Christmas is a wonderful festive time of year, but it can also be a very wasteful time in terms of packaging, crackers, food and gifts. Here are some of our favourite eco-friendly and conscious Christmas gift ideas to help inspire you to reduce your footprint this Christmas.
BEAUTY & PAMPERING
Zesty Lemon and Vanilla Body Scrub
Charlotte Marais, in Cape Town, makes an annual batch of zesty lemon and vanilla body scrubs. They are made from 100% natural ingredients, smell divine (like lemon meringue) and are beautifully packaged in glass bottles, making for a great eco-friendly gift. I have bought and used her scrub for 2 years running now and I can highly recommend it – it leaves your skin feeling great, smells delicious and is ALL NATURAL (containing NO microbeads), not tested on animals and made locally.
The zesty scrub costs R80 for a 250ml bottle. To place an order contact Charlotte on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey Gorgeous Gift Packs
Hey Gorgeous stocks all kinds of decadent 100% natural skincare products and has some great Christmas gift packs in stock at the moment such as:
These beautifully packaged body mousse and scrub sets (R130);
Or this strawberry and chocolate mani and pedi set (R195).
To see more gift sets and to order or locate your closest store go to hey-gorgeous.co.za.
GARDEN AND HOME
Reel Gardening provides fun and easy kits to get you gardening. Instant garden boxes for vegetable and herb gardens containing various plant combinations cleverly organised in ready to plant reels. Kits range from R40-R85 with specific kits for kids for only R20. Reel seeds contain no GMO seeds, save water and are made locally. Look at all their options here.
Designer reusable coffee cups for people on the go! They are made from recyclable bamboo, in a fight against the 100 billion disposable cups that end up in our landfills annually! Choose from various sizes and funky patterns to make the perfect eco-friendly gift for any coffee lover. Find out more at www.ecoffeecup.co.za or order from . Cups range from R199-R209.
FOR NATURE LOVERS
Tutus Loco makes and sell an awesome gift, known as a bee hotel, for all nature lovers. Bee hotels are blocks of wood with various sized holes drilled in them to mimic the natural breeding nests of solitary bees. These hotels provide nest sites for various kinds of solitary bees (NOT HONEYBEES), who are just as important as honeybees for pollination.
My bee hotel sits on the 2nd floor of a block of flats and it’s FULL of little residents who are fun to watch as they go about their daily routines. Set your hotel up and you’ll have your first residents within a week or two.
Priced between R100 and R300 depending on the size, they make a fun and unusual gift!
For more information and to order and buy bee hotels go to www.beehotel.co.za.
Another great gift for a nature nut or bird lover is an owl house. The presence of an owl in your garden offers hours of intriguing viewing and they provide an efficient means of pest control. You can choose boxes to entice either Spotted Eagle Owls or Barn Owls. Eco Solutions will provide and install an owl house in your garden and then all you need to do is watch and wait.
Check out the Eco Solutions online store for options and prices as well as a selection of other bird and bat nesting boxes and feeders.
WWF Online Shop
Hep raise funds for WWF by buying Christmas gifts from their online shop. They stock all kinds of goodies from games and toys for kids, to shirts, bags and stationary. Have a look here.
Endangered Wildlife Trust Online Shop
You could also support the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the great work they do by buying gifts through their online store. They sell cute kids’ toys of endangered species, as well as beautiful 2017 calendars, clothing and other goodies. Take a look here.
Give a Tree
Give a gift that matters and gift a tree this holiday season! Greenpop will plant an indigenous tree on your behalf in one of their urban greening or reforestation projects, and you get a laser-cut bamboo key king (Tree Ring) to give as a gift or stocking filler. Each Tree Ring is personalized with the engraved GPS coordinates of its corresponding tree, so you’ll always know exactly where your tree lives! For details go to http://greenpop.org/gift-trees/ or buy your Tree Ring through . Trees cost R140.
CARDS & WRAPPING
The greeting card and wrapping industry is pretty wasteful, as most cards are read once and thrown away. So this year try some of the more eco-friendly options below.
T Bag Cards and Bags
Original T Bag Designs is a project which employs previously disadvantaged people in Hout Bay to make a range of beautiful gift cards and bags made from recycled tea bags. These cards and tags range from R8-R41.
For more on this project and to order on their online shop, click here.
stocks a wonderful selection of “growing cards and tags” which are made from recycled paper and contain seeds. The recipient of your gift can simply plant the paper in the ground and watch a beautiful little herb or flower patch grow up in its place. Tag packs and cards range from R10-R23. Growing cards can also be bought from Poetry stores across the country.
Try to avoid wrapping paper, and rather use gift bags which the recipient can keep and re-use (similarly make sure you keep any gift boxes or bags you receive).
GENERAL ECO-FRIENDLY GIFTING
You’ll find all kinds of eco-friendly goodies at Wellness Warehouse – natural remedies, organic baby and family care, sports nutrition, natural beauty products, books, exercise gear, and more.
Faithful to Nature
Browse the Christmas Gift Shop to find ideal gifts in categories like the Green Thumb, Entertainer, Conscious Kids, Mindful Man, Enlightened Lady and more. Find everything from eco-friendly pampering products to kids’ toys, clothes and kitchenware.
Good Things Collective was founded with the aim of creating a wonderful shopping experience for the conscientious consumer looking for beautiful, ethically produced goods. They ensure Fair working conditions for the artisans they work with; production that is Friendly to the environment; and promote the use of Natural and/or recycled materials. Items are pricey but beautifully and ethically made. They sell beautiful scarves, crocheted blankets and kids’ toys. Check out their online store here.
Please let us know if you know of any other green or conscious gift ideas – we would love to hear from you.
Happy Christmas shopping!