Abigail MeadowDecember 5th

Christmas is about spending time with friends and family and creating memories that will last forever... Oh and the gifts, lol duh!

But sadly, Christmas is one of the most wasteful holidays there is, with wrapping paper getting chucked in the bin after one use and unwanted gifts heading straight in the black bin bag.

If you're starting to feel the guilt just throwing away things at Christmas, fear not, TOTUM are here to give you some tips on how to be eco-friendly, gift-style, this Christmas.

Before we get started on some cool gift ideas let's talk about wrapping. Some people - aka my brother - are what I like to call slap-dash wrappers. They come stumbling in on Christmas Eve and are yet to wrap presents. They use way too much paper and way too much sellotape for it all to be put together horrendously and then chucked in the bin.

Some wrapping paper isn't even able to be recycled becasue of the fibres and colours used to make it, so if you're a slap-dash-wrapper looking to be a little bit more earth friendly there are tonnes of alternatives.

You can get fabric wrappings and even cute fabric bags, your old sheet music from the piano lessons you had when you were five but never kept up with.

You could even use an old newspaper! Get a little creative, and maybe think ahead. Nobody likes a slap-dash-wrapper.

Ok, over to the gifts.


Candles are usually a good shout as a cute little gift. They can help make you feel a little cosier as the winter nights draw in. Don't even get me started on scented candles... they're my weakness!

But regular candles release all sorts of air nasties - like paraffin - into your home and the greater world.

Soy and bio-degradable candles are a better more eco-friendly option, and some even have a longer burning time than regular ones.

Reusable cups

We all know a gym bunny who's buying water when they get there, or we all know somebody at work on lunch breaks who's forever getting in the Evian.

According to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, 13 billion plastic bottles are bought every year and only half of those are recycled in the UK.

Well this Christmas why not treat them to a reusable water bottle?

You can go for a branded Chilly's that seem all the rage atm, or there are of course other brands available on Amazon, with some costing as little as £8.99.

Or if you have a friend that simply cannot function without their morning coffee from Starbucks, why not gift them a reusable coffee mug?

In some places if you use a reusable cup you even get money off your coffee. So it's a win win!

Personalised Vegan Eco Pampering And Relaxing Kit

If you know somebody who is struggling to find the perfect vegan and environmentally friendly products for a little bit of pampering, look no further than this pampering kit.

Facial wipes and pads are incredibly convenient for us to just use once and then throw away, but the number of wet wipes being washed up on beaches in the UK has increased by 50% since 2014.

So why not get a personalised pampering set which includes a spa facial towel to remove make up?

This personalised eco pampering set includes: 1 artisan Vegan soap (many fragrances to choose from) enriched with certified organic shea butter, a Spa Face towel, a natural jute exfoliating mitt (for a daily gentle body scrub, no nasty microbeads, obvs), a scented vegan candle and a bag of aromatherapy bath salts.


Collapsable or metal drinking straws

There's always one person who demands straws at pre-drinks, but HELLO single use plastics!

It is estimated that we use up to 8.5 billion plastic straws a year in the UK and tonnes of them (similar to the facial wipes spoken about above) end up washed onto beaches or harming wildlife.

You can now get metal straws or reusable ones which won't contribute to that large number of plastic straws. It is an ideal zero waste drinking companion.

Solar USB Charger

We thought we might as well add in a cool gadget to appeal to the techy people out there.

There's no shame in recognising you have a wasting energy problem. We've all left our phones on charge over night when really they only need a fraction of that time to charge.

54% of energy used to supply UK houses with electricity is wasted, meaning by leaving that phone on charge while your snoozing is definitley contributing to that number.

Well now you can give an energy saving gift to a friend with this solar powered phone charger.

You can even charge up to two devices at one time.

It's often the smallest changes that have a big impact, and with these eco-friendly gifts you could inspire somebody to change how they live and help the environment at the same time!

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