Don’t shout at me for mentioning the festive season in October – it soon creeps up! I have already started buying and have been looking at some eco-friendly Christmas gifts.
Christmas has felt like a bad consumer melt down for me in the past. Too many people buying too much stuff and spending way too much money. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I enjoy all of the opportunities it offers for people to get together, the giving and receiving, the cooking and eating of delicious food.
However, I dislike the general excess. People spending money they can’t afford, buying mounds of food that won’t get eaten, trashy, over the top decorations and the pressure folk feel to produce the perfect experience.
Each year I hear about parents stressing because they cannot get this year’s most popular toy and fighting for them when they arrive in the shops. What the hell?
Most of all, I hate spending money on presents that won’t be appreciated. Because of this, I try to make sure the recipients of any gifts I buy really want them. If that means taking away the surprise, then so be it.
I also try to buy some items that are eco-friendly. Usually small things for my daughters that will replace something that causes a lot of waste. With this in mind, here are my suggestions for inexpensive eco-friendly Christmas gifts. I am dreaming of a green Christmas!
As ever, I have budgeted in advance and I am going for a frugal Christmas, so none of the suggestions below will break the bank.
Eco-friendly Christmas gifts
As a stocking filler, How about some reusable stainless steel straws*? Plastic straws are thrown away after one use,which is incredibly wasteful. Personally, I don’t really use straws, but my daughters do from time to time. We purchased some steel ones a few years ago from Amazon, which are still going strong. They come with a little cleaner so that they don’t get yucky.
However, if I was buying them again, I would go for silicone ones* to avoid the slightly metallic taste.
I hope my daughters don’t read this, as I have bought them some reusable Magic Makeup Removing Cloths* from Amazon. You can remove all makeup with just water. I have been using these for a couple of years, although I do tend to use them with a cleansing lotion.
If you have a nature loving friend or family member, how about a bird feeder that you can stick it to your kitchen window and watch the birds feeding as you do the washing up? Love this!
I know this isn’t a glamorous gift, but I would be happy to receive these Ecoegg Re-Usable Bamboo Towels*. You can wash and reuse rather than buying kitchen towels.
Another good stocking filler is a Bamboo Toothbrush*. I plan to buy more of these this year.
I have various plastic lunchboxes that I used to take to work, but maybe a stainless steel one would be a better option Ideally, it should be air tight so that you don’t have to use plastic wrap as well.
There are lots of different options online, but some of them are horrendously expensive. One was over £80!! Not on my budget…. Many were under £10 but looked cheap with poor reviews. Eventually I went for this one* – a decent mid priced one. However, it isn’t very deep so not great if you like thick sandwiches.
Bamboo lunchboxes are another option, such as this one*.
For the kids, how about some recycled colouring pencils made from rolled up newspapers? I found these on eBay. Pencils and recycled paper crafts make great eco friendly Christmas gifts.
I have a lot of reusable coffee cups and even keep one in the car. My favourite one is made from rice husk fibre, like this one*. Some coffee shops won’t take them because of the covid issues, but my local one will. They get you to place it in a china cup and take it out again at the till so they don’t need to touch it. This makes sense to me.
A few years ago Mr S received a lot of experiences for his 50th birthday. Our favourites were the afternoon teas. Who wouldn’t enjoy a big plate of cake? Of course, there are all types of experiences you can purchase, which are perfect for people who already have too much stuff.
I also like buying books as these will tend to be read and passed on – not just binned. Coffee table type books are pretty but I avoid them as they tend to be leafed through and forgotten. I only buy books for people I know well or where someone has requested a title they really want to read.
I also buy second hand books for stocking fillers for family in charity shops and at boot sales.
Many people read on their Kindle these days, of course, so an Amazon e-voucher* could be a good, zero waste option instead of a paper book.
If you don’t know what to buy, don’t just pick up random stuff. Rather than spend on something that might not be appreciated, any kind of gift voucher is a more eco-friendly alternative.
Does the waste and excess at Christmas leave you cold too? Will you be exploring some eco-friendly Christmas gifts instead this year?
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