Back in 2012 Sam Judd gave his ‘top ten eco-friendly gifts‘ for Christmas. Here’s my updated list of eco Christmas gift ideas to make your home (or someone else’s) a better place to live.
Eco Christmas Tips
Christmas time is a great time to be around family and to do some projects around the house. My tips for having a sustainable Christmas are:
- Give to get. What can you give to show your appreciation, and what can you get rid of? I know I’ve accumulated a lot of ‘stuff’ at home and I’m nervous at Christmas time about collecting more plastic junk. Use this time to purge unwanted and unnecessary clutter. Make space for the things and people you really love.
- Virtual gifts. Buying gifts doesn’t have to mean stocking up other people’s homes with unless stuff. Consider buying virtual gifts. I’ve included a couple of examples below.
- Projects and experiences. Along a similar theme, think about what projects you could do with family around your home or neighbourhood to make a better place to live. Your time might be the most valuable gift of all to family and friends.
- Have a listen to episode 41 with Lisa Madarasz, then check out EcoDeals to save time, save money save the planet.
- Try Trees Please for beautifully packaged tree and plant gifts or Give Plants.
- TradeAid is always a great place to shop for gifts, knowing that I’m helping people in need from around the world.
- Waterbottles from Sustainable Coastlines or a NZ’s first reusable, takeaway coffee cup and winner of the 2015 Green Ribbon award, Idealcup.
- Eco at Home
- Alternative Technology Association (ATA) webshop, including subscriptions to their great ReNew magazine.
- Solar power educational kit from Amazon.
- Not specifically ‘eco’, but potentially a lot of fun to get the kids thinking and creating – anything from mindkits.
- Muka Kids, – pre-loved, ethical, organic clothing.
- Freedom Kids – fun, ethical and gender neutral clothes
- Kiwi Conservation Club
- Forest & Bird
- Organic heritage seeds from New Zealand’s largest collection at Koanga Institute
- Ethique – premium, concentrated & sustainable ‘beauty bars’ (made in Christchurch)
- This is an inspiring book for green building in New Zealand. Also check out my interview with author Dr Johann Bernhardt.
- One of my favourite books on sustainability is Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.
- Also check out Green from the Ground Up: A Builder’s Guide to Sustainable, Healthy, and Energy-Efficient Home Construction
- Off The Grid Living: A Guide on How to Successfully Build an Eco-Friendly Home in the Wild with the Aid of Sustainable Energy (Living Off The Grid, Off … Eco Friendly, Small Home, Green Living)
- New Eco Homes
- Habitat for Humanity do great work both locally and around the world. You can support Habitat for Humanity here, or offer to volunteer.
- Charity: Water – My daughter raised an amazing $900 (US) for her 9th birthday this year. The unique thing about Charity: Water is that 100% of your donation goes to supplying water to people in need (all of the organisation’s operating expenses are covered by separate philanthropy).
- Oxfam Unrapped – I bought my Mum a goat (for someone else) once. They both loved it.
Around the House
- Check out Fishpond for Solar Garden LED Light Starburst and La Crosse Technology 724-1710 Digital Rain Gauge with Outdoor Temperature Sensor, or use the box below to search for more.
- A if you’re heading away, don’t forget home security. I like the look of Sparks new Morepork.
- Finally, why not give someone the gift of a home assessment to make their place a better place to live?