The holiday season is just around the corner and you might just be starting to think about what to get for your friends and family. Unfortunately, Christmas is a beautiful but wasteful holiday. From unwanted gifts to excess packaging, combined with the increased demand for deliveries, are directly impacting our planet. In 2018 over half of Brits revealed they’ve received unwanted gifts, resulting in approximately £5 billion in waste, a research by Finder.com unraveled.
The increased shopping is inevitable this season, it is part of the excitement around Christmas. We are always advocating balance and happiness over too much restriction, so we’ve comprised a list of things you might want to give to your friends and family.
A very unexciting “gift” and definitely not suitable for everyone and every occasion, but consider the fact that some people might need money more than they need material stuff. Some people could consider it distasteful so do think before you put a note in a cute envelope.
A gift card
Another unexciting, but very practical option. It’s giving the receiver the choice to buy exactly what they need when they need it.
The easiest way to not give an unwanted gift, is to ask people what they want or were recently thinking about getting.
Many people find the surprise what will they unwrap a big part of the joy of gifting, so they might be unwilling to get practical.
Gift an Experience
For everyone who doesn't fall into the appropriate category to receive one of the three least wasteful gift options, gifting an experience is a great zero-waste alternative. Think about how much more memorable they are. All of us already possess way too much stuff. Just think about the last time you moved flat - how many things you haven’t used in years have you found. Experiences, on the other hand, are fun and memorable and unlike stuff, have the potential to enrich our lives.
Candle making workshop
Wax and Wick is sharing their expert knowledge on everything candle related. Your loved ones will learn how to make their own soy wax candles as well as how to mix the perfect fragrance for their DIY creation.
£45, Wax + Wick
Make your own bespoke fragrance
There is something incredibly personal about having our own signature fragrance. And how annoying it is when you see that Cheryl from accounting has the same signature as you? Ensure this never happens to your loved ones when you give them the opportunity to expand their creativity and literally create their signature fragrance, out of an extensive ingredient library. Having an expert perfumer on site makes it fail-proof too. Book an apprentice workshop for full introduction to perfume creation or an open-lab session for someone who would rather get mixing than learning the theory.
From £25 per hour, Experimental Perfume Club
Art Fund Pass
Gives free or 50% reduced price entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places for free and enjoy 50% off entry to major exhibitions, including those at Tate, V&A and National Museum of Scotland.
From £35, Art Fund
Yearly Cinema Membership
A gift for the movie lovers. There are three options to choose from ranging from £95 to £600, which gives you 7, 24 or unlimited tickets for a year, and you can also bring a friend for free every Monday.
From £95, Everyman Cinema
Vegan Cooking Course
Great for someone who really wants to try to be vegan or implement more veggie recipes on their weekly roster, but simply think vegan food is just watercress on a plate. Or for any vegan fan of the charming Irish brothers Dave and Steve. During the course, the famous duo will build your confidence in the kitchen and learn how to cook delicious and easy vegan meals.
£150, Happy Pear
Make your own eco-luxury accessory
Elvis & Kresse
Perfect for creative, handy people - gift them the experience of designing their own luxury accessory. Choose between clutch, crossbody, tote, purse, wallet, wash bag and reporter bag. Guaranteed this will be more memorable than just giving someone the actual bag.
From £140, Elvis & Kresse
Eco-Friendly Physical Gifts
A weekender made from decommissioned fire-hose
Another one from Elvis & Kresse. This amazing British eco-luxury brand makes bags from reclaimed materials - such as decommissioned fire-hoses, parachute silk, shoe boxes, auction banners and more! They are also giving 50% of their profits to charity. It is a brilliant company that deserves your support and will make a great gift for any eco lover.
They have all types of goods - from bags to notebooks suitable for both men and women.
£350, Elvis & Kresse
A swimsuit from recycled ocean plastic
Swimsuits are a great gift because they last for years. Stay Wild is an English brand we love. They create premium swimwear made from regenerated ocean plastic.
£160, Stay Wild
100% extra fine organic Merino wool sweater
Ninety percent is an amazingly ethical contemporary brand, based in London.They give 90% of their income to charities,many of whom are chosen by the company to supply workers with better income. Customers are encouraged to vote for the causes they would want their 90% to go to - anything from environmental to humanitarian charities.
£260, Ninety Percent
These socks are made of bamboo and organic cotton, making them naturally recyclable as well as comfortable, soft, breathable and long lasting. Bamboo has strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to help keep your feet healthy and hygienic
£18 for a 3-pack, Thought
One to gift to very close friends or family. Female hygiene products are among the most wasteful. The average woman will use and dispose 14,000 tampons in her lifetime - all of them end up in a landfill and are not biodegradable! Thinx are a patented period underwear which can hold up to 4 tampons.
From £19, Thinx
Leggings made from recycled plastic bottles
Made from recycled plastic bottles and coming in sizes from xxs to 6xl - two things we love in a brand taking care for the planet and empowering women of all shapes and sizes!
All natural body care
We may not be as amazing as some of the brands listed above YET (looking at you Ninety percent) but we try our best to be sustainable and responsible in everything that we do. Our materials are ethically sourced, our products are all natural, vegan, cruelty-free and toxic free. One for the beauty fanatics.
£44, Rebel Blends
Lark and Berry use sustainably sourced lab-grown diamonds, ensuring the production of the jewels is free of conflict and not harming the people they work with.
From £215, Lark & Berry
One of the few beauty brands who truly own their supply chain and manufacturing process. Simply because they produce everything on their beautiful farm in Hertfordshire. All their products are natural, organic and artisanal. A good place to start is their Skin Icons gift set, containing 30ml Hyaluronic Serum 200, 10ml Hyaluronic Eye Complex, 60ml Daily Renew Facial Cream.
£74, Evolve Beauty
A zero-waste beauty kit
for someone who wants to start their journey into zero waste, this cork travel bag is filled with all the essentials
Hand-poured, 100% soy candle in repurposed wine bottles
They source from British suppliers and all our products are all vegan friendly, plastic free and ethically sourced. All the bottles are from local pubs!
Another thing we love about them is their sophisticated scents. If you, like us are all about an indulgent scent and are tired of the boring lavender and lemongrass, go for Sea Salt and Oak.
£25, Wax + Wick
Sustainable gift for creative kids
These fun little crayons are made from pure, natural soy waxes and coloured with mineral pigments. They are cute, vibrant and look like little stones. The shape has been specially designed to strengthen the tripod grip muscles, making them beneficial to both little ones and for fine motor disabilities.
From £9.95, Crayon Rocks
A natural, eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic and cling film. They are the perfect gift for someone who wants to sort their leftovers safely and sustainably. They help fight food waste because their antibacterial properties will keep your festive fridge-load fresh for longer. You can also wash them under cold water and reuse them for up to a year. Plus, they’re also biodegradable!
From £10, Beeswax Wraps
Artisanal Tea blend
There are many tea lovers in Britain and this is one for them! Wilder Botanics is the family-owned business of two naturopaths and herbalists with more than 13 years of practice. All their blends are created from the finest organic wild crafted energetic ingredients, completely sustainable and recyclable. There are no chemicals or preservatives, just pure natural products for your body.
£18, Wilder Botanics