Zero-Waste Gift Inspiration


Written by: Jenni Keniston

During the months of May and June, I find myself scrambling to come up with gift ideas for several special occasions that happen this time of year.  There is Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations, end-of-year teacher’s gifts, family birthdays, and even my wedding anniversary!  If you are like me and trying to come up with the perfect zero-waste gift to express your appreciation for an amazing person in your life, here are some of my favorite suggestions to hopefully inspire you:

The Gift of an Experience

The fathers in my life, especially, just love an excuse to get out of the house and experience something exciting or new.  Some local suggestions that have been a big hit for our family: a visit to a local brewery or winery for a tasting, day passes to the Museum of Flight, and tickets to a Seattle Sounders or Mariners game.  (Check out the new vegan food items now available at the T-Mobile stadium!

Plan a Special Nature Adventure

This could be something more easy-going like visiting a local farm for berry picking or hiking a new local trail.  Or, check an item off their bucket list and plan something a little more elaborate like a camping weekend, rock climbing, kayaking or go big and charter a sailboat.  The gear required to enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest is always a safe route to go for gifts.  Did you know that Patagonia has a separate retail website for just their gently used outdoor clothing called Worn Wear?

three gifts wrapped in kraft paper on a green background with stems of eucalyptus. zero waste gift inspiration from scoop marketplace

Everyone Appreciates a Little Self-Care

Everyone enjoys the opportunity to use high-quality personal care products, but not everyone is willing to treat themselves to those luxuries.  One of my favorite zero-waste gifts is a safety razor!  I highly recommend checking out the new Twig Razor design by Leaf that is now available at Scoop Marketplace.  Another awesome option is to put together a self-care kit, especially for someone who is new to trying out zero-waste alternatives.  Here are some of the items to consider: Beard Oil, Shave Soap Bar, LastSwab, Tooth Tabs, Chapstick, Bamboo Floss, Bug Spray, Mouthwash Tabs, Bamboo Toothbrush, Soap and Shampoo Bar.

Eco-Friendly Apparel and Accessories

Luckily, more and more small, conscientious and ethical brands are popping up that are offering stylish, high-quality clothing options.  You can now find plastic-free, vegan and/or upcycled alternatives to wallets, belts, bags, sun-glasses and shoes. An attractive and super comfy organic cotton t-shirt is almost always appreciated. 

Plastic-Free Alternatives to Everyday Items

Some of the best gifts are those that make someone's everyday life a little more comfortable or convenient.  My spouse is a teacher and he depends on his 32 oz Hydro Flask insulated refillable water bottle to make sure he can stay hydrated while working.  The lid option with a straw is really nice for those who may be required to wear a mask all day during these times.  He also cherishes his handmade mug for his tea and coffee when he needs a pick-me-up.  Our very own team member, Avery Parducci, creates stunning pottery, (even custom!) that can be made available for pickup at Scoop Marketplace. 

These days almost everyone has a cell phone and headphones on hand at all times.  I highly recommend checking out the plastic-free/composable cell phone and AirPod cases by Pela Case.

Special Gifts from the Little Ones

Over the last several years, our family has started shifting away from purchasing gifts to celebrate holidays and instead focus more on creating handmade gifts together.  Cook or bake something together that is extra yummy.  Frame a child’s artwork or a photograph of a favorite memory.  Make something out of clay and paint to brighten up a work space.  This year my children and I picked out pots and plants to give to their teachers.  They made them extra special with little decorative figurines and rocks.