How are you guys doing with your Christmas shopping? Are you one of these organised people who get all your Christmas shopping done before December or more of a last minute person?
I always feel a bit ambiguous about Christmas presents. On one hand it is a lovely tradition to be thoughtful and show your love and appreciation for your family, friends and colleagues by getting them a little something. On the other hand buying presents can be very stressful and financially straining for many people. And furthermore, in the face of over-consumption, the scarcity of many resources, waste production and exploitation of workers, we are faced with the challenge to give gifts that won’t only bring joy to the recipient but that are also sustainably and ethically sourced and produced.
I compiled a list of items that are not only a blessing to your loved one but that are also good to planet and people.
- A Reusable Coffee Cup. In the UK 10,000 takeaway coffee cups are thrown away every two minutes. (Can you believe that?!) Contrary to popular belief these are to 95% not recyclable. This creates a huge amount of waste. By using your own travel mug you can stop contributing to this unnecessary and short-lived use of resources. Bamboo cups are a great option as they very sustainable as Bamboo is one of the fastest growing trees and they are compostable if you decide to throw them out.
- A cool tote bag. Similar to take-away cups, plastic bags are starting to become a thing of the past. Save your pennies and take your own shopping bag to get your groceries! This is not only environmentally friendly but also very fashionable.
- A subscription box. Another great gift idea for the health-conscious is a subscription box. Many people have heard of graze boxes that are now also available in many supermarkets. Youtubers Niomi Smart and Marcus Butler have created Sourced Box, another subscription box full of healthy, vegan snacks. A great gift to help your friends keep up with their new years resolution to eat healthier.
- Handmade Jewellery. Etsy is a great resource to find and purchase many different handmade items but also charities like Unicef offer handmade, fairly produced jewellery for sale. You can never go wrong with a beautiful pair of earrings in my opinion!
- Time. This might sound odd but in a time where so many of us are constantly busy and have bursting diaries there is nothing more precious time. Whether it is just to hang out, cook dinner for your friend or help them practically to clean their house, teach them the piano or fix their bike – giving time shows real appreciation. And it is a great gift to give if you are tight for money.