Zero-Waste + Practical Gift Ideas

Zero-Waste + Practical Gift Ideas

Nikki (left) and I are the founders of Wisdom Supply Co. There's a 23 year age span, and no I am not her mom (frequently asked), though we're family bound by the experience of working to build a purpose driven company that is fueled by our determination to consciously uncouple humans (especially kids) from disposable plastics.

Here's to making the most of the most unusual holiday season.

Stay healthy + Stay hopeful 🌈

Heather + Nikki

Nikki's Recommendations Heather's Recommendations
Toddler drawing flowers on window with Stabilo washable markers.
Wool, stuffed animal rabbit, with long pointy ears, a yellow scarf, polka dot pants, and purple feet..
($3.95) Stabilo 3-in-1 Markers
I'm in the young nephews/niece, and friends with little kids stage of my life and I love gifting these markers because it's awesome to be able to entertain them with drawing on the windows (hangman for days!)
We also offer these as a boxed gift set.

($43) Handmade Linen Rabbit (wool stuffed)
Etsy has so many talented makers - fell down the rabbit hole (lol) searching for a natural fiber (no polyester) stuffed animal and found this cute guy (made in Lithuania).

Gray photo of evergreen tree-line, with fog and cloudy sky. Text overlay reads: Spotify Playlist in all caps.
Cartoon elves of all races and lifting giant graphic novels and pointing to them. Mystical background of grass, mountains, starlit sky and giant moon.

Curated playlists have been such a favorite gift to receive, I'm going to create my own to give to friends and family this season. It will most definitely include a song or two from my favorite Nelson's (Willie + Lukas).

NPR's List of 100 Greatest Comics + Graphic Novels 
The list is from 2017, but the books are timeless.
I can't think of a better gift for kids period. Graphic novels and comic books are my all time go-to for kids of all ages.
Independent bookstores are the best source for great recommendations.
Orange oil in glass jars. One is large and on a platform and another is small and not on a platform. Bottles read: Bathing Culture with a swirly rainbow.
Aluminum tube that contains lotion is crinkled and used gives the aluminum tube high contrast against a white background..

($32) Outer Being Face and Body Oil
Heather gave me this oil as a gift and it's so good I have to gift it to as many people as I can. I put it on my face throughout the day because I love the way it makes my skin feel, and I am obsessed with the clean woodsy smell.
($24) Aesop Hand Balm
Love the ingredients, the natural scent that fades quickly, how effective it is at moisturizing, and the crinkly, recyclable aluminum tube.
Also love this citrusy version Rind Concentrate Body Balm
An open Stainless Steel serrated foldable pocket knife against a white background.
Stainless Steel metal tube wringer with a white label and red writing reads: Tube Wringer

($38) Serrated Air Ranger
Yes, really, a pocket knife. My foldable, clip on knife was a gift that I find to be genuinely useful and I have grown to love it. I didn’t realize how often I would need it until I actually started carrying it around with me.
($21) Metal Tube Wringer
An all-metal (made in USA) tube wringer for getting every last drop out of any tube: the hand balm above, toothpaste tubes, ointments, paint tubes...

Red cotton zipper pouch with bamboo cutlery and stainless steel metal straw splayed out of the open part of the bag.
Gray cotton bento bag with long tie-able ends lays open on a marble countertop with reddish, yellow apples inside.

($14) Cotton To-Go Kit
The cotton canvas bag was made for us in Brooklyn (we found our seamstress through Etsy), and we filled it with our zero-waste to-go essentials: organic bamboo utensils, and our stainless steel straw (Wisdom Supply Co. is etched on the straw).

($24) Ambatalia Bento Bag
I like to gift these linen bento bags filled with lemons or tangerines because the presentation is beautiful, and the bag is incredibly handy for carrying lunches or farmer's market produce ever after - a gift within a gift.
A crusty loaf of sourdough bread with a slice cut out of it sits on a countertop.
Skinny, tall, green bottle of ENZO lemon infused olive oil against a white background. The label has lemons against a white background and olive oil brand and other details against black background.
My roommate makes homemade loaves of sourdough bread and the thought of receiving a whole loaf as a gift would spark nothing but joy for many meals. Not everyone has the time or patience to troubleshoot bread making, myself included, but a good loaf of bread from a local bakery could change someone's life. (I used to think bread was boring but I was just eating the wrong bread).
($12.99) Enzo Organic Meyer Lemon Infused Olive Oil
I think some infused oils taste like a scented candle (in a bad way).
Enzo's Organic Meyer Lemon Olive Oil is exceptional (in a good way) for salad dressings and roasted vegetables. Would be fantastic paired with Nikki's roommate's sourdough bread on the left.

Miyoko's Creamery box of vegan butter against a white background. Label reads USDA Organic, European Styled Cultured Vegan Butter hint of sea salt..
Glass Dharma glass straw lays below it's cardboard box against a white background. Box label reads: Glass Dharma
($6.50) Miyoko's Vegan Butter
*available at grocery stores
I love this vegan butter. It tastes great, it’s easy to cook with, it’s made in a kitchen (not a lab) by a female chef in Petaluma, CA., and it doesn’t include soy or palm oil. It’s a winner. It pairs beautifully with homemade sourdough bread!

($7) Glass Straw
A great gift (20% of sale goes to and a product my whole family has used daily for over a decade.
I keep a jar of glass straws on the kitchen counter, and run them through the dishwasher (cutlery section) to clean. These are as regular a part of my daily routine as an iced cashew-milk latté.

*can't believe (yes I can) that Nikki has butter as a gift recommendation, but I agree it is delightful butter.

Light green box of Soapy Tails dog shampoo bar. Fluffy white small dog's face on the cover, with its mouth open..
Two gray and white, cotton shark dog toys against a gray background.

($9) Dog Shampoo Bar
I'm gifting this to Heather's dogs because they're almost out of their last bar!

($15-$20) Organic Cotton Dog Toy
No poly filler = no synthetic microfiber mess/pollution when your dog chews it to bits.
Just received my order of big and little orcas this week and they're fantastic!
100% doodle + terrier approved 🐾
Gray aluminum pencil tin set lays open with wool liner and a pencil, wax peel highlighter, sharpener, and eraser inside against a white background.
Notebook sized planner lays open with a note from the founders. Top of the planner says Wisdom Supply Co.

($16) Zero-Waste Pencil Tin Set
I would not recommend this item if it wasn't something I have used daily for the past 3 years.
I love this product so much because it helped me realize the genius of minimalism.
It's perfectly compact, it holds just what I need, and it's lined with climate beneficial wool (local sheep grazing helps to reduce the risk of California wildfires) to keep the contents from rattling around.
($32) 100% Recyclable Weekly Planner
The back page of our weekly planner lists the top 12 reasons we design zero-waste school and office supplies.
It is imperative that we design our way out of the growing mess of disposable plastic items (like virtually all other weekly planners).
Waste is a design flaw.

Small white box of Simply Gum with a slice of bright pink ruby grapefruit in the middle. Box reads: Simply Gum Cleanse
Small aluminum tin that has a gold and white label reads: Shmoopy's Pot of Gold Deodorant.

Plastic-Free Gum
Sold at grocery stores.
This one is a nice post-lunch mouth freshener.
I love that it has little papers inside for disposing of your chewed gum (this gum can be composted).
Conventional gums list “Gum Base” as an ingredient- which means plastic. Instead of plastic, they use chicle, a sustainable tree sap sourced from Central America.
($12) Tin of deodorant that actually works.
No joke.
Have tried dozens of natural deodorants over the years with moderate (low) levels of success.
This is the one for me.
Portlandia deodorant skit: Mother's Sun

Contents of a gift set laid out: Aluminum pencil tin with cardboard box reads "Other pencil cases are junk". Pencil, wax-peel highlighter, sharpener and eraser below. Planner that reads "other planners are trash" next to an open cardboard box, and a gift note.
Black match striker holding wood matches with green tips inside.
($55) Wisdom Boxed Gift Set
Admittedly, a little self promotey, but the planner and pencil tin set are truly practical tools that will be used every day. Every single item in this set is designed or chosen to prevent waste, down to the packaging. Printed in algae ink are notes about why we care so much about waste and why we named our company after an albatross. This set makes a great gift for someone who's new to zero-waste, as well as the one able to fit a year's worth of waste in a jar.

($30) Match Striker
As nice to look at as it is practical.
My rule is that I don't want to buy, or bring things into my home that my kids won't want when I'm dead. Dark but true.
Really feeling the book: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning right now.