Updated: Nov 27, 2019
Christmas is of course 'the most wonderful time of the year' however it also has a huge impact of the environment. It's also the most wasteful, consumer-driven and stressful time. From unwanted to gifts to unrecycable wrapping paper. Its high time we all make small changes to make it a more 'Green Christmas'.
Here are some tips and ideas for sustainable Christmas gifts:
Give a experience or a service:
You don’t have to give an object. Give a voucher for a massage, a facial, a manicure or a haircut. Give tickets to a concert, a play or an attraction. I always get my parents an experience as they say themselves they have everything the could possible want so I love getting them a weekend away usually on the West of Ireland some where. The Spanish Armarda which is one of my fav hotels on the west coast has vouchers available; click here for some of their Christmas specials. Also Galz Gone Wild which is a Outdoor Adventure group for Girls thats offers everything from weekly hikes, getaways, workshops and events has gift vouchers available for the women in your life. Click here to purchase the gift of adventure.
Give a tree or Pot Plant
Seedlings and pot plants are a great present that will endure. Indoor plants are so on trend now. The Arboretum in Carlow has a fantastic selection of indoor and outdoor plants and check out Urban Plant Iife in Dublin. Also the guys at Grown Clothing, a sustainable clothing brand based in Dublin are removing all garmets on their website on Black Friday and replacing them with Native Irish Trees which you can buy instead what as awesome idea the is !
Books are another great practical gift.
I have a slight obsession with Self Development and positive quote books. I was gifted my first ever self development book which was a New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and that book was the start of myself development journey. For my top book recommendations click here. Avoca and Easons have a great selection or try the Itty Bitty Book Co which is based in Belfast whose mission is to increase happiness with positivity!
Give a locally made gift:
Buying locally made products not only helps the local economy it also helps the environment. Rather than supporting faceless multi-national corporations, supporting local people, people you may know, will help them have a better christmas too. Research your local area and see whats out there for sale. It might seem more expensive but remember your are saving petrol, shipping costs. Local crafts are usually of better quality as they are handmade & not made in large quantities.
Give a Home-Made Gift:
The personal touch means a lot to people. The more personal the better. Make some jam, preserves, sauce or relish. Bake biscuits or cakes. Give an artwork or a well-made piece of craftwork. Some of the best gifts I have received have been homemade gifts there is something really heart- warming about them. Pinterest have some great ideas for homemade gift ideas.
Give a Donation:
You can give a donation to a worthy charity on another person’s behalf. Here are some great gift ideas with World Vision. Including 'Educate A Girl' "School Supplies' & 'Trauma Counselling'.
Give a useful, Practical Gift:
I guess everyone has received one of those useless Christmas-themed presents or sets – perhaps you have received many – and they end up being thrown out. Useful, practical presents like food, clothes or tools are much more sustainable. Last year my Dad got me a second key got my car I absolutely love practical gifts like that, I got my brother loads of quirky vegan products from the local food store and he loved it.
Give a ‘Green’ Gift:
Give organic, natural, renewable presents; an organic cotton t-shirt; a bowl made from recycled wood; a straw hat. If you are into gimmicky presents choose something like a wind-up torch or solar powered battery recharger. The Village Workshops set the most beautiful hand woven baskets from Kenya. Sales from the baskets not long provide an income directly to the women who make them but also towards improving training facilities #sustainability I bought one for shopping and I absolutely love it & I will be buying more for plant pots.
Green Outlook is a great website to purchase some eco friendly gifts. It offers a large range of products to help people reduce their environmental impact. Products include shampoo & conditioner bars, reusable wraps, Toothtablets & Toothpowders, face scrubs, creams and much more. Where possible, products are sourced from Irish companies too.
Ambr Eye Wearis a Dublin start-up that has created glasses especially for those who spend long hours in front of a screen. Ambr glasses work by filtering out the harmful blue light that's emitted from these screens, reducing stress on the eye muscles and relieving the symptoms of eye strain. I have found a huge difference since I wore them including my sleep. This would be the ultimate Christmas gift.
Kerry from All Around Ireland also wrote a great piece with some great Irish Gift Ideas. Read here.
So there you have some great ideas to make this Christmas Shopping more eco-friendly. If you have any more suggestions please leave in the comments below xoxo