The gift giving season is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, there’s nothing better than seeing someone’s face light up when you’ve nailed their gift. On the other, we’re all guilty (admit it) of sometimes buying crap for the sake of buying crap, just to cross someone off our Christmas lists. So why not give a conscious, sustainable gift this Christmas? Here are some gift ideas that will no doubt make you feel as good to give as they will be to receive.
1/ Water Bottle
I have been the proud owner of this gorgeous glass bottle from BKR for over a year now and it is honestly one of the best items I own. I parade it around the office like a trophy girlfriend – and I’m a corporate lawyer remember, so you can imagine how well this fits into the general environment of said office. It’s a conversation starter to say the least, reminds me to drink copious amounts of water and generally relieves stress (the spikes are squishy silicon perfection). BKR also do less obnoxious versions of this bottle if you and/or your gift recipient are not so keen on drawing every eye in the room to a spiky Pokemon lookalike. There are plenty of other reusable water bottle brands out there, e.g. S’well is a current social media favourite, but there’s just something about drinking out of a glass bottle that wins the contest for me. And your gift recipient will never want to drink out of a disposable plastic bottle again.
Coffee is every human’s best friend. Rightly or wrongly, (and especially in the City) we run on it. But every time you get that Starbucks (or, in my case, Coco di Mama’s) in a disposable cup, there’s an additional, usually non-recyclable, cup added to the plethora of unnecessary trash in the world. It’s tragic, because it’s so easily avoidable – whether with a KeepCup or equivalent. And besides, coffee just tastes so much better out of glass than it does out of plastic coated cardboard. The cork on these KeepCups is sustainably sourced and there’s something mesmerising about seeing coffee in glass, too. Your gift recipient will get that much more enjoyment out of their daily brew, they’ll think of you every day, and you’ll get a free halo as a bonus from the eco gods.
3/ Lush Cosmetics
Lush is fighting a laudable fight in the cosmetics industry. Their products are vegan, their ingredients are mostly natural and their packaging is minimal and recyclable. Every penny from the Charity Pot (minus VAT) goes to “carefully selected grassroots causes for people, animals and the environment” – read more about that here. This Big shampoo is a personal fave, and they do plenty of Christmas specials too, like this magic wand bubble bar. There’s something in there for everyone, your mom, your dad, your granny…
4/ Wool and the Gang
If you have a DIY savvy friend, then this is the one for them. Wool and the Gang make knit-your-own product kits, complete with knitting tools and instructions, and the Heal the Wool yarn collection comes from 100% recycled Peruvian wool fibre, is biodegradable and 30% of the yarn price goes to Friends of the Earth. Plus, making your own garment means you’re likely to be more attached to it and less likely to dispose of it all willy nilly. The collection includes this awesome jumper for example, but maybe the beanie is more appropriate for the novice knitter.
5/ A Plant, in a Handmade Plant Pot
Give the gift of life! No but seriously, who doesn’t love a cactus? It’s so hipster. We have a tall one at home called JEB, who is currently serving time as our Christmas tree (because you know, the fewer trees we can chop down, the better…). And whilst you’re at it, why not pick up a handmade pot, like this spiky Not on the High Street number, to give it a lil sumtin’ sumtin’. I would suggest other plants too, but if your gift recipient is anything like me, then low-maintenance options are the safest bet…
Do you have more (or, dare anyone say, better?) ideas for conscious Christmas gifts? I’d love to know if you have any suggestions…