Image for Positive presents: 25 sustainable gifts to give this Christmas

Positive presents: 25 sustainable gifts to give this Christmas

From hedgehog tunnels to wine that funds ocean conservation, these sustainable gifts benefit the planet as well as recipients

From hedgehog tunnels to wine that funds ocean conservation, these sustainable gifts benefit the planet as well as recipients

Sustainable gifts for Christmas 2021
A hedgehog tunnel

Hedgehog numbers are in decline in the UK, and many have to roam up to a mile each night to find food. Creating throughways in the built environment is one of the easiest ways to help the species survive. This tunnel is made from recycled plastic and turns a garden fence into a hedgehog highway. £12.99; ethicalsuperstore.com 

Image: Wildlife World 

Sustainable Christmas gifts
A jigsaw that funds reforestation

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a puzzle to work on. All Cloudberries’ jigsaws are made from recycled paper and cardboard, and printed with vegetable-based inks, making them sustainable gifts. Plus, it’s the first and only puzzle company to plant a tree for every one sold. We like this retro 1,000-piece Poolside puzzle, designed by the artist Yoko Honda. £16.99; cloudberries.co.uk

Image: Cloudberries

Organic cotton boxer shorts

Extra soft, breathable and with fun prints, these organic cotton boxer shorts are made in a wind-powered factory and come wrapped in plant-based, recyclable packaging. Rapanui Clothing is an advocate for circular fashion, creating new items from old garments, which customers send back for free when they are worn out. £12; rapanuiclothing.com

Image: Rapanui Clothing

Positive News gift subscription

Uplift someone this Christmas, with a gift subscription to Positive News magazine. Each issue features inspiring stories about what’s going right in the world, brought together in a certified carbon neutral magazine. Your recipient will receive the magazine throughout 2022, as well as a copy of the current issue at Christmas and access to the digital edition. £30; positive.news/christmas

Image: Positive News magazine 

Sustainable trainers
Trainers made from waste coffee

As they break down in landfill sites, used coffee grounds generate methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than CO2. Doing its bit to tackle the problem is Rens, which turns used coffee grounds and old plastic bottles into lightweight, waterproof trainers, which are available in 10 colours. Earth-friendly, feet-friendly and good for jumping in puddles – what’s not to like? €87 (£73); rensoriginal.eu

Image: Rens

Sustainable wine
Wine that funds conservation

Did you know that seahorses could be extinct within 30 years because of plastic pollution? Do your bit to clean up the ocean by buying the oenophile in your life a bottle of award-winning, eco-friendly Provence rosé from Sea Change. Every bottle sold helps fund ocean conservation projects and is shipped using low-waste packaging. £16.99; seachangewine.com

Image: Sea Change 

The Last Bear by Hannah Gold

The Last Bear is a moving adventure story about April and a polar bear, which has been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2022. Suitable for readers over eight, the book introduces the climate emergency and its impact on endangered species to children in an accessible, thought-provoking way. £7.43; uk.bookshop.org

Image: Harper Collins

Sustainable gifts
Relish made from misshapen veg

Take your eco-warrior friends’ cheese boards and boxing day sandwiches to the next level with this relish gift set from Rubies in the Rubble. All of the fruit and vegetables used are sourced directly from British farmers, and would otherwise go to waste because they are too small, large, misshapen or blemished to be sold elsewhere. £12; rubiesintherubble.com

Image: Rubies in the Rubble

Sustainable gifts
A zero-waste cosmetics kit 

Caroline Lee-Smith’s cosmetics not only smell amazing, they’re kind to the environment too. She uses 100 per cent natural, palm oil-free ingredients, solar energy to power some of her processes and plastic-free packaging. This zero-waste gift pack features organic lip balm, argan chamomile face cream, jasmine facial serum and a chamomile and calendula bath bomb. £17; caroscreams.co.uk

Image: Caro’s Creams

Christmas at River Cottage by Lucy Brazier

It can be difficult to keep sustainability front of mind when throwing a festive bash. The latest book from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage contains lots of ideas for natural DIY decorations, edible gifts, leftover lunches that minimise waste, and traditional recipes that make the most of seasonal produce. £20.46; uk.bookshop.org

Image: Bloomsbury

An organic T-shirt for kids

Boy Wonder is a UK-based kid’s fashion brand that includes a free repair kit with every order. As well as being bright and fun, these long-sleeved T-shirts are made with organic cotton yarn and hand-drawn designs. Plus all of the packaging is plastic free. £35; boywonderland.com

Image: Boy Wonder

Ethical gifts
Coffee that’s kind on the planet

Glasgow-based Dear Green coffee was crowned a ‘green champion’ this year and it’s easy to see why. From becoming a registered B-Corp and joining the Race to Zero, to using eco-friendly packaging, sustainability is a core part of the business. It also prides itself on transparent, ethical supply chains and two per cent of its annual turnover is donated to charitable organisations. £8.60; deargreencoffee.com

Image: Nathan Dumlao

A reusable coffee cup made of rice

Experts estimate that the UK gets through 2.5bn coffee cups a year, many of which end up in landfill. Family-run Huski Home hopes to change that with travel cups made from recycled rice husks. With a leak-proof flip lid and non-slip base, they’ll keep your coffee hot for 90 minutes and are available in 13 colours. £10.99; huskihome.com

Image: Huski Home

Ethical gifts
Festive mulled wine jelly

This mulled wine jelly is perfect with cheese, seasonal game or spooned over ice cream. Handmade in small batches by Gathered Botanicals, a family-run business in Cornwall, all of the seasonal ingredients in their products are grown in their garden, foraged along the coastal paths or sourced from local farms. £4; gatheredbotanicals.co.uk

Image: Gathered Botanicals

Around the World in 80 Plants by Jonathen Drori

Described as a “botanical journey of beauty and brilliance”, this illustrated book is Jonathen Drori’s follow up to his bestseller, Around the World in 80 Trees, and is full of surprises about the science of plants. Buy it through bookshop.org and you’ll be doing your bit to support local independent bookshops too. £18.60; uk.bookshop.org

Image: Orion Publishing

Who Did This poo? game

If you’re looking for a fun stocking filler, then Who Did This Poo? will be a sure-fire hit with the kids in your life. They’ll learn to match 27 animals to their droppings, while discovering more about the natural world along the way. Just be prepared for a whole lot of poo facts around the dinner table. £13.99; dwtshop.org.uk

Image: Orion Publishing 

Sustainable Christmas gifts
Children’s socks made from offcuts

Bright enough to light up any winter’s morning, this gift set contains seven pairs of children’s socks partially made from offcuts that would have otherwise ended up in landfill. Traidcraft is the original Fair Trade pioneer in the UK, sourcing wares from creators in more than 30 developing countries. From £29.95; traidcraftshop.co.uk

Image: Thought 

A bubble kit that helps refugees

Think bubbles are a summer pastime? Think again. Dr Zigs is a family business that specialises in eco-friendly, low plastic, palm-oil free bubble kits – and they look magical in cold weather. Based in the foothills of Snowdonia, Dr Zigs works with refugee camps and orphanages around the world through its Bubbles not Bombs project. £17; drzigs.com

Image: Dr Zigs

A pendant fashioned from brass offcuts

Yala’s ethical jewellery is created in small batches by artists in Kenya, with as little environmental impact as possible. This brass pendant is made from rescued offcuts and comes with a recycled gold chain. This is the first jewellery company in the UK to achieve B-Corp status. £35; yalajewellery.com

Image: Yala 

A brake light for bikes

More people tried cycling than ever before during lockdown, but safety concerns can often put people off. B-Corp Beryl aims to break down some of those barriers: its clever brake light detects when a cyclist is slowing down and warns other road users. £39.99; beryl.cc

Image: Beryl 

Wild nutrition

When nutritionist Henrietta Norton found there weren’t any sustainable supplements on the market that she felt comfortable recommending, she set out to make her own. Wild Nutrition specialises in natural, ethically and locally sourced supplements, made without artificial flavourings or ingredients tested on animals. Gifts cards come with a 45-minute consultation. From £25; wildnutrition.com

Image: Wild Nutrition

A biodegradable phone case

No need for plastic phone protectors any more. This biodegradable case is made from a bioplastic and bamboo fibre mix, which the manufacturer says will fully break down in compost after six months. Durable, stylish and compatible with select iPhone and Samsung models. £19; wildcase.co

Image: Wildcase 

Low-carbon, alcohol-free beer

The alcohol-free movement is booming and Freestar is one of the standout trailblazers, winning gold at the World Beer Awards in 2019. Brewing is not traditionally an eco-friendly process, but Freestar uses a method that emits 90 per cent less CO2, uses 80 per cent less water and energy, and creates 70 per cent less waste than usual. Cheers to that. £9.95; freestar.co

Image: Freestar 

Soy wax crayons

Perfect stocking fillers for mini environmentalists, these soy wax crayons are made with natural pigment and come in plastic-free packaging. Check out Sprinkles Creations UK for more sustainable gifts to keep children busy over the holidays. £2.50; wearthlondon.com 

Image: Sprinkles Creations UK

Carbon dioxide removal

Granted, a voucher for carbon dioxide removal ​​isn’t exactly festive. But at a time of the year when there is an additional 650kg of CO2 generated by each person, it’s one of the most sustainable gifts going. If the recipient says that it’s not very heartwarming, just remind them that nobody wants warming anyway. From €25 (£21); climeworks.com

Image: Matthias Heyde
Main image: Diette Henderson

Positive News may earn a small commission from some of the links in this article, but our sustainable gifts selection has been made independently. Any commission we earn from affiliate links to these sustainable gifts helps to fund our inspiring journalism.

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