Sustainable Christmas Gift Guide (2021)

Bee Revival Kit

Now that it’s November I think it might just be safe enough to publish a Christmas article. I don’t like adding to all the consumption hype around this celebration, but until sustainability becomes the norm, having one requires a bit of planning, which starting early helps.

This article is full of ideas for sustainable Christmas gifts to put in those stockings or under the tree this year. If you’ve any other suggestions let me know in the comments.

Nothing mentioned in this article has been sponsored. It’s all just my own personal opinion. If you like your sources to remain independent then please;
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Before we get into the gift goodies, just a note about having a gift-free Christmas*.

I stopped giving gifts about 4 years ago, and it’s been wonderful, freeing up time and reducing stress, but over the last two years something has been missing. Despite having a plethora of wonderful Christmas traditions there’s been a certain flat-ness to the whole event.

Having reflected on the whole experience I’ve concluded that Christmas is a weird combination of novelty and familiarity and that if either is missing it just doesn’t feel right. Most of us create surprise at Christmas time in the form of gifts, but when you’ve decided not to go this route what other options are there? Ideas on a postcard please!

I’ll also report back on the outcome of any trials next year.

Now on with the shopping show;

bunch of flowers in a jar

How about a gift that keeps on giving is a bunch of Irish grown flowers every week, fortnight or month from Bunch Beag

upcycled jewellery

Or stylish upcycled jewellery from Irish company Del and Lee

handmade paddles

And if you or a loved one is into the outdoors maybe you’d like a handmade paddle from Jeffers Paddles

surfing hand plane made with recycled plastic

Or maybe surfing is more your thing, if so check out the surfing hand planes made from plastic milk bottles used in cafe Foam in Bundoran.

local craft workshops

If you’re like me and love a bit of making a great option is a workshop with one of the many local crafters we have in this country. Now you can peruse them all in one place with the portal Local Workshop

I’ve also come across a woodworking and wood turning workshops with Wexford based woodworker Robert O’Connor

wooden seam & hem circles

Another idea for crafters are these beautifully make wooden seam and hem circles from UK based sewer Jenerates.

No often can you give the gift of life but these cute bee revival kits (see top photo) could be just that for a exhausted bee next summer. You can even get them engraved.

recycled paper notebooks

Continuing with the theme of insect life, I’m loving these European made ladybird notebook made from recycled paper from Irish etailer Jiminy.

recycled Irish notebooks

And for grown ups check out the beautiful notebooks and planners by Cork based Badly Made Books, made from post consumer waste.

modular headphones

For the musicophile in your life maybe a set of modular, repairable headphones from Denmark based AIAIAI will do the trick. You’ll never have to buy another set of headphones again! Another company in this space is Gerrard St in the Netherlands.

sourdough kit

Got a baker in the house? Treat them to a beautiful wood and linen sourdough kit from Bluebridge House

If you’d like more ideas check out my Sustainable Christmas Gift Guides from previous years;

Till next time


*It’d be untrue to say that we don’t give any gifts at all. Santa still visits our house and the hubbie and I give each other edible presents, but other than that nada, zero, zilch. I explain how I gave up buying Christmas presents in this article

Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy

2 thoughts on “Sustainable Christmas Gift Guide (2021)

  1. Check out “Spectral imaging for characterization and detection of plastic substances in
    branded teabags” from UCDs own Professor Aoife Gowen. This comprehensive study from the Journal of Hazardous Materials addresses the levels of microplastics in six popular tea brands’ tea bags. It also demonstrates that microwaving your teabag greatly increases your exposure to microplastics.


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