Sustainable Christmas Gift Guide: Budget Friendly

Struggling to find a Christmas gift for your loved one that's not only stylish but sustainable and affordable? Well, today you're in luck! In this sustainable Christmas gift guide, I've compiled my top picks for the perfect gift in a budget-friendly price range.



£0 - £10



Chocolate and Orange Soap Bar - 5.99


Candle, soap & sweets Gift Set - £6



Mesh Produce Bags (set of 3) - £3


Dark Milk Chocolate - £4.99




Calming Lavender Bath Tea - £9.49


















Botanical Bath Bomb Set - £21.99 


                                        





£25 - £30



Coconut Lane Biodegradable Phonecase - £30 (£24 with 20% off code - lilyloves20)
















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This Is How You Can Plant A Tree (for free) Every Time You Surf The Internet


Imagine if every time you made a search on the internet, a tree was one step closer to being planted. Every time you browsed your favourite online store or searched for the morning's weather, you were contributing to a greener planet. Well, with Ecosia - the search engine that plants trees - you don't have to imagine. With every 45 searches, Ecosia generates enough money through advertisements to plant 1 tree.


Although admittedly this post is beginning to sound like an advertisement, it's really just a way for me to share with you what I believe to be a small, simple switch to our daily lives that can be made in the fight against climate change. Of course, using Ecosia alone won't reverse human impact on the environment - or, in fact, come marginally close to doing so. However, combined with other positive commitments and contributions to our planet, switching your search engine to Ecosia is a hopeful, productive and, ultimately, a worthwhile step towards a cleaner Earth.




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Tips For An Eco-Friendly Christmas

Choose a gift that lasts 

In the chaos of Christmas, it's easy to find yourself flustered and, in turn, rashly panic buying countless stocking fillers and random gifts. Less is more. Putting thought and meaning into one present with longevity will be of much greater appreciation and value (plus, it's less likely to be shoved to the back of a drawer).

Why not opt for a gift such as a house plant? It's kind to the planet and can spark joy again and again.

Image credit: patch plants


Get creative with a handmade gift 

Another way to help the environment — and simultaneously save money — is to make your own presents. Maybe baking, painting or sewing is where your talent lies. Either way, nothing goes more appreciated that a gift with its own personal stamp.

If you're like me, and not the most creative when it comes to drawing, sewing, etc, stick to simple baking recipes. A gift of warm, homemade cookies or a winter wonderland themed bake is sure to make your loved one smile.

www.fivehearthome.com

 
www.lilluna.com

Make the switch to sustainable wrapping paper 

It is estimated that Britain alone uses enough wrapping paper to cover the island of Guernsey. What's worse is that a lot of this cannot be recycled (paper covered in glitter, ribbons and tape aren't recyclable).

Making the switch to sustainable or brown eco-friendly paper will help to minimise the colossal levels of waste produced during this period. Instead of adding ribbons and other unrecyclable decorations to your presents, try using plants or dried orange to add a perfectly Christmassy, yet eco-friendly twist.

Even better, if you happen to have a stash of unused magazine/newspapers, how about putting them to use for present wrapping this year. It saves on the environment and your money.

Also, make sure to save and store gift bags as these can be easily reused (just remove the gift tag!). Additionally, Christmas cards can be kept and, with a little alternation, converted into gift tags.

www.housebeautiful.com

www.upcyclist.co.uk


Give the gift of a virtual experience
 Why not embrace 2020 - the year of Zoom - with a virtual gift? With the prospect of in-person experience gifts looking uncertain, the concept of online experiences or masterclasses has never seemed quite so appealing.
Whether you know someone into baking, fitness, or language learning, there are a plethora of virtual classes and experiences available for every possible interest at our fingertips. The even better thing about virtual gifts? The carbon footprint is zero.

onlinetutorials.org


Rent a Christmas Tree
 Every year, over 8 million Christmas trees are taken, and, as quickly as they are used and decorated, are discarded into landfill, releasing greenhouse gasses.
Fortunately, there are now increasing numbers of companies offering rental services for Christmas trees, giving them life once again after the festive season. If this service is not available in your local area, make sure to buy from FSC tree farms (you can go to bctga.co.uk or growninbritain.org to research growers in your area), or even better, decorate an existing houseplant with fairy lights for a modern, trendy and sustainable twist on a Christmas tree.
coxandcox.co.uk


 Plantable Christmas cards
Plantable Christmas cards are a brand new concept to me, but they pretty much work like this: once the card has been used, simply cover it in soil, under direct sunlight and watch it grow into wildflowers (essential for our bees and butterflies!).
These cards don't have to compromise on style either. You can find myriad festive designs perfect for this Christmas season available from sellers such as MadeByMika on Etsy.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MadeByMikaLtdAdd caption


Shop locally
There's no better time than Christmas to support local businesses and sustainable farm shops - cutting down on food miles. Look out for organic, locally grown vegetables and, if a turkey is a priority, discover nearby, small scale producers with ethical practices to evade supporting intensive farming practices.

Photo by Peter Wendt on Unsplash

Consume less
Typically, we tend to be less cautious about the abundance of waste we produce during the Christmas period. It's paramount that we make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of unnecessary waste that we produce by buying less. However, if you do still find yourself with more food than planned, freeze your leftovers. This'll prevent food wastage and create some easily prepared future lunches or dinners!




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Fashion Sustainability Tips

 When it comes to fashion sustainability, there are generally three routes that you can go down: second hand, clothes swapping and slow fashion. Or, there’s my personal favourite, reduce your fashion spending altogether. Of course, this isn’t always going to be possible (but it is indisputsble, cutting down your fashion consumption is truly the greenest option).

Source: fabrikbrands.com


Minimalism is the environmentally-conscious choice. Avoiding all unnecessary purchases, and in doing so, not only saving the planet but saving your money, time and allowing yourself to be much more appreciative of the items that you already own. There’s a myth that I would like to debunk concerning minimalism, however. It does not mean that you now have to suddenly do an extensive wardrobe clearout, rashly throwing out your fourth favourite jumper because you’ve read in a minimalist article that you are only supposed to own three, or you’ve researched Marie Kondo and overthought how much ‘joy it sparks you’. In fact, this only creates further environmental issues. Being a fashion minimalist does not mean that you need to own two pairs of shoes, one dress and three pairs of socks.


Our ultimate goal is to eventually compile a wardrobe of low quantity but high-quality pieces - timeless in style so that longevity can be maintained.


Source: fashionmagazine.com



If you’re an avid sewer (or you have time on your hands to learn), another great option is upcycling. With a creative eye, you can transform your least favourite clothing item into a beautiful and unique piece. Alternatively, instead of throwing away an item that's not quite right, try taking it to a local tailor for adjusting. 


Checking a brand's sustainability


Good on You is a free app available that allows you to see the carbon footprint and overall sustainability rating of whatever brand you search for. They also share articles and recommend the best ethical and sustainable brands to shop from.




source: thegreenhubonline.com


Click here for an informative article on affordable, but sustainable alternatives to fast fashion. 


Whatever you do, refrain from buying from fast fashion brands (even if you intend to donate the clothing to charity afterwards).


The 30 wear pledge


If you are planning on making a fashion purchase, take the 30 wear pledge - endorsed by many celebrites, including Emma Watson. The question to ask is: will you wear the item at least 30 times? If you find yourself gravitating towards the answer "no", then leave it behind. If you're certain that you will wear it that often, buy it and enjoy it!


Clothes swapping


If you know of someone who's the same size as you, try asking them if they want to participate in a clothing swap. This is a great way to try out something new and bond with each other in the process! 



If you have anything else that you wish to add to this guide, please leave it in the comments and I'll make sure to add it into this post!
















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