Around this time of year I typically avoid the department stores and shopping outlets. Working at a corporate retail store for over six years has sort of ruined me from ever wanting to shop at these places for the holidays…or ever for that matter. We as a society have gone overboard in Capitalism at this time of year. Just watch a Black Friday video and you’ll see what I mean.
A lot of department stores just mass produce items using cheap material because it’s cost-effective. Then they mark it up and expect you to pay $85 for a rock (*cough* Nordstrom). Many of these holiday items are not good for the environment. If you account for the manufacturing waste, product material, transportation, and packaging, it’s some serious damage.
Whatever holiday you celebrate around this time, gift giving seems to be a common theme in many of them. I have no problem admitting that I’m a budget friendly person (cheap is such a harsh word sometimes). Hey, when you have ten or more people to get gifts for, the costs add up.
Keeping with the holiday spirit of gift giving, but going against the societal norm of over-spending and harming the environment, I put together some gift ideas for those of you who like me, want some eco-friendly options that won’t break the bank.
So here it is, my list of 20 eco-friendly items for under $20.
These are my favorite type of gifts to give. I like physically making something because I often feel it’s a bit more personal of a gift, plus they’re typically inexpensive. Here are some cute D.I.Y. holiday ideas.
Got an old fleece shirt and some rice? An odd combo, but if you do, you got yourself some adorable hand warmers!
Reclaiming a log, you can create adorable natural ornaments that are festive and biodegradable!
Just add this craft to your list of 100+ ways to use a mason jar. It uses soy as a wax base, and has a nice pine scent. When your done with the jar, reuse it or recycle!
Okay, this one may only work if you know your recipient has a fireplace, but I love the idea of using natural materials that won’t end up in a landfill.
I know it’s another ornament idea, but it was too cute to pass up.
Is it offensive to get someone soap? When it’s homemade, natural, and holiday scented, I’ll let it slide.
Have your recipient smelling like a sugar cookie with this easy sugar scrub recipe.
Maybe you’re not the most craftastic person. That’s okay, because here are a few items that are adorable, cheap, and eco-savvy made from other craftastic individuals.
Can children go back to felt toys please? If you have a little one to buy for, these felt foods are super cute and use eco-friendly felt and cardboard.
There is a ton of eco-friendly jewelry out there. When shopping around, look for natural or recycled materials. Key words such as ‘eco-friendly’, ‘sustainable’, or ‘recycled’ can help narrow down the search.
Coffee sleeves are great because they’re cute, cheap, and help keep paper coffee sleeves out of landfills.
Gifting for a guy? A cork wallet or other cork related item is a great eco-gift. A neat fact about cork is that it’s the bark that is harvested from the tree, so there’s no tree cut down in the process.
For someone that loves holiday decor or spending time in the kitchen cooking up lentil loafs and gluten free gingersnaps, a organic cotton tea towel with a cute holiday print is a great gift. Tea towels usually run $12 or under.
In the spirit of giving, this gift idea gives back to Mother Nature. Bambeco partnered with the American Forests, a conservation group, to plant trees for just $5. Your recipient will get a paper ornament with instructions on how to register and where the tree will be planted.
Inexpensive and oh-so-yummy, these treats are vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free, making them great for any recipient. Here are some tasty holiday treat recipes.
A healthier version of the snowball cookie!
Get your Andes Mint fix without the guilt.
Simple ingredients and easy to make.
Mmmm, nothing says the holidays like gingerbread.
Pop these babies into mason jars, add ribbon and you got yourself a tasty gift!
Here you go, another holiday favorite!
The classic go-to gift idea, just veganized.