Cost of taking action: £/$/€ NIL
There are many advantages to committing to only buy sustainable gifts
When we buy birthday, wedding or other gifts, we often struggle … what do we buy that conveys a nice sentiment and says we care, but that isn’t too expensive, nor too cheap, and isn’t cliched?
I often used to buy music for family at Christmas … CDs and before that LPs. Or sometimes I’d buy films … DVDs and before that VHS tapes. Nowadays, with streaming services and phones that hold massive music libraries, that is kind of obsolete.
So, our suggestion is that you aim to buy sustainable gifts; something that says you care about the future for all of us as well as for the recipient. In our experience, this is very, very much appreciated by people of all ages.
Sustainable gifts can be found that are suitable for any occasion.
The idea, of course, is to reduce our consumption of valuable or polluting resources – especially plastics – and to support communities rather than multinational corporations. The small choices we make as consumers every day can make a big impact on the planet and our community. Whether that’s in our kitchens, where single-use plastics such as sandwich bags are notoriously prevalent, or in the gifts we choose to give the people we love.
What to buy
How about these ideas, usually presented as certificates or cards:
Dedicated plot of protected land
Donation to a charity in your loved one’s name
Purchase of a specific item through a charity, such as a beehive, or a well in Africa for example
(Oxfam are known for these, but others are available too)
Or how about these suggestions for actual presents – although we are sure you can think of hundreds more!
Seeds and growing plants
Zero-waste starter kit
Recycled glassware – often hand-blown from recycled glass
Sustainable wood chopping board
Sustainable tote bag
Fair Trade coffee
Bamboo cutlery , toothbrushes and other items
Fair Trade chocolate
Reusable water bottle
Reusable coffee cup
Recycled woollen rug
Organic hamper (limit your us eof plastic though!)
“Unpaper” towels as a substitute for kitchen roll
Recycled plastic garden pots, planters and furniture
Wooden toy kitchen or other wooden toys
Seagrass storage basket
LP vinyl placemats
Recycled pretty stationery
Cork placemats and coasters
Certified eco-friendly cosmetics
and so on … you get the idea!
The basic rules
- Avoid plastic
- Avoid high carbon emission items
- Avoid single use items
- Avoid electrical and electronic items, unless solar or hand powered
- Be altruistic if you can
- Try and align with your recipients values
- Take pride in giving a gift with plenty of thought and care behind it
In summary, please think about our environment when buying gifts, and encourage others to do the same. You don’t need to spend any more than you normally would, but the thought you put into it will be appreciated more.