When Christmas gets ever closer, it always has a bittersweet feel. On the one hand, you can’t wait for it, on the other, there’s so much still to get done.
With just a few weeks to go, you’ve probably got the lion’s share of gift shopping done. But there might be a few pesky folks you still need to get something for.
Don’t panic buy and get them something they’ll never use – instead take a look at this list of sustainable Christmas present ideas. You’ll find gifts that are great for them, and good for the planet too.
Sustainable gift ideas:
Grow your own
Transporting fresh food around the world causes lots of CO2 emissions. But growing a bit of your own food cuts out food miles and thus helps reduce your carbon footprint.
Give bees a home
Where would we be without bees? We’d be hungry that’s for sure, because we rely on bees to pollinate our crops. So we can’t afford to let the bees buzz off. We need to keep them around, and what better way than a cute bee hotel. Pair it with some wildflower seeds for a perfect bee friendly present.
Make composting cool
When you put your food waste into a black bin and it goes to landfill, it rots in a low oxygen environment and produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas over 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
But when you compost your food waste it converts the waste into stable soil carbon, whilst retaining nutrients. So you sequester CO2 whilst also creating valuable organic fertiliser.
If the whole world composted its organic waste, rather than sending it to landfill, it would prevent the emission of one billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2050. That’s a massive environmental impact.
But keeping your food waste in a normal bin to compost can be smelly and attract flies – not ideal. So get one that’s ventilated with an odour filter to reduce moisture and smells, whilst preventing flies.
Spread the knowledge
The fact you’re reading this means you’re probably in the know about climate change. But many people aren’t really sure what the carbon footprints of everyday things are. When you’re better informed about the impacts of various different things you buy, then you can make smarter choices to reduce your footprint.
The ‘never preachy but always entertaining’, Mike Berners-Lee (yep, his brother did invent the world wide web) tells us the carbon footprints of everything in ‘How Bad Are Bananas?’ – this gives us ‘carbon instincts’, so we can judge the footprints of anything we do. The perfect gift for the eco-conscious friend or family member, who wants to know more about how to prevent climate change.
Reuse and recycle
Sustainability can be complicated. But a pretty good rule of thumb is that if you can use it time and time again without it degrading, that’s better for the environment than lots of single-use products like plastic water bottles and coffee cups.
Get on your bike
Don’t do it because Norman Tebbit told you to. Do it for the climate.
Cycling is both the quickest form of getting around in cities (yep, it is quicker than cars) and a zero-carbon method of going from A to B.
Encouraging cycling is a great way to reduce peoples emissions from transport. You don’t have to get people a brand new bike, there’s plenty of great gifts for cyclists that will keep them peddling and stop then switching to a car.
Lights, a new helmet, bike locks, or even a puncture repair kit, all help the cyclists you know stay on two wheels.
Harness the power of the sun
It’s a great way brighten up a garden, roof terrace or other outside space with a minimal impact on planet.
We hope you liked some of these ideas for Christmas presents of a sustainable nature. If you’ve got ideas of your own for sustainable gifts, let us know on Twitter.