Christmas can be such a wonderful time of year – time with family, laughter, celebrations, good food – but it can also be an extremely wasteful time of year. Did you know that here in the UK, we bin approximately 227,000 miles of Christmas wrapping paper each year? Not to mention the 40 million rolls of sellotape, 5 million Christmas puddings, 2 million turkeys, 74 million mince pies and it is estimated that 1 in 5 unwanted gifts will end up in landfill. When you learn facts like this, it certainly makes you look at this festive season in a different light doesn’t it? I have previously covered how you can be more eco-friendly at Christmas in this article so now I want to look at how you can give more eco-friendly gifts this Christmas in the hope that you will not only provide a gift that is better for our planet but one that is also loved by the receiver.
Ok, we all know that I love reusables so it wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t start here!! Some of the great things about reusable products is that they last, they save you money in the long run and they are super handy. When deciding what gifts to get for people, why not take a look at their lifestyles first? If they enjoy exercise, perhaps a sturdy, reusable water bottle would be appreciated? If they have a baby/toddler or are expecting, perhaps they would welcome reusable nappies and wipes as gifts? Maybe your child has started their periods and you want to ensure they are comfortable each and every month so looking at period pants by WUKA or cloth sanitary pads could be really beneficial. With so many reusable options now available to us, I think you could easily provide a gift that just keeps giving this Christmas.
Clothes are always a great gift to receive at Christmas whether you are a child or an adult. The only drawback when purchasing from an unethical company is that some bin their returns so if you don’t get this gift spot on, it could be leading to extra waste without either party realising.
Choosing to shop with ethical and sustainable companies is your best bet here. This way you can be sure that you are getting good quality items, that the workers are being paid fairly, the materials used are sustainable plus they will last so much longer than cheap fast-fashion pieces. A great shop with some fantastic fun and quirky items is Vegan Outfitters. They have a wide range of clothing for men, women and kids, bags, mugs, hats and gloves and so much more.
Giving beauty or skincare gift boxes is a popular choice at Christmas. Shops and supermarkets often have shelves bursting with these because they are an easy buy for many people in your family or your friends or for a secret Santa gift. But, have you ever stopped to check how eco-friendly these brands are? If you are unsure about which to choose, first look for the leaping bunny symbol which will indicate that the products are not tested on animals (yes far too many brands STILL test on animals even in 2021!) Another factor to take into consideration is the packaging. A lot of these boxes are plastic covered, shiny, glittery and therefore non-recyclable. And lastly, check if they have natural ingredients. Most will state natural, organic and so on but just double-check for any listings that sound a bit like chemicals – a quick online search will only take you moments but it will immediately provide you with the answers you need.
If you want to ensure you are buying a gift that is guaranteed to be cruelty-free, natural, handmade and great for your skin then I can highly recommend shopping with small business Beeutiful Skincare. Beeutiful is a multi-award winning skincare business in Hampshire and I have been fortunate enough to work alongside them for the last few years. Made using all-natural ingredients that work in harmony with your skin, Beeutiful products leave you feeling as though you’ve had a spa treatment! And they do sell a gorgeous Christmas gift box too…
Handy Gifts For The Home
Buying handy gifts for Christmas is my favourite way to gift. Ok, homeware, kitchen items even cleaning items may seem boring to some but if you can give items that will be well used, I think that’s a win. I would rather know that say a pack of eco-cleaning products are being used each day than worry that my gift has gone under the bed, into a cupboard or worse… Put into the bin!! I would say that the key to giving gifts for the home is to truly think about that person and what they like (bright colours, neutrals, quirky items), what they enjoy doing (baking, cleaning) and what will help them (handy items that will be used for years).
To make these gifts look more Christmas themed you could buy lots of small eco pieces and put them together in a handmade gift box. For instance, you could create an eco-friendly cleaning box and include bicarb, a small bottle of white vinegar, amber spray bottles, compostable or reusable cloths and sponges, wooden washing up brushes etc. Oh and don’t forget you can also print off and laminate my eco-cleaning graphics for tips on how to make their own cleaners.
Other areas you could think about may be a baking box, a chill out box, a gardening box, and so on.
Oh, another idea that comes to mind is a meditation box in which you could include some eco aromatherapy oils, a CD, a lavender eye pillow, crystals and candles or incense sticks. There are just so many little ideas you could throw around here and it’s these personal touches that always go down so well.
Giving a secondhand gift shouldn’t be frowned upon, it should be celebrated! Choosing to go secondhand means that you can often find more unique gifts, you can save money AND it helps the environment because you are helping with a circular economy. We are really lucky to have some great apps and websites as well as charity and vintage shops to look around in, all it takes is a little bit of planning and searching for that perfect item.
One of my favourite gifts to receive are tickets or vouchers for experiences or days out because this is a gift that provides happy memories. Not only does it save on wrapping paper and sellotape but it also means that it won’t end up in landfill. It gives everybody something to look forward to for the following year and if it is an activity you have always wanted to do, it shows that the person has really thought about your needs.
And lastly, a really thoughtful and eco-friendly gift could also be a homemade one. Maybe you like knitting, painting, crafting, baking or making your own bath bombs? Any homemade gift comes with that extra love and care plus it prevents unnecessary waste.
Giving an eco-friendly gift for Christmas can be really, really easy and if we step away from the high street, support small and ethical brands, really think about how we can gift consciously, then we can feel happy that we have done our bit this festive season.
*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn commission from sales made. This does not affect your shopping experience or cost you more. For more information please refer to my disclosure page.
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