Every year you probably remark on one relative that’s particularly hard to shop for “what do I buy for the man/woman that has everything?” you’ll say. Then perhaps you’ll buy a token present that you’re quite sure will remain on their shelf unused. With the climate crisis informing every decision we should be making, this year Christmas truly is the time to give thoughtful gifts: second hand steals, practical presents that further waste, do-good brands or incredible experiences you can do together. To start the Christmas season, I thought I’d share the Christmas wish-list for those who love adventure and beauty, but not at the expense of the world around us.
For the adventurer:
Canopy & Stars gift voucher
Canopy & Stars is a curated Airbnb, of nomadic homes, treehouse retreats, hilltop shepherd huts and every other alternative form of sleeping space you can imagine. They have unique spaces in Britain and across Europe. The average night costs between £75-£160, or for a more design-orientated space between £190-£300. You can book an adventure or buy a gift-card for the recipient to book themselves, and make a smaller donation to contribute towards a stay-away. Here are some of my favourite spaces:
Artisan Campers Van Rental
The team at Artisan Campervans that helped us build out Dusty the Ducato (our campervan) have designed a beautiful van specifically for rentals. This Van is perfect for short-breaks around the UK, and is £80 per night. As a campervan owner I can attest to a van adventure awakening the latent nomad within, and shifting your perception of what the ultimate city-break looks like. There is nothing quite like hitting the country road in your home on wheels. Buy an adventure to remember, and take a friend, family member or partner to somewhere new in a artisan camper van.
Have a look here: https://www.artisancampervans.com/jasperhirevan
For the sustainable homebody
Aarke (sparkling water)
As someone who is incredibly eco-conscious my downfall has always been my consumption of cardboard waste. No matter how hard I tried, cutting down the amount of recycling waste in my bins at the end of the week seemed impossible. I narrowed down the two biggest culprits as Oatly Barista cartons and bottles of sparkling water. That’s when I started searching how to make your own sparkling water, and came across the brand Aarke. A fantastic solution-based kitchen gadget with a slick design, and great durability. This purchase has saved countless plastic bottles from ending up in my recycling bin, and is always a conversation starter.
With over 100,000,000 cups of tea being drunk in the UK every single day of the year, the small change of going from tea bags to loose leaf tea can go a long way environmentally. Many tea bag brands use a sealing plastic called polypropylene to keep their tea bags sealed. This plastic is not biodegradable and can not be fully broken down. Loose leaf tea has always sounded like a lot of extra thought and effort, and until recently it wasn’t something on my rader. When I’m making a cup of tea it’s always in a hurry and a tea bag is the simplest solution. When I understood the volume of tea bags being used and how this does in fact lead to plastic pollution I reconsidered my habits and tried using a tea strainer. I quickly realised how much of the extra effort had been in my head, and how simple it is in fact to make. The tea is fresher, tastier and the routine around making it feels like a moment to slow down and take a breathe.
The brand I love is called “Tea in the moment” and do both a fantastically giftable tea strainer along with lots of delicious tea blends.
Do-good brands that make new sustainable:
If you’re after something new, try something renewed. From Matt and Nat’s incredible selection of vegan leather bags, belts and accessories to Finisterres trees made from old materials. Here are some great brands using recycled materials and sustainable practices.
Where to get things second hand?
The Vintage and second hand market is thriving, and full of incredibly diverse gifting options. Here are some of my favourite websites to start your second-hand search:
Whatever you buy, let’s celebrate with the planet in mind. Merry Christmas!