If you’re unfamiliar, a stocking stuffer is a small collection of small gifts that fit nicely inside a stocking to make it appear full. Stocking stuffers are a long-standing tradition in my family, but over the years, they have evolved into small items we may need. They are usually the last items to purchase after a larger gift. The practice has become a much more sustainable way to provide a small, meaningful gift. Today, I want to share a list of ideas to gift sustainable stocking stuffers this year.
As a few pointers, stocking stuffers can be an incredible way to accumulate waste. Many stocking stuffers are gifts that are short-lived or tchotchke items that sit untouched for years to come. Stocking stuffers are an excellent opportunity to be mindful of your gift-giving and provide a small gift that will be meaningful. A more sustainable practice for a stocking stuffer is to support a small business, whether through Etsy, small businesses on Amazon, or even local markets. Our definition of sustainable in this instance is reduced waste, easy to incorporate into daily life, and doesn’t include harmful ingredients.
We have a few product affiliate links here, which you can use to explore some more ideas. We’ve included items at different prices, but most of these gifts are affordable. In addition, several DIY stocking stuffer options are listed at the bottom for inspiration. And in the spirit of more eco-friendly celebrations, look for more practices here.
From the traveler to the home chef, to the plant lover, to your pets, here are some ideas to help you with sustainable stocking stuffers this year.
Sustainable Stocking Stuffers For the Traveler
While many have not traveled during the COVID era, many businesses are bouncing back into traveling again. In addition, many people are longing to take a much-needed vacation. Here are some ideas for sustainable stocking stuffers for those who travel a bit.
Using a refillable bottle prevents the need to purchase new bottles for every purchase. These make great stocking stuffers because they can be reused and save the recipient money from buying toiletries.
From the perspective of a person who travels often, there’s nothing worse than being in a hotel room with take-out or leftover food and no utensils to eat. Give the gift of a portable cutlery set, perfect for traveling or someone on the go. This reusable utensil set is an excellent option for a sustainable stocking stuffer because it reduces your dependence on plastic cutlery, is durably made of stainless steel, and is from a small business.
For the world traveler, a passport is a document you always need to have handy. This passport book/document holder is perfect for holding those COVID vaccine cards and any other documents you may need. It’s made of vegan leather, so it’s cruelty-free.
Sustainable Stocking Stuffers for the Gardener
Remember how homesteading became super popular during COVID? Well for many of us, it didn’t quite work out. But for some, gardening is a hobby long standing. Whether veteran or new gardener, here’s some ideas for sustainable stocking stuffers for the person who likes to garden or loves plants.
The Microgreens grow kit is a great option to introduce someone to gardening and growing their own food. This particular kit grows microgreens, but plenty of other types exit from funky vegetables to herbs to mushrooms. We selected this particular kit because it’s an organic mix with compostable trays and owned by a small business.
Garden gloves are essential for anyone who gardens or has recently gotten into gardening. They often need to be replaced since garden gloves can wear down quickly. These gloves are made from cotton, which is preferable to many of the plastic alternatives. You can patch these gloves up if they show signs of wearing when compared to silicone types. There are many small businesses that you can support on Amazon for garden gloves this holiday season, but you can also search on Etsy for other types.
Plant tags are essential when your plants are seedlings. It can be difficult to tell many different types apart, especially for a novice gardener. With the wide availability of bamboo, these plant labels are a great option for a sustainable stocking stuffer for a plant lover in your life.
Sustainable Stocking Stuffers for the Chef
If you’ve been following my page, you may have noticed I’m constantly giving tips and tricks for sustainable products and practices in the kitchen. Here are a few ideas for stocking stuffers for the home chef looking to reduce their kitchen waste.
Swedish dish cloths are a great addition to your kitchen. They can replace your paper towel use significantly because they are super absorbent and durable. Great for wiping down your surfaces, appliances, or just general cleaning, Swedish dish cloths make a great sustainable stocking stuffer.
Silicone baking mats are a fantastic addition to anyone’s kitchen. From roasting vegetables to baking cookies, silicone liners replace the need for parchment paper while baking. Although parchment paper is compostable, it will not break down in the landfill. A silicone mat saves parchment paper, washing time, and is dishwasher safe.
Silicone bags replace sealable plastic bags. These bags work great for things like sandwiches, fruits, prepared vegetables, or kitchen scraps for stock. The silicone bags are dishwasher, refrigerator, and freezer safe. A perfect stocking stuffer, and the give that can keep on giving.
Sustainable Stocking Stuffers for the Kids
Kids of all ages like sidewalk chalk. Instead of purchasing from the big box store, consider purchasing from a small business with a non-toxic washable sidewalk chalk. These bright colors in jumbo chalk are perfect for toddlers and kids!
These jumbo crayons are from a small business who produces crayons from beeswax. These are child safe and non-toxic, so they are great for all ages.
Sustainable Stocking Stuffers for the Pets
We all know that pet toys tend to be short lived. This year, try to purchase a more durable toy, like these dog ropes made of hemp. They are designed for toughness and are available for both cats and dogs. The hemp material is preferable to synthetic material, because it is non-toxic to pets vs some polyester products. Additionally, this will help when the toy has reached its limits and can be composted.
You can also support your local pet stores and purchase homemade treats and toys. Regardless, your pet will surely be pleased you thought of them for the holiday. Treats are also a great option, but again, be sure to wait until the gift exchange to bring them out!
Sustainable Stocking Stuffers for Anyone
Consumable are a great stocking stuffer that can be given to anyone. A few ideas for inspiration are tea, candy, chocolates, baked goods, and popcorn. There are some great food brands in the market place that can make great gifts with environmentally packaging and ethical supply chains. If you’re up for the task, you can even try some of our recipes, like our banana nut muffins or our vegan pumpkin bread! A warning about consumables though: be sure to watch out for pets because have a nose for snacks. If you’re gifting consumables, be sure to put them in the stockings right before the gift exchange.
Your local thrift store typically has an eclectic variety of books that have been donated for all stages. For kid or adults, there are books of all types at thrift stores for very affordable prices. some ideas for book lovers are cookbooks, memoirs, novels, or travel guides. Your thrift store has endless options to learn, and indulge bookworms.
We hope you enjoyed this article! Let us know in the comments section if there are any gifts we may have missed or if you use any of these ideas this holiday season!