The UK’s Green Gift Giving Guide 2013: 50 Guilt-free gift ideas that also give back!

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The festive period should be a time of giving, and of reflection, but Christmas has become a stressful time putting pressure on families and friends to spend more money than they have on gifts. While I cannot deny most of us love opening presents on Christmas day, why not at least use our money to buy gifts that support doing good for our health, the planet, animals, human rights etc instead of the opposite?

Britons will spend £6.7 billion on food, drink and presents this week alone, according to Sainsbury’s Finance. Why not balance out this Christmas binge with a gift that gives back? These gifts have been chosen for their ethically sound characteristics, whether they are made from recycled materials, are fairtrade, organic, free from animal testing, or portions of the sales of these products go to charities in need of support or directly to the cause.

I personally have purchased many of the items below to give as gifts, or have them on my own wish list,  so I can assure you they are great quality items, chic, unique and thoughtful! Hope you’ll agree!

 FOR THE FOODIES:

1. ALE AND CHEESE GIFT BOX SET

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For making buying a gift a whole lot easier, Abel & Cole have put together these delicious organic food and drink things in a rather lovely box, ready and waiting for you to add a bow and a tag. Including everything you need for a delightful organic Winter’s brunch – real ale chutney and cheddar cheese on crackers, washed down with a beer. Perfect.

If you need reminding why we should drink organic beers read this article on some shocking ingredients found in beer and wine!

This Gift Includes:
Red Kite Beer
Green’s Farmhouse Mature Cheddar
Kitchen Garden’s Real Ale Chutney
Pimhill Crackers

2.     MAKE YOUR OWN DESERT JARS/MEAL JARS 

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Everyone loves an edible gift! These are not only economical, but look festive and taste delicious! They are the perfect gift to give the children’s teachers, a neighbour, the milk man, anyone would appreciate them! Here I’ve made my low-carb chocolate brownies! Check here for the instructions and recipe!

 

 

 

3. GRAZE MEMBERSHIP

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Graze selects and uses a variety of natural, wholesome and nutritious ingredients to make sure your snacks are as healthy and delicious as they can be and they deliver it right to your door and even to the office! Graze is fantastic as they help you with one of the most important things in healthy eating – portion control but certainly do not neglect flavour, textures and nutrients! Graze offers a wide selection of snacks that can be tailored by the recipient and even made to suit dietary needs -their nutrition boxes are hand picked by the graze nutrition team so this is another edible gift to please anyone! The great thing about this is the gift keeps coming all year long!

4. ABEL & COLE VEGGIE BOX  

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This organic delivery service helps us urban dweller eat healthy, ethically sourced food. It has delivered high-quality food from small, independent food makers to switched-on households since 1988, developing close, trusting relationships with farmers and producers. It helps customers enjoy and understand sustainable, seasonal eating. It minimises food waste and unnecessary packaging – using boxes, not bags, since day one – and promotes biodiversity and animal welfare alongside fair trade and organic farming. The boxes come in a variety of sizes and can be selected to suit taste. They also offer a wide selection of other grocery products, wines, and offer a selection of hampers making an easy and delicious gift for someone!

5. HELLO FRESH FOOD BOX

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Every week their incredibly talented chefs create delicious recipes for you that are easy to prepare, made from the freshest, locally sourced and almost entirely organic. The meals are always interesting yet simple and provide for a balanced, varied diet. Also suits a variety of diets from full vegetarian boxes, veg and meat or specialty boxes for holidays and seasonal events! Can cost as little as 4/pp for a gourmet meal!

 

 

6.  JUICING STARTER KIT:

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My juicing guide will be available soon as a downloadable e-book – and is free! It comes with an easy printable shopping list to ensure you do not waste produce or your money! With this I would suggest buying a couple of juicing boosters such as wheatgrass, green tea matcha and Chia seeds. Perhaps even throw in a reusable straw and portable cup for those on the go –  this one is perfect for Christmas!

Or invest in a set of bottles in order for them to juice and freeze what they make so they do not have to juice every-day thus saving time! I use http://www.ampulla.co.uk/JuiceSmoothie-Bottles/250ml-Clear-Juice-Bottle-&-34mm-Orange-TE-Cap/p-128-2493/ – you can buy 25 for 11.95 and I always wash and reuse mine!

 

7. PHILIPS JUICER

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This is the one I recently got and I just love it! Its compact, quiet, devours fruits and vegetable without me having to cut them up and gives me so much more juice than my previous one! Highly recommended!

 

 

 

8. SALAD GARDEN KIT

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I love this kit and have it in my kitchen. It gives me an ever growing source of salad additions – simply cut what you want and it keeps growing back!

 

 

 

9. DALIT BOXED FAIR-TRADE SPICE GIFT BOX 

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A perfect gift for anyone this stylish spice box from Dalit contains a wide selection of fair trade spices in 12 adorable glass jars. This gift set also contains a beautifully illustrated ring bound recipe book containing 40 original recipes to help you make the most of this varied collection of spices. These delicious spices are sourced direct from the growers in India and profits from the sale of this gift set go straight back to help the Dalit people of India.

 

10. NUTRI-BULLET 

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This is my favourite gadget in the kitchen! My bestfriend showed me this when I stayed at her place while visiting back home and I was hooked!

NutriBullet can seriously pulverize vegetables as it’s powerful enough to break down plants (even full stalks of broccoli) seeds & nuts, allowing for you to take in the full nutrients offered by these health foods and can promise pretty fast absorption of these nutrients. It’s so small but seriously powerful – which is fantastic bc it doesn’t take up too much room and is super easy to clean – there are only a couple of parts to it and they go right into the dishwasher! I am a huge fan of juicing, but I also believe we need to ingest more fibre and other nutrients only found in the skins and stalks of certain fruits and veg – so I always alternate between my juicer and the nutribullet. It makes the perfect smoothies too…in seconds.

 

11.  LEON’S RESTAURANT GIFT CARDS  

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I am obsessed with Leon’s since I discovered it this year! Their food is naturally full of flavour, full of goodness, and sourced locally. They cook with seasonal ingredients, olive oil and fresh herbs and spices while only buying their meat from farms that they know and trust. They have a great relationship with their suppliers and farmers and visit them regularly and have even been given an award from the RSPCA for the care they take in sourcing the food. They even pay attention to the healthy attributes to ingredients and prefer to use naturally Low-GL foods so they make, for example, their brownies with dark Valrhona chocolate,  use ground almonds instead of plain flour and use fruit sugar instead of refine white table sugar. So buy your friends, family, coworkers, boss etc a gift card to share the love of good food!

I highly recommend the sweet potato falafel wrap and the mackerel side pot!!! Mmmm

12.  ORGANIC-VEGAN FINE WINE BOX 

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Here is another gift you can’t go wrong with (unless of course the person doesn’t drink alcohol). These wines are organic and vegan (to find out more about why you would need to buy vegan wine read this) and wine guru, Nick Mason, sourced these natural wines himself from small, family run vineyards. Grapes are one of the most heavily sprayed crops, so our organic and biodynamic wines save you the headache of worrying about pesticides. This is definitely a box set for Christmas.

 

13. BREAD MAKER OR BAKING LESSONS

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Real Bread is made with simple, natural ingredients, proven over many centuries to be a beneficial part of the human diet. However, according to the Real Bread Campaign, “the majority of loaves produced in the UK today are made in large factories using artificial additives – some legally undeclared on the label – and perhaps a dollop of fat.  High-speed mixing, high levels of yeast and perhaps a lacing of enzymes are employed to force the dough to rise quickly, rather than allowing the bread to ferment and ‘ripen’ in its own good time. These loaves may well then be sprayed with chemicals such as calcium propionate to slow the growth of mould.” GROSS! So treat your loved ones to the power to make their own bread, chemical free, and fuss free too with a bread-maker – there are tons of varieties at all different price points. Plus they are more energy efficient and will save them money; When compared to baking in a domestic oven, a bread machine is also a great way to save energy (and therefore reduce carbon emissions) and money. Adding in the cost of ingredients, even if you use the most expensive flour you can find, the price of your Real Bread will rival that of the cheapest ‘value’ wrapped, sliced loaf – wherever that was made and whatever with.

On the Real Bread Campaigns website they offer a host of bread making events you can also offer to teach your gift receiver how to get started! Events: http://www.sustainweb.org/realbread/events/?date=1-2014

14. COOKERY COURSES

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Due to the past few decades of mass food production aiming simply to provide us with convenience but supplying us with chemically ridden, calorie packed but nutrient deficient meals, many of us have lost the skill of what to eat and how to cook for optimal healthy but in a tasty way. But this is all changing – especially in light of the horse-meat scandal, many Britons are awakening to the poor quality of convenience meals and are starting to get back into the kitchen! There are a whole host of cookery classes that can be great fun for one, and even more fun for two or an entire group! Again, cooking classes can come in all different price ranges and purposes. Below I have chosen a couple which promote healthy cooking…but look around and chose something specific to your gift receivers taste!

·       http://www.naturopathy-uk.com/courses-eu/courses-cooking-for-health/#about

·       http://www.thecookingacademy.co.uk/Nutritional-Cookery-Classes.php

·       http://www.thecookingacademy.co.uk/cookery-classes-for-beginners.php

·       http://www.cookeryschool.com/cookery-classes/healthy-cookery.html

15. DINNER CERTIFICATE TO CORRIGAN’S MAYFAIR

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Created and run by multiple michilin starred chef Richard Corrigan, this trend savvy and ethically conscious restaurant boasts the highest quality ingredients sourced locally, and as organically grown, or even biodiversely grown as possible. Richard is a keen supporter and ambassador of the SLOW FOOD MOVEMENT, and one of the founding members of and spokespersons for the SLOW FOOD UK CHEF ALLIANCE.  Richard’s approach is defined by his belief in good hospitality coupled with excellent food. Food that is sourced as locally as possible and from individuals rather than large companies.

16. Or try their COOKERY EXPERIENCE  to learn from the best! 

Your experience starts with a glass of champagne and an introduction by your chef to the Richard Corrigan ethos of cooking. You will be introduced to a number of dishes with the end result culminating in your four course lunch. Classes vary seasonally focusing on British & Irish cuisine, students can expect to pick up skills such as bread baking, filleting fish, plucking & roasting game birds, perfecting the perfect pudding and the secrets of a soufflé.

To wrap up your perfect day you will receive a goody bag containing recipe cards, an apron, a loaf of our famous soda bread and a signed copy of Richard Corrigan’s latest cookbook; to remind you of your time and to inspire you to flex your cooking muscle a little further.

Sounds devine!!!

 FOR THE FITNESS FANATIC:

17.  BOBBLE SPORT

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Fitness Fanatics know the importance of keeping hydrated so giving the gift of a reusable, purifying bottle by Bobble would be the perfect gift! Not only are they uber chic, they have an ingenious replaceable carbon filter which removes chlorine and organic contaminants from municipal taps. This makes water taste better, crisp and clean. Each bobble filter equates to 300 single-serve bottles. After 1 year, one person’s use alone will help remove thousands of plastic bottles from the environment, simply by filtering the water from your tap. The bobble is free of BPA, Phthalates and PVC. Plus they come in all sorts of colours to suit your receivers taste.

 

 

 18.  BIKRAM YOGA/PILATES CLASSES

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 Yoga and Pilates are a great way to distress in the city, get in shape, strengthen core muscles which will help support other fitness training, help fight off osteoporosis and can alleviate arthritis and other aches and pains! A great gift for adults of all ages. Use this guide to find the perfect class in your area…wrap up a certificate with some yoga gear such as a yoga mat, sweat towel or tank top– there are many brands and many places to find yoga gear – just search online such as amazon.co.uk or check out #20 for some glamorous ethical yoga wear!

 

 

19.  FRIETAG CLARK BAG

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Frietag’s Clark is a super durable sports bag is made from recycled truck tarps and seat belts. You can stash your sports gear or use it as a weekender. Another item that’s ready to take on your bike, the Clark bag features straps that can be attached to your handle bars. If you have it on your back, there’s a handy little side pocket for stuff like your keys and wallet.

Like all the bags in Frietag’s collection, each piece is unique and comes in a variety of colours.

20. EARTH COUTURE: ORGANIC GLAMOUR

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A new company that’s just launching a gorgeous range of leisure wear. Founded by Meleni Bharwani, the collection is made from certified organic cotton using natural West African indigo dyes; socially responsible practises are adhered to in the factories in Turkey and Portugal. For every item sold a mosquito coil is donated to a family in Nigeria to help combat malaria.

FOR THE KIDS:

21. A FAIR TRADE WOODEN NOAH’S ARK  

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A stunning large Ark from Lanka Kade, big and bright and full of full, what better way to teach your little one about the different animals in the world then playing with this ark. Learning can be fun! Also its fair trade made from Sri Lanka! This is a wonderful gift for a wide range of children’s ages, and can be enjoyed by both boys and girls! (Even I want one!)

 

 

 

22. OSKAR & ELLEN SOFT PICNIC BASKET 

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This fabric Picnic Basket, made by Oskar & Ellen, is perfect for a play picnic inside or out with teddies & dolls.

This beautiful gift is a unique, handmade product. By buying this product you are helping to keep creative skills alive for future generations. It is also sustainable and encourages sustainable practices (& discouraging unsustainable behaviour, such as deforestation). This product also raises money as some of the proceeds go to help a variety of children’s charities!

 

 

23. FOX SLIPPERS

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Hand-felted in Kathmandu, these adorable animal slippers are made with organic wool and slowly shaped in the sun. They also come presented in an organic cotton draw string pouch.

 

 

 

24.  CHILDREN’S BOOKS

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Books are always a wonderful gift for a child. Especially like the one by Jason Mayo Do Witches Make Fishes to teach children about healthy eating.  The main character in this tale is a boy who prefers candy instead of healthier options. His imagination runs wild as he learns about making wise food choices.  Profits from the sale of the book go towards the Garden of Dreams Foundation.

 

 

 

25. HELP SAVE ME AND MY HABITAT WORLD WILDLIFE FOUNDATION PLUSH TOYS

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A range of cute plush characters produced under license with Keel Toys inspired by the endangered species and the places they inhabit that WWF are working to protect. The range consists of six assorted characters; tiger, polar bear, orang-utan, panda, marine turtle, and elephant displayed in FSC packaging . Available in 14cm and 25cm. All fully conform to EN71 part 1, 2 and 3. Recommended for children 1 year old and over.

Every penny you spend with WWF helps fund crucial projects locally and internationally to save our environment and fight for the rights of animals.

 

25. CHILDREN’S GARDENING SET BY MCGREGGORS

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Charming set of tools in an attractive tool bag

Contains hand fork, hand trowel, bucket, gardening gloves and two plant markers all in a robust canvas bag

The prefect way to get kids into the garden! So many kids these days are not in touch with where their food comes from and how much work it takes to produce it. By getting children involved in gardening we can reconnect them with this respect and appreciation the fun way!

 

ACCESSORIES AND BEAUTY:

26.  BLUEBEARD’S REVENGE GIFT BOX SCIMITAR RAZOR KIT 

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If you’re looking for the most ethical skincare products to give the best shave ever, then The Bluebeards Revenge is exactly what you need. The UK based brands has spent a number of years developing the highest quality men’s shaving range, which includes paraben free shaving cream as well as traditionally styled razors, finally finding the right combination of ingredients to create the perfect shaving experience. Its paraben free skin care products are made with decelerine which has been proven to delay hair growth, reducing the frequency of shaving while providing a recovering effect on the skin, which means no more razor burn!

The Bluebeards Revenge strives to be the most ethical provider of top quality shaving supplies, which is why they use vegetarian friendly ingredients in all of their products, while also making sure all of their packaging is recyclable. The company also teamed up with the charity Orchid in 2012 to raise awareness of male-specific cancers, printing information on the inside of its packaging in a bid to encourage its customers to self-check for signs of cancer as part of their daily grooming routine.

27.  MAC VIVAGLAM LIPSTICK COMPACT

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All six shades of Mac’s iconic VivaGlam lipsticks in a mirrored compact of anodised red metal and trimmed with a beaded chain. Surely an item any woman would be proud to pull out of her handbag. What’s more, 100 per cent of the suggested retail sales price of every lipstick goes to the MAC AIDS Fund. Available from Mac stores or visit www.maccosmetics.co.uk for stockists.

 

28.  CURE BY DESIGN

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Rachel began selling beaded bracelets to raise funds to find a cure for diabetes. Since then she has begun designing bracelets for several important causes. For every piece of jewellery sold at Rachel’s Cure by Design over $30, she donates $10.00 to the cause plus $10.00 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Rachel has developed a beautiful selection of bracelets, necklaces and earrings to choose from, all of which would make a terrific holiday gift.  To see her designs, go to: http://www.rachelscbd.com/fundraising.php.

 

29.  HEAVY METAL by LUMOI JEWELLERY

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Louise believes consumers are already more aware of the environmental impact of mass production so more people are seeking out the eco-option. However, she feels more businesses need to lead by example and echo a positive message that re-cycling is not just sensible, but necessary.  Louise therefore make all her jewellery from recycled materials!

 

 

30. RECYCLED FOIL CHOKER

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12″ Chocker with 3″ Ball Extender

Small Recycled-Foil beads woven with Nylon thread

Glass Bugle Beads

15mm Sterling Silver Carabiner Trigger Clasp

3 Inch Sterling Silver Ball Extender

31.  TIRE TUBE FEATHER EARRINGS

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These simple feather-shaped earrings are made using recycled bicycle inner tubes, stones, and are bound together using a deconstructed brake cable. Best part is – there are many more designs to chose from!

From Etsy shop Girl on Bike.

 

33.  WINE BARREL CUFF LINKS

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 These eco-friendly sterling silver cuff links are made of recycled oak wine barrels sourced from the wineries of Napa Valley — a perfect eco-friendly gift for the wine-appreciating dad, husband or boyfriend. eco-artware.com

GADGETS:

34.  SOLAR SUN JARS

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Add some sunshine to your night time. The Solar Sun Jar is a gentle night light that wouldn’t look out of place in any home. Thanks to its waterproof seal it’s also great for barbecues and camping trips; as it’s solar powered you really can take it anywhere! 

 

 

 

35.  ECO FRIENDLY GADGETS

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The environment is the hot topic of contention at the moment and the team here at Gizoo want to help you reduce your carbon footprint… along with those nasty bills.

They have a great selection of energy saving gadgets, solar powered gizmos and environmentally friendly gifts that will look great in your home and save you a few quid.

 

FOR THE FASHIONISTA:

36.  HUG BABY GROWS

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The only way to secure the future of the earth is to raise eco-awareness in the young. Get baby off to a good (and adorably cute) start with a Hug reindeer babygrow made from premium organic and fair trade certified cotton.

 

 

 

37.  BEYOND SKIN SHOES

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Created in 2001, Beyond Skin is a Brighton-based vegetarian footwear label passionately doing what they can to trade in a manner that is kind to humans, animals and, wherever possible, the planet. These are not your average ethical shoe – they have so much style! My list to Santa is getting very long now!

 

 

38.  THE VANITY SHIRT PROJECT

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The Vanity Project was founded on the simple idea that your clothing should be a billboard for good. Most non-profit organisations cannot afford to divert time and resources towards apparel production for events. As a result, the founders of The Vanity Project, Jason and Omri saw an opportunity to both create high-quality apparel and unburden these organizations by helping them build stronger, more recognizable brands.

Your clothing is a billboard. Use it for good.

 

FOR THE HOME:

39. COUNTDOWN CHALKBOARDS

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These motivational, encouraging, and inspiring hanging chalkboards make the perfect gift! Plus they have been handmade with love in Canada. Cute 4″ X 6″ boards with chalk and chalkboard hearts to write on. You can countdown the days to your big event! Great gifts for Grandparents to be, expecting parents, kids excited to be a big brother or sister when baby is due; a coworker or family member counting down the days until retirement; or to your self: enhance the excitement to your wedding day! (Days Until…We Say I Do!) or motivate yourself to reach that weight loss goal! (Perfect for new years resolutions!) Customers have used some to announce to friends that they are invited to be  bridesmaids! (Days Until..I’m a Bridesmaid!) Plus they can make any custom sign you’d like!

 

 

40.  GROW YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS TREE

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Its only 5.99 so makes the perfect stocking stuffer or secret santa gift!

 

 

 

41.  FAIRTRADE ANTIQUED SILVER RECYCLED TEALIGHT HOLDER

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 Charming antiqued silver tealight holder which sparkles in the candlelight. Made from recycled glass. Fairtrade.

 

 

 

42. SNOW CRYSTAL PERFUMED CANDLE

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All-natural fragranced candles of the highest quality.  Each is hand-poured into a lead-free crystal glass which can be used after the candle has finished.

Twin metal-free wicks give an even burn; the unique plant wax creates no black smoke or soot and has a fascinating crystalline structure that becomes more apparent as the candle burns.  As the wax melts the fabulous perfume envelops the room.

Available in four fragrances: Trail of White Petals, Linen and Lavender, Innocent Vanilla, and Spa.

 

43.  RECYCLED ALUMINIUM DIPS & NIBBLES SERVING TRAY 

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Stunning dips and nibbles tray complete with spoons! Perfect for dinner parties or that special occasion. Each little dish is a different colour with a matching spoon. Made in India from recycled aluminium. Fair Trade.

 

 

44. FLATTENED WINE BOTTLE PLATTER

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Serve cheeses on this Flattened Wine Bottle Platter. A fantastic gift for any wine and cheese lover. UK’s most innovative recyclers of glass bottles & jars. Each bottle is flattened using our own secret process! Individual bottles have their own characteristics making each finished bottle one of a kind.

 

 

45. WWF SLATE COASTERS

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A unique slate coaster made from Welsh slate mined from local quaries. Every purchase you make with WWF helps fund vital projects locally and internationally to save our environment and fight for the rights of animals.

OTHER:

46.  DO GOOD, BUY US

Still unsure what to buy for the holidays? Then go browse http://www.dogoodbuy.us/. I met founder Zack Rosenberg at the Social Good Summit in September and learned about his deep passion for paying it forward.  He has created an online marketplace for charity-made products, perfect for those of us shopping this holiday for gifts that pay it forward.  As the site says, the world won’t change until consumerism does.  There is a terrific selection of items for every person on your holiday list.

47. ADOPT AN ANIMAL

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Adopt an farm animal and make a difference to a rescued animal’s life! Makes a wonderful gift for friends and family.

 

 

 

 

48. ZSL LONDON ZOO ANIMAL ADOPTIONS  

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An animal adoption makes a unique gift idea for yourself or someone special, and also makes a valuable contribution to the running costs of ZSL.

Adopt Jae Jae, ZSL London Zoo’s new male Sumatran tiger.

Jae Jae is an incredible new addition to ZSL London Zoo, arriving in September 2012 all the way from Akron Zoo, Ohio.

He’s one laid back tiger! Since his arrival he has overwhelmed his keepers not only by his impressive stature, but by his chilled out c-attitude!

By adopting Jae Jae for yourself or as a gift, you will be directly supporting ZSL’s conservation work.

Adoption packs are £35

Our adoption packs are beautifully presented and include a certificate, photograph, information on your animal, subscription to our Wild About magazine plus some fun stickers and bookmarks. There is also a free zoo entry ticket so you can come and visit your new friend.

Postage is included in the price.

By purchasing an Animal Adoption pack you are helping to fund ZSL’s conservation work

49.  MADECLOSER 

Bringing you products made in the UK from women’s fashion and electrical goods to unique gifts, our merchants have created products that cater for all tastes, styles and budgets.

MadeCloser wants to encourage people to buy products made closer to them; reducing carbon footprint & supporting local business which will further boost the economy, reduce unemployment and help boost sustainability.

50. THREE DAGGERS INN WEEKEND AWAY

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This luxury British bed and breakfast is surrounded by beautiful Wiltshire countryside. Built in the mid-18th century, this beautiful little gem serves up some of the best food I have ever tasted, with service to match!  Local produce is served on the seasonal menu in the Dagger’s wooden-beamed restaurant and they were more than happy to accommodate for my picky requests.

All the ingredients for a healthy breakfast are left in the farmhouse-style kitchen for guests to help themselves to. Alternatively, guests can pre-book cooked breakfasts in the restaurant (which I would highly recommend! They had the nicest muesli and smoked salmon for my scrambled egg whites). Ales and ciders from local micro-breweries as well as organic-vegan and biodynamic wines can be sampled in the cozy bar.

Don’t forget to visit their farm house shop right next door where you can take home some of the delicious local, seasonal, fresh and organic produce, meats and more!

Posted on December 9, 2013, in Local, Organic, Sustainability, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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