If your love language is gift-giving but you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint, holiday shopping can feel stressful! Don’t worry. With these eco-friendly stocking fillers, you’ll be able to find the perfect gift without the heavy environmental impact.
Who are eco-friendly stocking fillers for?
There are several reasons you might be seeking more sustainable holiday gifts.
You might be looking for stocking stuffers out of necessity. Maybe you have a Secret Santa to attend or you’re trying to make your family’s traditions more sustainable.
It’s okay to choose not to give stocking stuffers as gifts or to give non-traditional gifts. Your stocking stuffers can be anything that you want them to be. However, many of us will find ourselves looking for small items to show our love and appreciation for the special people in our lives.
Below, I’m sharing a list of some of my favorite eco-friendly stocking stuffers to help you complete your shopping list!
Eco-Friendly Stocking Fillers Gift Guide
I’m going to break down my eco-friendly stocking stuffer ideas into three categories to help you narrow down the right gift for your recipient: handmade, secondhand, and new.
Handmade Stocking Stuffers
These are my favorite types of gifts because you know the creator spent their time and energy thinking of you and making something they think you’d love!
Vanilla Sugar Scrub
Spoil your loved ones with an extra special scrub that will help them hydrate their dry winter skin! Get my vanilla sugar scrub recipe here.
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Lip Scrub
This simple brown sugar lip scrub has only 3 ingredients but makes those dry lips feel oh-so-soft. Be sure to make some for you, too!
DIY Lotion Bars
Simply melt equal parts of cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil and pour them into silicone molds or directly into containers. These hard lotion bars melt with the heat of your hand and are oh-so-nourishing.
Lip balm is incredibly easy to make! Simply melt some oils in a double boiler and pour the mixture into your favorite containers. You can even use the same recipe for the lotion bars or add in a little beeswax to make it firmer.
Essential oil rollers
Buy some essential oil roller containers and then fill them with your favorite carrier oil and essential oil blends! These rollers are already diluted so your recipient can use them anywhere!
Handmade beeswax candles
I started making my own DIY beeswax candles last year, and I am never going back! They are fragrance-free and have a beautiful warm color and lovely scent. Add wicks to your favorite jars, melt beeswax, and pour.
There are several different types of soap out there, including cold process, hot process, and soap melts. If you’re using cold process, you’ll need a couple of months for the soap to cure. However, you can use soap melts today to make your own special homemade soaps.
If you love to make things, try making some handmade Christmas ornaments! Your family members will be able to add them to the tree on Christmas morning. Maybe this will turn into a tradition for the whole family!
Here are some ideas:
Who doesn’t like to get a personal stash of holiday cookies? Whip up your favorite batch of cookies and package them in wide-mouth mason jars for an extra special touch.
Dry cookie mixes
This is a great gift, especially for someone who admires your baking abilities. Simply combine all of the dry ingredients for your favorite cookie recipe and add a cute recipe card so they can bake them again and again. So good!
I love, love, love food gifts, especially ones that I can play with year-round. You need to know just how incredibly easy these are. You’re simply mixing some of your favorite herbs and seasonings together with salt and baking them until dry.
Infused vinegars are ideal for making salad dressings that are next level. Simply add citrus, fruits, or herbs to a nice neutral vinegar (white wine vinegar is a great choice). Allow the flavors to meld for a week or two and then strain into bottles.
Imagine how nice it’d be to have chive blossom vinegar as part of a salad dressing in the dead of winter. Delicious!
This is one of my favorite DIYs because it’s so simple. To make your own homemade vanilla extract, grab a heap of extract-grade vanilla beans, slice them open, and store them in vodka. Shake often and allow it to cure until it’s dark. Bottle it up, add a cute label, and your recipient will be so thankful!
Especially if your family and friends love to bake, infused sugar is a win-win-win! They add so much flavor to recipes and are perfect for rolling sugar cookies, etc.
I love to make vanilla sugar by adding vanilla beans to sugar for a few weeks. This lavender sugar is absolutely wonderful and can be used for baking or a sugar scrub!
Infused honeys and syrups
I love combining my favorite flavors to make something new. I have a bunch of delicious infused honey and syrup recipes for you to have fun with!
This creamy treat is made by whipping crystallized honey until it is thick and fluffy. I’m always amazed by the marshmallow-like flavor, and it’s perfect for spreading onto toast or warm biscuits.
Learn how to make whipped honey here (and see 5 flavor ideas)!
Lavender Pillow Spray
This super simple, two-ingredient lavender pillow spray recipe is such a thoughtful touch! It smells wonderful and shows your recipient you want them to have the gift of great sleep.
It can also be used like a room spray, like this eucalyptus spray!
Get a free copy of Holiday Soaks & Scrubs!
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DIY Toilet Spray
Bear with me…This is a super easy DIY that really works! It’s such a thoughtful touch, and it’s also incredibly inexpensive while also being endlessly customizable. The hardest part is finding good spray bottles! Learn how to make toilet spray here.
With some good Epsom salts and nice aromatics, you can quickly assemble a luxurious bath salt that will be so soothing. Add some magnesium flakes, lavender essential oils, dried rose petals, and more for an extra special bath salt mixture.
People always rave about these delicious air fryer roasted walnuts. They are a great balance of sweet and salty with a great aroma from the rosemary powder. Serve them up plain or on a salad!
Homemade pickles, jam, or preserves
Most people are intimidated by canning. They’re worried they won’t do it right so they never even try.
However, canning is really not that hard. There are lots of easy canning recipes that are huge crowd-pleasers. For example, my homemade golden raspberry jam is crazy easy and unbelievably good. I love to whip up a batch of this marionberry jam for that blackberry flavor all year long! They also make great housewarming or host gifts for parties, too!
This batch of spiced pickled cherries comes together quickly and they’re amazing served on salads!
Bake some granola
I’m always shocked by the cost of granola at the grocery store. Don’t they know it’s just oats with some yummy extras? When you break down the recipe, it makes more sense. Your oats, cinnamon, nuts, and dried fruits are typically toasted with some sort of oil and maple syrup. These items start to add up, but friend, it is so worth it.
Bake up a big batch of delicious granola, store it in thrifted mason jars, and serve them with a cute little label. They’ll say thanks in the moment but when they finally open it up, you’ll get a text asking for the recipe!
It’s amazing how little you need to transform vodka into something completely delicious! These homemade liqueurs would look amazing packaged up into little bottles to share with your loved ones.
Custom spice blends
There are so many spice blends you can make! Make your own everything bagel seasoning or apple pie spice. Homemade ranch dip mix is great for making dip, of course, but also for flavoring popcorn or chicken.
Show off your hobby!
If you love to craft, this is a great time to show off your skills. I love to weave baskets and love to share those baskets with my family. If you are an expert Cricut-er, customize something for your recipient that shows you know what they like. Go wild!
You may also enjoy…
Secondhand Stocking Fillers
I’d love to start normalizing buying items secondhand. Secondhand stocking stuffers are a great alternative to buying new ones as you’ll still hunt for the perfect gift for your recipient, but any gift will have a smaller carbon footprint.
This is one of the easiest secondhand stocking stuffers because used books are often still in great shape! Share one of your favorites or hunt down a book you’re sure your recipient will adore.
Collectibles (if they collect something)
I’m going to be honest here…Most people collect something. When I started my vintage shop, I realized quickly that there are collectors everywhere!
Whether they’re obsessed with ironstone or collecting McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, these are all secondhand items that are innately more sustainable than buying new. Win!
Cozy sweaters or scarves
Check for vintage cashmere or wool or eye-catching designs. Give them a good wash and simply call them “vintage” instead of “used.”
There are so many amazing vintage purses out there and you can often find the for a great price. Happy purse hunting!
This is more appropriate for people you know who love antiques, but I sell so many antique and vintage pieces as gifts. There are so many cool and unusual pieces out there that are great for home decor (or more).
These are my favorite places to find vintage home decor on a budget.
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas You Can Buy
Finally, if you need brand-new items to fill those Christmas stockings, here are some options your friends and family members are sure to love this holiday season! (Feel free to skip the run to Home Goods or TJ Maxx…There are so many options waiting out there for you!)
Know your audience. If your recipient isn’t really into sustainability, focus on the more crowd-pleasing gifts like food, body products, candles, books, etc. Save the crunchier eco-friendly products like reusable bags for people you know who love sustainable products and living plastic-free.
A good chocolate bar
Never underestimate a good chocolate bar. Never.
Visit a local coffee shop to pick up a custom blend or snag some organic coffee bean samplers online.
Sustainable tea blends
There are so many great options for fancy tea blends from visiting a local tea shop or shopping a small business on Etsy.
I’m especially partial to these tea blends from Harts of America. They are a great stocking stuffer!
Reusable cotton rounds
Ditch the regular cotton pads and gift your special folks reusable cotton rounds they can use again and again!
Compostable phone cases
Pela has the best compostable phone cases and they have them for every make and model out there. When they’re done with it, your recipient can simply add it to their compost or even bury it in the ground!
Plastic-free lip balm
Try a lip balm packaged in a paper tube or a recyclable metal tin. These plastic-free lip balms would be a great choice from Etsy!
Reusable beeswax food wraps
These are a fantastic sustainable swap because they can be used for wrapping sandwiches, carrying snacks, covering bowls, and more. Plus, they’re so cute!
A good book
Pair this with a good bar of chocolate and some tea and your friends will be thrilled! Consider shopping for books from Bookshop to support indie booksellers.
A little bottle of lavender or lemongrass essential oil are great for so many reasons! Especially if your loved ones are crafty, these oils will be great for them to use in cleaning recipes and body care products.
Reusable snack bags
I’m a huge fan of Stasher bags, especially since they can be cleaned in the dishwasher. This is so much easier than rewashing the same old plastic bags over and over again.
Reusable water bottles
Brands like Klean Kanteen or HydroFlask last forever and are a great sustainable swap to ditch plastic water bottles.
If local is an option, local wine is a great gift as it has fewer food miles and supports a local business at the same time. If you don’t have local wine near you, try to find an organic wine to gift!
Seasoning salts are a wonderful gift because they really last. I love cooking with different salts I receive throughout the year. Personally, I love these ones from San Juan Island Sea Salt and often request these for myself!
Organic cotton socks
Keep those toasty with long-staple, organic cotton socks that will last!
Shampoo and conditioner bars
I love using shampoo and conditioner bars. They’re effective and have no plastic bottles!
Look for non-toxic brands that don’t use fragrance and as always, opt for small businesses when possible. I love the Good Juju Herbal bars from EarthHero the most!
Yes, facial soap bars are a thing! I like this one but have heard amazing things about these charcoal soap bars from Little Seed Farm.
Zero waste lotion
Whether you’re gifting a lotion bar or lotion packaged without plastic, this is a great gift for the season of dry hands and chapped lips.
Beeswax or soy candles
Skip the fragrance, but go to town on high-quality candles. I love beeswax candles especially and would love, love, love to see some in my stocking!
Gift cards to a local cafe or restaurant
Gift cards are a one-size-fits-all option and I love that they help support a small business at the same time.
Wooden dish brush with replacement heads
One of my favorite zero waste swaps! They’re so cute, effective, and plastic-free. Wooden dish brushes are a wonderful entry-level sustainable gift even for those reluctant to join the crunchy lifestyle.
Make a donation to a good cause they love
If you know their heart, send a few dollars to a cause that matters to them and they’ll be so touched by your thoughtfulness.
Stock them up on supplies for their favorite activity
Load them up on items you know they’ll use like fresh paints for painters, carving tools for block printers, etc. These might not be quite as sustainable as some options, but you know for sure they will be used and that’s very important.
Collapsible reusable bag
There are so many reusable bag options out there to help people stop using plastic bags. Go fancy with organic bags printed by local artists or offer reusable produce bags for loading up on potatoes and onions at the store.
Fresh, seasonal fruits
Go old-school and gift winter pears or fresh oranges. They are a burst of freshness during the cold, dark months.
What are the best sustainable stocking fillers?
That all depends on you, your budget, and your gift recipient! Keep it small; most people don’t really need too much extra. Plus, you’ll find that many eco-friendly products can be a bit more expensive.
Consumable gits like food are typically a hit with everyone (barring you’ve taken into consideration food allergies or dietary preferences).
If you’re gifting items to someone who loves living plastic-free, help them make the jump to reusables with items that can replace single-use items (beeswax wrap, cloth bowl covers, silicone bags, etc).
When in doubt, visit a small local business. Even if their products are not perfectly eco-friendly, you’re opting out of corporate shopping systems and keeping a small business open. (Plus, it’s fun and you’ll make their day!)
Did you find your new favorite eco-friendly stocking fillers?
I’d love to know which of these ideas inspired you! Share your favorite eco-friendly stocking fillers in the comments below.