Affordable christmas gift ideas that don’t cost the earth

Posted: 10/11/2021

After last year many of us are looking forward to a big family Christmas in December. It’s been nearly two years since we all got together over the holidays.

Sadly, Christmas is one of the least environmentally friendly times of the year. But it is possible to be eco-friendly this Christmas season and still give gifts to the people you love.

Here are some gift ideas that don’t cost the earth and have less of an impact on the environment.

Experience Gifts

Experience gifts, like cinema tickets, or gift cards are environmentally friendly ways to give people prezzies that they will really value.

They are often more memorable than a traditional present, as you can gift someone an experience that you can do together. It’s great for children too - what’s better than a trip to the zoo, theme park or a spot of themed afternoon tea?!

It’s kind to the environment because they involve less physical items that need to be produced. It’s also giving money to local businesses in your community that are doing their best to encourage visitors after having to close during the pandemic.

Homemade Gifts

If you have time, making your own gifts is a great way to show people how much you care about them. They can also be cheaper than buying brand new items because you only need the raw materials.

How does this help the environment? Because it takes away the emissions produced when new products are manufactured. Our favourites include baked goodies, like Christmas cookies, or easy peasy homemade chocolate truffles.

Second-hand Gifts

In honour of bringing back traditions, why not hit the charity shops to do your Christmas shopping this year. Gifts don’t have to be brand new, as long as they’re in good condition and new to the person who is receiving them!

Also, if you have something precious that your parents or grandparents gave you when you were younger, why not pass that on to your own children? It’s better for the environment, doesn’t cost anything and keeps memories and family traditions alive.

Christmas cards

If you have kids, why not get them to make their own Christmas cards for friends and family? It is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon, and it’s more eco-friendly than buying cards from the shops. Plus, it’s a heartwarming touch that will bring a smile to everyone’s face this Christmas.

All you need is some coloured paper, family photos/old Christmas cards plus scissors and a glue stick to make lovely cards that are sustainable and budget-friendly.

Wrapping paper

When it comes to wrapping paper, steer clear of anything shiny, plastic-lined or decorated with glitter, as this is not recyclable. Try the “scrunch” test – anything that doesn’t hold its shape when scrunched into a ball is not recyclable.

You could even reuse wrapping paper from last year, or get some good old fashion brown paper which is inexpensive and eco-friendly!

Christmas decorations

Why not continue with the family traditions and reuse decorations that your family have passed down over the years?

Bringing down the decorations from the loft, or out from under the bed, every year is something special that helps us remember fun memories from the past - like that year your Grandpa fell asleep in his eggnog!

As part of our Future Matters programme, we want to help you have a big family Christmas that doesn’t cost the earth because we know that during the festive season family matters most of all.

Also in this section