Five environmentally friendly gift ideas this Christmas

Published by Ja Wei Lee on

December 18th, 2017

The Christmas season is now on our doorstep and as expected everyone is rushing around to grab some last minute presents.

If you are one of those people out rummaging around for the perfect Christmas gift, why not give a thought for our environment as well as your loved one?

Here, The Green News brings you five environmentally friendly gift ideas to give to your family and friends at this special time of the year.

Keep Cup Photo: penguincakes

  1. Reusable Coffee Mugs

Nowadays, many independent coffee stores, as well as larger chains such as Cafe Nero and Starbucks, are providing discounts to customers who use their own reusable cups.

Disposable cups dumped in landfills cause massive environmental destruction to our planet, which is why advocates for reusable cups are on the rise.

With the promotion of reusable cups on the rise, why not get your loved ones their very own Keep Cup this festive season.

Labelled as the world’s first barista standard reusable cup, the benefits for using Keep Cup are a plenty. The Keep Cup is mainly made of polypropylene, which is a great recycling material. It is is also lightweight and virtually unbreakable, making it convenient for the casual coffee.

Last month, CoffeeAngel announced that it will donate 20¢ to Friends of the Earth Ireland from every Coffeeangel coffee served in a reusable KeepCup as part of coffee chain’s Your Cup Our Future campaign.

Stainless steel water bottles Photo: Your Best Digs

  1. Stainless Steel Drinking Bottles

Now that we have discussed coffee mugs, it is only fair that we turn to bottles.

Refrain from using those plastic bottles that are overflowing our environment, and destroying the marine biodiversity.  Plastic bottles also contain BPA (bisphenol A), which come with some health risks.

Stainless steel bottles, on the other hand, are completely recyclable. They last longer and are corrosion resilient. Although stainless steel drinking bottles can be more expensive than plastic bottles, you will be contributing to a better environment, and providing better care for your personal health as well.

Imagine the waste generated from all those plastic bottles dumped into landfills, which takes ages to decompose. Using eco-friendly stainless steel bottles is an essential step to help remedy this issue.

Photo: Pexels

  1. Ethical clothing

Help your loved ones dress in style and ethically at the same time this Christmas. There are various eco-friendly clothing brands in Ireland that provide chic, elegant, fashionable yet sustainable attire for our luxury.

The Kinsale Leather Company, Fresh Cuts, Nu and The Tweed Project are just some examples of local ethical clothing labels, making them eco-friendly.

In relation to green clothing, there are also eco-friendly websites that are providing alternatives to our fashion consumer behaviour. Sustain Sisters promotes a more sustainable way of buying woman’s clothes.  It rejects the fast fashion mentality and instead focuses on a borrow boutique system.

The Nu Wardrobe is also against fast fashion, offering a clothes swapping service which encourages people to save money and reduce waste all at the same time.

Natural Shampoo Photo: The Green Diary

  1. Natural beauty products

Give your family and friends the opportunity to look simply stunning this festive season with some natural beauty products.

Natural beauty products avoid the chemicals found in many conventional products which can have a negative impact on the environment and on our skin such as irritation and redness.

Microbeads, tiny pieces of plastic, have also been found by the hundreds of thousands in conventional shower gels, face-scrubs and toothpaste.

Wine bottles Photo: Jeff Kubina

  1. Organic Wine

Wine is an essential item for the Christmas season. Organic wine is better for the environment and for health measures, rather than non-organic wine.

For organic wine, a whole different set of practices are used to manage the vineyards, which is why opting for organic wine would be the safer choice.

Organic wines are produced with only organically grown grapes which are not sprayed with the likes of pesticides and herbicides to destroy unwanted organisms or weeds.

Bonus: Reusable bags

This is one of the most talked about recycling initiatives. We can all help to protect the environment by using reusable bags, therefore cutting down on the amount of plastic bags going to landfill and entering our water sources.

Nowadays, sales outlets will charge a levy for providing plastic bags on your shopping items in Ireland.

Bringing your own reusable bag saves your wallets, and protects the environment too!

Christmas comes but once a year, and everyone should rightfully have a blast during this time. However, we should also be aware that protecting the environment is a year-long activity that should be celebrated every day.

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Ja Wei Lee

Ja Wei is a third-year journalism student from DIT. He is passionate about writing, exploring new ideas and has a keen interest in social issues