Buying for the person in your life who is scared sh*tless about the climate crisis isn't the easiest one to tick off the Christmas list.
By definition, buying things for someone who is worried about overconsumption and the effects this has on the planet is a tad bit flawed. But it is Christmas after all, and given that we are all pre-conditioned to expect presents on the 25th of December here are some ideas for what to get them (that won't cost the earth):
Get your eco-warrior prepped and primed for the challenges of the year ahead with a diary. Badly Made Books are an incredible Irish company that create stunning notebooks, diaries and calendars from old paper.
Eco creds: The products are made in Cork, with 75% - 99% of recycled paper.
11. Natural deodorant
Damaging tropes about foul-smelling hippies are thankfully a thing of the past. But gifting the person in yourself some natural deodorant could be a funny gift, especially when it's the world's first 100% biodegradable deodorant from The Handmade Soap Company. Fantastically scented with notes of coriander seed, lavender and eucalyptus, this is a heavy-duty deodorant that can see you through the most demanding of days (even in a Christmas jumper!). It comes in a recyclable card tube which just needs to be dropped into the green bin when it's used up. Deodorant isn't the only thing on The Handmade Soap Company site, they've loads of lovely-smelling candles, diffusers, and moisturizers, which all come in stunning recyclable packaging.
Produced in co. Meath, in a hydro-powered facility, all of The Handmade Soap Company's products come in fully recyclable packaging.
10. Reusable razor
Unfortunately the majority of razors out there are abysmal for the environment, even the ones with replaceable heads are made of plastic and come packaged in it too. Bearradh is a class Irish company that sells reusable razors, the single-blade razor is specifically designed for a clean unisex shave. The team also stock shaving oil and post-shaving cream that come in glass containers.
Eco-creds: The razors are made from Stainless Steel PVD Coated Metal and comes with 5 free blades that are recyclable and come in recycled packaging.
You can find more info on Instagram.
9. Beeswax wraps
Beeswax wraps are a great natural alternative to plastic wrap, and sandwich bags. Cover your leftovers, wrap up loose food items, or even your snacks if you are heading out. These wraps are 100% reusable and just need a quick wash to use again. These wraps generally last around six months before needing to be re-dipped, so chances are the person you are buying for will need there's replaced. LoveBee are an Irish company which handmakes its wraps with Irish wax, coconut oil and
organic peppermint oil.
Eco creds: The team at LoveBee recently partnered with Kilkenny's Freshford Tidy Towns to run a pilot sustainability program with families in the area.
For more info visit the website.
8. Keep Cup
It might seem like a bit of a hackneyed gift to get someone who is environmentally conscious but take it from someone who has been caught out without theirs a few too many times, another one will do no harm. If you have a couple of them you can always keep them in places you frequent and therefore would be more likely to crave a coffee. Irish-brand Ecoset has a great range of tumblers in a variety of sizes and colours.
With the purchase of each product from Ecoset, a percentage is donated to the Clean Coasts grant scheme, an organisation that's improving Ireland’s coastal environment.
7. Tampon Subscription Service
Let's hear it for the people with uteruses! Being eco-conscious is grand when you aren't majorly stuck at that time of the month. With tampons notoriously dreadful in terms of sustainability (especially the ones with applicators that sadly make everything so much easier). Save the person in your life a lot of stress by (if applicable) signing them up for an eco-tampon subscription service. MyLadyBug are an Irish company that do just that, and also send along comforting sweets with their monthly box. Pick from a variety of cotton tampons (without applicators) or bamboo pads which come packaged in cardboard.
Eco creds: You can select products that are organic, hypoallergenic and biodegradable
For more info visit the website.
Let's face it, getting your loved one some wine to take the edge off things will do them the world of good. Wicklow Way Wines have some fantastic wines made from Irish Blackberries, Raspberries and Strawberries, these are brewed, bottled, packaged and delivered from the family-run business in Wicklow.
The company are Origin Green certified with their online wine orders packaged in 100% recyclable and compostable, card waste inserts.
5. Refill container
In the last few years, the number of zero-waste stores has thankfully increased, allowing those with a container to refill whatever product they need, thus illuminating the need to use predominantly single-use containers. We have a great list of Dublin-based Zero Waste Stores here. The Body Shop recently unveiled its first refill station in Ireland, with the shop in Dublin, Cork and with plans to roll out a refill station in Galway. Just buy a slick silver refill container, get a member of staff to fill it up at the station, use it and then come back when it's done- the best part is you get a serious discount on the product for doing it. It's handy to have a couple of them around the house, for shampoo, conditioner, body wash and hand wash.
Eco creds: The majority of The Body Shop's products are made from recyclable materials, they are on a mission to close the loop on waste, the website reads, "make the switch to refill and together we could save over 25 tonnes of plastic."
4. A book
There are a lot of plenty of incredibly factual books covering the climate crisis out there, but Colm O’Regan's take on the subject is nothing short of inspiring. Most of us would like to live more sustainable lives, but what’s the point in picking up litter if you have to commute 80km just to get to the office? Climate Worrier is a book full of hypocrisies - when it comes to the environment, trying to do the right thing will nearly always result in someone pointing out how you’re wrong, actually. This book by O’Regan is a lighthearted, informed look at how to give it a go anyway, and would make a great gift for eco-conscious friends and family members. Available from all good bookshops, here's a link to Kenny's bookshop here.
A slab of beer is always a good shout when you haven't a notion of what to get someone. Even if they don't drink it, it'll be used at some fateful gathering or another. Established in 2014, Wicklow Wolf has expanded into a serious range of beers, including a delish alcohol-free brew alongside Ireland's first carbon-neutral beer Locavore.
Eco creds:A couple of months back Wicklow Wolf has become the first solar-powered craft brewery in operation in Ireland. With the successful installation of over 120Kw of solar panels, covering the entirety of its 17,000 sq ft Newtownmountkennedy brewery roof. The team aim to be fully carbon-neutral by 2023 and has planted over 2,500 native Irish trees at the brewery at the time of writing.
2. Offset their flight/car journey
A great shout for the climate-conscious person in your life. Taking long car journeys and flights can cause a lot of eco-anxiety (a term that joined the Oxford English Dictionary last year), something that can help is a process called offsetting, whereby you pay a certain amount based on the duration of the journey and the mode of travel. Myclimate is a non-profit foundation that I found via YouTuber and environmental advocate Keelin Moncrieff, you can calculate your loved one's journey, reduce their carbon footprint and support climate protection. There's also a subscription system and a once-off donation aspect to the website too.
Eco Creds: 80% of the offset payment is used directly for climate protection projects, while the rest of the 20% is used to cover the foundations' admin and internal costs. According to the website, the myclimate supports projects "that use renewable energies, realise energy-efficiency measures or cut methane emissions, as well as reforestation and new forest initiatives or renaturation of moorland, which reduce the pressure on forests and biodiversity “hot spots”".
More info here.
1. Gift a tree
The benefits of planting trees have been well-documented, and unfortunately with Ireland having the lowest forest cover of all European countries, according to Teagasc, we have a lot of work to do. Planting some native trees is a great idea for the eco-conscious person in your life. The organisation Reforest Nation is aligned with the UN ecosystem restoration, plants only certified native trees and ensure that the planting is being done in a transparent and scientifically informed manner.
Eco creds: The reforestation project aims to reintroduce diverse native woodland, by restoring ecosystem services, promoting, biodiversity and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. For every tree planted in Ireland, this funds the planting of trees in other areas of global biodiversity importance including projects in Africa, Asia & Central America.
Thanks for reading and god speed!