Do #3 Give Thoughtful Gifts

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So many gifts, so little time - gift giving can be a rewarding and sometimes stressful part of the festive season, but it doesn't have to cost the earth.

Lowering the environmental impact and increasing the emotional impact of the gifts you're giving this year can be achieved in a number of ways. It might be worth steering clear of cheap synthetic clothing, for example, with textiles expected to increase from 2% of the global carbon budget to 26% in 2050 and 22 million tonnes of microfibres expected to be added to the ocean too.1

Take action, commit to Do #3.

  • Giving a gift that recipients really want means it is less likely to be binned, preventing the resources like energy and water that went into making it from going to waste. Make sure gifts are durable and they will last even longer. If you need someone to do the ethical detective work for you, look at Good On You to find recommendations! Or give the gift of membership to a toy library that provides year round variety but without the clutter. 
  • Giving experiences like movie or show tickets, promising to spend time together or committing to help out (think babysitting or cooking) can be both positive and low cost. Other experiences like a snorkelling tour, SCUBA diving or ballooning can give recipients a different and amazing perspective of our planet.
  • Making your own gifts keeps old resources in circulation and can add that personal touch. You could make some jam or biscuits, knit a jumper or create cool craft homewares.
  • Adopting a Kris Kringle-style approach with your family and friends will allow you to focus all your energies and money on arranging an outstanding gift for just one other person, instead of having to buy lots of ordinary gifts that might go to waste. 
  • Finding environmental or charity gifts through sites like Karma Currency and The Best Gift can be a thoughtful way to show you care for both the recipient and a worthy cause. Goats, chickens and wells for people in the developing world, vaccinations and emergency food for children, hand crafted and fair trade items from developing communities and native animal adoptions are all feel-good and do-good gifts.

Should you receive a gift that just isn't to your taste (we've all been there), try to ‘re-gift' it to someone you know will enjoy it. Many charities will happily accept donations of unused (non-electrical) items. Check out RecyclingNearYou for our Reuse Information Hub.


A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future, Ellen Macarthur Foundation