Christmas 2021: Eco friendly gift ideas – from beauty to homeware

More people than ever are considering the environmental impact of what they buy, opting for fewer single-use plastics and reusable items where possible.

With Christmas on the horizon, we’ll also be translating our climate consciousness into the gifts we buy.

That can mean considering secondhand presents or looking for sustainable swaps of what you’d normally buy – either way, you shouldn’t need to compromise on quality.

Whoever you’re buying for this festive season, there’s an eco-friendly gift that’ll delight them and do good for the planet.

We’ve rounded up some of the top gifts with a green twist, so you can gift without guilt.

There are kids toys, beauty products, homewares, and more to suit eco-conscious folks of all ages.

Woven baskets from Mifuko

Mifuko employs over 700 people in Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia, using local materials to keep their carbon footprint small.

Their baskets – available to purchase brand new on eBay – have been made of partly-recycled or surplus plastic, making them durable and easy to keep clean.

Each one has a tag with the name of the person who crafted it on, so your giftee can see the story behind their planter/storage solution.

Buy from eBay For Change, with prices starting at £34 for a small basket.

Parley for the Oceans steel water bottle

Adidas and environmental nonprofit Parley for the Oceans have a longstanding partnership, redesigning classic products so they can be made using plastic recovered from the sea.

This bottle helps reduce the number of disposable water bottles thrown away, or you could opt for clothing from the collab directly woven from ocean plastic.

Buy for £25 from Adidas.

Nectar Cloverlane weighted blanket

Weighted blankets are one of the products of the moment, with people claiming they can reduce anxiety symptoms and aid rest and relaxation.

This one from Nectar is made from organic Portuguese cotton without any chemical or dyes, so your relaxation won’t be spoiled by climate worries.

Buy for £91 (reduced from £130) from Nectar.

SodaStream Spirit

Is the person you’re buying for wants to cut down on their consumption or waste, a SodaStream might be the way to go.

Instead of buying bottles of fizzy juice, they can make their own and take it with them. It’ll save them cash as well as doing good.

Starter packs are priced from £59.99 at SodaStream.

Living Nature cuddly toys

Nature-loving little ones will see their favourite animals in cuddly toy form, but you’ll know they’re playing with something made ethically.

Living Nature’s plushies are filled with recycled post-consumer PET plastic and come in recyclable packaging. Plus, you can use them to teach children about endangered species and protecting habitats.

Prices start at £10.99 for smaller Living Nature plushies. This cute piglet toy is £15.99.

Gherane Universal Balm

Especially given how much hand sanitiser we’ve been using over the last year or two, nourishing skincare is a must this winter.

Instead of petroleum-based balms containing crude oil byproducts, Gherane’s Universal Balm combines cocoa butter, olive oil, and other ingredientscertified COSMOS ORGANIC by the Soil Association.

Making light work of dry lips and cracked elbows, it’s effective without the use of petrochemicals.

Buy for £24 direct from Gherane.

Vegan suede yoga mat

Active gift recipients will love this Palm to Soul yoga mat.

The top part uses vegan suede to increase grip, while the bottom layer comprises of bio-rubber, an alternative to the standard material made using renewables.

And, by buying via Barnardo’s, you add a charitable element too.

Buy for £41.75 (reduced from £48) from the Barnardo’s online shop.

Bare Kind Save The Penguins bamboo socks

Bare Kind donates 10% of all profits from their socks to conversation charities.

The money donated from these penguin numbers will go to the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, who rehabilitate injured or ill birds – especially endangered species like the African penguin.

The bamboo they’re made with is more sustainable than cotton, and has moisture-wicking properties that regulate temperature for toasty, dry feet.

Buy for £7.50 from The Big Issue shop.

Fiils Pomelo Hair Duo

Fiils starter packs are an easy way to get started on their eco journey without compromising on style.

Purchase a duo like this and you’ll get two metal bottles in a metallic finish of your choice, as well as a pouch each of shampoo and conditioner.

When the bottles are filled, just send back your refill pouches (free of charge using an enclosed return box) and reorder when you need to. Way less plastic used, and the containers look nicer in the bathroom.

Buy for £26 from Fiils.

Makeup eraser face cloth

Give them the gift of never having to use a makeup removal wipe ever again, with a microfibre cloth that needs no chemicals to clean your face.

They can just use water to take off even the most stubborn makeup, reducing the need to spend on fancy cleansers. Then it can be bunged in the wash and reused over and over.

We love this one from Donna May London, particularly because £2 from each sold goes to cancer support charity Look Good Feel Better.

Buy for £12 from Donna May London.

OY! My Skin Goals gift set

It can be hard to choose which beauty products to go for, with most having some sort of environmental impact (whether that’s its ingredients or packaging).

OY! makes skincare that does good while it calms acne and sensitive skin. Certified organic ingredients like rosehip oil and tea tree are among the ‘90% active ingredients’ in these products, killing bacteria and reducing spot size.

It’s marketed towards teenagers, but reviewers say it’s great for adult skin too.

Buy for £35 from Green People.

Foldable travel blanket

Locally-crafted gifting helps cut down your carbon footprint and support small businesses, like this blanket made in Wales.

It’d work for picnics or beach days, but is particularly ideal for dog walkers, who can throw onto their back seat to protect their car from mud.

Olive and Berry uses recyclable packaging and focuses on environmentally-friendly manufacturing, also making dog beds from recycled plastic bottles.

Buy for £30 from Olive and Berry.

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