Lifestyle / Shopping / Tips

Zero-Waste Gift Ideas in Vancouver

By Ania Dani

Making the conscious choice to  leave a lighter environmental footprint is not always convenient. A couple years ago, I visited an old friend from Montreal who had relocated to Ucluelet. She carried a reusable cup in her purse, a new habit formed on the shores of the Pacific Northwest. “What if you forget the cup at home, but still really want a coffee?” I asked. “Then I don’t get one,” she replied. 

If you’re anything like me, you start with the best of intentions by loading your reusable shopping bags into the car, only to forget to take them into the grocery store. 

A zero-waste lifestyle requires conscious choices and solidifying new habits. 

Luckily, these zero-waste Vancouver businesses are here to make the transition to low-waste living smooth. Plus, they have great zero-waste gift ideas for your conscious-living pals too!

Conscious Holiday Shopping

First Pick Holiday Pop-Up Market

Heritage Hall, 3102 Main St., Vancouver
December 11 – 12, 2021, 11am – 6pm each day
Tickets: $3 at the door or online

Coming up for the holidays, First Pick Handmade returns to Heritage Hall Dec 11 – 12, 2021, with head-to-toe handmade fashions that focus on personally made high-quality products for the holidays.

“What we’ve experienced here in BC – and really across the globe– over the last 20 months is driving home the importance of supporting local,” says Janna Hurtzig, First Pick Handmade Founder and Curator. “We’re creating spaces for designers and community members to connect with a shared vision of quality over quantity and slow-made local purchases.”

2021 First Pick Handmade Designers include clothing by Kate & Frances, DAUB + Design, Accessories by Winterluxe Recycled Cashmere, Jewelry by Joanna Lovett Sterling, Bags by Bronsino Designs, Lingerie by Revol Undies, beauty by Conscious Care, home decor by SML Glassworks and Eikam Ceramics, food from Mixers & Elixirs, and so many more designers.

Conscious Shopping All Year Round

Nada Grocery

675 E. Broadway, Vancouver 
Hours: 12-7, daily

Pick up your treats and eats at this female-owned East Vancouver grocery store founded on the idea that business can be used for good (who knew?). Here, products are not over-packaged like in traditional grocery stores. The shelves inside are stocked with socially and environmentally minded businesses from the lower mainland and Vancouver Island. You can shop online and pick up or opt for carbon-neutral delivery in the Vancouver area.

The Soap Dispensary and Kitchen Staples

3718 Main St., Vancouver
Hours: 12 to 6 pm, daily

At Vancouver’s first dedicated refill shop, you’ll find all your body care and household cleaning essentials. The focus is on healthy, environmentally responsible products, with many gentle and scent-free options. This zero-waste shop also carries some grocery items from local vendors and eco-friendly kitchen cleaning tools. You’ll need to bring your own clean containers, which they will sanitize prior to filling, or opt for the shop’s deposit containers. Although they don’t deliver, you can pre-order online for easy pick up. 

Bear’s Blooms

Online; free delivery around Vancouver and Victoria. Gift cards available. 

Essentially a meal kit but for flowers. This local online service ships flowers in bud (not bloom) to your door so they can last longer in your home than store-bought flowers. Flowers bloom within 24 – 48 hours and boxes come with styling tips to arrange your bouquet. Sustainability is important to this brother and sister business duo, who only buy flowers that are from local farmers that are in season and they use sustainable packaging that can be collected and reused again. Repeat customers love their weekly and monthly subscription service. After all, nothing smells better than fresh cut flowers!


Online; Next day delivery in Vancouver and North Vancouver 
Hours: 24/7

This online grocer is here to make zero-waste living easy. Livlite stocks local and organic products, including CSA baskets from local farms in the summer. The best part, with delivery to your doorstep in Vancouver or North Vancouver, there’s no danger of forgetting those reusable bags or jars.

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