Eco-Friendly Gifts For Under $40

by heather

If you’re looking for some unique, frugal, eco-friendly gifts to give this year, then boy are you in luck. I’ve got an awesome list of really cool, green gifts you can give.

The reason I compiled this list in the first place is because I made a goal this year: no gifts to anyone unless that gift does one of two things:

1. It helps the person save money, and/or

2. It helps the person go green in their life

Those are my rules for this year’s gift giving. So, I thought I’d share my findings with all of you, because as I was surfing around I found some really great ideas.

Sidenote: Unless a gift is listed through Amazon (where I have an e-store), I do not receive any compensation by mentioning and linking to these gifts.

Eco-Friendly Gift #1: Reusable Produce Bags

I’ve been carrying my own reusable grocery store bag to the store forever, but it never occurred to me to look for reusable produce bags.

But, I found these at

They’re only $2.95 each, and if you buy 4 or more they go down to $2.75.

With these, you won’t have to use those filmy plastic bags for your carrots, apples, and other fresh veggies. Genius! I’m definitely putting these on my gift list (and ordering some for myself in the process…)

Photo from

Photo from

Eco-Friendly Gift #2: Reusable Tote Bags

I love these brightly colored tote bags from They’ve got wide bottoms so they stand up when there are groceries placed inside, and the handles are designed to go over bulky sweaters and coats.

You get a set of three for $28.50.

Eco-Friendly Gift #3: Shower Timer

Photo by Nubius Organics

Photo by Nubius Organics

It’s easy, especially on cold winter mornings, to get lost in the shower. The hot water, the pleasant steam…you could stay in there all morning, right?

I know I could. But, this wastes dozens of gallons of water every morning. Nubius Organics, where this shower timer is sold, claims that for each four minutes you reduce shower time, you’ll save 2400 gallons and $78.00 per year.

So, keep track of the time with this cute little shower timer. Price tag? $15.50.

Eco-Friendly Gift #4: Topsy Turvy Tomato Kit

Photo by Clean Air Gardening

Photo by Clean Air Gardening

I first came across Topsy Turvy Tomatoes when my neighbor bought one of these kits. She was able to grow cherry tomatoes by hanging this kit off one of her trees.

Time Magazine picked the Topsy Turvy Upside Down Planter as one of their most amazing inventions of 2005, because it allows you to grow tomatoes (or beans, or flowers) without cages or a big garden. You don’t have to worry about rodents, or weeding with one of these.

Talk about neat!

And the price is great. At you can get them for $18.99 each.

Eco-Friendly Gift #5: Trendy Lunch Tote

Photo by

Photo by

Most of us know that taking our lunch to work is the way to go now. Not only does it save us quite a bit of money, but it also cuts down on waste. And, we usually eat healthier when we take our lunch.

So, why not give an insulated lunch tote this year? The Built NY Lunch Tote, sold at, has a place for a juice bottle or water bottle, and a stretchy compartment for a main meal and snacks. Plus, it looks really cool, so you won’t have to hide it walking into the office.

Price tag? $19.95.

Eco-Friendly Gift #6: Sun In A Jar

Photo by

Photo by

I’m going to be hard-pressed not to buy one of these for myself.

Sun In A Jar, sold at, collects sunshine during the day via solar panel in this cute jam jar. At night, the LED lights turn on and you get a pleasant, glowing nightlight for 5 hours.

Because of the frosted glass of the mason jar, the glow mimics sunlight and reminds you of summer sunsets. Plus, the jar is completely water-tight, so it can be left outside for outdoor dining or campouts.

If you click on the link above, there are more pictures on the site. You’ll see that the light is actually quite bright, giving off a warm, sunny-like glow.

The inventor, Tobias Wong, is a genius.

The price for Sun In A Jar is $39.75.

Yes, I’d love three for Christmas.

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How To Have A Green Christmas | The Greenest Dollar
November 30, 2008 at 3:37 pm » Blog Archive » Tips to Organize Your Kitchen on a Budget
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Lars November 14, 2008 at 8:47 am

Thanks for the mention of the Topsy Turvy!

I have another suggestion too. People who don’t want to take a shorter shower might enjoy a water saving showerhead like these two models that we offer. Both are also under $40. This one is $39.
And this one is only $24.

Reducing hot water usage saves you money and helps the environment in two ways. It reduces your water bill, but it ALSO reduces your energy bill, because you are using less natural gas or electricity to heat up the water in the first place.

amym November 17, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Great article with wonderful suggestions. Fair trade Christmas ornaments made from natural and recycled materials can also make great eco-friendly gift ideas. Small and inexpensive, they make great stocking stuffer ideas, too.

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