20 of the best eco-friendly housewarming gifts
When we moved into our house, several people expressed interest in sending me a housewarming gift. But what are the best eco-friendly housewarming gifts to ask for?
They’re kind of funny things, housewarming gifts: on the one hand, it’s a very kind way to welcome someone to their new home, but can also be the chance to get something you might honestly not use or get value out of.
It’s also often expected and – as someone who is not a big gift giver – I struggle on what to get that would actually be useful.
These gifts are not only great for people already on a zero waste journey, but a kind gift for someone who may not even have zero waste on their radar! The goal of these zero waste housewarming gifts – specifically the physical ones – are a gentle way to allow someone to create a greener, less single-use dependent habit in their new home.
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Gifts for the kitchen
- Bulk snacks: disposable and simple, make up a pack of your favorite bulk snacks to stock the pantry during those first few wild days of moving. A little bit of something salty, a little bit of something sweet… you’re set! I shop from Azure Standard which gives plenty of organic, bulk snacks!
- Wax wraps: I’ve heard great things about beeswax wraps – or you can even make your own like I did with bulk beeswax and any cotton handkerchief you think the new homeowner would like!
- Compost pail: obviously this depends on the person, as not everyone will be open to composting. If they are, one of the standard compost bins or even prettier countertop composting options available online would be a great addition to any kitchen. It’s one of those items I would definitely use, but would not purchase for myself – making it a great housewarming gift!
- Wooden dish scrubbers: not only are these useful gifts, but these wooden scrubbers are far more aesthetically pleasing than the neon non-biodegradable options we’re usually faced with. This scrubber is 100% compostable (but not vegan – most compostable bristles aren’t) and even comes with replaceable heads once your first is done!
Eco-friendly housewarming gifts – plant edition
- An herb-growing kit: even the blackest thumb can appreciate a simple houseplant to grace their new home. Difficult to kill succulents are a good choice, as are useful herbs, aloe, and the on-trend air plant. (Speaking of herbs, this is a USA-made herb growing kit housed in an upcycled wine bottle. I’m totally into this!)
- Special planters: ship an incredible geode planter from this Black-owned business. They’re out of my price range but sit constantly in my Etsy cart… a perfect gift!
- A houseplant subscription gift: a subscription to a plant propagation box. Sign-ups are limited and it looks like spots for 2021 are limited. (Black-owned biz!)
Decor housewarming gifts
- Candles: seriously, who isn’t swayed by a pretty candle as the perfect eco-friendly housewarming gift? Consider gifting a luxurious candle or two from WOC-owned companies like BlkOrchidApothecary or MYOBLLC.
- Kitchen linens: you can never go wrong with tea towels or napkins, especially when you’ve refused paper towels and now use cloth for just about everything. I think these colorful cotton napkins would be a great gift, if you’re one of those people – unlike me – who prefer color in their house. This Skoy eco-cleaning cloth is also a cool idea for people who haven’t quite transitioned away from paper towels and they’re 100% biodegradable.
- Essential oil diffuser: I actually bought the pretty bamboo one pictured above for myself. It’s been great to have it running while we continue to air out our new house (it was vacant for at least 4 months, if not more). I’m not sure I believe all the highly-touted health benefits of diffusing essential oils all over your house, but the bamboo diffuser is discrete and perfect for making your house smell more like home.
Non-physical housewarming gifts
- Help moving: perhaps the greatest zero waste housewarming gift of all would be to help pack, move, or unpack items in the new home. If you live nearby and have a truck to help haul bigger items, that’s also far better than any physical gift.
- Gift card to restaurant: there is nothing worse than the dread that arises upon realizing – after a long day of moving/unpacking – you’ll have to cook dinner for yourself. Be the greatest pal ever and grab a gift card to a local restaurant and give your friends a break! (Bonus points if you can send it by email and avoid the actual card altogether!)
- Passes to a local attraction: this is an especially good idea if your friend is moving to an entirely new area. Scope out what museums/zoos/theaters are around and grab your friend a pass to something that aligns with their interests. What better way to help welcome someone to their new home than by helping them explore the area around it?