Maintaining a suitably merry expression isn’t the only thing that’s unsustainable at Christmas: between wrapping paper, temporary trees and all that plastic packaging, the December celebrations can quickly become an exercise in festive waste.
Eager to give but don’t want to disappoint David Attenborough? Bring joy to the world without being an eco Grinch by sticking these sustainable gifts in someone’s recycled stocking.
From compostable phone cases to Bluetooth speakers crafted from ocean plastic, this ethical gear should get you on your way to a carbon-neutral Christmas. The next step is a roast Tofurky.
House of Marley Exodus (£200)
It’s not easy being green, especially if you’re an audiophile. You want the best possible listening experience, but you know that the materials in your high-end headphones aren’t the most sustainable. As a Jamaican legend once said, don’t worry: House of Marley’s Exodus headphones get every little thing all right.
Wireless, noise-cancelling and good for up to 80 hours on a single charge, they’ve got it all for reggae on the go. Better yet, the folding cans are crafted from recyclable aluminium and wood certified by the FSC, so they don’t go against the movement of jah people.
Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45 Econyl (£155)
Trains might get Greta’s eco seal of approval but, unless you’re committed enough to clutch your kit all the way to Norway, they don’t eliminate the need for a backpack. For sustainable storage on your trans-continental trip, try Pacsafe’s recycled rucksack.
Sizeable enough for all your stuff, the 45-litre sac packs a whole host of security features, from a stainless steel slash guard to a locking tether cable. Think that’s cool? The shell is made from regenerated nylon, which converts things like fishing nets into thread – so you can protect your possessions and the planet while you travel.
Bellroy Classic Pouch (£45)
Being environmentally aware doesn’t mean you need to sell all of your possessions and move into a yurt somewhere outside of St Albans. In fact, by the law of averages, the longer you hold on to your current kit, the more efficient its existence becomes.
So look after your tech and the planet with this handy pouch from Bellroy: not only could it extend the lifespan of your stuff by storing it in safe separation, but its recycled ripstop shell should ease any remaining eco guilt.
Joy Resolve Ocean Plastic Coasters (£45)
After a hard day’s climate change activism, you’ve every right to a good glass of organic wine. Thing is, you don’t want a drop of Cabernet Rebellion to sully that upcycled side table you spent so long scavenging for.
Keep stains at bay the sustainable way with these bespoke coasters from Joy Resolve: crafted from plastic recovered from the sea, each little disc has a distinct pattern that’s sure to impress your fellow waste-haters.
Huskup Small Barista Cup (£9)
Throwaway coffee cups remain a prime culprit in the scourge of plastic pollution. Make the simple change from single-use with this eco container and you’ll be doing double the good. Besides keeping caffeinated trash out of landfill, it uses a common food waste product in its construction: rice husk.
Usually burnt off, these tough grain covers are harnessed by Huskup to create a clean, durable and – when you’ve finally cracked your cappuccino addiction – biodegradable solution for your daily drinking.
Gomi Speaker (£230)
Melting waste carrier bags to make a Bluetooth speaker sounds like the sort of experiment that would get you ejected from the school workshop. Yet that’s exactly how Gomi creates its technicolour noise boxes: the British firm scoops discarded plastic sacs from the seafront and shops of Brighton, before melting and compressing them into product parts.
Each unit is unique, with a funky marble finish defined by the 100 bags that went into it. Proof that one man’s trash can become another man’s tech.
Ocean Bottle (£40)
Between taps, fountains and cafés, there are sufficient sources of clean refills in the UK to make buying plastic bottles an exercise in laziness. Go sustainable in style with the bold Ocean Bottle: besides a matte finish and upcycled plastic parts, there’s more to this stainless steel cylinder than sweat-proof insulation.
See, the brand works with the Plastic Bank, which rewards people in impoverished communities for collecting plastic waste, to ensure 1000 ocean-bound bottles are intercepted for every one sold. It’s all tracked for transparency and there’s even an NFC chip built in for innovative future funding solutions.
Stamford Notebook Company Elements of Nature Notebook (£25)
Recycling is better than landfill, but precycling is better than both. Not familiar with the phrase? It’s about buying smart and choosing products that will last a while and eliminate waste. Such as, for example, this entirely natural notebook.
Its pages are recycled, its cover made from cotton and the whole thing is recyclable, packaging included – so once you’ve filled it with vegetable ink scribbles, it won’t be a sin to stick it in the bin. Provided it’s the correct bin, mind, otherwise the council might send you a letter.