The holidays are right around the corner and that means spending money we don’t have on a cornucopia of gifts for the people we care about.
But this year, why not do something a bit different by offering something that’s not only unique but sustainable and can be used over and over and over again? From Keepcups (the clue’s in the name) to Mooncups (nothing lunar going on there) there’s loads of options for the environmentally conscious among us.
And that’s you, right? Mireille C Crocco guides you through sustainable gifts for this festive season…
A great gift for the person in your life who loves leftovers and packed lunches (so really, that could be anybody!)
Made with beeswax infused organic cotton, this is an amazing alternative to plastic wrap that’s not only washable but compostable too. Wraps come in a variety of colors and patterns; there’s also a wide array of sizes to choose from depending on what they’re used for.
Prices vary depending on what you’re getting and it’s a $15 international shipping fee. Pricey? A bit, yes.
Quality product that’s good for us and the Earth? Absolutely.
Reuseable Produce Bag
For the one who’s mainly in charge of grocery shopping in the home.
Great for parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, roommates, pals, and maybe even…yourself…
I think we all know by now that plastic bags are the devil.
Plus, the plastic most of our fresh produce comes pristinely packaged in isn’t even recyclable, for shame! These bags are super cheap—buy a whole set on Amazon for anywhere between £6-£11. They’re light-weight, washable (depending on the material), and easily portable. Leave them in the car or in your favourite re-usable shopping bag so you never leave the house without them. Or, you know, not you necessarily…but rather whoever you’re generously gifting these to…
Being a woman means having a period. And having a period is expensive and has the potential to produce a ton of waste over a lifetime.
Luckily there’s the MoonCup to save us from ourselves!
This is the perfect gift for your best woman-friend or your sister who’s expressed interest in this previously.
They’re soft, flexible, and easily transportable and washable. Sure, using a MoonCup will take some getting used to, but then again all new things do. Instructions are simple and can be found on the website along with a plethora of FAQs and testimonies. Only £20 and free delivery, but make sure to get the right size!
I give you the cliché. But please hear me out!
The vast majority of the time, because it’s the holidays, we feel compelled to spend our money on things our loved ones don’t necessarily need (or want!) in order to show them how much we care.
Maybe we ought to rethink what this special time of year is all about. Everyone comes from near and far to be with the people they love most.
Maybe this year, dare to be bold and suggest that maybe, instead of exchanging gifts, why not exchange moments. This could be anything from all coming together to make a sumptuous meal or planning a trip for New Year’s or even just giving your time to everyone. Offer an extra hand to that hard-working parent in the kitchen, re-connect with a sibling you haven’t seen for a long time, get to know your grandma over a hot cuppa.
Shampoo & Conditioner Bars
For the one in your life who is obsessed with their hair and is constantly trying to find the perfect shampoo/conditioner combo. Now they’ll love you forever because you’ve found just the thing: Lush shampoo and conditioner bars.These guys are amazing. Not only are they packed with gentle natural ingredients guaranteed to make your hair sing from root to tip but they’re also plastic packaging free!
About their shampoo bars, Lush says that “1 bar will do the job of three 250 g bottles of shampoo.” Three! That’s so many bottles you’re saving from landfill! And what’s more these guys are inexpensive costing about £6-£7 each. Happy holidays indeed!
A KeepCup is the perfect gift for your friend who buys 6 coffees a day and ends up producing a ton of waste even though they don’t mean to.
They’re colourful (the cup, not your friend), carry well, wash easily, and have the potential to get you a discount at some cafes. KeepCups come in a variety of sizes ranging from 120ml to 454 ml. If you go onto the KeepCup website, you can even design your very own! Pick your colours and size and choose between heat-safe plastic and glass.
Prices range from £10-£25.
According to a recent piece published by the Washington Post, Millennials are pretty much obsessed with house plants and it’s not hard to see why. Plants are amazing: they keep us in touch with nature, they spruce up the place, and they’re cheaper than having a dog.
And I feel nowadays you could get one almost anywhere relatively cheaply – herbs at Sainsbury’s, an air-purifying Peace Lily at M&S, succulents on Amazon… Or just go down to your local garden centre and pick up a few terracotta pots, some good compost and a small collection of seed packs for a fun DIY project that will keep on giving.
Perfect for parents, or your Millennial friend/sibling who is always on point with the trends; and nice for your wallet too.
Do you have a friend/family member who’s obsessed with their iPhone and is always looking for a new phone case?
Well, maybe it’s time you introduced them to Pela: a fully compostable case made out of bioplastic elastomer and flax straw materials.
They’re simple but sturdy and will protect that precious iPhone when unexpectedly dropped on a night out. Comes in a variety of colours too but is a bit pricy coming in at $35 (£25 or so).
Bright side: Pela is a member of ‘1% for the Planet’ so part of their revenue goes to pro-Earth non-profits. Woo! (comes from US with free worldwide shipping!)
Mushroom Growing Kit
This is for the person in your circle who has a flair for adventure, self-sufficiency – and mushrooms!
Each kit comes with full instructions and everything you need to start growing your very own delicious mushrooms right at home. Not only is this a truly unique gift but it’s one that’s sure to please and delight as it will not only be a great new learning experience but one with tangible rewards to reap! Kits are only £17 on the GroCycle website and delivery is free in the UK.
Plant A Tree
Trees for Life is a renowned Scottish conservation volunteering charity whose goal is to bring the great Caledonian forest back to its former glory.
This is the absolute perfect gift for your friend or family member who is ultra Earth conscious. They shudder at the thought of plastic packaging, gift wrap, and spending money on stuff we didn’t know we needed because the corporate calendar says it’s the holidays and thus we must. Starting at £15, you can get a tree planted in their name at one of the Trees for Life properties in the Scottish Highlands. A personalised certificate will be sent to you and you can gift that to your person.
Not only will you be contributing to the greater good but you’re keeping it local too, a gesture the recipient is sure to appreciate.