Last Minute Zero Waste Gifts

Ever think you don't need a gift, but then last minute feel weird showing up empty-handed? If you can't fight that feeling and just bring your personality, then check out these easy and zero waste last minute gifts you can pull together in no time. 

Here, I'm calling it "zero waste" if the container can be reused or recycled (e.g. a coconut oil jar), or you already have the ingredients necessary to make the gift. I thought long and hard about what is generally available via bulk bins (the best option; bring your reusable bags!) or bought without packaging. I've come up with five ingredients that will create healthy and zero waste gifts:


1. Dried fruit can be bought in bulk and dipped in fair trade chocolate as a delicious gift. Use this recipe from Tia's Kitchen for any kind of dried fruit. Store it in a glass jar or waxed paper bag for presenting.

2. Use a secondhand container to create an edible fruit centerpiece. This would be great to bring to a holiday party! Use organic seasonal fruits like citrus, pomegranates, and apples; add herbs, flowers, or pine branches to finish it off as a centerpiece. 

3. Fruit and spice infused scents given in jars can be refrigerated or frozen for later before they are heated to bring out the fragrances. 


1. Make a raw Superfood Fruit, Nut & Seed Snack Mix with bulk bin items. This would make a yummy gift for anyone, but would be especially great for holiday travelers. It's fast and easy, with only mixing required.

2. You probably already have most of the ingredients for these Cinnamon Curry Almonds by Sweet Roots. This recipe is especially easy because it's made in a slow cooker. 

3. I've made these Turmeric Roasted Cashews with Chia from Cook Republic and can say that they are delicious and they store well. I'd love to receive these as a gift!

Tips and ideas for having a Christmas with less waste and more meaning.


Oats (even organic ones) are cheap when bought in bulk and are so versatile. Make anything from beauty products to granola! 

1. Make either a soothing oatmeal bath or a scrub with these recipes from Style Me Pretty.

2. These Instant Oatmeal Jars by Amy Bites are a great idea for health nuts and busy friends alike. Include a copy of the recipes so they can replicate the gift in their reusable jars.

3. Granola recipes abound, but this one by Naturally Ella is really simple and you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand. Dress it up by adding chia seeds or dried fruit before storing in glass jars for gifting.


Take some inspiration from 1. Wedding Chicks, 2. Amy Merrick, and 3. Martha Stewart to make your own floral arrangement or wreath. Look for fair trade flowers or just forage for the seasonal ingredients. I got a bunch of free pine branches from a Christmas tree stand and plan to use them in an arrangement with some flowers and herbs.


Salt can be bought in large recyclable containers, if not in bulk. 

1. I simply want to try this Hand-chopped Garlic Herb Salt recipe, but it would also make an easy gift. 

2. Food + Words has a recipe for Meyer Lemon & Thyme Infused Salt that can be endlessly adapted with other herbs and flavors.

3. Find nine recipes for DIY salt scrubs on Urban Muses. Your clean beauty friend will love them!


Have any go-to last minute gifts that don't make trash? Let me know in the comments!


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