15 Unique, Affordable, and Green Gifts to Give This Christmas

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There’s nothing more headache-inducing at this time of year than coming up with a Christmas gift list for friends and loved ones. Often, gift-giving tends to be costly, and you’re always hard-pressed to find presents that won’t just wow recipients, but are also eco-friendly and affordable.

Ditch the picture frame, mugs, and candles. Whether you’ve got friends who have it all or friends who have none, these unique, economical, and totally green gifts are sure to delight them.

Scratch map

Price: As low as P80 for a small scratch map of the Philippines. A scratch map of the world averages P200 to P400.

Almost everyone these days has a bucket list of destinations they wish to see. Take advantage and gift someone with a scratch map! Scratch maps are a great source of inspiration for travelers, showing them which places they’ve been to and which ones to visit in one glance. 

Travel neck pillow 

Price: P120 and up

Neck pillows are also suitable items for frequent travelers. Nowadays, you can find neck pillows in any color cartoon character – making them great gifts for kids as well.

Essential oils

Price: As low as P40 for a bottle (depends on the source plant)

Essential oils are all the rave these days – and for good reason! These organic aromatherapy goodies can help combat everything, from headache to fever, with one inhale or a rub on the skin.

Metal or bamboo straws

Price: As low as P70

Plastic straws are one of the most common wastes found in the ocean today. Help our seas while making someone happy with a handy metal or bamboo straw that they can bring anywhere with them. Straws vary in diameter; whether it’s for a frappe or a shake with giant pearls, there’s a straw specially made for it.

Collapsible water container

Price: P100 to P300

Collapsible water container is a handy way to carry one’s favorite liquids without taking up too much space in the bag. Choose from a retractable silicone cup (perfect for a hot cuppa) or a collapsible tube-type container that can be rolled once empty. 


Price: Depends on the book

Share the gift of words and wisdom this holiday by giving someone a book of his or her favorite author. Ebooks and physical books are perfect for both adults and kids.


Price: As low as P40 

Instead of giving flowers that will eventually wilt, why not give a plant in a pot? Plants are a wonderful addition to one’s home, be it in the bathroom, living room, or in the garden. Cacti, bonsais, and succulents require little maintenance and make for good indoor plants.

Yoga mat

Price: As low as P150

Got a friend who loves yoga and fitness? A yoga mat is a suitable present. Make it more personal by choosing one that matches your friend’s favorite color or design.

Diffuser/ Dehumidifier

Price: As low as P500 with a small bottle of oil

Dehumidifiers are a useful home essential, considering the Philippines’ humid tropical climate. Not only does it help reduce dust mites, mold, and mildew in one’s home, it also makes it fresh-smelling and clean.

Dry bag

Price: P130 and up, depending on the size/ liters

Dry bags are highly versatile: they can be used for virtually any trip that involves exposure to water and by anyone, from photographers who need protection for their cameras to teens who want to waterproof their iPhones.

Coffee maker or coffee press with a bag of local beans

Price: P600 and up

There’s no better present for coffee lovers than their very own coffee maker or coffee press. Complete the ensemble by including locally sourced ground beans. 

DIY play dough

Price: Less than P100

Personalize your gift and make your own play dough. All you need is cornstarch, hot water, table salt, food coloring, and a stove. Make as much as you want for a kid, using as many colors as possible. It takes less than five minutes to do it, and there are plenty of YouTube tutorials out there to help you out.


Price: Less than P100

Be it fruits, biscuits, chocolates, or a jar of peanut butter, you can never go wrong with food as present. 

Restaurant or mall gift certificates

If you want to keep Christmas as green as possible, avoid giving gifts that will just collect dust in their shelves. Gift certificates are excellent gifts for that matter as they can be used by anyone for their next purchase. Your options are endless – from GCs for drugstores to buffets, to department stores.

A paid mobile app

Price: As low as P49

Dig into your friend or loved one’s guilty pleasures and gift them with a mobile app! From a month’s subscription to a meditation app or Spotify, to a Candy Crush starter pack, mobile apps are cheap, unique, and eco-friendly.

Remember though: The best gifts you can give this Christmas are time and presence. So be sure to spread the love and holiday cheer!

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