December sees many celebrations from Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, the Winter Solstice and of course Christmas. This is the time when we get together with friends and family, maybe over a special meal and perhaps also exchanging gifts.
With this in mind we thought we would put together our top tips for climate friendly recipes and home-made gift ideas. Plus our favourite eco-friendly gift ideas from ethical businesses. If you are a member of Wen, then do check out the Members’ Area where you will find money off codes for many of the gift ideas we have suggested.
WEN’S TOP TIPS & RECOMMENDATIONS
FOR FOOD LOVERS
A box of organic fruit and veggies is a perfect gift idea, especially if you can sign up for a regular delivery – we love Riverford Organic boxes. Do you know somebody who loves chillies? How about Scotch Bonnet Chilli Jam – luckily it comes in two jars – a mild one and a hot version, for those that like some heat!
Organic Tea Stems
We spotted organic herbal tea stems – six different herbal tea stems, giving the lucky recipient the chance to sample a few different tea experiences – Sage, Thyme, Lavender, Lavender Flower, Chamomile and Linden flower.
You could have a go at making your own food gifts, with some of these lovely ideas. If you are cooking for friends or family why not try a climate friendly celebratory meal by having a go at these vegan recipes? One of our firm favourites is Glazed Lentil, Apple And Walnut Loaf. For dessert try our vegan tiramisu.
FOR GREEN FINGERS
We really like these growing kits from Ethical Superstore – Sow and Grow – Radical Rainbow Veg and the Hedgehog Mix Seedball Tin. Or why not make up your own kit, with packets of seeds, bulbs and soil seed pellets, arranged in a box or basket. If you have house plants, then take a look to see if you have any “babies” that you can pot up as gifts.
Hedgehog Mix Seedball Tin
Make your own bath bombs
CRAFTY CARING GIFTS
Why not make your own presents this year, because it really is the thought that counts! Sunny Jar Eco Hub is a perfect place to start with either making Christmas presents or buying a craft kit – to encourage those around you to make their own things. The DIY bath bomb kit would definitely be a hit with teenagers.
FOR PARENTS & CHILDREN
For safe and sustainable gift ideas for young children, Pure Earth Collection have a great selection of natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable children’s products. The organic sensory toys are made from 100% cotton and biodegradable filling. For a parent of young children a subscription to Juno, a natural parenting magazine, would make a very thoughtful gift.
Make sure cosmetics and body care products don’t contain any hidden nasties! For a really thoughtful gift, how about making your own body Vanilla Chai Body Scrub or body moisturiser. The Butter Up Lip and Body Salve DIY Kit would make a lovely gift for a teen.
Why not try buying fashion inspired gifts second hand? Depop is fantastic for picking up good quality clothes at a pinch. We also love Reve en vert, the self-proclaimed Net-a-porter of sustainable style. There are lots of other online stores that focus on second hand and even swapping clothing items instead of buying brand new.
Coat by Jakke
If you are buying new then Pico produces every day, essentials including underwear and towels. You could even get a gift card if you are not sure what size or product is best for someone. Jakke is an ethical fashion label that is definitely one to check out. These will be investment pieces, made to last.
According to UN figures, it takes almost 8000 gallons of water – what one person drinks in seven years – to make one pair of jeans. And when those jeans are discarded, they join the 21 billion tons of textiles that end up in landfills each year
LOW WASTE IDEAS
Why not help a friend or family member on their low waste journey by gifting them a pack of vegan wax food wraps (no more cling-film) or have a go at making your own. For snacks on the go, this stainless steel lunch box would go down a treat. For a really practical gift how about Full Sweep Natural Cleaning DIY Kit
Wax food wraps
Christmas cards from James Ellis
WRAP WITH LOVE
If you are planning to wrap your gifts then make sure you make it eco-friendly. We love wrapping with fabric. Sunny Jar Eco Hub have a really great video showing how to create beautifully wrapped gifts. You could also use brown paper or even newspaper.
For Christmas cards check out James Ellis, for eco-friendly cards and stationery with designs from selected artists.
For more Christmas and holiday season fun:
If you want to find more ideas and ways to have a sustainable holiday season, then check out our WENderful Christmas Booklet.
You can also find more recipes and craft ideas here.
ALL THIS AND MORE FOR MEMBERS
Become a member of Wen to gain exclusive discount codes to all the brands mentioned (and more!) plus get the Live Low-Waste e-booklet for free. You can join for as little as £15 a year or £2 a month:
The Future Kept – collection of consciously crafted, responsibly and ethically sourced products for your home, and living a more eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle. 1% for the Planet member
Zero Living – home of planet conscious brands. It supports Wen by donating a percentage of profits.
Juno – is a print and digital bi-monthly magazine which promotes a natural approach to family life and inspires and supports parents as they journey through the challenges of parenting
Sunny Jar Eco Hub – is a not-for-profit social enterprise fostering green living in the city. It runs workshops and activities, providing opportunities to make sustainable living easy and accessible for all.
Jakke – is an ethical fashion label born in 2015 by East London designer Nina Hopkins from her belief that fashion-forward women should be able to buy confidently into ethical fashion.
Pure Earth Collection – is a multi award winning eco children’s brand.
James Ellis – working from their Bristol studio in an old converted paint factory. They focus on publishing cards and stationery using designs from a selection of talented artists. member of 1% of the planet.
This article was compiled by Nadia Deuskar and Heidi Ringshaw