What's in your stocking this year?
From the office secret Santa to the big reveal on Christmas day, presents are bought in the thousands by the UK population ready for the festive season. During the run up to Christmas every year, high streets are packed with manic shoppers, wandering through shops full of new and exciting toys and gifts, laden with bags containing ‘something special’ for the kids, granny and grandad and even work colleagues.
In 2017 it was estimated that UK families will spend on average over £500 on gifts alone in preparation for the festive season and it seems that each year the band of pressure around ‘how much to spend’ gets tighter and tighter to accommodate and purchase something for everyone.
Gift giving has always been an important part of Christmas, but shouldn’t it be motivated by love and joy rather than the pressure of social conformity?
With a population of 66 million people in the UK, watching the seasonal Christmas T.V adverts and YouTube videos of their favourite vloggers revealing their Christmas gift guides coupled with the instore advertising plastered across stores from September the mass consumption and consumerism has boomed. This has also resulted in the amount of waste produced from wrapping paper, product packaging and unwanted gifts costing us billions every year. Tons of waste, including plastic packaging that has nowhere to go other than charity or overflowing landfill sites.
Over the past few years with awareness of the effect we as a population are having on our planet, through BBC documentaries such as drowning in plastic and blue planet there is a significant group of people who have decided to try and make a change. All over the world individuals are considering their own and their families impact on our planet and are now adopting a more sustainable way of life. Some have decided to try to live solely from the land and not buy anything with packaging, others have set on a quest to only use what they have by having a no spend year and all of these are great ideas if you are able and willing to spend the time and effort to make the formal changes to your lifestyle.
But many people have no idea where to start and end up giving up before even trying. Small changes that can be easily adopted into everyday lifestyle is the easiest way to start. Therefore, this Christmas, when you are looking to find something special for friends, family or even your child’s teacher why not look at getting something practical, recyclable and environmentally friendly? By choosing something that is ethical you can pass on the idea that one or two little changes can really make a difference. We have put together our Christmas gift guide, which is loaded with ethically friendly ideas. So what will you fill your stocking with this year?
The gift guide that keeps on giving:
1. Ready for the New Year’s commute - Keep-cup
There are a variety out there on the market in a range of different colours, shapes and sizes. Why not treat someone to a new sustainable vessel for their morning brew? Many Keep-cups now support missions all over the world such as Sea Shepherd who set out to conserve and protect the world’s marine ecosystems and habitats.
2. What’s in your lunch bag? – Beewax Wraps
A beautiful invention for all your lunch and snacking needs. The Beeswax Wrap Co. creates reusable and biodegradable wraps that act as a planet friendly cling film and tinfoil alternative. Handcrafted in the Cotswolds each wrap comes with full instructions of how to use and care for your wraps and are all designed by local designers to brighten up your home.
3. Splish, splash, splosh – Ditching the nasties in your cosmetics
Lush paved the way onto the UK high street by introducing their blue Seanik bar which comes without plastic packaging and is made from seaweed, lemon and sea salt. If you fancy something a little more local then take a look at Wild Sage’s Shampoo Bar which contains Organic apple cider vinegar and home grown Rosemary. Wild Sage are a Bristol based company who create simple, cold pressed balms derived from all-natural ingredients and all their products come in recyclable paper.
4. What’s cooking? – Build your own ingredients jar
Again, a great way to ditch the plastic this year and get a little creative. Why not fill a few glass mason jars with dry ingredients, add a small recipe tag and give them out to friends or family to bake or make at home? Zero Green in Bristol will let you take your own pots and jars into store and fill them with as much or as little dry and organically sourced items as you like. If you are struggling for ideas why not check out Baking with Granny. Why not even add some info about where you got your ingredients and encourage them to take their jar with them when they are ready to refill.
5. Something fancy? – Vegan Watch by Olivia Burton
For the fashionista in your life or someone who you like to make a statement. Olivia Burton has now released an eco-friendly range of fashionable watches with straps made from 100% recyclable materials. Although a little more expensive than the other gifts we have listed, the range has been created to try and secure the idea that becoming more environmentally conscious doesn’t have to mean you give up the little luxuries or your own creative identity.
6. Quick nip to the shops? – Build your own starter kit
A British company The Wise House have now created a range of starter kits for those looking to try and make a difference and reduce plastic packaging. Although you can create your own kit and fill up a fully recyclable box with everything you need they have a set of pre filled boxes with contents ranging from their grocery starter set that includes a bread bag, turtle bag and other bits to a thankyou teacher box which can include a keep cup, turtle bag and much more.
7. Cooking up a storm – The Shunk Board
Made in Bristol from leftover workshop wood. Alex makes furniture on a small scale and has decided to commit to using the highest quality and sustainably sourced materials and to try to use every bit. Konk! Offers an array of boards, including a standard chopping block, pizza board, sushi block and cooking spoons.
8. Burn the wick – The recycled candle company
With the ever increasing costs of commercial and non-commercial waste disposal the recycled candle company was created by Richard who began making jam and soaps in his family kitchen. The company is founded on reusing scrap wax to create beautiful array of scented candles that can either be in glass votives or freestanding.