Christmas in my family is a little different. There isn’t a huge excess, it’s usually one gift and that gift is something the recipient wants or needs. It might even be wrapped in wrapping paper from last year so it didn’t get wasted. It’s organic or sustainable, fair trade or recycled. Handmade or gives back. It has a purpose, to enhance or help that life. I know that sounds like most gifts, they all have a purpose to entertain or spoil or say I love you or make someone smile. And ultimately that’s how things still work in my family. But with the end goal being to help the planet and its people or the person using it.
I’ve put together a list of gift ideas and businesses for this Christmas to make you feel good and know you’re either doing the right thing by the environment, the workers who create these gifts or for those it helps along the way.
Imagine your $25 gift to your sister actually being a loan to a woman on the other side of the world. Your gift helps empower that woman to build her business and feed her family and give herself and her family a future. Once the loan is repaid to you, you can relend or keep what you loaned. Kiva has a 96.9% loan repayment rate and so far 1.7 million loans have been processed in 84 countries. You see the real faces of those who you help and you can choose from a number of individuals seeking help. Supplies for their stores, nutrients for their soils on their farms, hectares to grow more produce. The list is endless. A girlfriend of mine loans regularly and finds it wonderfully fulfilling.
Want to give a gift that reduces someone’s plastic use in 2018? Warre Wraps make reusable food storage wraps. 10% of sales goes to Save the Bees Australia. They are made with beeswax, tree resin, organic jojoba oil with cotton fabric. They are plastic free and non toxic. Use to cover leftovers instead of cling wrap, store your lunch, cover your breads or transport foods home from the store. I have several in my home and haven’t bought cling wrap in 11 months now. You can buy a starter pack for $35 which includes a Small, Medium and Large wrap.
I am a wicked fan of the Thank You Group and have been for years. I bought their water, tracked my impact and tried to get it into my children’s school canteen. I then bought their body products and now buy their baby products. Loads of beauty products irritate my skin with their chemicals and their fragrances but Thank You have No SLS, SLES, EDTA or Parabens in their body washes, they are vegan friendly, no palm oil and is not tested on animals (individual products have different exclusions). They are an amazing gift for people who are conscious of what they put on their skin and their children’s skin and want to help communities at the same time.
Tree Change Dolls.
Tree Change Dolls® is about recycling to create dolls that reflect real children ready to explore the world. 10% of the sale price of each doll is donated to Plan International Australia to help create brighter futures for girls worldwide. Creator Sonia, recycles dolls and redesigns them to look like real children so your child can play with a life like version that is age appropriate. Please note: HER LAST RELEASE FOR 2017 IS NOVEMBER 15TH.
Secret Book Stuff.
Secret Book Stuff is a kindness project to spread the love of literature and create a little more magic in the world. You can send a secret book to a friend anywhere in Australia – wrapped in recycled brown paper with a handwritten note – and they will donate two pre-loved books as random acts of kindness to cafes, non-profit organisations, hospitals, and schools. They are committed to preserving the beauty of this planet, so they only use eco-sustainable, Australian materials where possible. Their books arrive wrapped in 100% recycled brown paper and biodegradable hemp twine. For $22, you can send a very special present and also pay it forward with two pre loved books on their way to others.
KeepCups mission is to encourage the use of reusable cups. They do this by delivering sustainably made products that are fit for purpose in the context of a positive global campaign that strives to make a difference to how we think about convenience culture. There is more plastic in 28 disposable cups then there is in one small KeepCup. They come in sizes XS to XL, and you can choose from around 100 different designs, design your own or even get one in Star Wars theme. I have two Glass and cork ones in Medium and large and for the most part, I have remembered to bring them out of my car after using them. Prices start at $11.
Alter Eco Chocolate Bundles.
Chocolate. What is Christmas without chocolate. Sometimes it is the perfect gift for an unexpected guest, a stocking filler, teacher gift or just to put out when people come over to catch up. Alter Eco chocolate is fair trade, organic, carbon neutral, they practice sustainable farming with a goal to zero impact on the environment. Not to mention, their chocolate is absolutely delicious. Mint is my weakness. You can also buy at Woolworths.
The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying By Marie Kondo.
I gave my mum this book last year. She has since transformed the most lovingly cluttered home I’ve ever been in, into a well thought out home full of joy. Her drawers are organised with so much space utilised. To be clear, she asked for the book. I did not hint at what was needed with a gift under the tree. Marie Kondo’s method is based on a ‘once-cleaned, never-messy-again’ approach. If you think that such a thing is impossible then you should definitely read this book. I’ve linked it back to the cheapest I found which was at Big W for $16.
Etiko was founded to bring fairness and justice to factory workers making apparel, footwear and sports balls. Etiko chooses for its garments to be made from Fairtrade and Organic certified cotton from India. Etiko provides its customers with the opportunity to invest their purchasing dollar in these businesses and create lasting positive social and environmental change. You can buy clothing, underwear, shoes, sporting equipment for Men, women and children which are fairtrade, organic and vegan.
ENJO believe in putting healthy living first, and look to challenge the conventional and shine a light on sustainable living with a range of safe and effective fibre cleaning products that need absolutely no chemicals. They also use ethical and locally sourced suppliers. I have a few pieces of Enjo goodness in my home and I absolutely cannot find a fault. Every single person I know who has Enjo in their home raves about it. It’s almost like they are waiting to discuss the awesomeness. You can find a range of products to suit your Christmas budget. Available for your home, outdoors and your body.
Is your gift recipient looking to kick start their health journey in the new year or you know they love a good boost to their diet? I love these smoothie bombs! They are so easy, straight in the blender with your fruit and liquid and drink away. They are packed full of nutritional goodness, they are gluten free, vegan and all natural. They are also certified organic and contain ethically sourced ingredients. You can buy a pack, in bulk or individually. Fab secret Santa gift or stocking filler. Prices start at $12.95.
You can make your special card a gift by selecting a card from World Vision. 2 years ago I bought a card for every couple and single guest who came for Christmas lunch and to the boys school teachers. My $5 cards also gifted pencils to school communities who need supplies. You can spend a few different dollar amounts depending on your budget and give the gift of Chickens and eggs, mosquito nets, goats, childhood immunisation, fruit trees and to train a teacher. So many more to choose from. Maybe you only buy one card as a gift but it is a wonderful way to give back.
I do hope that you have a wonderful Christmas with the ones you love. Lisa
The Everyday Mums have not been paid or compensated for these recommendations, they are just suggestions based on what we love.