A guide to gifting sustainably this Christmas

Written by

Emmanuelle Gammage

Posted on

November 17, 2020

The countdown to Christmas is on and whilst we believe it really is the most wonderful time of the year, it’s not the most environmentally friendly. To be specific, it’s estimated that we create 30% more waste than usual at Christmas: 300,000 tonnes of card, 277,000 miles of wrapping paper and over 100 million bags of rubbish.

It will take hundreds of years for just one day of waste to decompose.

Undoubtedly Christmas will look very different this year, but don’t the very best gifts come from the heart? We suggest opting for something meaningful and kind to the planet this year using our gift guide.

Our range of sustainable gifts 

SaveMoneyCutCarbon 1 Year Home Club with Sustainable Swap Box

The gift that keeps on giving! Our Swap Box comes with 10 of our favourite eco-friendly products, as well as a Home Club membership. It includes:

  • OceanSaver Anti-Bac EcoDrop – a plant-based cleaning spray
  • Bamboo Cotton Buds
  • Flow Bag – a tool to check the flow rate of your taps and showers to track your water usage
  • Compostable Sponge
  • Bamboo Plasters
  • Beeswax Wrap
  • Waste Not 70L compostable sack
  • Wheelie Bin Sticker
  • Bamboo Toothbrush
  • Ecoegg Fresh Linen Laundry Egg – simply pop your egg in your washing machine instead of detergent
  • Energy efficient lightbulb
  • 12-month Home Club membership

All these fantastic swaps are much better for the planet, helping to reduce waste throughout the home whether that be in the bathroom or the kitchen. We’ve done the hard bit for you by making it our mission to understand, research and combat climate change, all you have to do is put the products to use. Better yet, all of these products are better for your wallet too, with our Club membership!

For £49.90, this is the perfect gift for someone looking to make every-day sustainable choices because as we like to say, “Little Box, Massive Impact”, they really do have the power to make a difference! But the best part is that with a 12-month Home Club membership, you’ll receive unbeatable pricing (guaranteed*), on all of the products in the box (and thousands more) on an ongoing basis. You’ll also get access to exclusive step-by-step guides, tips and practical advice to help you Learn&Save throughout the year.

Cosy Aromas Soy Candles

Ideal for a cosy Christmas lover, these eco-friendly £6 aloe vera and cucumber, mango and passionfruit, baby powder and black cherry scented candles will transport you straight to heaven after a long, chilly day.

Founded locally to our HQ in Bury St Edmunds by husband and wife Paul and Tamar Mayne in 2018, their soy candles are poured with love and quality.

All their candles are made to order which ensures they’ll hold their scent for the maximum amount of time and massively reduces their carbon footprint

By using soy wax which is made from soybeans rather than paraffin wax (a byproduct of the oil purification process) it means that no toxins are released so it’s more environmentally friendly. They’re also paraben free, suitable for vegans and come in a fully reusable or recyclable tin.

Especially due to current circumstances, we’re proud to be supporting another small local business.

Kind Bag

We use 5 trillion plastic bags worldwide per year, that’s 160,000 per second according to The World counts. Out of those trillions purchased, less than 1% are recycled.

Kind rescues the millions of plastic bottles in landfill and transforms them into beautiful, reusable and recyclable bags that can be a friend to you for life.

Their mission is “to combat plastic pollution accelerating the use of recycled material in the fashion industry”.

Why do we love Kind Bag?

  • They’re designed in silky smooth fabric and an array of patterns, so you won’t have to compromise your fashion taste
  • Made from 100% recycled plastic
  • Water resistant**
  • Machine washable – pop it in the wash with your normal load at 30 degrees. The super lightweight material means it dries quick too
  • Ideal for on-the-go use as they’re lightweight but they can carry a whopping 20kg worth of weight, far more than your average plastic bag
  • A small storage bag is stitched into the lining so once you’ve used it for the day all you have to do is wrap it up in its pouch and slip it in your pocket or handbag
  • Designed with wide long handles for extra comfort

Their palm leaf print is ideal for all the plant moms and pink lovers out there while their colourful galaxy design will make you feel out of this world every day. The recycle pattern is also perfect for those looking to really make a statement with their wardrobe!

If you thought that was all, you’re wrong because Kind Bag mission isn’t complete yet! They donate 10% of their profits to Just One Ocean charity. For £10 your bag will not only transform your outfit, but it will transform plastic bottles and thus the planet, for the better.

Intangible gift ideas

Material presents might have been all the range when we were children: the more presents under the tree, the better. But in the spirit of being kinder and more sustainable, why not try giving something intangible this year?

Donate to charity on someone’s behalf

Is there something your loved one is super passionate about? Like saving the oceans, helping children in need or adopting an animal – some more ideas can be found here. All you have to do is choose one and donate in their name. You could even handcraft a little certificate or something memorable to tell your loved one.

With families being hit hard from the pandemic this year, you can gift a donation locally as well – are there any charities in your area that support disadvantaged groups, or food banks that you could support?

charity donation

Services instead of stock

Most adults already have what they need and would prefer a thoughtful and meaningful gift instead of something added to the basket as an afterthought. Services are a great way to show that you have really thought about what your loved one would enjoy and perhaps, something they wouldn’t have chosen themselves.

Some ideas are:

  • A spa voucher for someone that leads a stressful life or deserves a little downtime
  • Order a bunch of flowers to be delivered each month for a burst of joy
  • Buy a voucher for a cooking, yoga, painting or creative writing lesson
  • Gift a membership to the National Trust for walking lovers
  • Airbnb gift voucher for someone that loves to travel
  • Pet donkeys, llamas or pigs because cute animals are the best therapy
  • A romantic dinner date
  • Netflix subscription for binge-watching lovers

Think about what your loved one enjoys most and find a service in relation to that. Perhaps your gardening lover mum would like flowers, or your workaholic sister-in-law needs a peaceful massage!

gift voucher

Experience days 

As we all know, memories are eternal and what better way to show someone you love them than with a happy memory that lasts forever. Plus, experiences leave minimal negative impact on the planet.

Despite the current UK restrictions, we all need something to look forward to! Some ideas are:

  • Wine tasting – indulge in a day of wine and beautiful surroundings (and it’s a gift for you too!)
  • Glamping – for your loved one that really wants to be outdoorsy but aren’t quite there yet
  • Tickets to concerts or the theatre
  • Host a cosy movie night with popcorn and cushions
  • Afternoon tea
  • Take a tour of local attractions or historic landmarks – maybe even an art gallery?
  • Learn to fly
  • Try beekeeping and honey tasting

Happy kids kayaking on the river on a sunny day during summer vacation

Homemade Goodies

Nothing screams thoughtfulness like a handmade gift. Whether it’s handmade bath bombs, baked treats or a personal written ode, it can be super easy, cheap and fun. Your loved one can revel in the finished product while you enjoy the creative process. Some ideas are:

  • Make a recipe in a jar – what is your loved one’s favourite treat? Buy the ingredients and make the jar look festive, then all they have to do is mix and bake!
  • Homemade body scrubs and face masks – most of the ingredients are all things you’ll have in the cupboard so all you need is a jar to put them in
  • Macrame plant holders – hanging plant pots are all the range and one crafted by hand is even more special. Add a little succulent plant too and your plant loving friend can watch it grow
  • Use clay – Pinterest is full of clay gift ideas from jewellery dishes to coasters, they’re the perfect DIY gift for your interior-loving friend
  • Crochet a warm winter blanket

The above are all unique sustainable ideas, but we can think of a few more that truly come from the heart:

  • A photo scrapbook of your favourite memories. You could include souvenirs you’ve kept too like concert tickets
  • A custom illustration of family, a pet or a favourite memory
  • A video full of festive cheer from family and friends

handmade present

Second-hand gifts

Second-hand gifts usually mean you won’t break the bank or harm the planet. According to the Retail Gazette, 71% of people in the UK admit to receiving gifts they’ll never use. That’s a disturbing and unnecessary statistic of waste.

So, lets rid the stigma that comes with second-hand. There are so many beautiful treasures to be found in antique and thrift shops that hold special memories gained throughout lifetimes, your recipient could be next. What’s particularly special about second-hand gifting is that you never know what you’re going to find so you can make Christmas shopping a fun experience rather than stressful!

If you know of a buried treasure or childhood toy belonging to a family member you could even try bringing it back to life with some elbow grease and love.

Shopping small this year

All of these gift ideas will make for a green Christmas but there’s one more important thing to note – and that’s why you should be supporting small businesses this year.

2020 has hit small local businesses hard this year but they offer immeasurable amounts to our economy and community. Buying from small businesses keeps them running and means you’re likely to receive better quality products and customer service. Often, these businesses offer products from small-scale local farmers and distributors which means they’re more eco-friendly.

Sure, Amazon might be the easiest option, but is it the smartest? It’s far more sustainable and heartfelt to visit local instead.

Don’t forget to add a good review because word-of-mouth goes a long way!

Give the best gift of all this Christmas, kindness to the planet. Now that you have ideas for all your family and friends it’s time to get shopping.

*Our Club Price Promise means that if you find one of our products somewhere else cheaper, we’ll refund the difference.

** Not fully waterproof

 

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