We’ve pulled together a rich array of low-waste, low-carbon-footprint, reduce-the-stuff gift ideas. So ignore online and radio advertisements and dive deep into our list of meaningful gift ideas that can be secured right here in Arlington.

Benefits of shopping locally include:

  • Inject money into the local economy. 
  • Keep downtowns vibrant. 
  • Better customer service. 
  • Embrace uniqueness—the merchandise, décor & atmosphere.
  • Strengthen communities that help build social cohesion.

Over 60% of us prefer a gift of an
experience rather than a tangible gift.


These Arlington businesses offer memberships, classes, subscriptions and entertainment.

List of Arlington Experiences

Arlington Boys & Girls Club membership, classes

Arlington Brewing Company - beer and swag

Arlington Center for the Arts - membership, classes

Arlington Children's Theatre - theater workshops & productions

Arlington Community Education - classes

Arlington Recreation - fitness and sports classes

Capitol Theater - movie, ice cream, membership

Clay Dreams - pottery painting

Code Ninjas - coding classes

Cyrus Dallin Museum, Jason Russell House or Old Schwamb Mill - visit, lecture series

Ed Burns Arena - public skating

Fidelity House - membership, classes

Mosaic Oasis Studio - art classes

Mystic Open Studio - art classes

Ready, Set, Kids! - kids classes

Regent Theater - concert or movie

Additional membership, class and experience ideas

Curbside compost subscription

CSA subscription

Cheers to your health - massage, manicure, spa

Fitness - gym, yoga, dance, karate membership or classes

Music lessons

Gifts that you Eat

Looking for an idea for that special someone that doesn’t need more stuff? Consider consumable items from these local eateries.

Consumable Gifts in Arlington

Barismo - roasted coffee

Cookie Time Bakery - specialty cookies

Magic Bites Bakery - mediterranean nibbles

Penzeys - spices

Roasted Granola - granola, packaged coffee or tea, items from local artists

Looking to bring something delicious to eat to a gathering? These bakeries will not disappoint!

Arlington Bakery

Breadboard Bakery

Butternut Bakehouse

Quebrada Baking Company

Local Retailers

Online shopping may be convenient, but you can find thoughtful, unique gifts at Arlington’s own local shops – and lower your carbon footprint too.

Arlington Retailers

13Forest Gallery - art

The Artful Heart - jewelry and gifts

Arlington Centered - gifts

The Book Rack - gently used (or new) books

Buzzys Bazaar - vintage consignment

Carolle Chiq Boutique - children and women’s clothing and accessories

Derby Farm - flowers, gifts, decor

The Fox & Robbin Shop - gently used children’s clothing and toys

Helena’s - women’s clothing and accessories

Henry Bear’s Park - toys and children’s books

Maxima Gifts - books and gifts

Mind’s Eye Yarns - supplies and classes

Otaku - Asian gifts

Playtime - craft supplies

Portal Crystal Gallery - crystals

Quad Cycles - bikes and accessories

Regina Gifts - gifts

Shattuck’s ACE Hardware - tools and housewares

Sports Etc. - sporting goods

Swanson Jewelers - jewelry

Wood & Strings - instruments

Yes! Plastic Free - eco friendly household items

Restaurant Experience

Giving your time is more precious than any tangible gift. Consider a gift certificate for lunch, dinner or drinks to one of these Zero Waste Arlington partners that is reducing single-use waste.

Gift to a Local Charity

Looking for Zero Waste, hyper-local gifts? Donate to an Arlington-based charity that has personal meaning to you or the recipient.

Charitable Organizations in Arlington

ACMi - local media

ArCS Cluster - local refugee support

Arlington EATS - Arlington’s food pantry

Arlington Education Foundation - education enrichment

AFD Theater - theater

Arlington Health & Human Services Emergency Assistance Fund - resident financial assistance

Arlington Heating Assistance Program - resident financial assistance

Arlington Historical Society - historic preservation

Arlington Land Trust - land preservation

Arlington Libraries Foundation - library support

Arlington-Teosinte Sister City Project - El Salvador sister-city

Arlington Youth Counseling Center - youth mental health

The Children’s Room - youth grief support

FoodLink - food rescue

Housing Corporation of Arlington - low income housing

Mothers out Front - climate change

Sanborn Foundation - cancer financial assistance

YourArlington - local media

These regional organizations are working to preserve our environment.

Boston Area Gleaners - food rescue

Conservation Law Foundation - climate change

Lovin Spoonfuls - food rescue

Household Goods - helping people make homes

Mass Audubon - land conservation

MassPIRG - public health

Mass. Sierra Club - environment

Mystic River Watershed Association - Mystic River protection

The Nature Conservancy Mass. - land conservation

Trustees of the Reservations - land conservation

During this giving season, we hope this list better connects you to your local community.

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Project Zero: Student-run low-waste event services

Project Zero: Student-run low-waste event services

Project Zero, a student-run volunteer group, offers low-waste event services for Town events and sports banquets by providing durable, reusable tableware (dishes, utensils, cups), washable tablecloths, and set-up and clean-up support.