Christmas is a time of excess and will produce a lot of waste, be it through wrapping, packaging or unwanted gifts. Shopping locally is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint as products have travelled less to get to you, particularly if you shop at local markets. I know it’s important to many of you to buy gifts that don’t cost the planet. In this Christmas gift guide, you will find eco-friendly gift ideas that have a positive impact on our environment and the local community.
Eco-friendly Gift Ideas
This guide is part of Sophie etc.’s Independent Milton Keynes Christmas Gift Guide 2022. Businesses have paid to feature in the guides, but the guide has been entirely curated by Sophie. We hope it inspires you to shop small this Christmas! Every effort has been taken to ensure the information in this blog post is correct. Please refer directly to vendor websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information for Christmas delivery and products. If you do see an error, please email email@example.com.
I LOVE Glamavan glitter! And what better time to enjoy glitter than at Christmas? This glitter is biodegradable and is available in some gorgeous colours. It’s made from plants, not plastic and is vegan and cruelty-free. There are three glittery Christmas gift sets available: Christmas Tree, Icicle or Candy Cane. Each gift set includes 2 5g tins of glitter and a 10ml glitter gel. It’s suitable for kids and can be worn on the face, body and hair.
Glamavan is an award-winning service for children’s pamper parties, slumber parties and picnic hire. They produce eco-friendly glitter bar hire for weddings, parties and events and have their own brand of biodegradable glitter products in sustainable packaging. They currently serve Beds, Bucks, Herts, London, Surrey, Sussex and more. After 5 years, they are now offering a franchise opportunity for anyone looking for that better work/life balance or wanting a new and exciting challenge with full support at hand. Follow @glamavanfranchise on Instagram.
Sew & Grow
Sew & Grow is a social enterprise based in Wolverton. It is made up of a small team of staff, volunteers and young trainees that gain practical work experience as an alternative to mainstream education. The team creates naturally dyed textiles using plant-based dyes and would-be waste ingredients (think onion skins and avocado stones!) which are then turned into beautiful environmentally-conscious products.
Their Christmas range this year includes planet-friendly alternatives to tinsel, ribbon, gift bags and the reusable fabric gift wrap adds a beautifully handcrafted feel to your gift. From dye-at-home kits to Christmas stockings, patchwork home decor products to beautiful pastel scrunchies, there are some lovely products in their range that are great stocking fillers and thoughtful gifts.
The Dye-at-home star kit (£20) is a great gift idea if you know someone crafty or something different to do with the kids. Learn how to dye your own handmade cotton star ornaments, using a home-grown Weld tea bag and a turmeric spice mix. A perfect Christmas activity.
All of their products can be sent directly to friends and family just in time for Christmas, with a personalised handmade Christmas card included. Completely stress-free but still a thoughtful handmade gift that supports a local charity too.
Get 10% off with the code STAR10 until 31st January 2023.
Suds is a skincare brand based upon the principles of natural medicine, so as well as smelling amazing, all of their products have a natural medicinal benefit. Paula makes products to help with eczema, psoriasis, folliculitis, head lice, and much more. First. and foremost, Paula founded Suds to help people. Based in Stony Stratford, you can also find Suds products in Mollys Pantry and Nothing Wasted as well as plenty of shops nationally – They’re even stocked in one shop in France!
Suds has some great gift packs and stocking filler ideas for Christmas including a Vegan Gift Pack which features three beautiful-smelling soaps that can be used on the face and body. All Suds soaps are made with organic coconut oil and organic extra virgin olive oil base, so will repair and protect your skin whilst providing the most luxurious moisture possible. Suds also has a starter pack for those just dipping into natural skincare. Lip balms and their Christmas soap also make great stocking fillers.
Turtlewood Designs is owned by Phil, Creator, Maker, Woodworker, Artist, Outdoor leader and Climbing coach. He started Turtlewood just after the UK came out of lockdown. Based at a studio in Kiln Farm, he creates products that respect and care for the environment, using as much reclaimed, recycled and responsibly sourced material as he can, and finds a use for as much waste and offcuts that is possible.
Phil makes a little bit of everything: Furniture, Gifts, Artwork and Nick-knacks. The reclaimed materials inspire what he ultimately creates, like these reclaimed rope pots! They are made from retired rope from the Milton Keynes climbing community and the local climbing walls, Phil’s former place of employment.
These pots are perfect for houseplant amateurs and enthusiasts alike, as well as people who want a bright, alternative storage solution for their home. With a range of colours and patterns, these pots grab the eye and are supplied with a waterproof liner. They come in a range of sizes, starting at £7.99 per pot.
Urban Bee-lievers is an exciting social enterprise finding ways to encourage, educate and inspire everyone in Milton Keynes to help make our city bee-friendly. Urban Bee-lievers is one of Milton Keynes Christian Foundation’s social enterprises supported by young people not in education, training or employment who gain essential work experience and qualifications as they help save the bees, process honey and make beautiful and useful products from precious bees wax.
Their honey is amazing and I love their lip balms and beeswax wraps as eco-friendly gift ideas., but this year I am so excited to share that Urban Bee-lievers are doing Beekeeping experiences!
You can buy this unique experience for yourself, a friend or a family member to learn about the amazing honeybee colony and take a look inside a bee hive. The three-hour experience will start with a cup of tea, honey cake and honey tasting while enjoying an introduction to beekeeping and the amazing life of a honeybee colony. You will then learn about the different jobs of a beekeeper during the year and get hands-on with some equipment including the smoker and hive tool.
When the smoker is alight you will put on a bee suit and gloves before stepping into the apiary, seeing inside a beehive and gaining some hands-on experience with these wonderful insects. Beekeeping equipment; bee suits and gloves are provided.
You will learn about all the things you can do to help save not just honey bees but all the bumbles and solitary bees too. If you are just fascinated by bees or considering taking up beekeeping as a hobby we can answer all your questions. This experience will keep you buzzing for a long time. £45 per person.
Buy Urban Bee-lievers beekeeping experiences online or find their products at the Urb Farm market on Thursdays.
I hope this Christmas Gift Guide has inspired you to shop small this Christmas. If you do decide to support these businesses please let them know who sent you their way and share your purchases with my Facebook Community Group, Eat & Explore MK. You can also share your local finds on Instagram with the hashtag #EatandExploreMiltonKeynes.
Which eco-friendly gifts will you be buying for Christmas?