Christmas gift

Action: Always buy sustainable gifts

At Christmas, there are many advantages to committing to only buy sustainable gifts

When we buy Christmas gifts – or indeed other gifts – we often struggle. What do we buy that conveys a nice sentiment and says we care, but that isn’t too expensive, nor too cheap, and isn’t cliched?

Our suggestion is that you aim to buy sustainable gifts; something that says you care about the future for all of us as well as for the recipient. In our experience, this is very, very much appreciated by people of all ages.

The idea, of course, is to reduce our consumption of valuable or polluting resources – especially plastics – and to support communities rather than multinational corporations. The small choices we make as consumers every day can make a big impact on the planet and our community, why not apply that to the gifts we choose to give the people we love?

What to buy

How about these ideas, usually presented as certificates or cards:

  • Dedicated tree
  • Dedicated plot of protected land
  • Donation to a charity in your loved one’s name
  • Purchase of a specific item through a charity, such as a beehive, or a well in Africa for example (Oxfam are known for these, but others are available too)

Or how about these suggestions for actual presents – although we are sure you can think of hundreds more!

no plastic shop gift set
  • Seeds and growing plants
  • Eco-friendly kitchenware
  • Zero-waste starter kit
  • Recycled glassware – often hand-blown from recycled glass
  • Wooden clock
  • Stainless-steel lunchbox
  • Sustainable wood chopping board
  • Sustainable tote bag
  • Fair Trade coffee
  • Bamboo cutlery , toothbrushes and other items
  • Fair Trade chocolate
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Reusable coffee cup
  • Recycled woollen rug
  • Organic hamper (limit your use of plastic though!)
  • “Unpaper” towels as a substitute for kitchen roll
  • Recycled plastic garden pots, planters and furniture
  • Wooden toy kitchen or other wooden toys
  • Seagrass storage basket
  • LP vinyl placemats
  • Recycled pretty stationery
  • Cork placemats and coasters
  • Certified eco-friendly cosmetics

and so on … you get the idea!

The basic rules

  1. Avoid plastic
  2. Avoid high carbon emission items
  3. Avoid single use items
  4. Avoid electrical and electronic items, unless solar or hand powered
  5. Be altruistic if you can
  6. Try and align with your recipients values
  7. Take pride in giving a gift with plenty of thought and care behind it

Take action

In summary, please think about our environment when buying gifts this Christmas, and encourage others to do the same. You don’t need to spend any more than you normally would, but the thought you put into it will be appreciated more.

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