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10 Experiential Holiday Gift Ideas to Keep Things Zero-Waste


For many of us, gift-giving is a big part of the holiday season. But if you're zero waste or trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you're probably already getting a bit anxious thinking about all the waste that exchanging presents brings.

Every time we buy a tangible gift — whether it be clothes, electronics, home decor, or whatever else — we are using resources, and creating more demand for those resources. There's also a pretty good chance that the gift will one day go a landfill. Not to mention, between gift packaging, boxes, ribbons, and wrapping paper (which is not recyclable if it contains any metal or glitter), holiday gift exchanges usually result in a ton of trash.

A great way to keep the impact of gift-giving as low as possible is to treat friends, family members, significant others, or even your Secret Santa to experiential presents. Instead of buying an item and wrapping it in a box with a shiny bow, consider gifting an experience. Not only do things like tickets, classes, and subscriptions make a thoughtful gift, but in some cases, the experience can even be enjoyed together between you and the recipient.

Read on for 10 experiential gift ideas for this holiday season. And if you are looking for a tactful way to ask your loved ones not to get you anything wasteful for the holidays, feel free to slide this list into their DMs.

1. Museum Membership

For the art or history buff in your life, consider gifting a museum membership. If the museum has rotating exhibits or member perks (such as film showings or a speaker series), the gift will keep on giving all year long.