Guest post by Joanna Standley
Struggling to think of stocking fillers for Christmas? Here are a few ideas that are sustainable (of course) and sure to go down a treat.
Did you know that every year over 21 million of us in the UK receive a Christmas present which, let’s put it this way, was not on our list to Santa…? Horrifyingly, 6% of us then just throw that gift away! Well, not this year. We’ve put together a list of sustainable stocking-filler ideas that everyone, from Aunty Margaret to Cousin Anish will love.
1. Helen Round’s Eco Lunch Gift Set
A textile designer and printmaker from Cornwall, Helen Round began her line of linen products in 2012 and since, has built a brand that creates ethical substitutes to everyday household necessities. The Eco Lunch Gift set is just that. It includes a reusable sandwich wrap and snack bags, which are handcrafted in the designer’s Cornish studio by local artisans from Oeko-Tex-certified linen. Screen-printed with charming sprigged blooms, these handy alternatives to single-use plastic wrapping are sure to save your giftee time and money, while reducing the staggering 1.2 billion metres of non-biodegradable cling film used by UK households per year. What’s not to love?!
2. ELM RD.’s Travel Candle and Mist Aromatherapy Gift Set
Miguel Ángel founded ELM RD. after a whirlwind work trip to San Francisco forced him to wander through the Golden Gate Park. While taking in the scents of eucalyptus, pine and cypress trees, he realised the benefit smell has on the mind and personal wellbeing. The candle and mist set is the perfect introduction to the label’s selection of 100% natural botanical scents that are produced in the Kentish countryside from responsible and locally sourced products. The candle is made from paraffin-free rapeseed and soy wax and you can customise each with a choice of five different scents, so your loved one can evoke happiness, intimacy, serenity, freedom or courage anywhere they choose.
3. Wild Case’s Biodegradable Phone Cases
Did you know that more than one billion plastic phone cases are sold every year? Did you also know that 91% of plastic isn’t recycled? Well the good people at Wild Case have put two and two together to create biodegradable phone cases that are made from a blend of biopolymers, starch and bamboo. They come in a choice of six colours and a range of different model-specific sizes so they’re perfect for the whole family. A firm believer of supporting the natural world, the brand includes a pack of Wildflower seeds with every UK purchase to support bees and butterflies - a crucial part of our ecosystem - and they also donate a percentage of profits to The Ocean Cleanup, who are combatting ocean pollution. I mean, come on. Can they get any better? Answer: no and yes, since writing this I have already ordered one in each of the delightful hues.
4. Kind Bag’s Reusable Shopping Bag
Founded on a plethora of haunting facts about plastic waste, Kindbag is a solution to the 1500 single-use plastic bags used by European families each year that have a total lifespan of about 15 minutes. Rendered in everything from playful to painterly prints, the Reusable Shopping bag will be a welcome gift to anyone in your inner circle and at £10 a pop, it will instantly solve your work Secret Santa dilemma. Also let’s face it, no one wants to be that guest caught short before a dinner party, turning up with a bottle of vino clanging around in a rustling supermarket bag that still smells a little like that half-price salmon you picked up. The definition of not chic...maybe pick up one for yourself too?
5. Pieces of the Puzzle’s Boxed 500-piece jigsaw puzzle
Now this is perhaps on the larger side of the stocking-filler scale, however, they are just too good not to share. The brand is female-founded, plastic-free and made in Britain, which supports local manufacturers and the economy. Each puzzle is made from biodegradable FSC-certified wood and starch-based glue, then printed with surrealist images that are designed to evoke a sense of calm. A perfect present for someone who needs an escape from the rush of everyday life.
Let’s wrap this up...
Okay so now you have the present sorted, how are you going to make them look irresistible? Well! According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the UK throws away an amount of wrapping paper that could stretch to the moon. Much of this is plastic based so can’t be recycled or composted and will sit in landfills for years and years.
Recyclable brown paper is an easy option and can be found at a number of highstreet and online retailers at the touch of a google search, but how about this year you think outside of the box.
Make it personal by using their favourite glossy magazine or newspaper. By recycling what would otherwise be thrown away (hopefully responsibly), this is by far the most sustainable option. You can then zhuzh it up by getting creative and drawing on ribbons instead of opting for traditional decorations, which will also help reduce the mass of waste the Christmas holiday brings.
So with that, I hope you’re feeling inspired and very, very festive...I know I am!
Written by Joanna Standley