Gift Guide for a Sustainable Christmas


Gift Guide for a Sustainable Christmas

Help decrease your impact on the environment by changing your festive habits!  

Arguably, the biggest issue at Christmas is consumerism. Millions of gifts are bought each year and many end up unused or in landfills. To negate this here are some things to think about when buying gifts this year… 

Image description: the inside of a second hand store, cluttered with items.

Secondhand gifts 

Shop for used goods as presents. It saves you money and saves the planet. It’s easier than ever to shop second hand. There are many online reseller shops that are convenient to use such as Vinted, eBay and Depop. Also, there is a surplus of charity shops in Canterbury. You can often find something you would like at a much cheaper price. It also promotes a circular fashion industry which helps the environment.  

Image description: a photograph shot over the top of the Canterbury highstreet, with the Cathedral in the background

Shop local 

Shop your local businesses this year. There are many small businesses in and around Canterbury that would appreciate your support. Shopping locally helps the community massively. It also lowers your carbon footprint by cutting down air miles. Here are some of the small businesses in Canterbury: 

  • The Refillery – have refillable wine and ale and provide lots of ‘self-care’ products 
  • Wrapped – a variety of colorful gifts including books, games and homeware 
  • Karma – lots of reworked clothing and vintage gems 
  • Canterbury Wholefoods – a surplus of food that would make great gifts  
  • Roly’s Fudge – handmade, fresh fudge 
  • Canterbury’s Pottery – handmade pottery from dinnerware to décor 

There are many more you can check out. Have a walk around the city and see what you find! 

Image description: skeins of wool atop knitted fabrics

Make homemade gifts 

Online there are many DIYs to try! Handmade gifts are more thoughtful. Here are some I have found to give you an idea: 20-cheap-easy-homemade-gift-ideas, homemade-gift-ideas-1251561 and handmade-gift-ideas 

Image description: hands holding a festive gift


Have a gift you don’t use or want? Re-gift it to someone you know who will love it. It saves you money and time. Also helps declutter your space as it’s no longer taken up by something you don’t use. Keeping your unwanted gifts in circulation saves it from going to landfills.  

Image description: two wrapped brown presents dusted with snow

Quality over Quantity 

Choose gifts that are of higher quality. They will last longer so they don’t have to be replaced regularly. These gifts then don’t end up in the landfill after a couple of months. However, this is often more expensive. Therefore, buy less gifts that you know the receiver will use for years to come.  

Image description: a hand holding up a ticket for the Tower of London in front of the attraction

Gift an experience for someone 

Rather than a physical gift, see what activities they might enjoy doing. You can give a ticket to an experience. This reduces physical waste. These gifts also show thoughtfulness and are more meaningful. There are many experiences to choose from. They can vary from a small train ride on a historic steam train or a weekend away. Here is a list of a few more ideas: 

  • Tickets to a concert 
  • Tickets to a play or musical 
  • An escape room (there are a few in Canterbury)  
  • Workshop for some arts and crafts such as ceramics, sewing and painting 

There are many more to choose from. Have a browse online and tailor it to your person. Moreover, you could do the activity with them! Giving them the gift of your time also. 

Image description: three pairs of earrings hanging from pegs on a wall

More ethical online brands 

There are many online brands that are much more sustainable than the fast fashion shops. Buying from a more ethical business will greatly help the planet. Although more ethical brands are often more expensive, this is because garment workers being treated fairly and thus not only help the planet but people too. More ethical brands will commonly have higher quality goods, helping with quality over quantity. Here is a list of a few brands that have good, sustainable practices: 

There is also a handy app called ‘good on you’. It allows you to check how sustainable a brand is. They also have a website. They rank brands by policy and practice. This guides you to make good decisions and helps see your impact on the planet.  

When you’re doing your gift shop, whether that be for Christmas or other holidays, think about what you are buying. These few ideas will help you to lower your impact on climate change. Help the planet this Christmas and consume mindfully! 

By Jenny Hall, SGO Projects Officer

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