We’re feeling extra festive this year! Families are reuniting, and there’s no second, third or fourth wave of the virus hitting headlines. For the first time in years, it sort of feels… dare we say… normal? And because the last couple of years have been difficult around Christmas. We’re appreciating Christmas and the people in our lives (that’s you!) more than ever. But we all know that Christmas is the most wasteful time of year. So we want to encourage you not to undo all the great work we’ve done all year and continue to have an eco Christmas. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how.
Eco-friendly gifts to give and make
No matter what you give this year, try to think about the environment. That doesn’t limit you as much as you may think. If you’re looking to give someone a jumper or winter coat, search for a sustainable brand. Most brands have a sustainability range and if they don’t look for brands that have a lifetime warranty – allowing your gift receiver to have an item that will last. We’ve searched the internet and stumbled across some nice items we think you’ll love to give, or even make.
Recycled glass vases (and more)
Vases are such a great gift to give, especially a mother, wife or dear friend that you regularly buy flowers for. Or you just know someone who enjoys buying them for themselves. It’s great for people who live in flats that don’t have gardens as well so they can enjoy a bit of nature at home. There are plenty of vases to choose from on the internet. But we love the range from The Recycled Glassware Company who are located in Dorset.
This company are based in the UK so your carbon footprint is instantly reduced on transporting goods. The products they use are sourced as locally as possible. They’re concerned about their footprint too! And they estimated that 60% of their packaging materials are upcycled from nearby businesses. Unlike many cheap imitations that contain recycled glass – theirs is 100% recycled glass – and it comes at a great price too!
Upcycled fire hose products
If you have an eco-lover in your life then one of these products could be perfect for them. Old firehoses are often discarded to landfill sites. But Elvis & Kresse have upcycled them into beautiful products such as bags, wallets, belts, pencil cases and even door handles! It’s incredibly creative so it does come at a higher price point. But if you’re searching for the ultimate gift, we’re telling you it’s here.
The fire hoses come from London so they’re local and low on your carbon footprint. Another thing we love, is that 50% of the profits from the Fire-Hose range products go to The Fire Fighters Charity, and for the Fire % Hide range, 50% of profits go to Barefoot College International. Personally – we’ll be checking out the candlestick holders for our Christmas table!
Ethical watches and sunglasses
Nordgreen is a company where we strongly admire their ethos. Every single watch sale contributes towards a charity – of the customers choosing (from a select list). But in the last 4 years, Nordgreen have donated 46,000 months of quality education, 140,000 months of clean drinking water accessibility, provided over 2,000 rounds of chemotherapy to children in need and preserved 2.8 million sqm of rainforest. Their products are also sustainable using vegan leather and they even have a refurbished section where you can buy their products slightly cheaper.
Eco Christmas crackers
There are plenty of options where you can purchase reusable eco Christmas crackers but this is Christmas, so why not make them? We’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and we must admit it’s far easier than we thought. All you need to do is find a suitable small gift to wrap up in your eco Christmas crackers. We’ve seen people use beauty products such as lip gloss and small miniature aftershaves. But you can use jewellery, socks, or even just a bar of chocolate! It’s a great way to give a smaller gift with the added fun. If you’re wondering how to make your own eco Christmas crackers take a look at this fabulous tutorial from Hannah Weir. Use recyclable wrapping paper or reusable cloths without the bon bon snaps to do it all again next year!
We’ve seen quite a few creative gifts online on Etsy stores, but we must say, we reckon a few of them could be done at home. For example, we found a patchwork quilt made from old, discarded textiles – a great upcycling product and we commend it! However, we can’t help but feel there’s a way to make this one extra special by doing it yourself.
There are a few ways to do this. Grabbing some old t-shirts and textiles, or go the extra mile and collect items of clothing from the gift recipient – you could combine the two. Make it special if you use some of their items. Perhaps they have old t-shirts from holiday trips, club t-shirts from an activity. Now, how you source someone else’s clothing is another matter, if you live with them it’s easy, but otherwise you’ll have to get someone in the household to go undercover and grab you a few items. Yes, it really is going the extra mile! But then it’s just a case of laying them all on the floor, tracing around your existing apron, and cutting before sewing the pieces together. Add some sturdy drawstrings (perhaps from an old pair of trainers?) and you’re done! It’s a considerable craft to take on, but we think it’s totally worth it, plus there’s the potential to make this really unique and special.
Where to find your eco gifts
While we try to find the most interesting and unusual Christmas gifts for you – we do not have the time to share them all. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of options out there! There are plenty of eco shops to choose from, including the Greenredeem one (where you can get 10% off) that you can find in the rewards section on your account.
Keep an eye out for our other festive blogs coming to you all through December. We’ll be look at how to decorate your home with reusable and eco-friendly decorations (including answering the big debate of fake vs real Christmas tree) and how to cook and clean up a festive dinner.