Eco-Friendly Secret Santa Gift Ideas (That Won’t Make You Look Cheap)

Coming up with a great Secret Santa gift idea is hard enough  – let alone trying to find something that is both affordable and is good for the environment.

Here are some simple  Secret Santa gift ideas you can use for your colleagues that won’t break the bank:

1. For the colleague who wants to start going green: A Pot Plant

eco secret santa

Plants always make a beautiful present ; there’s just something warm and fuzzy about giving someone a living thing to look after. Pot plants are usually considered gender neutral as a Secret Santa gift, and the natural world gives us such a huge range to choose from.

If you have something beautiful or tasty growing in your backyard, consider taking a cutting and giving it away instead of buying a plant outright. This will add a personal touch to your gift ( although it may give you away as the gift giver!).

2.For the colleague with a social conscience: A Charitable Donation

eco secret santa

Donations are a popular Secret Santa gift ideas amongst my friends, and it is perfect for people who are time poor. You will need to be very selective in the charity you choose, it will need to be highly personal for the person receiving the gift to care that you took the time to donate. Some easy examples are if your friend or colleague is an animal lover, you can donate to an animal shelter. If you want to use the opportunity to bond more with your colleague, why not donate your time instead? They may already volunteer for a cause and you could take some time out to assist them.

3. For the colleague always looking to try new things: Online Courses

eco secret santa

Instead of a DIY  book,  save some paper and get your colleague an online voucher for a course. There are a massive number of websites out there like Udemy or Lynda which offer great short courses which you can complete in your own time, without spending money and time on textbooks and sitting around in a classroom. Once again if you are keen to have a go  yourself  you can choose to complete the course with your colleague – it may even become   an annual tradition amongst your workmates, or teach  you to make your secret santa gift idea for next  year.

4. For the colleague who can’t cook: A homemade meal

eco secret santa

This secret santa gift idea is best attempted by a talented home cook – you know the ones who bring their droolworthy lunches into the office everyday.  If this is you, give into your nagging colleague just this once and make them that great lunch they have been asking to try all year. You are already making food for yourself, so why not make a bit extra and save going out to buy some super  sweet cookies or Christmas cake that may sit in their pantry until Easter.  Your small act of kindness may be the turning point for people to bring more healthy lunches to work to share, meaning less takeaway boxes and a lot less wasted food.

5. For the overworked colleague: P.A. for a day

eco secret santa

The ultimate gift you could really give to a colleague is to help them with their work. If you don’t normally work together, try setting aside a day or a few hours over the course of a month to assist your colleague and in turn you may  learn an new skill or teach them something new. If you can show your boss that your secret santa gift idea is not only eco-friendly, it is a way of peer training, they may be more than willing to give you the time away from your regular tasks. Sometimes just giving someone the opportunity to leave work on time to spend with their family is the best gift of all.


Bonus secret santa gift idea: Donate Blood

I haven’t selected a particular colleague for this one, because everyone benefits from blood donations whether it be themselves or one or their loved ones who needs this precious gift. Blood donations take up a short amount of time (and you get a cookie afterwards) and yet they are something nearly everyone can give, and it never goes unappreciated. During the Christmas season is a great time to start this habit, and some organisations can give you a voucher or a card so you can share your gift with your colleagues.


Finding a suitable eco-friendly secret santa gift can be a big challenge, but by putting your own touch on some of these ideas you can create a really memorable and personalised present. Christmas of course is not about the presents but the act of giving and receiving, so enjoy the journey!

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