Ah, it’s that time of the year again. Christmas lights dip our streets and homes into a golden shimmer, chances to hear Last Christmas on the radio have skyrocketed almost overnight (will it ever end?) and many of us are just a few weekends away from frantically trying to find the right gifts for our loved ones.
The perfect time to talk about some sustainable alternatives.
Imagine a Christmas at which you’re choosing gifts that are good for the planet. Gifts that support companies putting their whole heart into making the world a better place. Wouldn’t that be great? Don’t worry about finding those perfect things, Beagle has already sniffed some out for you.
Beagle's speciality - better alternatives
Ethical jewellery is out there and it’s great. Why is this an industry that needs change? When it comes to gems and metals, commercial jewellery is often produced from resources that have been mined under human rights abuses in third world countries. Not a very Christmassy thought.
Luckily, there are lots of companies trying to make a change by using recycled, vegan and organic material to produce beautiful accessories.
Ethical jewellery means it’s something you can be proud to wear. Using recycled metals, La jewellery handcrafts stunning pieces like this silver ring in the UK. Might it even be the right one for a very special question … ?
When it comes to watches we think it makes sense to look out for cruelty-free options that aren’t using leather for their straps. Votch is a female-founded manufacturer of beautiful watches, dedicated to protecting animals. Beyond using vegan straps for all their products, Votch is giving back 10% of their profits to charities that support our furry friends.
Christmas spirits. Is there any more to say? If you’re looking for some festive drinks this year, here are some sustainable options that you shouldn’t miss.
UK distilleries like Toast and Black Cow have been incredibly innovative when it comes to finding more eco-friendly source material for their products. Beer made from surplus bread and Vodka made from otherwise wasted milk are not only tasty but also a gift with a great story. Cheers to that!
For a more traditional touch, Nc’nean distillery makes organic, waste free botanical spirits which are a great gift with their beautiful designs. Still not the right thing? We have a whole blog post introducing sustainable alcohol for more inspiration.
Let’s talk about gifts for your little ones. Ever thought what a shame it is that kids lose interest in their toys so quickly? Whirli did some research to put this phenomenon into numbers and found that an estimated 60% of kids’ toys are neglected at any one time. The industry was the perfect playground for a circular economy initiative.
Whirli is a fantastic solution for parents that want to put an end to ever growing piles of toys whilst still gifting the excitement of something new to play with.
You can order pre-loved, high-quality toys directly to your home and simply send them back for an exchange when your kids stop playing with them. This way, a Whirli subscription is also one of the many cases in which picking the more sustainable choice can actually save you some money.
Need a last minute gift idea?
At Beagle, we love reading. Hearing from sustainable initiatives and understanding the problems that need to be solved motivates us. If you’re burning for sustainability and you want to spark the same fire in somebody else, why not check if your local bookstore has the right gift in stock? Some of the books that inspired us at Beagle are How bad are bananas by Mike Berners-Lee, This changes everything by Naomi Klein and of course A life less throwaway by one of our founders, Tara Button.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Most bookstores will happily order books for you if they’re not in stock. Get out there and support your locals if you can!
If you’ve arrived on Christmas day and you’re missing one (or more, we don’t judge!) gift; rest assured it’s ok. After all Christmas always knocks on our doors a bit earlier than expected, doesn’t it? Beagle has got you covered.
Our pro tip for eco-friendly 5 minute gifts: subscriptions. Sign somebody up at Oddbox to tackle food waste, join the Zed Bees family for low-impact bathroom essentials or plant a tree in somebody else’s name. Finding sustainable gifts doesn’t have to take a lot of time. The right thought, a few clicks and you’re done! In case you’ve forgotten, buying an item through a Beagle Button suggestion will also mean you are planting a tree - it’s that easy!
Odds and ends
We hope you liked our Christmas gift ideas as much as we did. But it doesn’t stop there! There’s one more thing that needed to be examined by a critical Beagle’s snout…
Wrapping paper. An estimated 108 million rolls of wrapping paper are being used up for every Christmas in the UK and the numbers are growing.
Who doesn’t love to look at the colourful boxes under a Christmas tree and guess what’s inside? And of course, wrapping paper is a great toy for Beagles as well. And yet .. it doesn’t feel quite right when we see the massive amount of paper that’s going straight into the bin.
Here’s what you can do: pick recycled paper and make sure it continues to be recycled. The ultimate game changer for us: wrapping fabric. You heard right; gift wrap that you’ll never have to replace! Happywrap’s organic cotton gift wrap can be reused as many times as you like and if that doesn’t work for you, they also offer recycled and fair trade paper options. And if you want to really impress your friends and family, you can use a tape-free wrapping technique and further minimise waste!
For us, this is the final ingredient for a more sustainable Christmas in 2020. And that’s a wrap.
Who are we again?
Beagle is here to help you make switching to more sustainable, eco-friendly goods easier. From fashion to homeware to foods, by becoming a user we’ll notify you whenever we find a “better” option for the product you’re looking at. These better options vary from a range of characteristics such as being vegan, sustainable, animal friendly or plastic free, but one thing they all have in common is that they’re products we thoroughly believe in, and know you’ll love too.
By downloading the Beagle Button, we can continue to help you find great products like these, helping you to make more informed and conscious decisions, paving the way for a more sustainable future. Sign up ahead of our launch on our homepage.
A note on affiliate links
Every product we feature has been thoroughly researched and is often used by the team. Some of the brands we work with will provide a commission when our readers or users buy their products. Some of the links in this blog may be such affiliate links - but this is paid by the brands, and you won't pay more as a result!