I won’t lie, at this point I’m starting to resent this blog post, because having written it all, it then decided to delete itself…twice! However I think it’s an important point so I am persevering to bring you a sustainable Christmas Gift Guide.
So you might have noticed all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals which have been floating around recently *read- bombarding your inbox*. These sales have essentially been trying to make us buy more and more stuff we don’t need. Consuming all this extra stuff is very unsustainable and often leads you to buy things you don’t need. Granted you’ll be wanting to buy people Christmas presents but there are plenty of gifts you can give which cause less long term damage to the planet. We need to get away from this throwaway culture of consumerism. This year try to ditch the packaging and unnecessary gifts! So onto the gift ideas that are better for the planet and are probably more useful in the long term.
Don’t buy at all
So the first option to help you have a more sustainable Christmas is to agree not to buy gifts at all. Depending on whether you are buying for children or adults this is an option. You could agree a buying ban with your friends and family, instead promising to spend some time together. You could invite friends round to have a movie night or instead go out for some drinks or a meal with your loved ones. That way you have spent time with people without having to buy a gift which will likely get tossed aside in the new year.
Gift an Experience
Instead of gifting a physical item why not gift an experience to have a more sustainable Christmas? The great thing is you can tailor the gift to the person. Some suggestions are cookery classes, cocktail making classes, a driving track day, a spa day or an afternoon tea. You can give the gift for a couple or you can join in with the recipient so you can make some memories together too.
A Naked Beauty Hamper
Lush are leading the way forward with Naked products no doubt about it. Why not create a beauty hamper with some gorgeous bath bombs, naked shower gels and shampoo bars? You can choose scents you think the person would like or you could buy a pre-packed gift, Lush sell plenty. You could also create a sustainable beauty starter kit. For example you could include a bamboo toothbrush, some toothy pegs instead of toothpaste in a tube and reusable cotton pads. These are basic items but useful and will last a long time.
If the person you have to buy for is fashion conscious why not treat them to some sustainable fashion? You could buy them a voucher from the likes of Know The Origin, who sell clothes which are ethically sourced. Or you could look into brands such as Stay Wild Swim, who make swimwear from ocean plastic and give money back to marine charities. If it’s stocking fillers you’re after, why not opt for some bamboo socks? There are plenty of options out there, just have a google.
It wouldn’t be a sustainable Christmas guide without mentioning a reusable bottle or flask. I absolutely love mine, I use them every day without fail. They are suitable for everyone from a child to your most elderly relative. They are handy to take to work, on a camping trip or anywhere really. My favourite bottles are from Chilly’s, they keep hot drinks warm for 12 hours and cold drinks cold for 24 hours. I also really love the Starbucks flasks or if you want to treat someone grab them a T2 flask with some loose leaf tea!
A plant is always a lovely gift. They brighten up any home and they have the potential to last a really long time. You can go for something hard to kill like a cactus, for those who are horticulturally challenged, or something a bit more advanced for those fam and friends who are more green fingered.
A Re-kanken rucksack is a great gift for somebody at school or university, carrying lots of books. This is also a great choice for your outdoorsy friend. They’re a practical and comfy bag which are very cool at the moment but the great thing about the Rekanken compared to it’s cousin, the Kanken, is that it’s made of recycled plastic. Sustainable? Check.
Subscriptions can be a great sustainable gift. I recently received a year’s worth of Audible credits to listen to audio books, for me this was the perfect gift! Again you can tailor this to the recipient, for example you could buy a gym membership, a National Trust pass, a family cinema pass, the list goes on. This can be a really thoughtful gift that can provide lots of entertainment over the year, and requires no physical items to be gifted.
So those are just a few ideas that you could cobble together to give a more sustainable but meaningful gift this Christmas. Remember that the best gift you can give someone is time and attention. Another quick point is to try and be a bit more eco-friendly with your wrapping. Try to reuse gift bags and wrapping paper, try using scarves as a kit wrap or try brown paper and string which is easier to recycle than plastic coated Christmas wrap.
Let me know in the comments if you have any other sustainable gift ideas or whether you will be using any of these ideas for your friends and family this Christmas time!