Eco-friendly Christmas gift guide – Sustainable presents for all

If you want to stick to your environmentally friendly ideals as Christmas approaches, I’m here to help. I’ve compiled a selection of my favourite gifts for 2018, all of which have great eco-friendly credentials. I hope this gift guide makes it easier for you to source some amazing sustainable gifts for all your friends and family this Christmas…

TRAVEL MUGS

Let’s start with a great stocking filler that everyone needs. A reusable coffee cup is super eco-friendly in so many ways. Firstly, you can get all your future coffee-shop refills in your travel cup, so that’s one less cardboard cup, sleeve and plastic lid used every time. Some coffee shops even give you a discount on your coffee if you use a travel cup, so it’s a thrifty option too. Plus, you could take a cuppa with you from home, thereby saving you £s each day.

The best news is that these Zuperzozial travel mugs are produced from bamboo and corn fibres, so they’re recyclable AND biodegradable, as well as being reusable. Even the silicone band to protect your hands from heat is produced without plasticisers, so it doesn’t have the same negative environmental impact as the solvents that are often used in the production of plastic.

BOOKS

Choose books with an eco-friendly message to encourage your friends and family to consider recycling their items in the new year. This ReCraft book is an upcycling guide with over 50 projects to try out throughout the year. It shows you how to turn old clothing and second-hand materials into beautiful items for the home. And when they’ve finished reading it, they can pass it on to someone else to spread the upcycling love!

TOILETRIES

The Victorian Flora natural skincare range from the RSPB are all free from parabens, PEGs, SLS, phthalates, palm oil and artificial ingredients. As someone who check the labels on all my beauty products, I’m super impressed that they’ve been able to create a range of products that contains only organically procured ingredients. This means that less environmentally-destructive products are used in the production of these toiletries. As you’d expect from an animal protection charity, each product is cruelty-free and is vegan friendly, hurrah!

STATIONERY

As someone who gets through a lot of calendars, notebooks, schedules and diaries, the ideal present for me is a classic Filofax. Why? Because it’s completely refillable! So, once you’ve bought your first organiser (which comes in a huge variety of sizes and colours) you can reuse it year after year, recycling the pages as you go. The following Christmas, you can treat them to some new inserts from PenHeaven such as a planner for the next year, a 2020 daily diary, address book and note pad refill. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

For the artist, designer or doodler in your life, a wooden pencil is a real treat. But this isn’t just any pencil; Worther Wood pencils are made in Germany from locally-sourced materials and the lead is refillable. So it’s the only pencil they’ll ever need! You can choose pencils crafted from cherry, maple or plum wood in round or hexagonal designs, all of which are presented in a Worther gift box, ready to pop into their stocking.

EXPERIENCES

Most of the time I think it’s better to receive experiences rather than ‘things’. Lack of space in modern houses means that it can be difficult to find a home for the stack of gifts you receive at Christmas. So, I think that a gift voucher for an experience is a wonderful alternative. It gives the recipient something to look forward to during the year and, if you treat them to a Merry Christmas Gift Box from Red Letter Days, they can choose from over 100 different options for their experience. Plus, they can recycle the paper and packaging after they’ve used the gift voucher.

CANDLES

These Vineyard Candles from Prezzybox are crafted using repurposed wine bottles, whose rims have been finished with flame to give a smooth appearance. The candle is made from naturally sourced soya wax that has been blended with fragrances to recreate the scent of your favourite tipples; Gin and Tonic and Prosecco. The candles will burn for at least 80 hours and, once you’ve finished with the candle, you can recycle the glass just like any other wine bottle.

TOYS

Hape is one of the world’s largest producers of wooden toys (yes, even more than Santa’s workshop!) so they use highly renewable bamboo to construct their products. This wooden coffee machine is such a cute kit that kids from ages 24 months will enjoy playing with. The brand’s FSC certification helps to promote the responsible management of the worlds forests.

Hape’s toys are created to inspire children to learn, play and explore the world around them. Toys that encourage movement, such as this walk-a-long hedgehog, help youngsters to develop their physical skills, their imagination and creativity, and their fine motor skills. Hape aims to minimise their environmental impact through careful energy consumption and recyclable packaging so this is great gift for children from 12 months up.

NATURAL RECIPES

If you’ve got a Great British Bake Off fan in the family, this baking book is a must for them. The Natural Baker by Henrietta Inman contains more than 80 recipes, both sweet and savoury, that can be made from natural, wholegrain, wholesome ingredients. The book focuses on the natural goodness of the ingredients with some gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free recipes tucked amongst the pages. I’d be excited to receive this Suffolk-based author’s book for Christmas myself!

ECO BEDDING

Now this is exactly the kind of gift that’s on my wish list this year! It’s one of those things that you might not treat yourself to during the rest of the year but that you wish someone would buy for you so that you can enjoy fresh new bedding and a cosy night’s sleep. This Eco Duvet from The Fine Bedding Company is made from 100% recycled soft-touch fabric, is filled with micro-fine fibres made from recycled plastic bottles, and is made in an award-winning eco factory. And the fact that it can be machine washed at home at only 30 degrees is also an environmentally friendly tick!

GIFT WRAP

And finally, here’s some eco-friendly paper to wrap your gifts in. It’s from the RSPB (hence the snowy bird footprints) and the design is printed onto quality FSC certified paper. The Forest Stewardship Council logo shows that it is made from wood that comes from FSC certified forests or from post-consumer waste. Plus you can get matching Christmas crackers and napkins in the same range. At the moment, all RSPB wrapping paper is on offer at 2 rolls for £6 so stock up now!

What do you think of these eco-friendly gifts? Has anything on the list inspired you to choose a sustainable present for someone in your family? What environmentally sound gifts have you found this year? Please share your ideas in the comments below, I’d love to add to my own Christmas list!

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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