Christmas gifts that do good and waste less

Lauren Janus – Charitable & Good-Giving Adviser

Few adults (and even some kids) would argue that they need more stuff this Christmas.

From Christmas crackers to piles of wrapping paper, the Christmas season seems to come with more waste each year. And there’s no evidence all of this stuff is making the holiday any merrier—in fact it’s likely adding unnecessary stress to the season.

Christmas gifts that do good and waste less

This year, rather than hunting down the perfect new gadget or fashion piece for everyone on your list, consider some of the rapidly expanding options for gifts that do some good. These presents come with little unnecessary waste and they all help the wider world in some way.

When matched to the right person, ‘do good’ gifts are guaranteed to spread Christmas spirit among your stuff-weary friends and family.

Here are some great gift ideas to consider:

  • For the note-taker. If you’ve got someone on your list who’s always jotting things down, slip them a few Sprout Pencils this year. Once the pencil is too short to write with, it can be planted and herbs, flowers or vegetables will grow from the seeds in the pencil’s top.
  • For the glam girl. Skincare company LXMI employs women in East Africa to harvest and process Nilotica nuts, which produce an extremely lush facial cream. Much of their packaging is made from recycled materials, and they’ve got a firm commitment to conserving biodiversity in their product’s production. Pop a tube of Pure Nilotica Melt in your giftee’s stocking and she (or he) will glow from the rich lotion as well as knowledge that their facial routine is lifting women out of poverty.
  • For the cheeky 9 year-old. Apopo is an international charity that works in countries where the threat of death or injury from landmines is constant. They train rats—who are too light to set off the explosives—to sniff out landmines so they can be safely removed. For about £100, you can adopt a rat on behalf of the cheeky kid in your life. They’ll receive a welcome pack with information and shareable photos that will make them the hero of the school yard.
  • For the pragmatist. Maybe it’s your mum or your no-nonsense brother. If you’ve got someone on your list who insists they ‘need no gifts’ this year, this is one they’re guaranteed to thank you for. The Against Malaria Foundation distributes long-lasting insecticidal bed nets to people living in areas of the world ravaged by malaria. The nets cost about £1.50 each and when you give nets in someone’s honour, they’re sent an email where they can track exactly where their nets were distributed.

Next Steps

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you engage in some form of good-giving this season.

As always, if you’d like to start a conversation about your charitable and good-giving plans, please contact me at

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Lauren is not employed by Longhurst Limited. Lauren Janus owns Thoughtful Philanthropy Limited. Please click here for more information.

Longhurst Limited does not accept any legal or financial responsibility for the services Lauren Janus or Thoughtful Philanthropy Limited provides.

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