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Tis the season to start eating mince pies and buying Christmas gifts – and if you want them to be environmentally friendly, we’ve got your back with these stocking-filler ideas that also give back to the environment.
While Christmas gifting has a reputation for being frivolous and indulgent, make this the year that your festive season is a little more socially conscious. Shop for a cause that matters to you (or the lucky recipient) without compromising on quality or price with this gift guide from HuffPost Finds.
Hexagonal insect box, Waitrose, £16.99
Turn your garden, no matter how big or small, into a sanctuary for bees with a bee house. Providing bees with a safe haven at night time and secure winter homes, this house offers mason bees – solitary bees, who don’t return home to a hive – an ideal breeding location. In the spring, the bees will lay eggs inside the holes in the wood, then fill the holes with clay. Once the eggs hatch, the young will gnaw their way out to adulthood.
Sustainable and Stylish
Stripe long-sleeve T-shirt, Ninety Percent, £45
Ninety Percent makes low maintenance, feminine wardrobe staples with relaxed silhouettes. Taking a socially conscious approach to fashion, 90 per cent of its distributable profits are donated back to four charitable causes including: Wild Aid, which brings awareness to the illegal wildlife trade to reduce demand and provides marine protection; Big Life Foundation which protects and sustains African wildlife; War Child UK, a specialist charity for children affected by conflict across Africa, Asia and the Middle East; and Children’s Hope, which educates underprivileged children living in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Each garment has a care label with a unique code – enter the code on Ninety Percent’s vote page (here) and select which charity you’d like them to donate to.
Charity Pot Hand & Body Lotion, Lush, £13.95
Launched in 2007, Charity Pot is one of Lush’s most well-known products, besides its epic bath bombs, of course. The vegetarian, plastic-free shea butter based formula is a must-have for dry hands, neglected cuticles and dehydrated skin. Keep at your desk for a hydration boost throughout the day.
One hundred percent of all sales of Charity Pot (minus local taxes such as VAT) are distributed as grants to groups working in animal protection, environment and human rights including social justice, peace and equality.
Grants range from £100 up to a maximum of £10,000 per project and the average grant is between £2,000-£4,000. Almost all the groups funded have an annual income of less than £250,000 and are run entirely or predominantly by volunteers.
Isn’t That Just S’well
S’well Drinking Bottle, John Lewis, £25
Eight years ago, S’well launched with a mission to reduce plastic water bottle consumption. The company’s reusable, stainless steel insulated bottles come in sleek, stylish designs which are all vacuum sealed, keeping drinks ice cold for 24 hours or piping hot for 12 hours. They’re also shaped to fit ice cubes. Perfect for keeping hydrated on-the-go or bringing bubbly along to the party.
Maui Dolphin, Critically Endangered Socks, £12
Wear your heart on your feet with a colourful pair of Critically Endangered socks. Sustainably made in a blend of cotton and bamboo, the money made from sales will help to support five of the world’s most endangered species. Eventually the organisation hopes to help every critically endangered animal through selling socks and working with various charities around the world.
This pair in particular raise money for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation group – purchasing a pair helps the charity to monitor the remaining Maui Dolphin species, one of the smallest dolphins in the world, along with lobbying governments in New Zealand to ban trawling and netting. Each pair comes with an endangered animal fact sheet in a bespoke recyclable box that will fit through the letterbox. With only 1,000 made, you’ll have to be quick.
Stojo Collapsible Reusable Pocket Cup, John Lewis, £7.99
Know someone who can’t make it through their commute without a giant, steaming cup of coffee? They need this. Once the beverage is finished, the Stojo cup quickly collapses into a leak-proof disk, allowing it to be easily stowed away and reused. Brilliant for people with good intentions but small handbags; it’s easy to use, dishwasher safe and will quickly take its place in everyday routine.
National Trust Annual Membership, £10-£120
An annual National Trust Membership gives you: free entry to more than 500 National Trust locations, the official magazine sent three times a year, regular newsletters by email, and free parking at most National Trust car parks – not everything is a stately home, the Trust also looks after parts of the British coastline, so the car park access can be useful.
For an individual membership it’ll cost £69 for an adult (26+), £34.50 for a young person (18-25) and £10 for under 17s. Joint membership for two adults is £114 (both adults must be 18 years+ and living at the same address), and a family membership for two adults and their children is £120 annually.
Buy on or before Monday 10 December and the Trust will send you a membership welcome pack in time to wrap and put under the tree. Don’t worry if you miss the deadline – you can still download a gift membership Christmas card, so they have something to open on the day.
Sweet Like Honey
Bee’s Wrap Reusable Food Wrap, Lakeland, £7.99
The prospective zero-waster in your life will be thrilled: these jojoba oil-rich squares of organic cotton, work as re-useable alternatives to cling film. Parcel up your lunchtime sandwich, avocado halves or wedges of lime in a prettily patterned sheet and use your hands to warm the beeswax laced throughout, which then lets you fold your wrap to whatever shape you need. The beeswax and jojoba act as a natural antibacterial – while the former has the bonus of giving everything a honey smell.
When ready for a wash, stick them in the sink with coolish water and a mild soap, before air drying and then folding up in a drawer. The wraps last for about a year but are fully compostable.
Springwatch Wildlife Garden in a Tin, Amazon, £11.99
Encourage younger children to learn about nature with this wooden wildlife toy set. With a variety of wooden animals, birds, trees and plants native to Britain, plus a felt mat and educational play instructions, it’s a great opportunity to teach your little ones about the habitats of wildlife while also perfect for parents on the go.
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