The silly season is almost upon us, and while is is easy to get carried away with gift buying (especially for those of us with small children) it is important at this time to try and think of the environment and find ways to have a greener Christmas.
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We recently passed the grim milestone of human-made materials now outweighing Earth’s entire biomass. The last thing anyone needs this Christmas is something useless that might end up in the trash.
Buying cheaply made gifts for the sake of giving a gift, buying gifts with large amounts of packaging that will end up in the landfill, or buying gifts that require the ongoing use of unsustainable items like batteries are all harmful to our environment.
There are many many ways to reduce our impact at this time of year, and responsible gift buying is a great place to start (p.s. using reusable gift wrap is another).
We don’t need to stop the fun to have a (more) sustainable Christmas, we just need to be mindful of what we are buying.
Before you click that buy now button ask yourself: are you buying something the recipient will use once and throw away, or something likely to have been made using socially or environmentally-damaging methods?
Consider whether you could give something recycled (or upcycled), an experience, some baked goods or something homemade.
Our children will thanks us for it in the future! (though realistically they probably won’t).
Of course you want to find the perfect gift for Grandma, or Dad, or Uncle Eddie, so try using our eco-friendly gift buying guide for some ideas.
Eco Friendly Gifts
Zero Waste Gifts
Give the gift of reducing waste! These gifts all help the recipient to reduce their waste footprint through reusable use.
KeepCup Reusable Coffee Cup
Any coffee junkie will be persuaded to ditch the disposable takeaway cups with a good quality reusable coffee cup.
Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps
Beeswax food wraps are a great way to reduce on plastic wrap in the kitchen or packed lunches. These are so many designs available these days, choose one that is just too cute not to use!
Stainless Steel Water Bottle
A stylish practical reusable water bottle like this one by Tree Tribe is a great way to help you friends and family quit their bottled water habit.
Bamboo Travel Utensil Set
No need to use plastic disposable cutlery when you are eating on the go with this beautiful bamboo cutlery set.
Reusable Makeup Remover Pads
Replace disposable cotton rounds with these reusable makeup removing pads. Designed to last for years of use, they’ll never have to use throwaway wipes, sponges or paper towels again.
Solid Shampoo Bar Sampler
Ethique are on a mission to rid the planet of plastic. This 5 piece beauty bar set contains 3 Shampoos and 2 Conditioners. It is also sustainable, plastic free, soap free, vegan, plant based, 100% compostable and zero waste!
Better than buying something made from brand new virgin materials is to get something made from recycled materials.
Refresh Glass Recycled Wine Bottle Glassware
This glassware is made from wine bottles 'rescued from the community'.
This gift box makes a great gift. I wouldn't normally recommend drinking wine from the bottle, but in this case it is a great idea!
African Recycled Glass Beads
Full Strand Fair Trade Sea Glass Beads from Ghana. For the crafter or jewellery maker in your life. Or even better, string them onto a necklace cord, and you have a homemade and recycled gift.
Vera Bradley Recycled Backpack
This stylish backpack is lightweight, durable, water-repellent and made from recycled PET water bottles.
Eco Friendly Gifts for Kids
Small children seems to grow out of their toys as fast as they grow out of their clothes. Sustainable gifts for kids can include good quality gifts that will grow with them, last and can be handed on to others or sold, or kept as heirlooms.
CUDDLE + KIND Hand-Knit Doll
These heirloom quality hand knitted dolls are made in Peru from 100% cotton yarn. These are fair trade, made from quality natural materials, and for every doll sold, ten meals are provided to children in need.
This Large 12-Piece Rainbow Stacker is a nesting puzzle that can also be used for building. Grimm's manufacture durable toys that will turn into heirlooms and are made from sustainably managed forests in Europe.
Kinderfeets Balance Disk
Not just for kids, this balance disk is handmade using eco-friendly
bamboo, sawdust and recycled plastic bottles to minimize its
Baabuk Gus Kid's Wool Slippers
Treat your little one's feet to the Baabuk Gus Slipper. It is hand-made from wool, with a wool lining, and has a natural rubber sole for grip and flexibility.
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