Staying Sustainable at Christmas

As Christmas creeps up on us, you’re no doubt wracking your brain to think of gift ideas for everyone in your life. It’s tempting to go into town and buy the first vaguely appropriate thing you see, but why not make this a Christmas where the environment is just as important as the festivities? 

Here’s a sustainable gift guide, packed with plastic-free presents for everyone on your list (links included!).


The perfect gift for dads and boozy pals everywhere, beer is an easy choice. Small Beer uses renewable energy and recyclable bottles for its small batches of lower alcohol beer, alongside other eco measures. £15 for a 6 pack.

Keep cup

You can walk into just about any shop now and pick up a reusable cup, which makes them a good choice for gifts on a budget too. Many cafes now offer money off your drink if you bring a reusable cup, so it really is the gift that keeps on giving! Oxfam sells keep cups made from bamboo, and your money will go towards their work across the globe. £7.99.

Make up

LUSH offers ‘naked’ make up without packaging, in lots of fun shades fit for the festive season. Some standouts include their vegan lipstick refills for £10 (the shades Dorchester, Lahore, Los Angeles and Berlin are perfect for Christmas) and their naked highlighter available in 5 different shades for £12.


For your friend with a sweet tooth, Playin Choc makes vegan, plastic free chocolate boxes with delicious treats inside for £5.95. They’re available in dark or milk varieties and can be ordered from their website .


For between £8.40 and £8.95, you can pick up earrings made from old coffee pods from Coffee Pod Creations on Etsy! They come in loads of different colours and are a really fun addition to anyone’s collection.


Candles are a classic cosy gift for cold nights. There are plenty of options for sustainable candles on Etsy, but these ones are particularly fun. MollyMadeUK makes soy bubble candles in a variety of different scents, with a big one costing £10 and a small one costing £2.50.

Fluffy socks

Made from recycled polyester, these fluffy socks are available in four festive designs. Give the gift of warm feet this Christmas – even though socks are often brought up as a rubbish gift, these are genuinely useful and cosy, and their fun designs make them special. £8.95.


For the English student in your life (or anyone who appreciates some aesthetically pleasing note-taking), Waterstones sell a variety of notebooks made from post-consumer-waste-recycled materials. This bee design is particularly cute, and guilt free! £10.99


Did you know that you can get perfume in a stick? This makes it far better for the environment as it can be packaged in recycled materials rather than new plastic or glass. … sells vegan perfume on Etsy for £8.50 in a variety of scents, with the option of having a stick container or an aluminium jar as the packaging.

Make your own

One of the best ways to be eco-friendly at Christmas is to make your own gifts! That way you can ensure that there is no dodgy packaging used and you know exactly what’s gone into your creation. Why not make something edible and festive, like fudge or chocolate? You could even make it vegan to lower its impact even more. There are plenty of fun recipes online to give you inspiration. 

Or you could make jewellery, or candles… the list is endless. With the right amount of planning, you could sort Christmas out easily by making your own presents. Giving something handmade shows that you’ve really thought about the person you’re gifting it to and can often be cheaper than buying something. 

Give an experience

A classic go to for me is to gift an experience rather than a physical gift. Not only does this mean no packaging or waste whatsoever, but also means you can spend quality time with the person receiving the gift. In Exeter, there are so many fun experiences – why not offer to pay for a cinema ticket, or a night at the Board café, or even just something like a spa night or a cocktail evening at home. This is a good option for any budget as it’s really up to you what you choose!

– Caitlin Barr

Featured Image Source: Pexels

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