Let’s talk Christmas presents. I know this is a bit late in the game/month, but hopefully this will help if you want to be a bit more environmentally conscious this holiday. Every year we spend lots of money on gifts around this time for our family, friends and loved ones. Often these gifts are stored away, possibly forgotten or waiting to be used, or they are used straight away, once, a few times and then thrown out at the dump and end up in landfill, unable to biodegrade. This is not great news for our planet, that is already struggling with it’s high temperature rising seas, plastic contamination and greenhouse gases.
Why not try going green for christmas? You can decorate your home sustainably and make your own christmas decorations, find out more here. You can make more conscious decisions by shopping locally and organic at farmers markets, supermarkets, bakeries and butchers. And for the presents, below are a few gift ideas for your loved ones:
A gift that is always given every year is lotions, potions and smellies. Why not give your loved ones some packaging free bath time presents that are also made form natural ingredients?
Lush has a whole range of package free or “naked” cosmetic products, from shower gels, soaps, scrubs, moisturisers, shampoo and conditioner to face masks, bath bombs and oils.
Naked Shower Gels:
Bath bombs and oils:
For the children, mouldable, colourful soap:
(All Images: LUSH)
There are so many more products on their website and in store. Some of their products do come in containers, but that is ok. Why? Because they recycle them and reuse them once you’re done with the product. They have a 5 pot scheme for face masks where every 5 pots you return empty, you get a free fast mask of your choice, and those pots you’ve returned are reused for more masks or other lotions. What’s even better is that all of their ingredients are 100% natural and organic, and sourced from fair trade suppliers, they are cruelty free which means no animals were tested on at any time during the making of these products or after, the products are vegetarian and vegan friendly (though not all of their products are vegan) and majority of them are self-preserving, so they won’t get old and mouldy. Other great brands to shop with that are cruelty free are The Body Shop, Superdrug and M&S’ own brands, which are all leaping bunny registered/certified. All these brands also sell their own make up which are also cruelty free and some are organic/made from natural ingredients.
(Image: My Own)
What about the tools used for personal hygiene? Why not buy them a set of bamboo toothbrushes for Christmas. Toothbrushes are made of plastic and therefore non-recyclable and just end up in the waste line and pollute our oceans, harming saline that mistake it for food.
(Images: Anything But Plastic & Zero Habits)
You can find bamboo toothbrushes practically anywhere! I got mine from Amazon, but there are also websites that are dedicated to promoting a waste free lifestyle such as Anything But Plastic and Zero Habits that sell their own bamboo toothbrushes, amongst other things such as sponges, dental floss, deodorant and organic soaps which all come with no plastic!
Clothing and Accessories
What about clothes? This can be tricky because you may think faux leather is sustainable, but it isn’t. However if you or your recipient are against using real leather because you’re vegetarian, vegan or just don’t like the fact it comes from animals, then here are a couple of things that you can get for your loved ones:
Cork is a sustainable material. It is believed to be endangered, as it has been cultivated too soon before it is even ready to be harvested. However there are protected forests where farmers are using sustainable practices, ensuring that they are only harvesting the tree’s bark at the right time, and planting more in the process. These cork handbags and wallets are the perfect leather alternative, as the material is durable and naturally anti-bacterial. You can find these items online on Amazon, however Corkor have their own website with an amazing range and Frog Plop do make up bags, wallets and purses as well at a lower price.
I think we can all agree that every year at christmas, this is a present that everyone seems to get, and that gift is socks. Boots are now selling socks and tights made out of bamboo! I know that sounds odd or like it might be rough to the touch, but believe me, I own a few pairs myself and they are the softest socks I have ever worn.
(Images: H&M Conscious Collection)
There are tons of eco-friendly, sustainable, organic clothing brands out there. H&M have their own clothing line made of recycled materials called Conscious and they encourage customers to recycle any of their own clothing to them so they can be repurposed in to something new. People Tree, MUD Jeans, Armedangles and Here Today Here Tomorrow are other great sustainable clothing brands that use natural and fair trade materials.
(Images: Pela Case)
How about an environmentally friendly phone case for Christmas from pela case? Pela case create phone cases from plant-based and recycled materials, and is combined with a starch based biopolymer, meaning that this phone case is strong, shock absorbent and, here’s the fantastic part, it’s 100% compostable, which means if it does break, it’s ok, you can add it to your compost pile or bin and it will biodegrade and become food for you plants and the earth. How brilliant and innovative is that!? GENIUS! I’ve got to get myself one. These phone cases come in all colours of the rainbow. The down side? They only stock iPhone cases at the moment, BUT you can preorder an android case for when they are released.
Now, what about the presents that are usually bought for children over Christmas? The toy industry is probably one the busiest this time of year and many toys now days that are found in shops or advertised on tv are made of plastic and are easily breakable. Why not try buying something that will last after your little one is done with it?
(Images: Eco-Tots, Natural Baby Shower, Mee Mee London, Conscious Craft, Eco-Tots)
Eco Tots, Natural Baby Shower and Mee Mee London all have great toys and clothing that are organic, made from natural or recycled materials and are eco-friendly. Conscious Craft has a range of natural and environmentally friendly art materials, crafts and activities that children can get creative with.
You could also make your children or friend’s children toys yourself. You could make a rag doll or teddy or dinosaur out of scrap fabrics! Cut out and sand down your own shapes from scrap pieces of wood!
For the Home and Lifestyle
Perhaps you want to buy something for a friend or family member that has just moved house, or know that there is something they need in their home that they haven’t quite gotten around to buying themselves?
(Images: Amara & H&M)
Maybe some dinnerware such as plates, bowls and cups? Bamboo is such a versatile wood that it can be made in to almost anything such as bowls and cups, as well as place mats or table runners. These bamboo kids dinner set from Ekobo are perfect for any friends or family with little ones. This recycled glass cake dome by Nkuku would make a lovely edition, especially with any christmas cakes or mince pies on display inside. H&M also have a whole range of recycled, organic and fair trade items for the home in their Conscious collection, which are also very stylish, like the tropical leaf-print duvet cover set. I’m seriously contemplating buying myself that duvet! Habitat have a range of bamboo or objects and furniture made from recycled material on their site that would make perfect additions to anyone’s home!
(Images: Mind The Cork)
How about these cork placemats, cork leather cushions, plant pots and japanese stab bound books from Mind The Cork? I think this may be my new favourite sustainable homeware shop! The cushion is gorgeous!
(Images: Zero Habits)
Zero Habits has a few things on their site for the home and for on the go, such as stainless steel lunch boxes, infuser and reusable metal bottles, bamboo sporks, steel containers and cotton produce bags to use when your are doing your weekly food shop.
(Images: Also Home)
Also Home is a shop that sells hand crafted and sustainably sourced homeware and lifestyle products, such as 100% cotton and linen cushions, bedding and tableware, mango wood and bamboo plates, bowls, hand cartable dinnerware, canvas tote bags for shopping and more!
You could also make your loved ones something for their home. Maybe a cushion from scrap fabric, a bag or pencil case? You could make them a sign or paint them a picture and frame it? Make a woven wallhanging or macrame hanging plant holder. I love handmade gifts! They are the most thoughtful because of the time and effort put in to them and they will hold more sentimental value.
I hope this post has helped you think of new ideas for gifts this Christmas! What product has stood out to you in this post? Would you like any of these products as Christmas presents? Let me know in the comments!
Merry Christmas everyone!