Christmas in many parts of the western world is now synonymous with overconsumption; the traditional concept of being around family lost amongst the desire for presents. This can result in a bit of a conundrum for those who wish to buy a meaning gift for a sustainably-minded loved one.
That is why we have put together our ‘Top 10’ Eco Gift ideas for this Christmas to provide you with some inspiration for presents that will bring joy and inspiration, whilst minimising carbon footprint and packaging:
1. Grocycle £17 (£15 each for 2 or more)
Grow your own gourmet oyster mushroom on recycled coffee grounds, perfect for home cooks and mushroom lovers alike.
2. Dedicate a Tree or Woodland £15 / £250+
Help protect woodland and the wildlife found within it for generations to come.
3. Coffee Logs £8
Ideal for those who love to sit by a fire, indoor or out.
4. Peace Lily £25
A beautiful plant, bring the garden indoors all year round whilst having your air naturally purified.
5. The Carbon Diaries 2015 £7.99
The first of two teen novels chronicling the introduction of an 80% carbon tax in the UK, from the perspective of a 16 year old girl.
6. Lunchbox Cutlery Set £9.95
A great idea for those who love to camp, hike, travel, or generally eat out at places likely to only provide plastic cutlery.
7. Patagonia Clothing, Bags and Equipment £60+
There are too many great products for us to choose just one to show, but whether you’re into outdoor sports or are just looking for a new rucksack for your cycle to work, Patagonia have you covered with their sustainability ethos and lifetime guarantee.
8. KeepCup £14+
Coming in a range of sizes and designs (now included Star Wars!) there’s a KeepCup for everyone who enjoys a warm drink on the move. Opt for the cork or bamboo fibre models for bonus sustainability points.
9. Stainless Steel Safety Razor £28.50
One of the best selling Double Edge Safety Razors in the world, this would make a great gift for men or women, whether they’re looking to go plastic-free of just raise the aesthetic of their bathroom.
10. Bartholomew Wooden Dog Counter Rattle £12.50
Sustainably sourced wood crafted to produce a mentally stimulating toy for young children.
One of the key things we can do is emphasise less upon the gift-giving, focusing instead on spending quality time with family. You could introduce a new family tradition such as a game, carol singing, a baking contest, a family Christmas concert or a Boxing Day walk. Not only will these (hopefully – though not guaranteed if Monopoly’s involved) bring your family together, they will create memories that will last a lifetime, and that’s more than you can say for the many gifts that end up broken before the day is out.
However, presents are still a big part of Christmas for many families, so rather than giving up on them all together you could adopt the four present rule ‘something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read’. Proven particularly useful with children, it’s a great way of looking at your spending and consolidating it into quality over quantity. Not only does it ensure presents that individuals will continue to enjoy for years to come, but it also provides an opportunity to speak to your family and friends about your values when explaining the Christmas you’re creating.
After all, Christmas isn’t a competition into who can stuff the most gifts under their tree (or sprouts into our mouths!).