10 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Environmentally-Conscious
With the festive season just around the corner, and with an ever increasing focus on climate change, it's never been more important to consider Christmas gifts that are environmentally-conscious. However, that doesn’t mean that they have to be boring and lacklustre. There are plenty of gift ideas out there that are perfect for those who are looking to reduce their carbon footprints, whether it be yourself or the recipient. With this in mind, let’s take a look at ten Christmas gift ideas for the environmentally-conscious:
1. Reusable Coffee Cups
Reusable coffee cups would be a worthwhile and useful gift for anyone, whether they were environmentally-conscious or not. Whether they face a long commute to work everyday or are always on the go, a reusable coffee cup can be used, despite its name, for a wide range of both hot and cold beverages.
A perfect sustainable gift for any coffee, tea or hot chocolate lover, a reusable cup will always be a popular voice for those who are looking to cut back on the amount of waste they produce. Here at VASO, we have a wide range of reusable cups available, including those that are suitable for both hot and cold drinks.
2. Reusable Water Bottles
Much like our range of reusable coffee cups, reusable water bottles offer the same benefits, only these make an ideal gift for those who aren’t huge hot beverage drinkers. Instead, these can be used whilst out on a walk during a hot summer’s day, during a day out to the zoo or a theme park or at a family picnic. They’re incredibly versatile gifts that can be enjoyed by almost anybody, including school children and university students.
3. Reusable Straws
Reusable straws, particularly reusable glass straws like the ones we have available here at VASO, will make a sleek and contemporary gift for anyone looking to make a statement in their kitchen. Not only are glass reusable straws modern and stylish, but they’re also incredibly easy to clean and they’re incredibly long-lasting.
In addition to our collection of reusable straw packs, containing 4 straws of varying lengths and sizes, we also have portable reusable straws, and bamboo straw cases to match, available - perfect for those who won’t be without one when on the move. This helps to keep the recipient’s carbon footprint as low as possible, as they won’t be using disposable alternatives at home or when out and about.
4. House Plants or Potted Garden Plants
Whether it’s a new potted plant for their garden or a house plant for their windowsill, flowers and plants make for a thoughtful and beautiful gift for anyone who is looking to be more environmentally-conscious. There are a wide variety of flowers to choose from, so you’ll be able to make this gift, almost, bespoke to the person you’re planning on giving the present to. From perennials and bi-annuals to self-seeders and spring bulbs, there are many different species and varieties available, so you’re bound to give someone a Christmas gift that they’re guaranteed to love if you opt for garden flowers and house plants.
5. Locally Produced Foods
Although this might sound strange, there are actually plenty of food products that would make a delicious gift this Christmas. From marmalades and jams to chutneys and honey, you’re bound to find something that is both homemade and local. But what’s the environmental benefit of choosing local produce over other food items? The difference is that if you buy these products from a farm shop, the ingredients haven’t travelled very far.
This means that emissions emitted to get it to the shop won’t be an issue, because it likely didn’t travel by any petrol or diesel-powered transport, and it definitely didn’t arrive there by plane. Another way in which local and homemade produce is eco-friendly is because the ingredients the farm shop used to make the final product would also be home-grown or hand-reared. It’s incredibly sustainable and you’ll also be helping to keep a local business afloat.
6. Handmade Gifts
Instead of buying something brand new, look to make something yourself. From candles and soaps to cards and keyrings, there are a number of different gift ideas out there that can be easily made yourself at home. For example, instead of buying your children a bug hotel, make one. It’s simple and inexpensive to do, finding materials in and around your garden to construct the perfect mini-beast habitat. Not only would you have made this yourself, but you’ll also be encouraging the wildlife and insects, which is also great for the planet.
7. Home Baked Goods
Following on from our previous point, about making your own gifts, something you can do instead of getting arts-and-crafty is to get baking. Baking is often more straightforward and less time-consuming than making something that's inedible. As well as that, there are also lots of different options available to you if you choose to give someone baked goods this Christmas. From fruit cakes and sugar cookies to gingerbread and yule logs, nothing is off limits for any baker, whether you’re a dab-hand or a complete novice.
8. Vegan Recipe Books
It’s important to note that if you’re going to be gifting someone a book this Christmas, take a look through your local charity shops and second-hand book shops. Not only would these be more affordable than brand new books, but you’re also helping to minimise the production of new prints. Vegan or vegetarian food is also considered to be more eco-friendly than meals that contain meat, mainly due to methane production. So a vegan cookbook coupled with the fact it’s second-hand would be an ideal Christmas gift for the environmentally-conscious.
9. Handmade Toiletries
Staying on the topic of making your own Christmas presents this year, another thing you can do is to make your own soaps, body washes, lotions, hand creams and shampoos. Although some research will need to be done before giving this a try, and possibly some practice, it often makes for an incredibly thoughtful gift, as time and effort would have gone into making it.
Another thing you could do is to try your hand at making some candles. Not only will they look amazing, but you’ll be able to cater the scent directly to your recipient. Even if the person you’re gifting it to doesn’t end up burning it, a candle can still be used as decorative homeware.
10.Trees Planted on their Behalf
This is a common choice for those who are looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the environmentally-conscious. It’s usually very affordable, but it doesn’t involve the production of anything new. Instead, it’s a sustainable choice, replacing trees that were once there or simply adding to the tree population as a whole. Charity gifts or donations on their behalf, or the sponsoring of an animal in need will make for other thoughtful alternatives.