The Earth-Lover’s Guide to Stocking Stuffers

Sarah Moore Impact Mill Contributor

‘Tis the season to stuff oversized socks with toys and goodies and pretend a red-suit-sporting fat man did it for you! I think there’s a song that goes like that, right?

Anyway, the truth is, this season of giving often comes with lots of waste and disregard for our Mother Earth. If you’re on this site, we’re betting you’re trying to move away from that mindset, despite the holidays’ best efforts to suck you back towards it.

The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s a list of stocking stuffers that keep the planet in mind and totally rock at the same time.

Vintage Stockings

Okay, so a stocking isn’t so much a stocking stuffer as a…stocking. (Yeah, there’s no clever way to spin that.) But if you do have to get someone a container to hold all those stocking stuffers, the vintage route is a lot greener than buying a mass-produced, cheap as dirt red felt version. And so much classier, too.



Natural candies that are not individually wrapped can be placed in a reusable container to make a great stocking stuffer | image: Kristina Servant/Flickr

We would be remiss if we didn’t talk about candy, because come on. Holidays. Candy. They’re like peanut butter and jelly. In our family, maple sugar candies are an old favorite, but be sure to choose a supplier that ships responsibly or hit up your grocer’s bulk candy section for less packaging waste. If you want more options, head over to the Natural Candy Store.

Bike Chain Bottle Opener

Up-cycling is even better than bi-cycling, at least if you want to make a lame pun. These flexible bottle openers are made from old bicycle chains in my home state of Oregon and are perfect for the soda aficionado in your life. Oh, and for anyone who likes beer.

Vegan Cosmetics

Makeup is a big hit with many of the ladies, and increasingly, the gentlemen as well. If you’re going to go the cosmetics route, though, be sure it’s vegan and cruelty-free. That goes for brushes as well, folks. This holiday, keep those bunnies out of your stockings.

Kitchen Utensils

Utensils make an awesome gift for the home cook in your life, and bamboo is a great renewable resource out of which to make them. If you’re looking for quality, dishwasher-safe spoons, spatulas, and tongs, you can’t do better than Bambu. Their utensils are carved from a single piece of bamboo, so they don’t fall apart, and can be washed however you like. If they get brittle, all you have to do is treat them with a bit of mineral oil.

Plant a Wish Cards

I think we can agree that teeny cards you can actually plant and sprout into flowers are a hit all around. Enough said.

Flowering Teas

Flowering teas are absolutely gorgeous. They start as little balls, then unfold in hot water to produce lovely blooms, perfect for clear teapots or mugs. Opt for an organic option such as Numi.

LP Record Coasters


Worn out vinyl records make great coasters and are a perfect size for stockings | image: Justin Fincher/Flickr

Vintage LP records make fabulous coasters, it turns out. Get a set of six and tuck them in the top of your music lover’s sock. Just be mindful when ordering from Amazon to group your items into as few shipments as possible, otherwise you create mega packaging waste.

Kitchen Towels

Where do you go wrong with organic kitchen towels? Organic cotton and bamboo options soak up water well and go with almost any décor scheme. Plus, they roll up tightly for perfect stocking stuffin’.

We hope you got some greener ideas of your own and enjoy playing Green Santa this year. Happy Holidays!

Sarah Moore is an Impact Mill contributor and freelance writer who focuses on sustainability, local food, and the weirder side of science. In her spare time she enjoys writing fiction, running, and cooking. Sarah lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, two children, two dogs, and an unshakable colony of June bugs.