HomeReduce & ReuseWaste-Free Gift Ideas

Finding that special something for that special someone on your shopping list can be one of the most stressful parts of the holiday season. CSWD has some suggestions below that may help ease the stress. These gifts fit just about any budget, and they say you care about the person and the planet.

Give an experience rather than stuff

Whether you splurge on a performance at the Flynn, a ski pass or lift ticket, a gift certificate to the spa, or lessons for a favorite activity, this is one gift that appeals to young and old alike. Include a brochure or color printout from the business’s website to give the recipient a visual impression of the event. They make great stocking stuffers.

Homemade coupons

Personalized coupons are a great way to give family and friends what they really want. Some ideas include coupons for babysitting, backrubs, a household or yard chore, a favorite activity, or simply a day to one’s self. They’re easy, they’re appreciated, and best of all they’re free!

Buy Reusables

Cloth dish towels and/or napkins: The average family in the U.S. uses about three rolls of paper towels per week. That amounts to more than 15 billion rolls of towels per year! Reduce paper waste and improve the appearance of your kitchen and table by investing in cloth dishtowels and napkins. If you must use paper, compost them instead of throwing them in the trash.

Battery recharger: Batteries have become an essential part of the holiday season. Many toys and techno-gadgets simply won’t run without them. Save time, money and aggravation by investing in a battery recharger and a set of rechargeable batteries.

Cloth shopping bags: Paper or plastic? Neither. More environmental benefits can be gained by using reusable cloth shopping bags for groceries. Plus, many local stores offer a discount if you bring your own bag.

Stainless steel water bottle or coffee cup: Do you know someone who constantly drinks water or is helpless without their morning java? A stainless steel water bottle or coffee cup is the perfect choice! These nifty little containers can travel with you every time you need to go somewhere– ensuring that your water or coffee is always in reach.

Gifts made with recycled content: Check the label and help close the loop. Buy recycled paper products as gifts, such as writing paper, note cards, and calendars. Even some fleece items, such as hats, mittens, scarves and jackets are made from recycled soda bottles.

Gift certificates or gift cards – support local Vermont businesses!: We all have someone on our list that is impossible to buy for. You know, that person who appears to already have everything they need or want. Gift certificates are the perfect solution for these folks. Choose a merchant that fits their style, and then let them enjoy the freedom to get exactly what they want.

Buy locally made gifts

Cut out extra packaging and energy used to transport things from afar. Better still, if the materials used were produced in Vermont, such as local wood and agricultural products, you’re further reducing your load on the planet.

Make a gift to a museum or not-for-profit in honor of someone

Show support for community initiatives with your gift giving. Donate to a local charity or cause in honor of someone.

Exchange favorite books

Exchanging favorite books that you have read from the past year provides great material for conversation the next time you get together with your family and friends!

Make an edible gift

Do you have a friend or family member who loves cookies or some other savory item? If so, why not make them their favorite treat. This type of gift really shows you care because you took the time to make the gift rather than just buy it.