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A low-waste and plastic-free gift guide

A low-waste and plastic-free gift guide

A guest-blog written by GoGo owner, Laura, for Upstream Solutions.

Are you gifting to a low-waste loved one this year? Chances are they are the hardest one on your list to buy for. I mean, what do you get for the person who wants less? At GoGo Refill, we’re working every day to find the most functional, beautiful, and durable low-waste goods, so I thought we could make a neat-o little gift guide for you! 
This gift-guide is two-fold: you can use it if you’re looking for a gift for the greenest guy or gal on your list. Or you can also use this if you’re trying to give low-waste gifts to your friends and family. In fact, one of the ways to encourage low waste habits is through gifting! One product, one idea or one habit can take root and either spark or grow your low-waste practice. 
Here are a few ideas for plastic-free and zero-waste gift-giving this year: 

  1. Give Reusables. The gift that keeps on giving. No matter where you are on your low-waste journey, reusables are a big part of it. A beautiful reusable mug, water bottle, or set of UNpaper towels is always useful. One of the best things about gifting reusables is that they are money-saving tools: The average US family spends $125 per year on paper towels, and the average American spends $100 per year per person on bottled water. Help out your people by giving them the tools they need to refuse single-use and save dollars in the process.
  2. Second-hand first. Gifts don’t have to be new – they can be new-to-you! Our family gifts second-hand for several reasons. Thrifting gifts can be a super-affordable way to give. And, you are taking something out of the waste stream, which is awesome, so give yourself a high-five. By shopping at vintage or second-hand stores, you can find truly one-of-a-kind gifts. Shopping for vintage and antiques can be COVID friendly as well, as many second-hand shops sell their goods online and ship or do curbside. Seek out your favorite local shop, or buy second-hand online at places like Sideline Swap (for sporting equipment, Patagonia Worn Wear (for used and repaired Patagonia gear) or eBay(for everything)!
  3. Gift cards to your favorite low waste shop. With COVID uncertainty upon us, gifts cards that will sustain us through the long winter months will be well-used – and ones that help the recipient ditch plastic would make especially great gifts! Some ideas: the local food coop, the local refill shop, a CSA to keep them nourished, or gift certificates to sustainable local restaurants (bonus points if there is a restaurant offering reusable takeout containers in your area!).  Check out Litterless if you’re looking for local low-waste shopping options in your town.
  4. Wrap it up! Gift wrap is the icing on the zero-waste cake, and doing it without any new materials is super easy and generally free. You probably have a stash of gift bags just waiting to be reused, so reuse away. You can wrap with newspaper or reused kraft paper very easily. You can also wrap with a piece of scrap-fabric furoshiki style, which sounds fancy and looks fancy but is pretty easy to do. Tie with twine and tuck in a sprig of balsam and you’ve got the perfect looking holiday gift. 

We hope this gives you some ideas for spreading the low-waste love this season!