At OPOh we despise the fact that so many unwanted Christmas gifts end up as landfill. In the UK alone, we throw away around three million extra tons of rubbish over the Christmas period. So what can you do to avoid this? One way is to be more mindful of the type of gift your recipients would like to receive. Another way is to change how you shop for those desirable gifts. Here are five sustainable Christmas gift ideas.
1. Plastic Free Cosmetics
Instead of buying your loved ones the usual smellies in plastic bottles, try something more sustainable. Battle Green sells products made from natural ingredients and beautifully packaged in sustainable materials. With absolutely no plastic.
And there are plenty of other great, sustainable companies out there these days. We particularly love Flawless and Georganics. In fact, they’re two of the companies whose products we’re selling in our brand new gift hampers. Check out our online store to drool over some of the best sustainable products in the UK.
That age-old Christmas favourite! Surely socks don’t damage the environment though? Sadly the fashion industry in the UK produces around 300,000 tons of used clothes every year. But all is not lost. There are plenty of businesses that care about the environment as well as your tootsies. BAM and Socks in a Box are two such companies. They produce a wide range of super-soft and incredibly comfy socks made from sustainably sourced bamboo.
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without chocolate. You might prefer not to imagine that such a delicious treat can be so environmentally harmful. But Cocoa production is often associated with child labour and even slavery. To avoid this, look for ethical companies such as Beyond Good. Creating high-quality chocolate made from the very best cacao, Beyond Good describes itself as ‘redefining quality and sustainability standards in the chocolate industry.’
Tony’s Chocolonely is one of the leaders in sustainable chocolate. And Willie’s Cacao is proud to be paying more than double the Fair Trade premium for their cacao.
Probably the best thing about Christmas is the children. We love watching the excitement on their faces when they receive that gift they really wanted. But have you been to a toy store recently? A massive 90% of toys are made of plastic. Children grow fast. They outgrow their toys and they end up as landfill.
But lots of companies are now offering more sustainable toys. Visit Envirotoy for an amazing collection of fine quality wooden toys, 100% plastic-free and made with love. Or check out Ecolelu or Eco-Tots, two family-run businesses helping the environment with biodegradable wooden toys.
5. Charity Gift Cards
But why not avoid rampant consumerism altogether? Charity gift cards make the perfect gift for the person who has everything. Simply choose a cause and send your loved one a gift card with an attached donation.
Oxfam, Global Giving and Action Aid offer a wide range of options, from donating a goat to educating a child. And Farming Carbon offers something a bit closer to home. Buy a gift card from this new initiative to support sustainable agriculture, protect biodiversity and help boost the rural economy in Northern Ireland.
Climate crisis awareness is increasing every day. And there are now hundreds of businesses, small and large, producing beautifully crafted, sustainable, biodegradable and fairtrade products. Buying a sustainable Christmas gift has never been this easy.