Searching for Christmas gift ideas is hard, or at least for me it is as I am forever trying to make a conscious effort to be more sustainable. Whether that's in the kitchen, through my skincare routine, or even when it comes to the holidays and birthdays. I always try to think: do I really need to buy this? Will it actually be used? How can it be disposed of?
Now, we all know that along with the Holidays comes a lot of waste, whether from your dinner or from opening presents and buying your own gifts; so giving an eco-friendly gift will really make a difference, in more ways than one. I am trying to make sure that this year I make a conscious effort to give everyone at least one eco-friendly item, without going over budget. Because we all know that anything with an eco spin tends to be quadruple the price tag... Which is probably why a lot of us end up impulse buying something cheaper that breaks or gets damaged after a couple of uses and then goes straight to landfill.
I've been doing some shopping at some of my go-to sustainable shops, and here's what I've found. I've listed these gift ideas by price, starting with gifts under $15.
If you are searching for more ways to be sustainable at home, you can make a start by browsing our favorite eco-friendly cleaning products.
21 eco-friendly gifts to give this Christmas
Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Eco-friendly gifts under $20
How could I not start this guide with a scented candle? I love Mrs Meyer's cleaning products, but admittedly their soy blend candles are great, too. And for less than $10, they make an amazing budget-friendly stocking stuffer or a small gift. With a 25-hour burn time, you can choose from three scents, all made with essential oils. It comes in a jar that you can clean and reuse for storage (I use mine to hold my makeup sponges now).
I love these bags, mostly for taking to the grocery store to buy loose fruit and veg, but also for storing extra toilet rolls or anything else, as they can be hung on a hook or on the back of a door. This pack comes in lots of colors and you get four included, so you could even give one to each of your family members. They're cotton and they take up little to no space when storing.
I'm a snacker, but I hate buying things that come in individual plastic packets. An easy way to make your own sustainable snacks is with The Popper. Simply pour some popcorn kernels into this bowl and add your seasonings (no oil!). Put it in your microwave for two to four mins and there you have your very own popcorn maker. It also folds down for easy storage in a small kitchen, too. Movie night just got even more eco-friendly.
My herbs are forever dying, even though I always try my hardest to keep them alive on my kitchen windowsill. The Hydropod is designed to stop this from happening and to help you grow super fresh and incredible-tasting herbs. Anywhere from your desk to your nightstand, that is. What's more? It looks cute and reviewers say it's so easy to use.
If your family member or friend loves to cook but hates food waste, then this is ideal. Filled with recipes to encourage you to use every edible part of a fruit or vegetable, they'll enjoy cooking up a storm after opening this book. Choose from a hardcover copy or a kindle version for a tablet.
A 2-in-1 gift that's good for the planet in more ways than one, these super comfortable organic socks are made from 23 percent recycled materials, and they are fairtrade too. Every pair of socks bought goes towards a good cause that you can choose. Plus, they're made with extra terry padding for supreme comfort.
Eco-friendly gifts under $50
What's more eco-friendly than a plant? One that comes in fully recyclable packaging! Choose your pot type (there's an eco-friendly option) and get this delivered straight to their doorstep. Just be aware this one is toxic to pets if ingested, and it will need to be placed in medium to bright light. I love my fiddle leaf as it really makes a statement in my bedroom. You can browse plenty more plants though...
Buying for someone with an Apple Watch? This strap is fully compostable after use, and it's made from high-performing Flaxstic material for longevity. Available in a range of colors and for a range of smartwatches, including FitBits. This is actually really cute and the fact it's planet-friendly is really just a bonus.
I am a big fan of Our Place, and this set is made totally of recycled glass and sand. Naturally dyed, they come in a range of colors from dusk to sunrise, sunset, and even clear glasses. They're perfect for everything from whisky to wine and OJ. Pop them in the dishwasher to clean them, and stack them with ease in your cabinet to save storage space. Otherwise, they are recyclable after their life.
Eco-friendly gifts under $100
I bought my own CASETiFY compostable case a couple of years ago and I've never looked back since. This is a great gift idea for your Dad, Brother, bestie — you name it, they'll appreciate it. These cases are made from bamboo-based materials and you can pop them in your compost once you're done. They come in a range of designs and colors and you can even personalize a case with their favorite photos.
If someone you know is growing their own produce, then gift them this cute but handy harvest basket. Made from wire mesh and pine wood with a sturdy handle, fruit and veg can be picked and popped into this basket, and then hosed down. It can comfortably hold 20 lbs of produce, whilst it's also great for foraging firewood. Oh, and it's handmade in Maine.
The Sodastream is the ultimate eco-friendly gift idea for anyone who loves sparkling water, or for anyone who enjoys a soda. I use mine daily as it's cordless and sits in the corner of my countertop, plus it's so easy to use. Simply fill the bottle that comes included with water, attach it to the machine and press the button to add as much fizz to your water as you desire. After, you can add syrup if you like. Hurry, it has $30 off right now in a range of colors.
For apartment dwellers or anyone who enjoys growing their own produce, this smart system grows herbs and flowers, year-round, and indoors. Perfectly calibrated automated watering, light, and nutrients encourage your greenery to grow, plus the produce will be pesticide-free and organic. Link it with an app on your phone for a deeper insight into your plants, plus it comes in different colors. It works similarly to a pod coffee maker but with biodegradable plant pods — three basil pods come included. Use the code HOLIDAY25 for 25% off.
Sustainably made using bamboo and recycled plastics, these are wireless with eight hours of battery life, as well as sweat-proof and water-resistant for using whilst working out. They boast noise-canceling technology to reduce background noises whether you are in a busy office or on a plane or train. Plus, they come with a sustainable case for storing and charging. Choose from black or white.
This infinitely reusable set comes with everything you need to enjoy lunch, dinner, breakfast, and everything else, on the go. It's made from ceramic and is totally BPA-free, plus it comes in several colors from a cute blush to a cool cream. One for someone who goes to the office, it includes a bowl, a mug, a bottle, and a glass
Eco-friendly gifts $100+
Made with a recycled wool upper that would've otherwise ended up in a landfill, the lining of these slippers is crafted from EcoCert™️ organic Italian wool, and the sole is sustainably sourced and made from natural Pura-Latex™ rubber. They're made for both men and women, plus they come in a range of colors and designs. There's 20% off right now.
This durable cookbook holder also doubles to hold an iPad or tablet, to keep you entertained whilst you cook up a storm. Crafted from reclaimed wood to make it eco-friendly, the board is coated in a 100 percent plant-based, food-safe wax finish. It will also arrive in completely recyclable packaging. Right now, it has $20 off.
You get four natural yet durable tools included in this gift set. They'll open a cultivator, a spade, a square hoe, and a pair of trimming shears. All with wooden handles, they are designed to be used for years and years. The best eco-friendly gift for gardeners, we think...
Charge your phone via the sun thanks to this 10W solar panel. It needs 10 hours of sun to charge a smartphone to 100%, and it can store energy so you can use it day or night. It has a built-in USB port and it arrives in fully plastic-free packaging. Hang it on a bedroom window using the suction cups that come included. Using it to charge your phone even a couple of times a week will make a difference. There's $20 off right now.
Made from recycled organic cotton and hemp fabric, this support cushion is filled with organic buckwheat hulls and has a paper leather handle for easy carrying or for hanging for storage. Use it during meditation or for propping your feet on whilst watching TV. Select from seven colors, and each order plants five trees!
This carbon-neutral suitcase is sustainably made with a recycled polycarbonate shell, recycled zippers, and a lining made from 15 recycled plastic bottles. Moreover, it's crafted with a recycled vegan leather trim, and a telescopic handle made from recycled, aircraft-grade aluminum. Smooth to glide across the airport floor thanks to its 360 rotation wheels, Paravel offset all of the emissions that come from the carry-on's creation, which includes 32.4 gallons of water, 4.9lbs of emissions, and 80.2kWh of energy.
Where to shop for eco-friendly gifts?
Here are just a few of our favorite places to shop online for eco-friendly gifts. We've included all of these retailers in our guide above but you can click through to shop more of what they each have to offer.
- Earth Hero - shop eco-friendly gift ideas for everyone
- Goldune - a sustainable marketplace for household essentials, decor, and outdoor goods
- Getaway - give the gift of a getaway and let them choose when and where
- Goodee - an eco-friendly marketplace for everything from furniture to decor
- NA-KD - shop sustainable clothing plus pre-loved garments
- Our Place - cookware and dinnerware made from recyclable materials
- Paravel - carbon-neutral luggage that's super stylish
- Public Goods - personal care and household essential eco gifts
- The Bouqs - sustainable flower delivery company that works to minimize waste, recycle water and protect worker's well-being
- Uncommon Goods - a gifting marketplace that encourages makers to use eco-friendly materials
- Virgin Experience - shop gift experiences for a zero-waste present idea
- W&P- sustainable gifts for your kitchen and for foodies
Now for the eco-friendly wrapping...
There's no point in investing in an eco-friendly gift for someone if you're just going to wrap it in plastic paper. So, with this in mind, you'll want to buy some eco-friendly wrapping, too.
First of all, you can shop a huge range of eco-friendly wrapping paper at Amazon. Otherwise, kraft paper is a sustainable option that's recyclable and makes for pretty present wrapping. You can also buy some recyclable tape from Amazon, to avoid ones with plastic inside them
If you'd rather not wrap your presents in single-use paper and tape, then why not head to your local thrift store and pick up a secondhand scarf. You can spread your scarf on your side and pop your gift inside the middle, tie it up as you please and you've got yourself a reusable wrap!