If you're planning on sustainable, ecofriendly and zero waste gifts this Christmas, here are some great items that people will actually get excited about receiving.
We keep our Christmas gift giving to a minimum, but there are always people we want to gift something to and I prefer to give things that are useful, fun and not too much of a drain on the planet.
I usually start the season with ambitious plans of hand crafting all of the gifts, but usually, I only have time for a few hand made items and still need to buy the odd gift here and there.
This can take a lot of time and effort searching for something that ticks all the boxes. A gift isn't sustainable if the person doesn't want it or will never use it, so always keep that in mind when gift shopping, and always double check packaging options to see if you can request plastic-free.
Update: I wrote this post last year and have updated the links and prices so they are still relevant. Currently, there are many Black Friday and Christmas Sales underway, so you might also want to check out a more recent post on The Best Green Friday Deals Australia 2018 (Forget Black Friday!)
I’ve kept these gift ideas around the $20 - $40 range (Please note that these prices may change over time) , along with little gifts and a few more luxurious picks, with a focus on Australian made or designed items.
The links I include allow you to shop online and have items delivered in Australia, or click & collect, in plenty of time for Christmas Day. This post does contain some affiliate links, which means that if you click and purchase, I may receive a small commission that helps me keep this site up and running - the price is the same to you of course and most of these are currently offering great shipping deals.
I have omitted cards and wrapping in this post, but if you still want pretty wrapping and cards, there are many eco friendly options and you might want to check out these.
Here are a few of my favourite little zero waste and sustainable gifts, perfect for a small thank you gift, Secret Santa or anyone on a tight budget. There's a great list of Secret Santa ideas here too.
Keep Cups are a fantastic way to get coffee zero waste, and with so many coffee fans still getting disposable cups each day, it is a drain on the planet. This brand is designed and made in Australia, and perfect for coffee on-the-go. Prices range from $11 to $30 , depending on the size and style
Did you Know: You can get up to
$1 off your coffee when using a reusable cup?
Visit Responsible Cafes to search for one near you.
Each pack contains 6 seed bombs perfect for creating a bee garden. Plenty of different organic annual seeds in these and they are designed for summer planting. Comes in a linen drawstring bag.
Solar Bugz jump and crawl when placed in direct sunlight, a fun way to play around with solar energy. No Batteries required, although batteries can be recycled, it is nice to be able to avoid them altogether.
Beer brewed by the boutique Dark Isle Brewery of Tasmania are infused and added too for their added conditioning and antiseptic qualities with flecks of hop remaining in the bar. Slightly gingery spicy smell. Richly conditioning and great for dry hair. Beauty and the Bees products are now 100% palm oil free. However, you may still find palm oil listed on the label of the product you receive. This is because Beauty and the Bees are using up the labels they had with palm oil listed as an ingredient, rather than wastefully destroying them.
This is a beautiful selection of native Australian Spices including bush tomato, lemon myrtle, wattle seeds, Tasmanian pepper leaf and artesian Salt. These have been foraged from the wild and are completely organic, packaged in a recycled box and comes with recipes to get started.
Gifts for Grown-Ups
I found so many things in my search, and these are the ones that really caught my eye for being interesting, unique or locally made. Also, I think we are all a little tired of seeing gift guides that are too generic and bland (No socks and hankies here!).
For anyone with a mild interest in gardening or the obscure, this terrarium allows you to grow carnivorous plants and create a mini Little Shop of Horrors or Jurassic park style garden.
These come in a recycled kraft packaging and contains beautifully illustrated envelopes with seeds, plus illustrative, non toxic and 100% recyclable plastic plant label to mark where your seeds are planted. Contains Sunflower, Poppy, Trio of Herbs,
Forget-Me-Not, Marigold and Sweet Pea
Comes with enough ingredients to make up to 10 litres of Greek yoghurt (not all at once obviously). The Jar comes with everything you need to get started, including a recipe book. It is a great way to make sugar-free yoghurt at home and let's face it, there are only so many containers you can upcycle or repurpose before you need to recycle them into low-grade plastic.
Mad Millie has a really nice selection of
gourmet DIY foodie items, allowing anyone to
avoid packaging and make their own favourite
indulgences, you can check out more here.
Customise a gorgeous gift box filled with yummy, dairy-free, vegan, gluten free and fair trade organic chocolate. Loving Earth chocolates are made in Melbourne, from minimally processed food, harvested using traditional methods. Who can resist, especially when this company's philosophy is healthy, sustainable & fair. Packaging printed on vegetable inks with 97% post consumer recycled fibre. The inner wrapper is home compostable & made using sustainably managed plant sources.
Onya Backpacks are made from rPET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate), which is what you get when you recycle old plastic water bottles into fibre. Each backpack scrunches down into a tiny key-ring sized pouch which can easily be thrown into your handbag, attached to a belt loop via its handy carabiner or just kept "on you". Once unfolded it creates a fully functioning and versatile 14 Litre backpack that can be taken anywhere.
Be inspired with Beci Orpin's beautiful new book Find & Keep. This gorgeous ideas and craft book from Australia, features make-at-home projects , from collages to cushions, life-size paper Christmas trees, to embroideries and herb gardens and picnic fare. Even if you never get around to making anything from the book, it is lovely to browse through her cute creations.
Here are a few of my favourite, and more expensive gift ideas.....
This is a great gift for tea lovers who want to skip the commercial plastic covered tea bags and opt for something a little more reusable. This stainless & silicone tea bag i large, dishwasher safe and can be used over and over again.
This kit comes with recipes and all the gear to start making your own wine. Be sustainable and happy, with less wine bottles filling up the recycling bin and no more last minute drives to the bottle-shop.
Gifts For Kids
Kids can be fussy in ways we don’t always understand, and many of them do care about environmental impacts. This doesn’t mean they want to receive boring gifts, or the impersonal plastic gift card/cash (which in my world is going to result in more shopkins and pokemons!). Items that will last and have multiple uses or able to be passed on are my favourites as I hate plastic trash that breaks or never functions properly from the second it is played with.
Great inspiration for using cans, bottles, egg cartons and other household rubbish and turning into something useful. We all know kids love boxes more than presents!
Actually reuse the box it comes in to make a robot, it’s a toy that produces very little waste. Learn simple mechanical science and circuit connection. See how your robot walks with cute movements. Fun facts are also included!
Quirky, colourful and fun projects for preschool kids and their parents to make together. Kids love crafting and creating. Kate Lilley's hugely popular blog, Minieco, grew out of her desire to teach her own kids to be resourceful and use what's around them for creative play. 35 bold, colourful projects featured in the book and divided into sections that include Music, Nature, Sewing, Science and Recycling Bin. The final section contains a list of 50 quick boredom busters that harassed parents can pull out of the bag in an emergency!
Instant Expert takes the hottest topics for ages 12+ and turns readers from novices into knowledge-gurus. Packed with information, each book offers practical, hands-on advice from insiders - people who know the subject best.
Made from hand blown glass, the Sun Jar is an energy efficient lamp making it possible to store sunshine and light up your night. Perfect for the rolling blackouts over summer where small children everywhere are screaming ''It's too dark to sleep!''.
Hopefully I've given you some new ideas and inspiration for your eco-friendly or zero waste Christmas gift shopping.