Natural Living

20 Eco Gift Ideas for under $20


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.

Hand Warmers

Image via Swoon Studios

Got an old fleece shirt and some rice? An odd combo, but if you do, you got yourself some adorable hand warmers!

Wood Burned Ornaments

Image via Design Mom

Reclaiming a log, you can create adorable natural ornaments that are festive and biodegradable!

Winter Scented Soy Candles

Image via Evermine

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!

Pinecone fire Starter

Image  via Evermore

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.

Twig Ornaments

Image via Spalvota Drynotas

I know it’s another ornament idea, but it was too cute to pass up.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Soap

Image via Simply Designing

Is it offensive to get someone soap? When it’s homemade, natural, and holiday scented, I’ll let it slide.

Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Image via Odds and Evans

Have your recipient smelling like a sugar cookie with this easy sugar scrub recipe.


Online Shopping

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.

Felt Toys

$5 felt apple via MyFruit Etsy

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.


$15 mixed wood bracelet via The Wooden Treasures Etsy

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.

Reusable Coffee Sleeve

$7.50 snowman knit coffee sleeve via The Knotty Needle Etsy

Coffee sleeves are great because they’re cute, cheap, and help keep paper coffee sleeves out of landfills.

Cork Wallet

$16 cork wallet via Xianna Shop Etsy

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.

Cotton or Flour Sack Tea Towel

$5 tea towel via Nellie and Darcey Etsy

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.

Gift a Tree


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.

Coconut Snowballs

Image via Sweet as Honey


A healthier version of the snowball cookie!

Dark Mint Chocolates

Image via The Vegan 8

Get your Andes Mint fix without the guilt.

Salted Caramel Raw Bites

Healthy Three Ingredient Caramel Raw Bites Recipe.jpg
Image via Southern in Law

Simple ingredients and easy to make.

Raw Gingerbread Cookies

Image via Rawmanda

Mmmm, nothing says the holidays like gingerbread.

Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough

Image via Lean, Clean, and Brie

Pop these babies into mason jars, add ribbon and you got yourself a tasty gift!

Peppermint Bark

Image via A Lovely Side Project

Here you go, another holiday favorite!

Hot Cocoa Mix

Image via Free People

The classic go-to gift idea, just veganized.


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