50 Eco-Friendly and Zero-Waste Gifts You can Buy Last Minute!

by - Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Ok, friends. We are getting to the end of the line. Christmas is coming.

There is no more time to procrastinate. Get those final gifts so you can focus on celebrating, not shopping!

I have a very distinct memory of going to Walmart on Christmas Eve with my amazing (but also amazingly busy) mother so she could frantically finish up her Christmas shopping in the last hour. I was sure I would be nothing like that, because I thought I couldn't stand the chaos, and you would definitely think I wouldn't fall prey to that kind of procrastination now that ethical and eco-friendly shopping is so important to me, right? But yeah, I procrastinate like everybody else.

 We all have a week before Christmas, so it must be time to forget ethical gifting and just fill those gaps, right? Wrong! You and I can still make good choices for a few days before we reach the Christmas Eve Hail Mary trip. Stores are still open.  Hope continues for a while longer!

This post does use affiliate links from Amazon and Etsy. It is probably too late for Etsy, but before you revert to Prime, check out what is in your own neighborhood! Money sent to Amazon will never see your community again, but money paid to local business owners continue to enrich the place you live. Check out this post to see other places to shop online

So, here is a list of things you could still pick up now. It's not too late to do something good with your Christmas shopping!

1. Experience Gifts 

Experience gifts are the BEST, and you can get a gift card to their favorite restaurant last minute as easily as ahead. Also last minute? A coupon to do 5 hours of handyman work at their house. Movie Tickets. Event tickets. Piano Lessons. Couples Dance Classes. A Gift card for a cleaning lady. A Netflix subscription.

When you step out of that box, where every gift has to be a material thing, you see that the options are endless.

Still don't see an idea that clicks with you? I have 99 ridiculously awesome experience gifts on this list. As you reflect on that person, something will click, and it could be the absolute best gift you've ever given, even in a pinch.

Need more reason to go this route? These gifts create less waste and shift the focus away from overconsumerism (which is making us all miserable) to the memories and moments that make our lives amazing. What a huge gift.

2. Anything from a Locally-Owned Store Nearby

 Before you try anything else, take a shopping trip to your local downtown, consignment shop, antique mall, or candy store. You may not find anything, or you might find something really really cool.

Do you even have a grocery store in your neighborhood with local products? Maybe something a little pricey for everyday shopping? Start there. Any adults on the list are likely to enjoy some bread or cheese or candles or soap that was made nearby. These might be the kind of stores that are not open at all hours, and they may not stay open on Christmas Eve, but if you spend some of that last 50 bucks of panic money locally, you could be helping to save the jobs of your friends and neighbors.

One of our family branches just does a 20 dollar limit white elephant, and we make a point to buy all of those gifts in our neighborhood. It means we have spent at least 80 dollars in the community that made us that will stay in that community. I love that, and feel really excited about it. Plus, we have found some really cool stuff!

Made locally and sold locally means that gift used less fossil fuels and created way less waste. It also keeps jobs in your neighborhood.

3. Buy Nothing

  This week, I saw so many people ask for specific gifts or give gifts that might be Christmas-worthy on this site. I gave away some baby stuff so new aunts could re-gift to their new niece and nephews. I have been so moved to see people help others celebrate Christmas in their homes and stock their house with gifts when otherwise there may not have been any. It's hard to fight with free, and that thing lingering on your list might already be collecting dust in someone else's closet. In a pinch, asking your neighbors for help produces surprising and moving results!

Not in a Buy Nothing Group yet? Craziness! Check out their webpage to see if there is one near you (checked before? Maybe check again, because new ones are constantly starting). If there isn't, I have a resolution for you for the New Year...

4. Donations

We don't think of donations as gifts, but they can be the best gift there is. If you really don't have a good idea, skip the "hey I had to get something" gift, and donate to something they care about in their honor. 

Shopping for your veteran grandpa? How about the wounded warrior project? 

Need a gift for a new mom? How about giving money to a tree planting project to protect the Earth for their kids? 

Awkward teen that you don't know what is cool? Give some money for social justice or Black Lives Matter? 

There has never been a deeper divide between who has what they need, and who doesn't. Rather than adding to the pile of stuff someone doesn't need, invest in making the world a little better. 

Want more ideas on this? Check out this post- I have tons of suggestions! 

5. Make Something

Ok, you have hit the last push. Maybe instead of running around getting whatever you can find, you could make them a meal or treat to get them through the rest of the year? Have a lasagna day instead of a shopping day! 

What else can you make in a short time? Go look at the supplies you have. Lightning might strike, you can save money, and it could be a really great gift. 

And then there's Prime...

Alright, let's be honest here, Amazon is basically the Walmart of the internet, but it's hard to fight with 2 day shipping, so everything from here on will be on Prime. Because you are out of time and you can do this super quickly after all of your Christmas outings are over tonight. If you do have more time, most of these are probably for sale at stores near you, so keep an eye out.

 No explanations here, just ideas and links. You can do this!

6. Bee'sWax Wraps
7. Bird Feeder
9. Crayons
10. Dish Brush
11. Epicurean Ladles, Spoons, and Turners
12. Epicurean Cutting Boards
13. Reusable Food Pouches
14. Preserve Food Storage
15. Garbage Bags
16. Golf Balls
17, Green Toys
18. Glass Food Storage
19. Head Phones
20, Honey
21. Lighters
22. Cloth Napkins
23, Decomposition Book Notebooks
24, Seventh Generation Paper Towels
25, Bottle to Pen Pens
26, Pencils
27, Phone Case
28, Post it Notes
29, Produce Bags
30. Silicon Sponges
31, Scissors
32, Reusable Shopping Bag
33, Snack Container
34, Soap
35, Spoons
36, Reusable Straws
37, Storage Basket
38. Swaddle Blankets
39. Tablet Case
40. Teething Rings
41. Toothbrushes (or these)
42, Tote Bag
43, Travel Bottles
44. Alchemy Goods Travel Kit
45, Travel Mugs
46, Wallets
47, Liberty Bottleworks Water Bottles
48. Lifefactory Water Bottles
49. Whisk
50. Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop

With all of these options (just the very tip of the iceberg), hopefully you don't have to feel like you are settling for unethical gifts for those last minute purchases! You can find something better that the giftee can actually use and appreciate.And poke around and you will find tons more. If you are looking for more shopping inspiration, check my Big List of Shopping Lists!

Last Minute Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste Christmas Gifts

Only a few days left until Christmas! I hope everyone is getting their gifting done so they can focus on the spirit and meaning of the holiday this week!

50 Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste Gifts you can Buy Last Minute

You May Also Like



Get Our Latest Posts Via Email - It's Free

Enter your email address: