Ethical Gift Guide: Our Top 6 Eco-Friendly Christmas Present Ideas

December 3, 2020

By The Grace & Green Team

When you’re worried about the environment, the festive season can be a difficult time where many of us feel pressured to buy things we don’t need. A period of indulgence and excess, the gifts we give don’t always take into consideration the longer lasting returns on our minds and souls. Happily, finding eco-friendly and wellness inducing gifts is much easier than it used to be, with lots of fabulous independent businesses stepping up to our collective demands for less wasteful items.

We’ve curated a list of some of our favourite eco-friendly and ethical gifts that you might want to consider this year. But first…

What else can you do?

Remember, newly bought gifts are not the only option. There are lots of ways to give back to the people around you that don’t involve hiking down to John Lewis. For example:

  • Give memories: event tickets, experience days, memberships
  • Give your time: share your skills, help someone decorate
  • Upcycle: repurpose old toys, makeover an old piece of furniture
  • Buy second hand: search eBay or antique shops
  • Make something: take up a craft, bake some tasty treats

And if you choose to buy – choose organic, choose ethical, choose eco-friendly.

1. A bundle of garden seeds

One of the few silver linings to 2020 is the various lockdowns bringing out the green-fingered amongst us, igniting or restoring a love for gardening in so many. Seeds are a symbol of hope, and a promise of all the beauty to come – something we’d say we’re all in need of this year.

We love these little bundles of seeds from sustainable florist and flower farmer Milli Proust – a surprise mix of five varieties, each packet is beautifully decorated with an illustration of the flowers that the seeds will become.

2. Biodegradable phone case

Pela is the organisation behind the world’s first truly sustainable phone case, selling compostable phone cases and zero-waste screen protectors for both Apple and Android.

The cases are made from Flaxstic® – flax shive and a plant-based biopolymer – which has a lower carbon footprint and lower greenhouse gas emissions than traditional plastic. The company also donates money to help protect coastlines, oceans, parks and wild animals.

3. Organic linen face mask

The vaccinations may be starting (hooray!), but face masks are sadly going to be a part of our lives for a little while longer. As you know, we’re all about organic materials, and we’re obsessed with these beautiful masks by La Petite Alice.

Made from 100% natural washed and Oeko-Tex certified linen, each piece is hand embroidered with your choice of their nature-inspired patterns. We’re torn between the hedgehog and the peas!

4. Eco felt mule slippers

It is our professional opinion that there are few people who would not be thrilled to receive slippers at Christmas – especially in a year defined for many by WFH. Chilly toes and Zoom calls are not made to co-exist.

These eco felt mule slippers are produced by a women’s co-operative in the Kathmandu Valley. They come in five different colours made with azo-free dyes and use 100% raw sheep wool, soap and water. The soles are made from natural suede, sourced from a small family tannery in Kolkata and road freighted to Kathmandu in bulk. All chemicals used in the tanning process are contained and reprocessed within the water treatment facility on site.

5. A forest

What gift can be more commendable than the gift of long-lasting climate action!  Our friends at Ecologi help people to challenge their carbon footprint by planting trees and supporting some of the best charities in climate action.

This Christmas their gift selection ranges from a mini woodland to an entire forest, all planted by them in your loved one’s name. Now that’s a gift to show off about.

6. How Bad Are Bananas?

Finally, a book recommendation. Mike Berners-Lee’s How Bad Are Bananas?: The carbon footprint of everything was first published in 2009, when ‘carbon-footprint’ was just becoming a household phrase. It explores the elements of our day to day lives that make a big difference to our footprint, and those that don’t (and it’s not always what you’d expect).

This new and updated addition incorporates all the technologies and products that have hit the mainstream in the past decade – from Twitter to electric cars. We think it’s an entertaining while important read, educating us in the little changes we can make that can have a big impact on our planet.