In the margin

Eco-friendly Christmas gift ideas

30 November 2016
cadeaux de Noël responsables

If you read my articles about reducing waste about the house and in the bathroom in particular, you’ll have realised that I have been trying to cut back on unnecessary packaging and disposable items in general. It is quite a time-consuming process because of the research involved and the time required to try out each alternative solution.

I have not managed to completely banish plastic or even disposable products from my day-to-day life but I am very happy with the progress I have made. I am looking forward to taking it a step further in 2017!

With this in mind, I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget the planet when buying my Christmas gifts this year.

At this time of year, there are a LOT of articles on the Internet with lists of Christmas presents for different types of people. I am happy to have managed to get almost everything done already as I loathe going shopping in December… But I also wanted to have enough time to select gifts that wouldn’t be (too) bad for the environment.

So today I wanted to make my own list of eco-friendly and/or long-term presents for Christmas this year. Some of these ideas are not clearly marketed as environmentally-friendly. However, as they are products that will last or on the contrary be used up and recycled, I feel like they are more reasonable than yet another “disposable” gift that will be forgotten come January.

So here are a few ideas of Christmas presents to choose from if you’re trying to be kind to the planet this year:

  1. Nice tea leaves bought in bulk and presented in a reusable metal box
  2. An Itunes or Netflix gift card (instead of a CD or DVD)
  3. The Prêt-à-Pousser mushroom growing kits I spoke of here, as an introduction to the local food movement
  4. A coupon for some sort of outing like a play at the theatre, a theme park, a concert or a nice meal at a restaurant (it is even better if you can get the tickets in advance and put them in an envelope)
  5. A mason jar filled with flour, chocolate chips and sugar to make a base (when mixed with eggs and milk) for homemade brownies or cookies. Here is a list of “in a jar” recipes you could use.
  6. A pile of second-hand paperback novels. Selecting some of your favourite books to share would be a lovely present to someone dear. For some ideas, here are all my articles on books!
  7. Gardening tools, to encourage your friends and family to grow fruit and vegetables in their garden!
  8. Reusable makeup wipes to replace disposable cotton balls
  9. Good quality soap, animal fat and palm oil free
  10. A few fair trade chocolate bars
  11. A piece of jewellery like a watch, a bracelet or earrings – as long as you choose something that can be worn and cherished for years!
  12. A non-toxic scented candle
  13. A small wooden box of essential oils, with a guide on how to use them
  14. Homemade biscuits in a reusable glass container
  15. A few pretty notebooks made with recycled paper
  16. Elegant cloth napkins, to replace the disposable paper version
  17. Reusable, nice-looking plastic glasses for someone who throws a lot of parties
  18. A plant that is easy to look after, like a cactus or an aloe vera plant
  19. A book on reducing waste, like Bea Johnson’s Zero Waste Home that is full of useful info on how to make a change for the better
  20. A rechargeable pen in order to avoid throwing out all of those empty ball point pens!

Do you have any other ideas of eco-friendly Christmas gifts?

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  • Reply lesjeudisculinaires 11 January 2017 at 22 h 48 min

    On en a fait pleins aussi cette année ! Vive les DIY et en plus on apprend à faire beaucoup de choses soi-même, c’est très valorisant !

    • Reply Nathalie 12 January 2017 at 9 h 59 min

      C’est clair ! L’année prochaine, j’aimerais essayer de faire des marrons glacés maison à offrir (zéro déchet et plus économique que ce qu’on achète dans le commerce !) et des pâtes de fruits :)

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