Ideal for the eco-conscious loved one in your life.
Hey, we wouldn’t want to put a downer on the festive season before it’s even begun (Boris’ job, surely) but we need to talk about Christmas waste. Nope, not the excess stuff you spend flushing down the Boxing Day toilet after too much indulgence, but rather, the troubling environmental footprint of the season.
Two separate reports detailed in Environment Focus (one from The Bank Of England and one based at the University of York) found that firstly, ‘’the average UK household spends an extra £800 in December, with purchases of food increasing by 20%, alcohol by 30% and books by 85% over the average month’’.
What’s more, it was suggested that ‘’three days of Christmas festivities in the UK could result in as much as 650 kg of CO2 emissions per person’’.
While many Brits are willing to overlook this excess in favour of tradition and an annual letting down of the hair, others are increasingly concerned about consumerism’s impact on the environment.
Should you be looking to buy greener gifts this year, or have a friend or family member whose passion concerns conservation and the environment, then read on; here are 8 environmentally friendly gift ideas, IDEAL for the eco-conscious loved one in your life.
SUSTAINABLE BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Cosmetics and self-care products are hugely popular Christmas gifts, each and every year. And it can’t be denied that makeup, creams, shampoos, conditioners, cleansers, and other beauty products can make great gifts. The waste the beauty industry produces, on the other hand, isn’t so great.
Fortunately, you can increasingly find sustainable personal care products that are vegan, non-toxic, and cruelty-free on the market. What’s more, beauty products which purport to be sustainable have an all-encompassing approach, which means waste reduction not only in the product, but in the production methods and packaging, too. Not only will the person you are gifting look good, but they will also be grateful for the positive impact such products represent for the environment.
SOLAR POWERED CHARGERS
The necessity of phones in our daily lives is unavoidable, even for the eco-minded members of the household. While the energy consumed during the charging periods may seem small, the daily plugging of phones in chargers can amount to a massive number of kilowatts annually.
Such energy is eventually translated into emissions of carbon dioxide. With solar battery chargers and power banks, people can get a clean and consistent supply of energy. It is also cost-efficient, so it won’t break the bank or the planet. Result!
STYLISH TOTE BAGS
Because a trip to the supermarket can still be stylish, right? To take single-use plastic out of the shopping cycle, why not gift your eco-conscious loved one a fashionable tote bag this year? Fortunately, there is a tote to suit any occasion and taste, whether it’s a funky, foodie focused affair such as those available from trendy London restaurants like Ikoyi, Lyles and Bao, or a Glastonbury or Harry Styles tote bag for the music lover in your life. This is why plastic-free gift ideas can be practical and stylish for all the family.
Because thrift and thoughtfulness is the best gift of all…
For those who have a backyard or grow plants at home, this is a wonderful gift idea. By allocating a separate bin for compost, you can turn organic waste into nutrient rich soil and fertilisers for plants, meaning having a composter at home can vastly reduce food waste at home and use it to put back into the environment. What’s not to love?
According to Wrap UK, ‘’a single home composting bin can divert 150 kg per household per year of organic waste from disposal’’. What’s more, they cost as little as £15. Never has saving the environment felt so thrifty.
RECYCLED HOMEWARE PRODUCTS
These days, designers are doing wonderful things with recycled plastics and with other materials otherwise headed for landfill, turning them into coasters, rugs, cushion covers and all sorts of homeware items that make the ideal gift.
Some brands are doing wonderful things with glass gin and whiskey bottles, turning them into lamps, soap dispensers and even trinket boxes. So, seek out shops and suppliers committed to recycled, repurposed materials to give the eco-conscious loved one in your life.
REUSABLE CANDLE CONTAINERS
Whether you preferred scented or fragrance-free, candles certainly bring an undeniable cosy ambience during the Winter months. And we’re all in need of a little comfort right now, don’t you think?
Either way, instead of throwing away old candles and candle containers, refillable candles are a more sustainable option and a great gift idea to boot. All you have to do is make sure it is all melted entirely, and reuse the container again. Talk about giving the gift of ‘mood’ this Christmas.
THERMAL REUSABLE COFFEE CUPS
This one is for all coffee lovers, of which every family has a few, right? It’s no secret that cafes and coffee shops produce huge amounts of waste, with single use paper cups accounting for 6.5 millions trees being cut down to produce 16 billion cups used across the world each year. Good lord.
With thermal refillable cups, people can enjoy their daily caffeine dose at a better temperature for longer, and with less of an environmental impact. You can also complement it with collapsible silicone straws, if you’re going all out.
So far the gift ideas we’ve suggested have had a rather adult, responsible bent. But fear not; if your kid is an eco-warrior, then firstly, well done on your parenting. Hopefully, the future is in better hands.
But more significantly in the ultra short term, you and the little one will be pleased to hear that many exciting brands now offer alternatives to plastic toys using recycled materials. One such company is Green Toys, who make toys from recycled plastic milk bottles. What’s more, the packaging is also fully recyclable, and all their toy choices are safe, non-toxic and contain no BPA, PVC, phthalates or external coatings, making Green Toys safe for all ages.
If you’ve not yet had your fill of green gift ideas, then we’ve saved all the clothing suggestions for a whole other article. Check out our 5 IDEAL Christmas gift ideas from sustainable clothing brands for more!