A round-up of the best presents for the environmentally conscious this Christmas.
It’s the season for giving and what better way to give than to help the environment at the same time. This year, people are even more aware that the planet needs all the help it can get, and these gifts will not only give your loved ones a present to treasure but give them the satisfaction of making a positive difference to the environment. And remember, whatever present you buy, make sure you wrap it in PEFC or FSC-certified paper that’s fully recyclable.
For just £7, you can give the gift of healthy soil to families living in some of the poorest regions of Africa. The donation to charity Ripple Effect will cover education and materials to improve the quality of the land through composting and making the most of the natural resources in a sustainable way. Not only does healthy soil store more carbon and absorb more water, but it results in higher yields and a greater variety of crops, keeping families healthy and free from poverty while protecting the planet.
£7, available from www.rippleeffect.org
How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything by Mike Berners-Lee
First published in 2009, this groundbreaking book takes a calm and considered view of the environmental impact of almost everything, stating what has a large carbon footprint (flying, heating, swimming pools) and what doesn’t (the yellow fruit in the title). Now updated, the new version provides detailed information on the impact of everything from data centres to hosting a World Cup, as well as more modern areas such as Twitter, the Cloud, Bitcoin, electric bikes, and even space tourism, outlining the facts so that the reader can be more aware of their own carbon footprint.
£10.99 from all good bookshops.
Grow Your Own Vegetable Seeds
If you want to make a positive difference to your own environment as well as capture some carbon while you’re at it, planting seeds is a pretty good place to start. So encourage your nearest and dearest with a gift set of seeds so that they can begin growing their own vegetables, salad, herbs, and fruit. A gift set from Sprout includes three different types of seed, as well as three slate markers and chalk. Designed for small spaces such as balconies, patios, and terraces, all packaging is recyclable and compostable, with zero plastic, while the seeds are soil association-certified organic.
From £10, available from www.notonthehighstreet.com
Plant A Tree With World Land Trust
As well as buying and protecting some of the world’s most biologically significant habitats, the environmental charity World Land Trust funds extensive reforestation projects, repairing the damage done by agriculture and other industries. For just £5, World Land Trust is able to fund the seed collection, plus the growing, planting and protection of a tree, guaranteeing a new forest to help biodiversity and tackle climate change. So far, the organisation has planted over two million trees across 5,930 acres and is currently planting native trees in Brazil, Borneo, and India.
For more gift ideas from World Land Trust, go to www.worldlandtrust.org
Anything – As Long As It’s Second-Hand
One of the most sustainable gifts is actually one that’s second-hand. Not only are you stopping something from going into the waste stream, but you’re also preventing a new product from entering the sale-use-disposal cycle. With inflation high and the cost of living increasing, it’s now much more acceptable to give and receive ‘pre-loved’ gifts. A recent survey by Vinted found that 38% of consumers said they had given someone a second-hand item over the past 12 months as a gift, while 65% said they would consider gifting someone a second-hand item in the next 12 months. With more and more people selling their clothes, gadgets and toys online, there’s no excuse to be a little more creative in finding the perfect presents for your loved ones – and maybe even one for yourself.