Sustainable Present Ideas to Reduce Our Impact

Sustainable looking present

Seasonal celebrations can be a hard time to reduce our impact. There is a lot of temptation, and no one wants to be ungenerous!

We have some tips for reducing our impact when giving more sustainable gifts. 

Ask someone what they want before buying a gift.

Statistically, one in two of us will receive a gift we don’t want or won’t use this year.  Asking for a list means we can be more thoughtful and make it easier for ourselves. 

Give them the gift receipt so they can exchange it if needed.

Sometimes people want surprises, or we must guess at sizes.  Including a gift receipt means it won’t be a wasted gift if it doesn’t quite fit or suit. 

Don’t impulse buy

Very tempting, especially with offers on and everything looking so attractive at this time of year.  Sticking to a list means we save money and wasted gifts.    

Don’t buy two gifts when one will do

We have all thought a gift doesn’t look enough, but one thoughtful gift is more than enough. 

Think how often, and for how long, the person will use the gift

If it is once or twice then maybe it is time for a rethink, if the answer is every day or for years then it feels more like a low-impact and useful gift.

If appropriate , try a Secret Santa

This saves money and cuts the chance of people getting presents they then want to get rid!

Here we have put together Giki’s ideas for more sustainable gifts

  • Homemade presents will usually be lower carbon
  • Donation to a charity 
  • Tree-planting
  • Sponsor an endangered animal
  • Tickets to theatre or an event
  • Experience voucher
  • Fruit tree or plant
  • Grow your own herbs kit  
  • Membership to National Trust
  • Things made locally out of recycled materials 
  • Items made from sustainable materials 
  • Re-usable coffee cup or water bottle (if they don’t have ten already)
  • Voucher for a seasonal veg box

Eco-friendly Present Ideas for Children

  • Second-hand toys
    Children tend not to notice a damaged box or opened bag.  It is worth looking on second-hand sites or local marketplace groups to see if you can get what they want looking almost new. 
  • Craft boxes (no plastic, and local!)
    Lots of companies can supply these now and they usually come in their own box, so it saves on wrapping as well!
  • Sponsor an animal at a local zoo or animal centre
    If it is somewhere you visit even better as they can feel they are going to see their own animal.
  • Grow your own plants kit

So, as long we are thoughtful about what we buy, reducing and thinking about what gifts would get low or no use, we should have a more sustainable and cheaper celebration. For more sustainable steps, sign-up for Giki Zero.