Don’t forget to put your stocking up! (Credit: Donna Spearman/Unsplash)
When it comes to Christmas present shopping, there is something that happens to many of us: we have all the under-the-tree gifts bought, wrapped, and ready, but we forget about the stocking fillers until 3pm on Christmas Eve. Cue the panic.
If you’re in a rush, you may not be considering what you’re buying or whether they’re sustainable, so this year, it may be time to do something different.
Affordable, ethical, and sustainable little gifts that your kids, friends, or family will actually enjoy can be difficult to find. But, luckily, we have found a range of useful items from online shops that stock ethically sourced and sustainable products – and almost all of them are under £10.
All of the Big Issue’s own-brand products are created with sustainability in mind, so why not treat the budding artist in your life with a Big Issue colouring book? They’ll be occupied putting their own spin on famous Big Issue covers all the way to New Years’ and beyond, and you can be confident that your money is going to good causes.
The Big Issue shop stocks a variety of fun products from Bare Kind, which uses bamboo fibres with non-toxic dyes for their socks. The company donates 10 per cent of their profits to charities that save the endangered animals that appear on each sock, supporting worldwide animal conservation through their colourful designs.
Bare Kind said their customers have protected over 300 acres of tropical rainforest through purchases of their signature ‘Save the Orangutan’ socks. They also have ‘Save the…’ badgers, bats, black panthers, flamingos, foxes, and sloth socks, so you can keep your kids’ toes warm while also teaching them that their socks contribute to something great.
These single-use straws are 100 per cent made from the stems of a plant named bulrush, meaning they are fully biodegradable and compostable when you’re done with them. Unlike paper straws, of which the biggest complaint is that they go soggy too quickly, these plant-based drinking straws don’t go mushy or soggy and are fully food-safe and non-toxic.
Each pack contains 50 straws – perfect for your next party or for your little one who might need it to get to their daily water requirements.
Scintilla’s lip balm will help everyone suffering from dry, chapped lips this winter, as it is made with softening apricot kernel oil and jojoba oil, as well as being scented with elderflower. All the ingredients are organic or naturally occurring.
Scintilla’s entire ethos is “simple, sustainable skin care.” Their elderflower lip balm is a product that is both sustainable and affordable, as they aim to source and produce their products in an environmentally-friendly way as well as ensuring that their packaging materials are recyclable and reusable.
The company also donates 10 per cent to SEED Madagascar, which works towards sustainable environment, education, and development goals across southeast Madagascar, as well as the mental health charity Mind.
NEMI teas are also available on The Big Issue shop and if you have a child in your life that loves a cuppa, this is the perfect stocking filler. The brand sells all the classics: English Breakfast, Green Tea, Peppermint Tea, Earl Grey, Spicy Chai, and Cardamom Chai which come in tubular containers that are 100 percent plastic-free and compostable – as are the tea bags.
The company also stocks the same tea flavours that are loose-leaf, which range from £4.95 to £5.95.
Kids love playdough, but parents should be aware of what their kids are playing with. Conventional store-bought playdough, such as from major toy company Hasbro, usually contains a number of preservatives. This can be minimally toxic to humans and is usually not compostable – but it likely will biodegrade.
For an affordable and more sustainable alternative, this eco-friendly and vegan playdough is made only with natural ingredients (including natural food colouring) and scented beautifully so it won’t have that artificial smell many of us are haunted by.
There are a variety of colours and it can last up to six months if stored correctly. Plus, because of its natural credentials, the playdough is vegan and safer for children who like to put things in their mouths.
Who doesn’t love crayons? No matter how old you are, crayons are a source of joy – but their green credentials don’t hold up. Unfortunately, crayons are usually made from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum (a fossil fuel), meaning they can take years to decompose in a landfill and are not recyclable.
Honey Sticks make beeswax crayons that are natural, non-toxic, biodegradable, and compostable. They also ensure that there is no plastic packaging with any of their products.
It’s cold out, and that means dry and cracked hands are a likely outcome for people of any age. This soothing hand cream with Shea Butter, Perilla Seed Oil, and Mandarin Oil aims to boost skin circulation and help cell regeneration – plus it smells lovely.
It is made in the UK using natural, organic, vegan ingredients, and is packaged in recyclable plastic and cardboard so when you’ve run out, you can make sure it’s not going anywhere near a landfill.
These pencils are made from old CD cases (remember those?!) that have been saved from decomposing for decades in a landfill. There are a number of colours for their pencils and the little artist in your life will be grateful to receive some fun new tools that are good for the planet too.
Bamboo toothbrushes have grown in popularity in recent years, and Protect The Planet offers a kids version in green or pink that are both high quality and plastic-free. The soft bristles are made from nylon, and will not hurt as you teach your child about the importance of clean teeth and sustainable products.
Both the toothbrush handle and the packaging it comes in is 100 per cent biodegradable. Additionally, with every purchase, a donation is made to conservation charities, aiding in projects that help to preserve the natural world.
Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Winter. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Winter.