Want to help the planet and feel good? Here are my top picks of sustainable gifts that can be found both online and in shops, so you won’t be short of choice and you don’t have to compromise over quality. These are 10 of my personal favourite environmentally friendly gifts to cover all budgets.
1. Re-usable Straws
First up are reusable straws, which make a great stocking filler as they tend to be relatively cheap. They come in a range of materials like metal and glass and some even have little travel cases! There is a huge variety of colours and styles out there too, so you won’t be limited to just plain metal ones.
2. Eco-friendly Notebooks
Another stocking filler I love is eco-friendly notebooks. Buying brand new notebooks can have a massive negative environmental impact. Luckily, there are so many environmentally friendly notebooks to be found! They are often made using recycled paper and plastic. Protect the Planet offers an amazing range of notebooks coming in all sizes with an array of beautiful covers.
3. Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
Shampoo bars and conditioner bars are personal favourites of mine. They can often be bought locally which helps cut down on air miles and supports small businesses, though big chain shops like Lush have a great range to choose from too. There are options available for all hair types and they last much longer than regular shampoo and conditioner whilst also cutting down plastic use. Just make sure you avoid ones packaged in plastic!
4. Reusable Coffee Cup
Reusable coffee cups or a reusable water bottles can be the perfect Christmas gift because you can never have enough of them! Both of these items can be found practically everywhere. So much variety exists in terms of size, shape, material, and design that you are guaranteed to find the perfect one for anyone.
5. Eco-friendly Razor Kits
Eco-friendly razor kits are another great option for both men and women. These kits often come in the form of subscriptions but can also be bought as one-offs. The razors themselves are reusable which cuts down on waste and the kits are normally packaged in recyclable materials. Some kits like those from Friendly Turtle even come with a zero-waste shaving bar while others come with travel bags or pouches.
6. Sustainable, Vegan and Cruelty-free Skincare
Make-up and skincare gifts are a slightly more expensive option. Brands like Odylique and Evolve produce beauty and skincare products using sustainable and Fairtrade ingredients. If your budget can’t stretch to a more luxury brand, try looking for vegan and cruelty-free makeup or skincare brands in your local chemist’s.
7. Ethical Jewellery
Cheap jewellery is often highly exploitative and not made to last. So why not consider treating someone to some ethical jewellery made using sustainable or recycled resources? Ethical jewellery is something that can be bought locally to support small business, or from international sellers. There are international sellers who provide a fair price for the raw materials and support makers in other countries who rely on this source of income.
8. Sustainable, Ethical and Vegan Clothes
Fast fashion is an ethical minefield and a major contributor to climate change. Ethical and sustainable clothing is a great gift idea, but it does tend to be more expensive. There are plenty of online sites which offer sustainable clothing where the workers are paid a fair price with no slave labour. Sites, like Planet Warrior (there are plenty of others!) offer sustainable and ethical workout gear perfect for those sporty people in your life.
9. Adopting an Animal
If you do not want to give a material gift, there is the option to sponsor or adopt an animal. This often requires monthly payments so can be more expensive. However, it is perfect for animal lovers as it helps protect endangered animals or those animals in rescue centres who need extra support. The WWF endangered animal adoption is a great gift for kids as they get fun updates and a cuddly toy alongside their adoption.
Finally, you could make a donation to a charity (either local or international) in someone’s name. Before doing this, it is important to make sure you know exactly what the charity is doing and how it is helping people. The donation could be a one-off, compared to adopting an animal for a longer period. This is a great way to give a gift that supports people or animals and comes with minimal waste.
So in the spirit of giving, why not get your family and friends a gift they will cherish this Christmas whilst also giving more momentum to the environmental movement?