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Christmas gifts that help people and the planet

This Christmas, choose gifts that make a real difference to people and the planet.

It’s lovely to give and receive gifts, and it’s exciting to see a bundle of gifts under the tree. But it’s also a time when there can be a lot of waste. Plastic stocking fillers and excess items that we don’t really need can be a waste of energy, resources and end up polluting the environment in the long run.

Giving thoughtfully can make a big difference to this. Choose things that people actually need or want, give gifts that are kinder to the environment and less polluting, or even opt for a gift that helps others like a donation to a charity.

Set a budget

One way to cut waste within a family or group of friends is to set a budget for each present and not go above it. One carefully chosen gift is more meaningful and thoughtful than five.

Do a secret santa

Secret Santas are another great way to cut down waste. Rather than buying presents for everyone, each person buys one secret, surprise present for one other person in the family or group. It can be great fun working out what to buy or make, and spending more time thinking and planning rather than rushing around trying to get gifts for everyone.

Make a donation to charity

Rather than giving a present, another great way to cut down waste AND help people and the planet is to make a donation to a charity on behalf of the person you’re gifting too. You can make them a nice card explaining the donation so they have a token of your thoughtful gift.

Sponsor an animal

Linked to making a donation to a charity, sponsoring an animal is another great option. These sponsorships often come with a pack that allows the person you’re gifting to to learn about the animal that they’re present is helping and the difference the donation will make to conserving it and it’s environment.


Organisations like The National Trust, the RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts play an important role in helping to conserve our beautiful countryside and natural environments. Buying a membership is a brilliant gift because it not only provides financial support to allow those charities to continue their good work, but also means the person you’re getting the gift for will be able to visit those places or join in with events. They’ll get experiences, which can be so much more special than a material item.

Make a gift

What could be more special than a gift that you’ve made yourself? It could be a tasty cake, a cushion or blanket, or something more crafty – we’ve put some easy and simple ideas below!




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