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Sustainable Christmas gifts perfect for the festive season

Taking a little extra care to think about sustainable gifting over the festive season really shows you care about the planet as well as the people you love.

Why the need for sustainable gifting?

The small choices we make every day can make a big impact on the planet. Whether that’s in our homes, gardens or in the gifts we choose to give the people we love. Homemade and upcycled gifts, made from used materials and given new life, are a great way to set your gifts apart as they tend to be both thoughtful and unique. They also show you care about the environmental, ethical and social impacts of what we consume — whether for the festive season, birthdays or other special occasions. And with thousands of unwanted presents listed for sale on eBay in the days after Christmas, sustainable gifts could really make a difference.

Sustainable Christmas gift ideas

Homemade Christmas gifts are some of the most sustainable options around and getting them ready is all part of the festive fun. These are some of our favourite upcycled and homemade Christmas gift ideas to try at home: ·

  • Regifting books you’ve read and that you feel someone else would enjoy also gives them a moment of calm over the busy festive season. Why not add some festive or calming tea sachets inside the front cover for them to enjoy while they read? You could also make them a bookmark by cutting one out of a Pukka tea box. ·

  • Homemade food and drink gifts always go down well, including granola, baked goods, jams, chutneys or even sloe gin with some foraged finds. We love these crunchy almond butter cookies with seasonal cinnamon (Crunchy Almond Butter Cookies | Pukka (pukkaherbs.com) or some Cacao Energy Balls | Pukka (pukkaherbs.com) as healthy treats. You could even make them some Elderberry Elixir | Pukka Herbs to support seasonal health with foraged or dried elderberries. ·

  • Glass jar herb gardens are easy to care for as herbs require little maintenance and thrive with a little water and sunlight on a windowsill. They'll continue to grow for years to come too, so they're the ultimate sustainable Christmas gift. Simply use a large glass jar or flower vase from a charity shop to pot up 2-3 herbs. Rosemary, sage and thyme work well. They will last longer if you source from a garden centre rather than a supermarket. Make sure you add a layer of fine gravel before adding the compost so they also have good drainage. The recipient can then enjoy fresh herbs in cooking or herbal teas whenever they fancy.

  • Herbal infused honey is also easy to make and delicious and can be a great homemade edible Christmas gift when presented in a nicely decorated jar. Choose some festive spices such as cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and cardamom. Lightly pack a clean, sterilised jar with herbs. Pour honey over the top until the herbs are totally covered. Seal and leave in a warm place for a fortnight, shaking every couple of days to help them infuse. Taste and see if you like the flavour, or you can leave for another two weeks before straining with a sieve. It looks attractive with the herbs left in so you can always leave them in with instructions to strain before use. An alternative for vegans is to make herbal infused apple cider vinegar using exactly the same method. Herbal honey and vinegars have many uses such as for dressings and marinades.

  • Herbal bath salts are easy to make and beautiful to look at. Simply fill a large jar with a mixture of natural sea salt, Epsom salts and Himalayan pink salt. Then add a handful of calming herbs, such as rose petals, lavender or chamomile flowers. You could even add the herbal contents of some calming teas, such as our Love, Peace or Three Chamomile. Adding 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil enhances this gift of calm. Give the jar a good shake and finish off with a pretty label.

  • Finally, have you ever thought about a gift that is an act of service? Some ideas include: an offer of babysitting for parents who need a break; doing someone’s chores for a day such as cleaning their home; or delivering a tasty home cooked meal to give them a night off cooking. Sometimes our time is the most precious and sustainable gift we can give.

Sustainable gifts from Pukka

If upcycling, making your own gifts or gifting some of your time isn’t an option for you, why not explore our range of beautifully crafted herbal tea gifts. These are perfect for making your friends and family feel loved and appreciated without costing the earth. As for all our herbal creations, the range uses organically grown and ethically sourced ingredients. Made from sustainably sourced premium card, our tea gifts are also fully recyclable, right down to the organic cotton string on our home compostable tea bags.

Plus, for every ethical Christmas gift sold, 1% of the sales will go towards environmental projects.

Give the gift of nature and bring joy to their day with our favourite winter warming blends in the Festive Collection. Offering 30 sachets of five unique flavours, our festive collection is the perfect indulgent stocking filler or secret Santa gift. Once the tea has been enjoyed you can use the cardboard tube to hold pens and stationery, make-up brushes or reusable cotton facial cleansing pads.

Our beautiful tea selection box is the perfect sustainable self-care gift to let your loved ones know you care about them. It contains 45 sachets of our best-selling ‘hero’ organic herbal teas so they will be able to enjoy a tea for every occasion, from energising Supreme Matcha green in the morning, through to Night Time to end the day. As with all our tea gifts, the selection box can be repurposed. They are great for holding children’s collections of natural finds or other treasures or for holding crafting items.

For the ultimate luxurious gift to delight true tea lovers, our tea discovery chest holds a selection of 42 organic blends to taste and try. All held in a beautiful and sustainable FSC® certified bamboo tea box for you to keep and treasure. Once it's empty, the tea chest can be repurposed as a jewellery or trinkets box, or for keeping DIY/ crafting material in a handy place. Or they can be refilled with your favourite Pukka blends.

Sustainable Christmas wrapping tips

Every year, hundreds of thousands of miles of wrapping paper are thrown away so it’s encouraging that many people are thinking about more planet-friendly (and original!) ways of wrapping. Here are some of our favourite sustainable Christmas present wrapping ideas: ·

  • Use an old silk scarf, cut-offs from an old Christmas tablecloth or other fabric to make your own upcycled wrapping that can be reused again and again. Cloth wrapping has long been used in Japan and is known as ‘furoshiki’. While Japanese culture is not alone in using fabric wrapping, ‘furoshiki’ has a distinctive style reflecting their interest in beauty and thoughtful detail. Any upcycled fabric is a great alternative to wasteful wrapping paper and can be used over and over again. ·

  • Use pages from an old book — charity shops and car boot sales are the perfect place to stock up. Newspaper also works well, and you can pick out pages that would be relevant to the recipient. Finish off with some brightly coloured string or reusable ribbons for a splash of colour.

  • Brown paper also offers many creative opportunities, such as with festive stamps. The paper is usually already recycled, can be recycled again and won’t cost a lot. Finish off with a sprig of rosemary for a festive touch.

  • Start keeping useful boxes from online deliveries which can be decorated with stamps and biodegradable glitter, before tying up with parcel string and adding a homemade tag.

  • Kilner or mason jars are handy to package smaller gifts such as toiletries or homemade edible Christmas gifts, such as cookies. Afterwards they can be used again and again. ·

  • You can also cut out attractive shapes from our tea boxes to use as gift tags — just use a hole puncher so you can tie some parcel string or ribbon through.

The opportunities really are endless to give your loved ones a thoughtful gift that’s good for them and good for the planet, whether it’s one of our sustainable tea gifts, an upcycled gift, something you’ve made yourself or the gift of your time.

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