{a} Mindful Mind/You/Life, Zero Waste Challenge

The Ultimate Zero Waste, Minimalist Friendly, and Mindful Gift Guide (with 97 gift ideas!)

Gift giving. It can be a tricky subject, especially if you are on your way to living a clutter-free and/or minimalist lifestyle. However, I do believe there can be a healthy balance between the minimalist and zero waste lifestyle that we are slowly adopting and gift giving. Mr. Blographer and I have been actively reevaluating gift giving the past couple of years, ESPECIALLY now that we have Little E. And I’m not going to lie, it has been somewhat difficult to change the gift-giving habits we’ve adopted over the years.


Besides taking a hard look at the type of gifts we give and ask for, we have started following these four guidelines:

  • Follow the rule ‘Something you want, something you wear, something you read and something you need’.


  • Don’t underestimate second-hand stores for gifts. We love our local second-hand store for a variety of items, and for online second-hand women’s and kids clothes shopping we LOVE ThredUp.


  • Santa, Easter Bunny, Etc: Santa brings one gift (a smaller gift) and then stockings he brings usable items or consumable items (usable meaning yummy soaps, bath items, crafting supplies, snacks, etc). The Easter Bunny and other ‘friends’ follow suit.


  • Adopt other birthday/holiday/other celebratory event traditions instead of gifts
    • Make the person of honor their favorite meal
    • Offer to let the person of honor choose what activity they want to do for the day


Other than that, we really try to be really mindful of purchasing/making gifts that don’t contribute too much or any clutter and fall in line with our minimalist and zero-waste mindsets.

Subscription Boxes

I love subscription boxes. If you are unfamiliar with them, let me tell you why I think subscription boxes make great gifts:

  • they are usually very low clutter
  • can be tailored to specific interests of the recipient
  • allows the recipient to try new items they may not normally try
  • subscription box companies often support local and small businesses
  • the boxes often contain unique and fun items!
  • there are so many different options which make it great for those hard to buy for
  • there are great options for kids!
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  • UrthBox (use this link to get $10 off your first box) – A snack box subscription with non-GMO and organic food and beverages
  • Love with Food (use this link to get 25% off) – All natural, gluten-free or organic snacks
  • NatureBox (Use this link to join for only $5 a month) – All things snacks! I subscribed to this box for a while a couple of years ago and all the snacks were delicious!
  • Raw Spice Bar – For the person who loves to use a lot of spices in their cooking
  • Super Food Box – A box for the superfood lover in your life (think exotic fruits, rare foods, etc)
  • Bean Box Gourmet Coffee Sampler – For the coffee lover in your life
  • Vine Oh!– For the wine lover in your life
  • Teatrition Tea of the Month Club – For the tea lover in your life (They have an amazing selection of teas for any type of tea lover in your life. I personally LOVE the coconut rooibos chai. They even have a tea of the month option, which I got for my stepmom for Christmas, and she loves it).



For Kids

  • Little Loving Hands – Kids Crafts for a Cause – A box is sent with a kid-friendly craft in it. You and your kids do the craft and send it back with the pre-stamped envelope/package. The craft is then donated to a worthy cause. If this isn’t the coolest idea for a subscription box, I don’t know what is!
  • Animal Trackers (for ages 3+) – Take your kids on a safari and learn about different animals each month. Perfect for free-play, art activities and more.
  • Space Scouts (for ages 6+) – This box focuses helping kids learn about science, space, and technology through activities.
  • Green Kids Crafts – Science and art kids activities for kids aged 2-10 using eco-friendly materials.
  • Steve Spangler Science – For the young scientist in your life who loves learning about STEM-related topics. As seen on the Ellen show!
  • Bramble Box – This box contains supplies for 2-3 hands-on activities for kids and adults!


For Adults (Hobbies/Outdoor)

  • Smart Art Box – Get full-sized art supplies and step-by-step instructions on different art projects each month.
  • The Nomadik  – For the travel and outdoor lover in your life
  • Cairn – Includes items for anything and everything outdoors (hiking, fishing, camping, etc. I bought this for my husband last year and he loved it!)
  • Quilty Box – For the quilt lover in your life.
  • Grill Masters Club – for the person who loves to grill in your life
  • Annie’s Hook and Needle Club – For the knitter or crocheter in your life



Self Care

  • Hygge Box – Each box contains items to create a hygge inspired life!
  • TheraBox – Curated by therapists to include self-care and stress/anxiety reducing items
  • The Wallflower Box – Items for introverts and other quiet souls
  • The Year of Wellness –  Receive products to inspire wellness and happiness in your life


For Adults (Women)

  • Ecocentric Moms – Receive organic and eco-friendly products for mom’s wellbeing
  • 21 Bundles – Contains baby-safe goodies for pregnant and/or new moms
  • Causebox – Causebox aims to create a community of women who care about social issues, the environment, themselves and their community. Each item in their seasonal box has a story and helps support the previously mentions issues.
  • Love Goodly – This subscription includes eco-friendly, cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics, wellness and lifestyle products.


For Adults (Men)

**Cairn and The Nomadik boxes are good for men as well**


For Pets

  • Pooch Perks – For the dog lover in your life
  • The Naked Dog Box (use this link to get $10 off your first order) – Receive healthy dog food right to your door
  • KitNip Box – For the cat lover in your life




  • Gift certificate for their favorite restaurant
  • Gift certificate to their favorite coffee/tea place
  • Meal planning/delivery gift certificate
  • Lessons for kids/adults: swim lessons, dance lessons, etc.
  • Sign up for a local community ed class together!
  • A local park pass or state park pass
  • A dog park pass if they have a dog
  • Movie night out or in
  • Sports tickets
  • Gift certificate to a spa or for a massage
  • Tickets to their favorite show
  • A membership to a local museum, nature center, or zoo
  • Gift certificate for house cleaning
  • Donation to a local charity in the recipient’s name
  • Gift certificate for their favorite app (ex. Headspace membership, Spotify)
  • Netflix/Hulu subscription
  • Offer to babysit/pet sit if they have kids or pets
  • Offer to shovel snow, rake leaves, change their oil, whatever task they may need doing
  • Itunes gift card
  • Gift certificate for house cleaning
  • Donation to a local charity in the recipient’s name
  • Gift certificate for their favorite app (ex. Headspace membership)


Miscellaneous Items 


  • Child Artwork Frame – This frame is such a great way to display kids artwork in a neat and clutter-free way. This frame holds multiple pieces of art which you can rotate throughout the year.
  • Etsy.com – Check out artwork, jewelry, soaps, and more. Bonus – support small businesses! Etsy is dangerous for me and my wallet. Be sure to include local art/craft shops in your small business supporting as well!
  • Magazine subscription (can get a digital subscription or paper – donate the paper version when done)
  • Items for their hobbies (ex. outdoor gear or gift certificate for outdoor gear, items for their garden if they’re a gardener)
  • Photograph gifts (photo book, canvas print, etc)
  • Seed Starter Kit – I LOVE getting these as gifts.  I have started seeds indoors for the past couple of years, and not only is it more cost-effective, but it is fun! I am looking forward to having Little E help me next spring. These are great for vegetable and flower seeds!




  • Kindle/E-Reader – I have had a kindle for years and have LOVED it. Not only are e-books inexpensive, many libraries also have digital copies of books which you can ‘check out’ right from your bed or couch!
  • Audible Membership – Know someone who does a lot of commuting or traveling? Or maybe they are someone who enjoys listening to podcasts books while cleaning, exercising, etc. Why not gift them an audible membership which has books, magazines, radio stations and more! I got a membership for Mr. Blographer for his birthday in December and he loves it.
  • Books (check out second-hand bookstores or consider e-books)
  • Flowers, a plant/succulent in a cute container
  • Coloring books and colored pencils (see why coloring is not just for kids here)
  • The Little Book of Mindfulness – Perfect for a stocking stuffer or for anyone who would enjoy some mindful living inspiration.





  • Art/craft supplies (could be a great gift for adults too!)
  • Magazine subscription (can get a digital subscription or paper – donate the paper version when done)
  • Lessons: swim lessons, dance lessons, etc.
  • Clothes/shoes
  • Connect with Nature: Projects to Grow, Gather, Make and Do – This book has activity ideas for each season involving nature. This book is on my wish-list!
  • Give your kids one ‘yes’ day (check out this article for more details, or check out the book here).



Consumables (look for items that come in reusable packaging/containers)

  • Food from their favorite bakery, restaurant, etc
  • Coffee/tea
  • Wine/Beer/Liquor
  • Homemade gifts such as salsa, pesto, jam
  • Meat gift basket (pick out a selection of meat)
  • Vegetable basket
  • Homemade soup mixes
  • Shampoos or homemade soaps that they normally wouldn’t buy for themselves
  • Candles/essential oils/diffuser, etc
  • Grocery delivery service gift card
  • Gift certificate to their favorite coffee/tea place
  • Meal planning/delivery gift certificate



If after all that you STILL can’t find a gift that speaks to you (or maybe you just want to make your own!) there are TONS of great DIY gift ideas out on Pinterest. I have a board dedicated to DIY gift ideas that you can check out here.



Zero Waste Gift Wrap Ideas

If you need some ideas on zero waste gift wrapping, check out my post with 6 tips!

6 zero waste gift wrap ideas




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18 Comments on "The Ultimate Zero Waste, Minimalist Friendly, and Mindful Gift Guide (with 97 gift ideas!)"

newest oldest most voted
Lisa Wingerter

Great Ressource! Thanks for sharing!


Love this article! Except i want all the eco and zero waste things for myself 😛 do you have any recommendations on where to buy good value eco/fairtrade jewellery?


Wow that is some list. Something for everyone of all age groups to find a great gift.

Sarah Althouse

Ooh I would love to try UrthBox! I even love the name!

Elise Ho

You were not kidding when you mentioned that this was an “ultimate” list. I love the subscription box ideas. It is so amazing how many wonderful ideas there are out there.


This is a fantastic list! I love all the subscription box ideas! I got two this year for Christmas by Henny and Roo and they were geared toward caring for my chickens! I loved them!

Wendy Tomlinson

So many fantastic ideas. I did get very excited when I saw the Hygge Box. I’m off to check that out now. Although, I think if I had to choose, I’d pick the house cleaning gift. I think this is such a great gift.


Great list! I’m pinning this for later!


Hygge boxes?!?! No way!