Shopping more mindfully and sourcing responsible gifts are just a few of the many ways we can combat the climate crisis together, and work towards a fairer world. Sustainable Christmas presents also go a long way to expressing your appreciation for teams and clients. Not only have we at Huggg seen a huge increase in demand for sustainable gifts, but our customers tell us that their employees are also requesting eco-friendly options when it comes to their rewards and gifts, too.
Making ecologically sound choices and choosing sustainable gifts which benefit the environment in the longer term isn’t an impossible task. In fact, green gifts are often a simpler option that results in happier, more satisfied recipients. Here are our top tips for fairer, more sustainable Christmas gifting.
One simple way to give more responsibility is to find something special that won’t wear out. Single-use gifts, particularly novelty gifts like Christmas socks or stocking filler toys, can feel like a bit of an empty gesture and are easily forgotten by the new year. Long lasting gifts are much less likely to contribute to landfill – and show that you care about the planet you share.
Think reusable coffee cups made from recycled materials, or potted plants which can brighten up a home office for years instead of flowers that only last a week. Even if you’re not sure about a giftee’s preferences or tastes, you can always choose a gift they’re likely to enjoy and then pass on (like a good book, or a cosy scarf). Giving gifts that last a lifetime saves precious resources being used to make new products, and helps reduce waste.
Looking for a way to find planet-friendly gifts? It’s best to buy less and buy local. Each Christmas a mind-blowing 4,000 tonnes of gifts arrive in the UK from China – but buying locally means you’ll be supporting small businesses, whilst minimising the carbon footprint that shipping international gifts would incur.
If you’re shopping online, look for marketplaces like Etsy and Notonthehighstreet which can tell you whether a seller is based in the UK or abroad. Don’t forget, they may have imported items themselves, so check where the item is made, too! Make the most of local craft fairs and markets (also a great excuse for a team outing at this time of year) and pop Small Business Saturday in your calendar. It’s an annual event that encourages millions to shop small in the lead up to Christmas – this year it’s taking place on 3rd December.
Ensuring that the gifts you buy are sustainable or ethical products – made with cruelty-free ingredients and packaged responsibly without plastic – can be a challenge. But when recipients see the effort you’ve put into shopping ethically, it’s all worthwhile (and makes your gift more meaningful). There are various apps which can help you source sustainable Christmas presents, and The Good Shopping Guide also provides a handy rating system for the most ethical brands.
Look out for Fairtrade, cruelty-free and recycled logos on gifts as you shop, and where possible try to source gifts from women-owned or Black-owned businesses as well as certified B Corps. If a business is doing their best to protect the earth, animals, and human rights with the products they sell, it all adds up to a more meaningful gift.
Gifting someone an experience can be more meaningful than something you can hold in your hands. It’s a chance for the recipient to create some special memories with friends or family – or for hard working teams to come together and do some bonding with a group activity.
From outdoor adventure days to theatre and cinema tickets, experiential gifts are light on resources whilst still having a big impact. Whether your teams and clients would love passes to the gym or spa, or prefer vouchers to their favourite pizza restaurant, there’s an experience-based gift that’s perfect for every preference and budget.
The pandemic raised awareness of wider social issues and the needs of local and international charities for many people. Since then we’ve seen an increased demand for charitable gifts and presents that benefit important causes, from environmental campaigns to humanitarian disasters. Donating to a charity on someone’s behalf is a thoughtful gift which is sure to give everyone the warmhearted feeling we need at this time of year – whilst also reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas.
From international charities like Amnesty International and UNICEF to local initiatives, many charitable organisations offer both donation gifts as well as ethical and sustainable physical gifts (Oxfam’s range of Fairtrade treats is particularly good). Or choose a cause closer to home with donations to a local school or food bank. Many zoos also offer an ‘adopt an animal’ scheme which could make a great gift for teams and clients – especially with an accompanying stuffed animal mascot!
If you are looking for the perfect sustainable gifts this season, look no further. We’ve got a whole collection just for you.