Our 2023 Zero Waste Holiday Gift Guide is here!

Our 2023 Zero Waste Holiday Gift Guide is here!

'Tis the season, and that usually brings with it a lot of waste.  In fact, while Americans average about 5 pounds of garbage per day, that figure jumps by 25% around the holiday season.  It doesn't need to be that way!

We want to make sure that during the week after Christmas, you aren't staring down your garbage and recycling bins and wondering what the heck just happened. While we appreciate the impact that moment has on people resolving to do better in the new year, we also appreciate not generating the waste in the first place. Plan now, your friends and family will thank you.  And so will we!

Whether you're shopping for a zero waste pro or something who could use a nudge to put down some eco-unfriendly habits, we've got you covered.  Did you know that we offer in-store service for free to help pull together gift ideas that match your budget?  Just ask our staff!  When in doubt, we offer paper gift cards (custom amounts available in-store). You wouldn't expect us to do plastic, would you?!

*We may be compensated for some links to outside websites.

Host / Hostess gifts

You want something that says you appreciate them. Something simple and useful is always a good option. 

Swedish Dishcloths - these extremely practical gifts are not only cute, but each one can help replace up to 17 rolls of paper towels, and last for months. Available in 64 designs (yep, you read that right).

Wine tote - these collapsible wine bags are perfect for gifting, picnics, or even carrying a water bottle. They fold up so small that they are incredibly versatile yet simple. Available in red or green.

Coffee - These winter days sometimes need a little boost, and what better than delicious coffee, roasted locally? A simple yet elegant gift for discerning palettes! Available in prepackaged glass jars, or 12 roasts in bulk (you choose the packaging).

Chocolates - Because you can never go wrong with chocolates. Bring a jar, fill with chocolates, tie a ribbon and you're all set.  We have so many options in store, from over a dozen bulk choices to Tony's Chocolonely to Dr Bronner's!

Gifts for Anyone!

Refillable Advent Calendars - Fill your own personalized advent calendar with toys, tea sachets, jewelry, candies, printable coupons, homemade treats, or any number of small gifts, trinkets, or goodies that fit into the 1.5” x 1.5” x 1.5” drawers. Children or adults, everyone in the family is sure to love this customizable take on the traditional advent calendar. 

Reusable Boba Glasses - This Tumbler is all you need to dress up your boba while doing good for Mama Earth. Complete the set with a gift card to a boba shop that will refill them, like Sweet Moment, Heere Tea, or Urban Ritual. This complete set comes with the glass jar that holds up to 24 oz, a patent pending ceramic lid with a silicon plug, a glass boba straw, and a large straw cleaning brush, all designed perfectly for each other. Each piece is dishwasher safe for easy care and made for your daily life. Available in 3 colors, with or without packaging.

Shower steamers - Let's face it, cold and sniffle season is coming. Toss one of these potent, minty steamers on the floor of your hot shower and feel your sinuses open up.  Our favorite line was the customer who returned the day after buying one just to tell us that this bathroom smelled like a spa! Available package-free in-store.

Allbirds shoes, socks, and apparel - Ok, we don't sell these in our store, but we are affiliated with the brand.  We just love their emphasis on how materials matter... and the Tree Dasher 2s keep my feet super comfy on those long days of restocking soaps.  I also can't get enough of the socks, the hoodies, the running clothes... you get the point.*

Hand Soap & Body Wash Powders - These sets are a show stopper! Buy the refills themselves (in aluminium tubes) or go for the full box with glass bottle and pump that lets you mix and match up to 6 scents.  Available in 8 scents.

Gifts for Him

Razors - we have multiple options for every price point. 
From basic to butterfly to luxury razors developed by aerospace engineers, you'll find the right one for you! A stainless steel safety razor can last for decades, and the refills are significantly cheaper (and easier to recycle) than the brands that encase them in plastic. You'll get your money back within months, and then continue to save and save as you shave and shave. Bonus: store used blades in a jar, and bring them back to us!  We'll make sure they get collected and recycled into Take Back Ware utensils.

Does he like to grill?  The best-kept secret in our store is on the top shelf of the spice rack.  Try the applewood smoked salt... it makes everything taste like it just came off a fire.  We sprinkle it on roasted veggies, pizza, hummus, kale chips, and pretty much everything.  

Gifts for Her

Kooshoo has you covered with plastic-free hair ties, scrunchies, and headbands, regardless of whether she has short or long tresses. Made from rubber and organic cotton, they are not only natural, but they don't pull and tug at hair like plastic ties do.... and they won't snap or break when you need them most!  Available in many colors and shapes

Waterless serum from Dew Mighty is seriously magic. It's antioxidants, moisturizer, and some fairy dust (or something just as magical, I swear) all combined into one plastic-free package, and we cannot get enough of it. Use as a primer for makeup, repair sunburned skin, smooth fine lines, or nourish skin before bed.  Available in sample size, full size with container, full size refill.

Teacher gifts

You want something that says you appreciate them. Something simple and useful is always a good option. 

Swedish Dishcloths - these extremely practical gifts are not only cute, but can help replace up to 17 rolls of paper towels, and last for months. We lost count of how many designs we have, but there is something for everyone.

Stainless steel lunchboxes and sets keep meals and snacks warm. Take them to a restaurant to avoid to-go containers, and pop that baby right in the fridge when done!  Better yet, pair with a gift card to a local restaurant to enjoy downtown San Mateo and suggest they use it for leftovers.  Available in 15 options (insulated, stackable, various sizes, etc)



So now you've found your presents. How do you wrap it? Byrd's Filling Station was founded on the notion that packaging is just as important as what's inside, so it only makes sense that we have all sorts of opinions on this one, too.

Most people go out and buy some wrapping paper and put that around the boxes. Each gift gets its own dose of paper.  Much of the wrapping paper we see in stores now, however, is not the best solution. Some of it can be recycled, but why do we need to make new paper that will be used for a short time before being destroyed? 


Cotton gift bag sets are cute, organic, and virtually infinitely reusable. You gift them one year, your friend gives it right back next time! Keep the loop going. Stuff with reused tissue paper from last year.

Have paper grocery bags lying around? Cut them and use the larger pieces inside out as simple, rustic wrapping. Recycle when done. Use cotton string or even kitchen twine to decorate, and add leaves or pinecones for a seasonal touch.

Finally, save any gift bags or boxes that are given to you, and continue to reuse those! If you carefully unwrap a gift that's in wrapping paper, you may be able to smooth it and store it for use another time. After all, the best zero waste alternatives sometimes just mean getting creative with things that are already around us. 

And if you do choose conventional wrapping paper, make sure to check for post-consumer recycled ("PCR") content!

All Set?

If you still really can't decide, come ask us. Any time we are open, we enjoy the challenge of hearing about a recipient and a budget and pulling together some options.  We can even help wrap it up or give ideas in how to pull together a waste-free gift package.