Christmas is a time of great giving and receiving, but it turns out that a huge portion of what we’re all unwrapping on December 25 isn’t actually what we wanted to find under the tree.
Not that you’d ever let Aunty Doreen know that you aren’t a fan of the novelty nude Santa apron she gifted you... for the third year in a row.
So you smile politely then, in the New Year, bundle it up with all your other dud pressies and either try to fob them off on a friend or family member, sneak them in the bin or to an op-shop.
And you’re not alone. The post-Xmas purge is so widespread, with an estimated 10 million unwanted gifts received last festive season alone according to a recent national survey by ING.
The problem is, all those novelty aprons will likely end up in landfill and take years to degrade if it all. Plus, it’s a waste of Aunty Doreen’s hard-earned cash.
But don’t despair, because the survey revealed that more and more Aussies are dreaming of a ‘green’ Christmas, with more than half of respondents saying they’ll be giving some form of eco-friendly, sustainable or conscious gifts this year.
That’s why Yahoo Lifestyle has done the legwork for you and compiled a list of the top gifts for every kind of eco-warrior in your life from parents to kids, tech-head and fashionistas.
Get clicking below for a holly, jolly and earth-friendly Chrissie.
Valued at $128.60, this bundle of cruelty-free and PETA certified beauty goodies includes seven of Nude by Nature's best selling complexion essentials, including the Airbrush Mineral Primer, Liquid Mineral Concealer, Moisture Infusion Lip Gloss in 07 Dusk, and a Mineral Brush.
The kit is available in light-medium and medium shades and comes in a stylish rose gold cosmetic case making it the perfect pressie.
Ditch disposable makeup wipes and cotton pads for Face Halo’s non-toxic, reusable and recyclable wipes. The microfibre wipes replace up to 500 of their single-use counterparts and can be popped in the washing machine up to 200 times. Plus, there’s no need for chemicals as the wipes need just plain water to remove all makeup even if it’s waterproof.
Raise The Bar’s orange coffee scrub ticks all the eco-boxes: it’s all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free, plastic packaging free and handmade in Australia. It’s whipped up using repurposed coffee grounds and even the box is compostable/recyclable.
Valued at $139.95, the KORA Organics 3 Step System for Oily/Combination Skin is certified organic, natural, cruelty-free and vegan, plus it’s made by Aussie supermodel Miranda Kerr so you know it’s going to be good. Inside the pretty box is a foaming cleanser, energising citrus mist and a purifying moisturiser - also available are kits tailored to dry and sensitive skin types.
Spaza dish covers are breathable covers for food that are reusable, machine washable and will adjust to cover different sizes and shapes of dishes. The brand’s functional hand-made products provides home-based employment for South African women.
Sheridan’s ReThread Tea Towel pack of three is made from 100 per cent recycled cotton and recycled polyester fibres and can be returned to the store for recycling once it’s done its dash drying your dishes.
Lovers of caffeine and the earth will love what’s inside this festive gift pack from Pod & Parcel, which contains five packs of 10 Nespresso®* compatible biodegradable and compostable coffee pods. That’s a total of 50 pods that won’t be joining the three million single-use coffee pods end up in landfill daily in Australia. Also inside is a free 'Treat Yo Self' gingerbread cookie to satisfy their sweet tooth.
Give your loved ones the gift of a good night’s sleep in these 100 per cent certified organic hand-picked cotton percale quilt cover set. With a 250 thread count and a chic vintage wash, they won’t have to sacrifice comfort or style in order to be eco-friendly.
Pela Cases range of durable yet 100 per cent compostable phone cases cater to iPhone, Samsung, Google and Huawei devices. Plus, you can choose from designs featuring almost every living creature under the sun, such as whales, turtles and bees.
Rock out while being kind to Mother Earth herself with a pair of Marley Smile Jamaica in-ear headphones which are made from sustainable materials such as precision-milled aluminum - even the packaging is made from recycled paper, recycled plastic and other sustainable materials.
Now you can have your carbonated beverages and drink them too thanks to Sodastream which allows you to make your own fizzy at home, saving the average household from sending just over 2,000 bottles to landfill - or our parks and waterways - over its 3 year lifespan.
Sure, your mobile phone might not be very eco-friendly but you can do your bit by harnessing a natural, renewable resource - the sun - to charge it up. It’s also great for going bush or to festivals where power points are scarce.
Tussah is a fashion brand that prides itself in taking a considered approach to sourcing their fabrics and materials, supporting ethical supply chain processes and consciously avoiding the use of harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process. Their moss-green Clara bag is roomy, chic and 100 per cent polyurethane or PVC which is a great non-leather alternative.
Eco-friendly manchester brand Bed Threads has dipped its toe in women’s apparel with the launch of its first-ever sleepwear collection, Threads by Bed Threads. The range of easy-breezy nighties and robes are made from the same 100 per cent French flax linen as its signature bedding, plus the brand is now carbon neutral and $1 from every purchase goes to the shopper’s choice of charity.
Not only will these bright and cheerful socks put a pep in your step, the thought that for every pair of Aexy Socks sold, a pair is given to a school child in need in Africa. The fact that they’re made from sustainably and ethically sourced bamboo and cotton is the cherry on top.
Arms of Eve’s stylish necklaces, rings and earrings - like this Takoma Lapis Lazuli pair - are handcrafted by traditional craftswomen using natural materials that have been ethically sourced from around the globe.
Little ones can splish splash and paint the bath to their heart’s content with this painting soap by Tinti. Parents, don’t panic - it’s made from a combination of Calendula and Panthenol to calm, soothe and condition the skin and natural colour derived from flowers and plants. Plus, it won’t stain your Picasso’s skin or the tub.
Encouraging youngsters to get outside and involved in growing their own fruit and veggies is made easier thanks to the folks at The Little Veggie Patch Co. and their kids seed kit. It contains everything budding gardeners need to start growing their own plants from a variety of heirloom seeds including beans, peas, carrots, sunflower and strawberry.
Sure, the bub who receives this Weleda gift set - valued $59.85 - might not be too fussed but we guarantee their parents will be over the moon with the Calendula Nappy Change Cream, Shampoo and Body Wash and Body Lotion 200ml.
Junior scientists will love experimenting with this underwater exploration-themed kit - along the way, they’ll be learning about the amazing physical properties of water and air which are both sources of renewable energy.
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