligation. That's only really possible when we start our gift shopping early, and put a lot of thought into the purchases we make.

Before you even think about gift ideas, consider whether you need to buy them anything at all. Opting out of gifting is always an option. When we've left our gift purchases until the last minute, there's usually a reason. The hardest gifts to buy are often the ones we should potentially not buy at all.

If you've left it until the last minute and you absolutely must buy a gift, there are some ways to make your purchases heartfelt as well as useful. If you have a little more time to consider your options, take a look at these zero waste gift ideas and, if you can, thrift for gifts before buying new; ideally from small businesses. But if you're down to the wire, read on for a few zero waste gift ideas that are actually last minute, and the receiver will definitely want. Don't forget the zero waste gift wrap and the perfect gift bow!



Last Minute Zero Waste Gift Ideas


A Gift Card

Know the perfect shop or even the ideal gift but ran out of time to have it delivered? Opt for a gift card instead. Gift cards are particularly useful when it comes to buying more personal gifts, like jewellery. Instead of trying to figure out whether they wear gold or silver, you can let them choose the perfect gift themselves.

Gift cards have a reputation for being a horribly thoughtless gift. But if you've left it to the last minute, it's probably the best option. To make a gift card a more thoughtful gift, browse the online store yourself. Consider what items would be suitable, and purchase a gift card that would cover the cost of it. That way the receiver isn't having a pay anything towards their own present. You can mention the item in your gift note too to show you've thought of them.



Membership or Pass

An excellent last minute yet incredibly thoughtful gift is a membership or pass to local attractions, museums, galleries, or gardens. Equally tickets to a show or skills class, or reservations to their favourite restaurant. If you know they enjoy visiting their local art gallery or gardens, you can purchase a yearly membership or pass so they have free entry whenever they want to go. Likewise, if you know they've been meaning to practice their language skills or want to try out pottery, buy them a few lessons or classes for them to get started.



A Subscription Service

If you know someone uses a streaming service, like Netflix or Spotify, consider gifting them a few months or a whole year's subscription to the service. I'm sure most people who use these services would appreciate the gift. It's non-physical, immediately enjoyable, and can be very last minute. The best gifts are the ones that are actually wanted and will be used so paying for someone's subscription to their favourite online service is a surefire gift that will go down well.



Plant Cuttings

This one might be rather niche. If you enjoy growing houseplants, and have a few in need of a trim; plant cuttings make ideal last minute gifts for friends and family looking to grow their own collection. If you have a little extra time, you could thrift stem vases or vessels to gift the cuttings in. If you've completely run out of time, check your kitchen to repurpose glass jars for propagating.



A Homemade Gift

There are so many last minute low waste homemade gifts you can opt for. Consumables are, in my opinion, the best option. Something that can be eaten or used up. Bake their favourite cake, make some pickles, or set them up with fire cider. You could also make them something to use, like a foraged wreath, natural beauty products, or even hair ties. You can make most of these the night before, which can be an absolute life-saver when you've left your gifts until the very last minute! Here's how you can propagate your plants and turn them into gifts. You could also try preserving leaves and framing them for display.



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