Dawn Matthews | Dec 6, 2023
Eco Friendly Stocking Fillers
10 Minute Read
Buying stocking fillers for your family can be a big job, and it would be easy to just pop in the shops and online to fill your basket with all sorts of things that will no doubt be forgotten about come January. And while some family members would undoubtedly love what you get them no matter what, if you’re making the effort to be more sustainable with your stockings this Christmas, then that approach doesn’t work so well.
Choosing items that will be used for years, and that are reusable, recyclable, or can be repurposed at the end of their lives is a good approach to buying stocking fillers. Being conscious about how the items are made, and how they will be at the end of their lives is a good start, but doesn’t have to be the only way to do good.
Charity websites are brilliant for brand new items that not only work as fabulous stocking fillers, but that help to build funds for your favourite charities too. And because they are inherently trying to do good work, items that you buy from charities tend to be ethically made, have less plastic, and are better for the planet too.
With all these considerations in mind, we’ve rounded up a few eco-friendly, and ethically sourced stocking gift ideas for you to get started.
Eco Friendly Stocking Fillers
1️⃣ Pants and socks: It is somewhat of a cliché to receive socks and underwear at Christmas, but that new sock feeling is so good! This range of bamboo socks are ethically made, and Bare Kind donates 10% of profits to various environmental charities – and whoever you’re buying pants for, there is plenty of choice to buy ethically online.
2️⃣ T-shirt: Most guys could use a new t-shirt, let’s face it, so get the practical guys in your life a new shirt. Our range of Plane t-shirts are made from certified organic cotton in an ethically accredited wind-powered factory, and are delivered in paper packaging. If our tees aren’t quite what you’re looking for, then look at brands like Patagonia, or smaller, local brands that are doing amazing things printing sustainable clothing.
3️⃣ Flowers that last: Many of us love to receive flowers, but cut flowers die quickly. Putting a pot plant in a stocking probably isn’t practical, but how about seeds? Wildflower seed bombs, once planted, are wonderful for the local insect population, and are super pretty too.
4️⃣ Something for the garden: Winter isn’t the best time to start planting, but there’s nothing to say that you can’t buy something for the garden for a stocking filler! Bird watchers will love this cute ceramic bird feeder from the RSPB – and they can make use of it right away.
5️⃣ Ethical jewellery: A new accessory is always a good idea, and is a gift that can be used for years. There are some amazing ethical jewellery brands to explore – just search online for countless options to suit everyone. We love these hammered brass raindrop earrings, which are versatile and affordable.
6️⃣ Candles: What is more Christmassy than a candle that smells amazing? Well, lots actually, but a candle makes a great gift. You’ll often find handmade, sustainable candles at local Christmas markets, or you could choose from a small business online such as Treat Them Green, who make small batch, eco-friendly candles using vegan-friendly soy wax.
7️⃣ A creative gift: Help to take the boredom out of the long, cold slog through the rest of the winter. Gifting creative items such as embroidery kits, macrame, or even as simple as colouring books and pencils (both for kids and adults!) will keep them busy, and might even inspire them to pursue a new pastime.
Environmentally Friendly Stocking Fillers For Children And Teens
Even if you’re having a pared-back Christmas, children still want plenty of goodies in their stocking. There are more plastic free, and ethical stocking fillers aimed at kids than ever this year, and so you don’t have to resort to items that will be discarded by January 1st. While these ideas are suitable for kids, they work for adults too!
8️⃣ Chocolate: It wouldn’t be Christmas without chocolate in their stocking! The PLAYin Choc treats are vegan, allergy-free, plastic-free, organic, and fully sustainable as well as being delicious, AND they have a 3D puzzle inside! You can find Fairtrade chocolate in most supermarkets too – whichever brand you choose, look for cardboard tubes and plastic-free packaging.
9️⃣ Card games: Top Trumps is clearly a favourite, but how about a version that is educational too? As we write this post, Envirotoy has buy one, get one free on their Nature Challenge card games – perfect if you’re buying for more than one child.
1️⃣0️⃣ Christmas smellies: Make sure everyone is smelling sweet this new year with ethically made toiletries. The Body Shop and Lush are good places to start, and while they’re not perfect yet – neither claim to be – both are making strides towards being better for the planet. Wild deodorant mini packs are a brilliant choice to split up and pop in everyone’s stockings, and they’re perfect for gym bags.
1️⃣1️⃣ An ethically made planner: While many of us use our phones and laptops to do a lot of our planning, sometimes it is better to actually write stuff down on paper. There are loads of well-made, sustainable planners out there, with a choice to suit almost everyone. Look for recycled paper and plastic-free options.
1️⃣2️⃣ An inspiring book: Want to fire up someone’s enthusiasm for looking after the planet? How about a collection of Greta Thunberg’s speeches? Printed and bound in Great Britain using materials from sustainably managed forests, this book will surely inspire them to do good things for the environment. This is just one of millions of books you could choose from, and would make a great stocking filler.
Plastic Free Stocking Fillers
These ideas work for almost anyone in the family, depending on how you use them. If you’re going to try these ideas, make sure to wrap them up so they’re super special still.
1️⃣3️⃣ Give experience gifts: While stocking fillers are designed to be small and inexpensive presents, there’s nothing to say that you have to have physical items in your stocking. Maybe this year you could try giving experiences, rather than gifts. Simply add cards in the stocking, each with an experience that they can redeem with you. This could be as simple and inexpensive as an ice cream date with a child, an afternoon in a garden with an elderly relative, a pint for you and your brother at the pub, or maybe you push the boat out for a special person, with a meal, a massage, or a weekend away. You can decide when they get to redeem these – maybe you pre-pay and book the experiences for January, or maybe they get one for each month of the year. Who doesn’t love something to look forward to?! The great thing about this idea? You don’t have to worry about delays to your delivery, or have to go into town when it is busy!
1️⃣4️⃣ Make a charitable donation: For someone who has everything, why not make a donation to a charity, or to buy something to donate in their name. Many of the larger charities have gifts that you can donate to people in need, or if you prefer to know that your donation is going to an environmental charity, why not plant a tree? We partnered with One Tree Planted to do exactly that, and we love knowing that we are making a difference with every tree we use. However, use this idea with caution – young children won’t understand this gift, and you don’t want unhappy tears on Christmas morning!
1️⃣5️⃣ Gift something handmade: We have all received something that was hand made by a loved one at some point in our lives. If you’re a great baker, good at sewing, or handy with a toolbox, and can make something that would be amazing to receive, then go ahead and make it! A tiny box of delicious handmade fudge on Christmas morning? Yes, please! What about a scrunchie for their hair in the perfect fabric to match a favourite dress? Perfection. If you’re not so crafty, then pop along to a local Christmas fayre – there are all kinds of wonderful local artisans that will have perfect handmade stocking fillers. These can be better for the planet as they’ve often travelled a small distance, and most makers use their materials carefully so as not to waste any.
Christmas is a time for indulgence, and to enjoy ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we have to go crazy – and we should certainly be thinking of our impact on the planet as we choose our gifts, whether they are the main present, or they are another gift in the stocking. Want more inspiration about how to have a sustainable Christmas? Check out our 27 sustainable Christmas ideas.
Wishing for you the happiest, most sustainable Christmas ever, with love from all of us at Ben Simpson Furniture.