So lets face it…who really has all their presents bought by the end of November? I mean if you have, then I am seriously impressed. But most of us are just starting to think about heading out to the shops now (or in my case online shops) and so, I thought I’d share some ideas on green/eco, organic and/or generally useful gifts for the last minute shoppers out there:
1. ‘5 Free’ Nail Varnish by Hopscotch £8.50
I thought this would be a sweet little stocking stuffer. I came across Hopscotch at their stand at a Christmas fair back in November and after years of not wearing nail polish (when I used to be a total nail polish afficionado) I was so happy to find this one which…while not totally ‘natural’ is free of the 5 worst toxic chemicals normally found in nail polish. They come in all kinds of fun candy colours and some glitter coats, but I went for a classic red and am pleased to say that it is actually a fairly glossy, long wearing formula. (And its vegan as well.) So definitely grab a couple of these as stocking stuffers for the girls in your life.
2. Organic Rose Regenerating Serum by Baie Botanique £34.00
A couple of months ago Baie Botanique sent me a bottle of their lovely regenerating serum formulation filled with rose water and lots of botanical extracts and oils to try out. Its 80% organic, 98% natural and is vegan as well. They are a smallish company founded by Sophie Oliver, a former professional make up artist who wanted to create a way to care for skin in a natural way which would suit the ethos of her newly adopted plant-based lifestyle. The line is based upon the two main ingredients of rose and rosehip which are both renowned for their anti-aging and rejuvenating properties. Personally I have been using both of these botanical ingredients in my own DIY skincare blends for years now and wholeheartedly agree that they do make a difference. This beautifully packaged product would make a lovely stocking stuffer or small gift for any true beauty lovers.
If you’re concerned about the preservatives used (which all commercial skincare products will have in some quantities) you can check out the ingredients here.
3. Museum Membership
I’ve included this because its a gift I always love to receive. As you know, I live in London and in the past I have received gifts of Tate membership and British Museum membership. I love this kind of gift because going to exhibitions can be very expensive (usually around £12-£19 per ticket) and this allows me to see everything the museum is putting on that year and not worry about how much its going to cost me. Its particularly generous to add on a ‘plus one’ membership so your recipient can take a friend with them when they go.
Its also a particularly nice way of supporting the arts in your local community and its quite a good gift for minimalists or green-minded folk, as its not ‘stuff’. Experiences always make lovely gifts in my opinion.
4. Young Living Premium Starter Kit £139
I know quite a few people who have bought the Young Living Premium Starter Kit as a present for their loved ones this year. Its a pretty special present to get…I know because that is how I received my first Young Living kit! For £139 you get a beautiful dewdrop diffuser and 11 Young Living therapeutic grade essential oils which you can diffuse to make your home smell amazing and you can also use for massage, skincare, cleaning your home, animal care, supporting the health of children and babies and your own general health and wellness. Young Living are also in loads of countries across the globe so its a nice way to be able to buy a gift for loved ones who live abroad.
5. Hurom Slow Juicer (starting at £249)
I got my Hurom slow juicer last summer after doing loads of research on juicing and what the normal centrifugal juicers do to the juice. First of all, they make it foamy, which I hate, and I couldn’t understand why it didn’t taste like as fresh as juice bar juices. This is because most juicers heat up the juice during the juicing process and this oxidises the juice. So, instead of drinking the antioxidants you thought you were getting into your body, the juice quickly turns to free radicals. Hurom juicers gently squeeze and press your fruits and vegetables so the juice is cold, fresh, full of nutrients and antioxidants…and there’s no yucky foam. They’re really popular in the US and in Asia right now and are gaining popularity in the UK. They can also be used to make really creamy nut milks and legume milks quickly and easily too. Their basic model starts at £299 but Hurom UK have generously offered my readers a £50 discount if you order your juicer using the code OLOL50. (They’ll also throw in a free copy of the book Juiceman by Andrew Cooper so you’ll have loads of great recipes to get you started.)
6. Montblanc Pen
Green gift guide you say, Kelly? Well, believe it or not, this is a fantastic green gift. A luxurious one definitely, but yes, green and eco-friendly. I have had my beautiful Montblanc pen for about 7 years now and the recyclable glass bottle of ink to refill it has lasted for ages. Even if you use the refillable plastic cartridges, they are still far better than replacing a whole pen every time it runs out of ink.
7. Gift Vouchers
I totally understand that this doesn’t feel personal. And some people really hate the idea of giving gift vouchers. But speaking from the recipient’s perspective, getting a voucher to your favourite store is just the best thing ever. Being able to choose exactly what you want when you go to the store to redeem your voucher is just so much fun. And although it may not be for a store which fits your ethos and you know your voucher won’t be spent on green or eco products (or anything which fits your own value system in any way at all), at least you know they will be spent on something the recipient really wants and will use. Because its not about you. Its about them and bringing them some joy at Christmas. It could be for John Lewis (always a safe bet), Space NK or Liberty’s…or the Lego store. Whatever floats their boat! An unwanted present of an eco-lunch box sitting unloved in someone’s cupboard for years is money less well spent than on a voucher they spend on something that will make them happy.
So happy last minute shopping and I hope that your Christmas is a very merry one!