Eco-Friendly Gifts Under $10

Eco friendly gifts under 10
Photo by Leone Venter on Unsplash

Finding gifts is hard, finding eco-friendly gifts under $10? Even harder!

With shredded wrapping paper and tossed-aside packaging piling up as we exchange presents, unnecessary waste and gift-giving often go hand in hand.

While it may feel impossible, sharing gifts can be as environmentally conscious as we choose it to be.

When we ask the right questions and understand the consequences of our purchases, we can gift our friends and loved ones the high-quality, sustainably sourced presents we know they’ll love.

We selected these gifts with an eye towards changing everyday behaviors to a more sustainable lifestyle. When you choose the gifts below, you will be sending your grateful recipient on a path to less waste and a lower carbon footprint. Who knows, you might just change their life…and all for under $10!

Even if we fall short of an epiphany, at the very least it might lead them to ask some introspective and thought-provoking questions about their daily routine.

1. Emporia Smart Plug

Research shows that the average American’s per capita carbon footprint is five times higher than the world average.

Given this figure, tackling climate change as an individual might feel daunting or even impossible.

But some of today’s technological advances can make the climate fight easier.

As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, it’s becoming more important to consider the effects of daily household consumption. And progress begins at home.

With the Emporia Smart Plug, you can limit this consumption and monitor energy use with just one easy-to-use device. At the time of publication, you can find it for $9.99 on Rise or for $11.99 on Amazon.

The Emporia App lets you control devices from anywhere, so forgotten lights and gadgets on standby power can be easily switched off.

Being an ally to the environment has extra perks, too. While you make an effort to reduce your carbon footprint, you also extend product life and save on electricity bills.

2. Ethique Conditioner Concentrate

We’ve all noticed the build-up of plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles in the corner of our showers at some point.

While the amount might not appear hefty, the cumulative global effect is enormous, totaling 80 billion bottles discarded annually.

Ethique and its eco-conscious customers are responsible for slashing that figure by an impressive nine million single-use plastic bottles.

Their range of shampoos and conditioners exclusively use sustainably sourced ingredients that come in compostable and biodegradable cardboard packaging.

It comes in concentrated form, with its chemical-free nature suited for normal and oily hair. Simply add water and do your part to save the planet.

Priced at just $8.50 when purchased directly from the company or $10 even on Amazon, the Ethique conditioner is a great addition to our list of eco-friendly gifts under $10. 

As you can read in our longer review of Ethique’s shampoo bar, we love their innovative low-waste solution to hair care. Ethique also sells a conditioner bar but we prefer the concentrate as it more closely replicates the experience of your typical conditioner.

One tip: When cooking up a bottle of Ethique conditioner concentrate, ignore the directions and cut up the concentrated block of conditioner into small pieces. Boiling the smaller pieces significantly accelerates the process.

Otherwise you will be stirring beyond 10 minutes. We found Ethique underestimates the time it takes for the solid conditioner to break-down into liquid conditioner.

Another bonus with using Ethique’s concentrate – your whole house will smell as beautiful as your glorious long locks for a few hours after cooking it up. It puts potpourri to shame!

3. Klean Kanteen Reusable Metal Straws

According to research, the average American uses 1.6 plastic straws per day, totaling a staggering 500 million straws discarded daily.

Opting for Klean Kanteen’s reusable metal straws means you have an eco-friendly straw for life, with four straws for $9.95.

After introducing the world’s first BPA-free stainless-steel bottle in 2004, Klean Kanteen expanded its line to cater to the budding eco-minded movement. Using a refillable container for your hydration needs can reduce your carbon emissions by 80% relative to plastic water bottles.

Their recent addition of reusable metal straws features removable silicone tips perfect for hot or cold drinks.

Versatile and easy to carry, this eco-conscious straw is a durable, dishwasher-safe alternative that you can take anywhere. The polar opposite of single use plastic straws, you will be able to reuse these babies for a lifetime!

4. TreeBird’s Plastic-Free Dental Floss

Synthetic wax coats the bio-degradable nylon used in traditional dental floss, making it a significant environmental pollutant.

TreeBird’s pure silk eco floss is the perfect product for the eco-aware flosser committed to a life without plastic. Sold in a refillable glass bottle, this compostable silk spool spans 33 yards, and it’s a bargain for $9.99.

Candelilla wax replaces the synthetic wax to provide a refreshing flavor that guarantees an effortless glide as you floss.

Compostable Kraft paper and soy-beak ink package this sustainable product, sealing it with plant-based, bio-degradable stickers.

As we’ve said, progress begins at home, so find out more about the bathroom products you can compost or our full run-down of sustainable dental products.

5. Dental Tabs from Unpaste

The U.S. alone discards approximately 400 million single-use plastic toothbrushes per year, taking hundreds of years to degrade.

Unpaste is doing its part for the environment by offering 100% compostable dental tabs at $8.99 per bag at Hive or for a few more bucks on Amazon

These tabs are easy to use and free from questionable additives. Tell your friends they won’t miss all the strange and exotic ingredients found in generic toothpastes. Like “Blue 1,” originally made from coal tar but now derived from petroleum, yummy! Or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), a detergent you’ll also find in your shampoo. Or the mysterious ingredient “Flavor” in Crest’s Kids Toothpaste. Who doesn’t love “flavor”?!

Simply chew one tablet until it is ground up and brush as you normally would with a soft-bristle brush. The refreshing cinnamon or mint flavor provides a less abrasive scrub than traditional toothpaste, combating the harmful build-up of tartar and plaque.

With each compact pack holding enough tabs for two months of cleaning, they’re the eco warrior’s ideal plastic replacement.

Help your friend or family member start a healthier and more sustainable dental routine by opening their eyes to this eco-friendly innovation.

6. 100% Natural Sponge from TerraEquip

Sponges generally have a short lifespan in many homes, often being scrapped without much thought. As most are non-recyclable, these synthetic sponges usually wind up in landfills and the ocean.

Open up your friend or family members’ eyes to the world of compostable cleaning products with TerraEquip’s coconut-husk and wood-pulp biodegradable sponge. It is abrasive enough to tackle the toughest kitchen stains. And all without harmful dyes and toxins found in conventional sponges.

After you are done with it, cut it into pieces and toss it in your backyard compost bin rather than your trashcan. The organisms living in your compost bin will take care of everything!

At $5.99 for two sponges, this natural alternative earns its place on our list of eco-friendly gifts under $10.

7. Easy Composting Book

Composting is a growing trend but by no means a fad. We have covered why composting is important before, in addition to protecting the planet, it creates rich soil to nourish plants and provide plant protection.

Instead of wasting money on pricey store-bought compost bags packaged in non-recyclable plastic, make your own nutrient-rich soil.

Easy Compost is perfect for beginners interested in composting to reap the benefits for themselves and the planet. It will help you overcome some of the disadvantages of composting and become an expert.

The book is short and to the point, only 120 pages packed with the essentials of composting. Learn the tried and and true techniques of composting with this best-selling resource as your go-to guide.

Amazon has it priced a few dollars over $10 if new, but we have a feeling your sustainable-minded friends will appreciate a used copy for as low as $2.25.

For the gardening enthusiast willing to spend extra, Composting for a New Generation offers a more comprehensive guide. Delve into the science involved in efficient composting with clear step-by-step instructions to help any garden thrive.

8. 100% Compostable Pela Phone Cases

As the conversation surrounding the climate crisis grows stronger, people are opting for a combination of style and sustainability. 

Pela Cases introduced the world’s first compostable phone case, providing customers with a range of trendy products ever since.

Though the cases are pricier, the company offers a $10 certificate, so they belong on our list of eco-friendly gifts under $10. They also sell sunglasses, biodegradable smart watch bands, among other cool products.

Join the trend and support a company that boasts a 30% reduction in carbon emissions and 80% less production waste.

9. Wisdom Supply Co.

While plastics may appear to break down, microplastics remain in our dirt, air, and oceans, wreaking significant environmental damage.

Wisdom Supply Co. is working to tackle the long-lasting damage these plastics cause by providing a range of eco-friendly products under $10.

One of many is the Stabilo 3-in-1 wax, watercolor, and dry-erase marker, priced at $7.90 for a set of two.

There are no plastic caps to discard, and the chunky design is perfect for small hands that love art. Ideal for recycled paper, whiteboards, and windows, this set guarantees your home, office, or classroom saves on paper.

Wisdom is one of many companies selling products made from recycled paper. Using recycled products is a great way for you to reduce plastic waste in the office, whether it be your home office or downtown.

10. ChicoBag’s Reusable Grocery Bag

The number of plastic bags used annually in the U.S. totals approximately 14 billion, with only 1% returned for recycling.

Considering these figures, it’s never been more important to kick our single-use plastic habits.

ChicoBag’s reusable grocery bag has provided a plastic alternative to over 1.8 million customers, saving 779 million bags from landfills.

The built-in pouch and attachable clip mean you can store this bag somewhere useful, so it’s always on hand.

The 40-pound carrying capacity and durable, machine-washable fabric make it the ideal single-use plastic bag replacement. With a range of designs and colors that never fade, it’s clear that style doesn’t have to suffer for sustainability.

If you want to go above $10, they have some large capacity bags that are perfect for a run to the farmers market, like the 40 lb. capacity Nomad Tote.

11. Sistema Reusable Travel Cutlery

Reliance on single-use plastic cutlery has seen a seemingly endless stream of non-biodegradable products end up in our landfills.

While more establishments are providing recyclable options, it’s far more eco-friendly and cost-effective to simply carry our own.

Though made of virgin plastic, the Sistema Go-To travel cutlery set is BPA- and phthalate-free. The set comes with a handy carrying case and includes a fork, spoon, knife, and chopsticks.

Priced under $5 at time of publication, you can easily pair this with another low priced item from our list.

Sistema cites some marginally sustainable practices like reuses rainwater on its premises to cool machinery and reduces its carbon footprint by maximizing shipping container volume.

But their scope 3 emissions, which include downstream emissions the use of a product, are something worth bragging about. Your family or friend will never need a single-use plastic fork again with these durable, easily stowable cutlery.

12. Herban Cowboy vegan organic shaving soap

Award-winning Herban Cowboy sells a chemical-free soap that’s safe for daily use and guarantees a soft shave for $7.91.

While this soap is ideal for grooming facial hair, this brand has a range of eco-friendly shaving soaps for women to choose from.

To perfect your environmentally friendly grooming regimen, pair the Herban Cowboy’s organic shaving soap with a zero-waste safety razor.

According to Euromonitor, a market research firm, the U.S. saw over $1.2 billion worth of razors sold in 2021.

Given their non-recyclable and non-biodegradable composition, the majority of these likely wound up in landfills. The safety razor is the perfect replacement.

Skip the big companies’ disposable razors, including Schick’s new greenwashed bamboo disposable razor, and buy a lifetime of shaves with minimal waste.

We’ve used a pair of Edwin Jagger safety razors for many many years, both a men’s and women’s version. Made of stainless steel, they are virtually indestructible. You could literally bequeath it to your children and have them use it for another lifetime!

While they’re more costly than the disposable options, with an upfront price tag of under $30, consider it a long-term investment. With proper care and regular blade replacement, metal safety razors are truly a lifetime purchase.

13. Re-Play 100% Recycled Plastic Toddler Utensils

The Re-Play company is working to make a considerable dent in our reliance on single-use plastic.

Every six seconds, this family-owned business saves one milk jug from landfills to create recycled toddler utensils.

Choose a bright, durable Re-Play style for your budding environmentalist as they grow and learn to protect the Earth.

Purchase Re-Play’s recycled plastic toddler utensils as an introduction to their full-line of recycled, kid-safe kitchen gear.

Ideal for indoor or outdoor dining, this sustainably produced option is under $10 and will keep your tot safe. Also 100% recyclable and free from BPA, phthalate, Melamine, and PVC.

14. Waterhaul Glasses Case

Traditional glasses cases are predominantly made of non-recyclable plastic, so it’s safe to say most end up in landfills. 

Waterhaul recycled plastic sunglasses are made from fishing discarded nets hauled from the ocean. In our review of sustainable sunglasses, Waterhaul was one of our favorites.

Though the sunglasses are well over $10, the Waterhaul cases are less.

Constructed from cork and lined with cotton, this case is 100% plastic-free and comes in two sizes: standard and XL.

Given its durable structure, this case will protect your glasses during falls and seal tightly with a magnetic clasp.

Yes, this gift exceeds the $10 limit since it is 10 British pounds, but we have British readers too, so it’s not cheating… technically.

15. Pilot B2P Recycled Plastic Pens

Plastic bottles account for almost 50% of the world’s total recyclable waste, with an estimated 250,000 thousand bottles reaching landfills every hour.

For regular readers of R&R, you are familiar (possibly fatigued?) with our hatred of plastic bottles, the archenemy of sustainability and poster child of plastic pollution.

If you choose to drink water from plastic bottles for a year, you would cancel the climate benefits of two years worth of mature tree’s carbon sequestration. The U.S. cancels the carbon sequestration benefits of 146 million trees a year with its plastic bottle habit.

To make a dent in this plastic catastrophe, albeit a small one, Pilot has created the first-ever pen made from 89% recycled bottles, with two for $8.99.

The Pilot B2P gel roller, available in black, blue, and red ink, provides a smooth finish when writing, and reduces its user’s carbon footprint through refillable ink cartridges.

If your budget allows, you can upscale this thoughtful gift by opting for the reusable aluminum Ohto pen with alumite processing.

16. Pact 100% Organic Cotton Socks

Socks were a less-than-exciting gift as kids, but every adult knows the joy of unwrapping a selection of well-made socks. That joy is two-fold when the socks in question are 100% organic cotton, produced with the planet’s wellbeing in mind.

Reducing your carbon footprint is (quite literally) made easier with Pact’s 100% organic socks. Prices range between $7 and $35 depending on the style and cut, so watch the site for under-$10 bargains.

Using sustainable crops and 81% less water than non-organic cotton, Pact’s colorful line requires no toxic chemicals throughout production.

While humans are the cause of the current climate crisis, we are Earth’s last stronghold in defending the planet. To support this defense, Pact partners with Fair Trade Certified™ factories to guarantee safe working conditions for its employees.

Check out our post on circular fashion and how this well-meaning idea isn’t exactly ending textile waste.

This 16-part guide to eco-friendly gifts under $10 is just a small collection of ideas.

As we become more aware of our actions and their consequences on our planet, new eco-focused businesses are sprouting up, with like-minded people eager to put their environmental knowledge and acumen to use.

Help send your friends and family on a journey to a lower carbon lifestyle with some of these ideas. Who knows, you might find yourself receiving a new eco-friendly gift in response next year!

Here at R&R we only endorse products we have owned, tested, and fell in love with. If you end up making a purchase through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a very small commission that offsets a portion of the cost of hosting, building, and maintaining this site.