As more and more eco-friendly and zero waste products become widely available, this Christmas really is the perfect time to instill some eco-friendliness into your gift-buying decisions. Whether you take a simple step into removing some wasteful products from yours or someone else’s lifestyle, or you’re looking for a complete overhaul, opting for reusable items or those that use fewer harmful materials and ingredients, is certainly a great place to start.
Here’s our top pick of eco-friendly gifts — whether for yourself or a loved one, these are all zero or minimal waste products that will be fantastic ethical Christmas stocking fillers.
There’s nothing more ethical than products directly from the Rio Grande Valley at Los Poblanos. Their curation of local artisan products range from a lavender apothecary line of luxury soaps and skin and hand care gift sets all infused with essential oils and all-natural ingredients, as well as their delicious farm foods line.
Our favourite is the 'Lavender Hand Care Kit'. With all the hand sanitising we’ve had to be vigilant about this year, you may have forgotten to give your hands some tender-loving care. As well as a lavender hand sanitiser, this soothing selection of products will be a thoughtful sustainable gift this Christmas. Featuring lavender lotion, hand soap, a San Ysidro tea towel and a handy mountable bronze bracket, this wonderful gift comes beautifully packaged together in a reusable box for a present that is heartfelt and sustainable.
Reducing the number of single-use plastics we consume is one of the main ways we can all seek to reduce our impact on the planet. Since plastic simply ends up in landfill, and eventually into our seas, choosing a reusable coffee cup or bottle for liquids is an easy, cheaper alternative. Reusable coffee cups and bottles actually have a myriad of benefits over their throwaway counterparts, including keeping liquids hot and cold for far longer, using less resources, and of course, they’re a whole lot more stylish. Many coffee shops offer incentives for using a reusable cup too, such as money off or special offers, so it really is a win-win situation.
Frank Green’s reusable coffee cups are made from fully recyclable co-polymer material, providing an utterly premium feel, safe for commuting between destinations, plus, the button, lid and base are totally customisable, so can be personalised to your own colour preferences. Meeting both design and environmental needs, Frank Green cups even have payment technology built-in, to make it simple and easy to get your morning cuppa.
Metal water bottles are also a great and durable alternative to single-use plastics, and are fantastic insulators for keeping liquids hot and cold. Chilly’s bottles do exactly that, and are a real investment. Available in many styles and colours, they provide the convenience of a plastic water bottle, with the high performance technology and eco-friendly benefits of a traditional flask.
Making a great gift for yourself or a loved one this Christmas, a reusable water bottle or coffee cup is a great step towards leading a more sustainable lifestyle.
Another step towards an eco-friendly lifestyle is certainly the biodegradable phone case. Often made from recycled and sustainable materials including plant-based substances that are compostable, for the eco-conscious individuals in your life, a biodegradable phone case will make the perfect ethical christmas stocking stuffer. There are a range available, from those made using fishing nets to those made from wheat straw.
Wave Case produces some truly beautiful and stylish biodegradable plastic-free phone cases to allow you to simultaneously protect your phone and the planet. Partnering with one of the UK’s leading marine conservation charities, Surfers Against Sewage 250 Club, each purchase helps towards protecting the UK’s unique coastal environments. Available at a reasonable price of £15, for those looking to take an environmentally-conscious step forward, or to encourage others, the wonderful selection of colours, and matte finishes, ensure an all-round great experience.
For all things natural dyeing, antique linens and delicious scents, Mei Line is your go-to this Christmas. Born from a love of interior design, discover embroidered linen and cotton sheets that have been given a new lease of life in the form of cushions, table linen, handbags, bathrobes, and beautiful lavender pouches filled with home-grown and organic flowers from the charming lavender fields of La Baye des Anges. With every piece hand produced, you can be assured that each product is wholly unique through the artisanal dyeing process. Our favourite is the shiborigami cushion, a unique pattern formation that produces slightly varied alterations each and every time. They’re great to spruce up your sofa or a standalone chair, adding creativity and vitality to any space. The lavender pouches are also a fantastic stocking filler, not alone filling it with delicious fragrance, but a perfect organic touch to any Christmas morning. All available products are made using natural materials and processes, and created in Provence, for nothing less than a wonderfully sustainable gift.
You’d be forgiven for thinking your daily cleansing routine with cotton pads isn’t that bad for the environment. But, whilst cotton is a natural fibre and biodegradable at the end of its life, it’s also an extremely environmentally-demanding crop. Not only does cotton require huge amounts of water, the chemicals and pesticides used in its production play a huge role in polluting local ecosystems and flowing into water supplies.
Cue reusable cotton pads! Washable, and made using natural materials, opting for reusable cotton pads allows you to significantly reduce your waste in the skincare department. Many of them are made from microfibre or bamboo, but using flannels or muslin cloths are also a great alternative to throwaway pads, suitable for cleansing dirt, makeup and grease from your face morning and night. With each reusable cotton pad having the potential to be used from 100-300 times, adapting your beauty regimen to be kinder to the environment is really a no-brainer! With most requiring the use of cleanser as usual, some only require the use of water! In particular, the Face Halo has received acclaim this year due to the ease with which it removes makeup, using fibre strands, said to be 100 times finer than human hair. Most can be thrown in with your usual washing load, but we’d recommend you purchase a wash bag you can place the reusable pads in so they don’t get lost. Whether for you or a loved one who’s a skincare addict or new to the world of skin routines, reusable cotton pads will soon be the new norm! A great eco-friendly adoption this Christmas!
What do you use to wrap up leftovers? Tin foil? Cling film? Most of us can certainly vouch for frequently using one of these aforementioned food wraps. With tin foil taking a long time to degrade and cling film producing highly toxic chemicals when left in landfill, you’ll be pleased to know that there are some alternatives, and that’s where reusable beeswax wraps step in. Having been invented in the Middle Ages, they’ve seen a resurgence in recent years as a great way to cover and preserve food. They work by softening from the warmth of your hands and this texture allows them to mould around the container or food. Being washable, reusable and compostable, beeswax wraps last up to a year, providing far better value than countless rolls of tin foil and cling film.
The Beeswax Wrap Company offers a range of printed beeswax wraps to encourage the elimination of single-use alternatives, all made using consciously-sourced and natural materials. Their 'Beeswax Wrap Eco Starter Gift Bundle' makes the most thoughtful gift this Christmas, providing all the essentials to use, look after, and clean your beeswax wraps and get on the road to a more sustainable way of life.
Move over kitchen. It’s time for the bathroom to get an eco-friendly makeover.
Unfortunately, the shower is usually where single-use plastic bottles and containers reign supreme! No-waste alternatives such as shampoo and conditioner bars provide a great way to cleanse and nourish your hair without the nasty plastic waste at the end. In much the same way as a traditional soap bar, these bars lather up when they come into contact with water and provide your hair and body with a host of all-natural ingredients. Each bar is usually equivalent to three plastic bottles of shampoo or body wash, and there are a range available depending on varying hair and body care needs. Ever struggle to fit all of your toiletries into your holdall or suitcase when going on holiday? Shampoo and conditioner bars fix the space problem as they are compact and can be transported in containers that fit easily into your toiletry bag — and just as easily into the Christmas stocking of someone special!
Used for approximately 12 minutes and taking more than 500 years to degrade in landfill (of course, they don’t break down completely, but turn into toxic microplastics), plastic bags are one of the most significant and daily harms to our environment. Manufactured from non-renewable crude oil, plastic bags also end up in our seas, trapping innocent animals or causing them to ingest the bags themselves.
If you or your loved ones are not making use of reusable bags by now, it is certainly about time. Not only saving you 5p a time, but allowing you to play your part in safeguarding the environment, the adoption of reusables is truly a moral responsibility, especially in the coming new year.
A wonderful company, Kind Bag, creates stylish yet sustainable accessories to combat plastic pollution with their fashion foot forward bags, 100% made from recycled plastic bottles. Having rescued over 1.5 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfill or the ocean, Kind Bag allows you and others to take a small step towards a big change. Available in a wide range of patterns, Kind Bag makes the perfect sustainable gift for yourself or someone else this Christmas.
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