Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
We should all buy less. But we can also optimize each purchase we make. Because many better choices over time equal real impact.

10 Sustainable Stocking Stuffers They’ll Actually Use (Under $20)

10 Sustainable Stocking Stuffers They’ll Actually Use (Under $20)

The last things your eco-minded relatives want to find in their stockings are single-use plastics and tchotchkes that will end up in a landfill.

This holiday season, use our guide to impress them with eco-friendly stocking stuffers they'll truly appreciate.

For more holiday ideas, check out our list of the best eco-friendly gifts of 2020, our sustainable gift wrap guide, and a few of our tips for having a green Christmas.

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

1. TreeBird Biodegradable Dental Floss with a Refillable Glass Holder

There are many sustainable swaps on our list of the best eco-friendly stocking stuffers, but TreeBird's Plastic-Free Dental Floss is one everyone can use. This minty-fresh floss comes in a small glass jar that can be continually refilled with TreeBird floss spools. The floss is waxed with a vegan candelilla wax for a smooth glide, and you can even pair it with a TreeBird Bamboo Toothbrush Set if you're so inclined.

Customer Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars with nearly 800 Amazon reviews
Why Buy: Plastic-free; Low-waste; Biodegradable materials; Compostable packaging


2. Formuson Reusable Telescopic Stainless-Steel Straw Set with Case and Cleaning Brush

The perils of plastic straws became highly publicized after that infamous turtle video, but Formuson's Telescopic Stainless-Steel Straws make it easy to refuse these single-use plastics. They are adjustable in length, can be used with hot or cold beverages, and come with a mini cleaning brush and lightweight case that's small enough to comfortably fit in your pocket or purse.

Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with nearly 500 Amazon reviews
Why Buy: Zero-waste; Easy to clean; BPA-free; Recyclable packaging


3. Light My Fire Titanium Spork

One additional way to stop plastic waste on the go is to keep a reusable cutlery set in your car, purse, or pocket. The lightweight yet durable Light My Fire Titanium Spork combines a knife, fork, and spoon into one compact tool that's perfect for anything from lunch in the office to dinner on the hiking trail.

Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with nearly 4,000 Amazon reviews
Why Buy: Low-waste; Non-toxic; Lightweight; Durable; Dishwasher-safe; BPA-free


4. Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag

Another eco-friendly stocking stuffer that will help you ditch single-use plastic is the Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag. Baggu totes are modeled after standard plastic grocery bags but are made with durable ripstop fabric that can hold up to 50 pounds. They also stuff down into a 5-inch internal pocket for convenient carrying and come in a variety of prints and solid colors.

Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with nearly 50 Amazon reviews
Why Buy: Zero-waste; Machine-washable; Made with 40% recycled materials; Ethically manufactured; Packaging made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified material


5. Ecoijy Wool Dryer Balls

Not only do Ecoijy Wool Dryer Balls eliminate the need for wasteful dryer sheets, they also save energy by decreasing the time it takes to dry your clothes and linens. These dryer balls are made with 100% New Zealand wool, can be used for over 1,000 loads of laundry, and can be sprinkled with essential oils to give you a fresh scent.

Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 7,500 Amazon reviews
Why Buy: Low-waste; Energy-efficient; Hypoallergenic; Biodegradable; Non-toxic


6. Bee’s Wrap Sustainable and Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps

Bee's Wrap Sustainable and Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps are one of the best eco-friendly stocking stuffers for any home chef – even if you're just cooking up a dish from your meal delivery service. These plastic-wrap alternatives make storing leftovers a breeze, as they can self-seal or cling to the rim of a bowl or plate to keep food fresh longer.

Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 4,000 Amazon reviews
Why Buy: Zero-waste; Certified B Corp; Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified; Sustainably harvested beeswax; Organic; Green America certified; Compostable


7. Maxware Refillable Coffee Filters For Keurig

A single-use item that's become a staple of modern living is Keurig coffee pods, or K-cups. In fact, the inventor of K-cups has said he regrets making them because of how wasteful they are. Thankfully, there's a sustainable solution: Maxware Refillable Coffee Filters. Simply fill them with your favorite coffee, tea, or cocoa mix, pop them into your Keurig like a standard K-cup, rinse, and repeat.

Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 13,500 Amazon reviews
Why Buy: Zero-waste; Refillable


8. RONXS USB Lighter

Eco-conscious gadget-lovers rave about the RONXS USB Lighter. This high-tech yet sustainable lighter takes the place of matches, disposable plastic Bic lighters, and even Zippos that need to be refilled with a butane canister. The RONXS model uses an electric pulse to light candles, grills, fireplaces, or anything else you want to burn this holiday season.

Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 7,000 Amazon reviews
Why Buy: Zero-waste; Rechargeable; No butane or liquid; Odorless burn


9. Spaces Organic Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

Instead of using a makeup wipe or a single-use cotton round to remove your cruelty-free makeup, upgrade to Spaces Organic Reusable Makeup Remover Pads. They're made with a cotton and bamboo blended material that gently exfoliates while cleansing, and the pack of 20 pads come with a laundry bag for easy cleaning.

Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 2,000 Amazon reviews
Why Buy: Made with organic bamboo and cotton fabric; Zero-waste; Reusable; Machine-washable


10. Decomposition Book Pocket-Size Notebook

The final product on our list of the best eco-friendly stocking stuffers is a Decomposition Book Pocket-Size Notebook. Stow this 4-inch-by-6-inch book in your back pocket to fill with ideas, or toss it in your hiking bag to jot down trailside reflections. There are also standard-sized Decomposition Books and spiral-bound Decomposition Books that may not fit in a stocking but would make great gift ideas.

Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with less than 50 Amazon reviews
Why Buy: Printed with soy ink; Pages made 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper; Made in the USA


Melissa Smith is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainable studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a non-profit that's featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.

By Frank La Sorte and Kyle Horton

Millions of birds travel between their breeding and wintering grounds during spring and autumn migration, creating one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world. These journeys often span incredible distances. For example, the Blackpoll warbler, which weighs less than half an ounce, may travel up to 1,500 miles between its nesting grounds in Canada and its wintering grounds in the Caribbean and South America.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Kevin Maillefer / Unsplash

By Lynne Peeples

Editor's note: This story is part of a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination across the U.S. The series is supported by funding from the Park Foundation and Water Foundation. Read the launch story, "Thirsting for Solutions," here.

In late September 2020, officials in Wrangell, Alaska, warned residents who were elderly, pregnant or had health problems to avoid drinking the city's tap water — unless they could filter it on their own.

Read More Show Less


Eat Just's cell-based chicken nugget is now served at Singapore restaurant 1880. Eat Just, Inc.

At a time of impending global food scarcity, cell-based meats and seafood have been heralded as the future of food.

Read More Show Less
New Zealand sea lions are an endangered species and one of the rarest species of sea lions in the world. Art Wolfe / Photodisc / Getty Images

One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.

Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand's South Island, has closed a popular road to protect a mother sea lion and her pup, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less

piyaset / iStock / Getty Images Plus

In an alarming new study, scientists found that climate change is already harming children's diets.

Read More Show Less