The Best Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste Housewarming Gift Ideas

by - Wednesday, May 15, 2019

So your friend or family member got new digs, and they are ready to celebrate. It’s always tricky to know what to bring to these things. Housewarming parties usually imply some sort of gift (unless they explicitly say otherwise), but it would be nice to give a gift that doesn’t add to the home’s cluttering. They are just getting started there, how could they possibly want a bunch of clutter!?

For many of us, this also poses an environmental challenge. Most fruit baskets and the like come wrapped in plastic, and we don’t want to put money into something that is just going to land in a landfill. So what do you give them instead?

Here are my best ideas for gifts that will help the home start on a green foot. Bonus, they will likely be favorite gifts for a long, long time!

1. Hours of Help

Home ownership is kind of the worst. Everything is your problem, and if they have recently moved in, they probably have an overwhelming list of to do’s, just ready to bog down their weekends. You can make that to do list a little bit fun by offering to come help paint the bathrooms or stain the deck or plant that bush. It will be way more fun with your help.

If you live nearby, there is no better gift than a (fulfilled) promise to help with the upcoming projects that are just a part of moving into a new space. If you can trust them to take you up on it, offer painting help or help moving. Gift something edible with a little coupon good for 3 hours of help.

from 112JamesStreet

2. Cloth Napkins

Cloth Napkins are the easiest eco- friendly switch you can make, and once you get in the habit of using them, you will wonder why you EVER used paper ones. There are so many beautiful (but unfussy) ones, so this could make a really nice gift.

There are thousands of options for cloth napkins on Etsy, and you can read our post on our favorite stores for cloth napkins. You can find one for any style, and it can (and should!) be a gamechanger for anyone.

3. Toilet Paper

Feeling generous? Buy the family a big old box of bamboo toilet paper from Who Gives a Crap? and enjoy how weird you have made things. But you know that it will get used, that you have kept trees from coming down, and that you made zero plastic waste with that gift. And I bet they will never forget it!

4. A Tree or Plant

If someone is celebrating a new home with a yard, help them celebrate that space with a beautiful native plant or tree. It’s amazing for the environment (we now know one of the best chances we have against Climate Change is to simply plant an epic number of trees- no more weird empty grass lawns). It is also amazing for their home- it raises the value, keeps the house cooler, and even can help minimize depression in the household. Trees and plants are IMPORTANT. You get bonus points if you help plant it.

If they don’t have a yard, you can still gift a beautiful potted plant or (even tastier) a little herb garden. If you want a cool planter, check out these ones we found on Etsy. Plants are happiness, so you are basically gifting happiness here.

5. Cloth Grocery and Produce Bags

Many of us have cloth grocery bags, but maybe not as many as you think. You can give this gift in a number of eco-friendly ways. First, head to your local thrift shops and buy them four or five tote bags that would work for this purpose.

If you can't find them used, you can still get them new. For grocery and produce bags, I recommend keeping it simple; a cotton tote- you can get thousands of them (21,000 just on Etsy), so you can gift a sassy one or support one of their favorite businesses or organizations. These extra large ones make a lot of sense,

For produce bags, I absolutely love Colony Co Reusable Bags- once you try these, you will never want to go back to plastic. They are strong and weirdly pretty. We have been using the same bunch for a long time, and they really hold up.

6. Bamboo Toothbrushes

A little personal? Maybe. But toothbrushes create a pretty significant amount of plastic waste. It could be cute with a candy bar or a baked sweet treat.

Plastic toothbrushes put all sorts of nonsense chemicals in your mouth (and it isn't regulated particularly, so it is worth it to be wary), you have two better options- bamboo or Preserve's recycled foodsafe plastic toothbrushes.

One BIG tip- If you are trying to gift without plastic (GO YOU!), really look at the reviews of the bamboo toothbrush you choose. LOTS of people complain of buying a bamboo toothbrush only to have it arrive in plastic. If you shop somewhere mainstream like Amazon, you can find that information, so take the time to do so (but try a shop like The Refill Revolution or Tiny Yellow Bungalow instead- it takes hutspah to run a small business and even more to serve the Earth at the same time).

from Amazon

7. Dish Brushes and Dust Pans

If you want to get something that is practical, ethically-made, AND beautiful, it does not get much better than Redecker. They make dust pans and dish brushes suddenly seem like pretty precious objects. So it seems like a sweet gift while still being incredibly practical AND cutting down on plastic waste.

The other great thing about this brand is that they sell refills, so they can keep using the same brush for a long, long time. I love this gift idea so much.

8. Bar Soap

Bar soap is a simple gift that can perfectly fit their taste, support a local business, AND cuts down on plastic waste! Skip Bath and Bodyworks (the gift that says "I don't know you") and get your loved one something made nearby that smells amazing and saves the world. Bar soap beats liquid hands down, so your budding environmentalist might be all about the saved plastic. If you want something you can get online, Kiss my Face's olive oil soap (wrapped in paper) is my favorite face soap.

Bar soap yields over 100,000 finds on Etsy, so narrow it down by geography and see what is being made near you. Or ask at local shops and grocery stores. I would LOVE this gift, as I love trying new soaps.

9. Dryer Balls

Dryer Balls are a perfect gift- they will get tons of use, and they keep those dryer sheets out of the trash. I got these a few years ago as a Christmas gift and LOVED it. They have lasted for hundreds of loads, and they have to be one of the simplest switches away from wasteful living.

 You can see my list of dryer balls here. Don't want to poke around? Ok, buy these.

10. A Co-op Box or Local Goodies

So many places have farm subscription boxes or csa boxes now. Our small town we grew up in even has one. If you want to add a little bit of local flavor to their new home, the boxes can be really inspiring when there are new foods and resources to try! The more a diet hinges on plants instead of animals, the better it is for the environment, so you can help to shift that focus.

You can't go wrong with consumables, and the more local, the better. Think about what local treats are available and maybe you will get inspired too! If nothing comes to mind, you could always bring something you made.

The Best Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste Housewarming Gift Ideas

Have a housewarming coming up? Try one of these awesome gifts! What are your favorite green gifts to give?

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