GEMREDDING VIA GETTY IMAGES
Injured seal with a plastic frisbee stuck around its neck
There’s something we can immediately do about this: stop buying so much of the stuff. The good news is there are some excellent Christmas alternatives out there at every price point.
Before we begin our gift guide proper we should point out one important exception we’ve made, which is to include a handful of products made from recycled ocean plastics. “Plastic-free” these are not; tackling our toxic plastics pollution problem they most certainly are.Here we go.
1. Buy A Hotel… For Bees
Bee hotels such as Wudwerx’s Mason Bee House provide shelter for solitary bees to nest in. Edinburgh-based Wudwerx makes bee hotels, bird boxes and insect houses from wood and bamboo – in their words “to give nature a helping hand”.
Price: £44 from Wudwerx
2. Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh LipBlock
3. Give The Gift Of BYOB
This heartbreaking turtle photo is a sharp reminder of the damage six-pack rings can do to wildlife so, if the person you’re shopping for is into beer, why not get them this insulated growler, which they can refill at their local microbrewery. If they don’t already use a refillable water bottle, we highly recommend you add in one of these too.
Price: £69.95. Buy it here.
5. Jenga For Ocean Lovers
Not shopping for a skater? Bureo also makes an ocean plastics version of the family-friendly block-stacking game Jenga.
Handrawn and inspired by the sea, the artwork behind Jenga Ocean is the work of Lake Buckley - a surfer, designer, artist, and explorer. All packaging 100% recycled and recyclable.
Price: $49.95 (£38). Buy ithere.
6. The Bikini with a Twist
Bureo isn’t the only company revitalising waste fishing nets. Outdoor apparel company Finisterre’s “Ren reversible bikini” uses ECONYL yarn made from used nets and other waste. Perhaps not the right outfit for Christmas day, but ideal for sunnier times in 2018. Plus Finisterre donates 10% of profits from the sale of its ECONYL swimwear to Surfers Against Sewage, a charity protecting UK oceans and beaches.
Price: £80. Buy it here.
8. Dinosaur Kale. Roar
Give the gift of growing with this kale kit, which comes in a biodegradable jute bag ready for planting directly into the garden once the plant is established. If kale doesn’t appeal, you can choose from the likes of chillis, pumpkins or sunflowers instead.
Price: £10. Buy it here.
9. A very different kind of box set
Pick from 21 scrummy-sounding soaps including “citrus sunshine” and “mint mojito” to make up your eight soap set from the All Natural Soap Co. The Cambridgeshire-based business handmakes its soaps (using compostable gloves it might be added) before packaging them in cardboard and sending them off in recyclable jiffy bags filled with recycled paper fibres.
Price: £32.95. Buy it here.
10. Get Crafty
This one-day beginners course at The Goodlife Centre in central London is a great introduction to the magical world of upholstery. For those further afield, Craft Courses is a wonderful website listing thousands of creative workshops across the UK, from bee keeping to bike building to bushcraft.
Price: £175. Buy ithere.