Christmas is the time of giving – giving back to your friends and family who have been there for you even in a rough year like 2020. Christmas is also a time when we spend a lot of money on useless stuff – a typical US household spends more than $1.500 each season ! So this year, why not spend less, or if, at least spend some money on sustainable gifts?
With climate change raising awareness and the zero waste movement becoming more popular, sustainable gadgets and home-made crafts are a welcoming change and can sure make your Christmas special! Here are 25+ ideas in 6 different categories:
1. Sustainable electronics and technology
Electronics are always a great gift for the tech-savvy, but usually they are hardly sustainable. But there are options to improve this and also save some money:
- Used (second hand) electronics from marketplaces (such as ebay or craigslist)
- Refurbished electronics (e.g. Refurbed)
- Sustainable new tech (e.g. a sustainable smartphone from Fairphone, bio plastic headphones, wooden watches…)
2. Green entertainment and hobby gift ideas
Most people enjoy gifts for their entertainment and hobbies. Maybe it is a good idea to gift your friend something for a new, eco-friendly hobby?
- Second hand books, DVDs or console games
- Gardening tools (e.g. a nice herb garden for the kitchen window)
- Plants, seeds or (home-made) seed bombs for those with a balcony or garden
- Recipe books (maybe even self-made)
- A (used) instrument
- A starter kit to make your own…. scrap book, garden, jewellery, shampoo, beer,…
3. Eco-friendly kitchen and travel items
For those who like to cook, there are nice options to introduce them to sustainable gadgets:
- Beeswax wraps instead of cling wrap
- Home-made bags for unpacked grocery shopping
- A nice bento box for meal prepping
- To go coffee mugs
- Water bottles
- Cloth face masks
4. Homemade crafts for the foodies
Homemade stuff is not only usually cheap, but also much more personal than anything from the store. Especially for your foodie friends, you can easily make some nice gifts yourself:
- Homemade jam, marmelade or chutney
- Flavored spice oils (e.g. with chili, garlic, basil, mint, oregano, rosemary, thyme or sage)
- Ginger or chai tea syrup
- Home-made chocolate bars, gummi bears or marshmallows
- Christmas cookies – maybe even sugarfree?
5. Zero-waste swaps for the bathroom
The bathroom is the perfect place to start with for zero-waste swapping of items: You can gift your friends their first swap and see if they love it after they first tried!
- A bamboo toothbrush
- Fancy shower soap
- A shampoo bar
- Homemade body scrub (e.g. from ground coffee)
- Aloe face cream from your Aloe plant
- Zero waste cleaning products
6. The best present especially this year: Time together!
Right now, time with one another when we can hardly see us or hug is more precious than ever. So you can gift your time for Christmas! Here are some ideas for nice events and activities:
- A restaurant voucher. This will also help your locals in times of Corona when you prepay it and use if after an eventual lockdown.
- Similarly: Vouchers for events or activities such as theater, cinema, concerts, …
- An organized digital event: There are digital events that you can book (e.g. bake nights, painting courses, remote escape rooms…)
- Your own digital event: Make your own evening by cooking together, sharing memories about you and your friend, family Christmas traditions….
These are just some of many green, eco-friendly and sustainable gift ideas. What do you give this year for Christmas? Share in the comments!