Eco-Thursdays: Green Christmas Gift Ideas 2.0

Continuing from last week, we have some more great sustainable gift ideas that you can buy for friends and family this Christmas!

3. Sponsorships and donations

WWF Adopt a Penguin

At WWF, you can adopt a wide range of animals for your friends and family, supporting their vital conservation work year round. Your loved one will receive a cuddly toy, certificate, and updates on the progress of their sponsored animal throughout the year.

Oxfam Gift Cards

Oxfam offers gift cards in their shops or online which go towards different types of work they’re doing in low- and middle-income countries. You can select from different price points, and offer different services and goods that people can use in their every day lives. This includes education for girls, water cleaning equipment, and seeds for growing new and resilient crops.

Local Charities 

Have a look at charities near you to see if there are any green or ethical activities you could sponsor or donate to on behalf of a loved one. For example, Riding for the Disabled have centres around the UK, and at some you can sponsor a horse, supporting its care and upkeep throughout the year.

4. Zero waste gifts

Eco Toiletries

Bubble bath and soaps are a great gift to get family and friends at Christmas – luxury toiletries aren’t usually something someone would buy themselves! To find sustainable versions, you can use sites like Friendly Turtle, Wearth London, and the Kind Store which only offer products that are sourced and made sustainably and ethically, and are not tested on animals. Most of these goods are also not packaged in plastic.

Wooden cutlery

If your loved one gets a lot of takeaways or lunches on the go, consider getting them a wooden cutlery gift set like this one, containing a fork, spoon, knife, and straw. It tucks neatly into a storage pouch that can go inside a work or school bag, and come out whenever required. The set will reduce waste on disposable cutlery year round.

5. Sustainable sites

Ethical Superstore – there are around 100 businesses stocked on this website, all checked for their ethical and sustainable credentials. Search by department like you would on any other department store website.

Social Super Market – this site stocks 1500 different products, all from brands which have met high ethical and sustainable standards. This includes looking at a brand’s supply chain from raw material to final product distribution. and – these two sites support independent bookshops around the UK. You can order books to your local bookstore, or order them direct to your home. Either way, you’ll be supporting independent bookshops of your choice!

James is the Chief Executive officer of Ormiston Trust. He has worked as an organisation advisor in the private, public and voluntary sectors, helping organisations to grow sustainably over the medium to long term. He has helped charities for over 20 years in the fields of strategic development, partnership setup, programme and project delivery.

Poppy is the Youth Engagement and Partnership Officer at Ormiston Trust, responsible for coordinating our team of Young Advisors and developing effective working relationships with external organisations. She is currently studying ‘Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development’ at Warwick University and previously worked as Board Advisor for a non-profit youth-focused organisation in Croydon. She has experience in activism work – attending COP26 with environmental education company Force of Nature and had been a member of the UK Youth Parliament for many years, speaking on environmental issues in the House of Commons for its ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign.

Genéa is the Communications and Events Coordinator at Ormiston Trust. She plays an integral role in overseeing the communications and media strategy – along with leading the content development for internal and external comms and PR across the Trust and the #WeWill programme. As well as supporting all event planning across campaigns, including the delivery of comms workshops with the Youth Advisory Council. 

She has worked predominantly in broadcasting PR, comms and editorial and now works as a narrative designer alongside her work since completing her MA in Narrative Environments at Central Saint Martins. 

Fiona is the Grants Assistant at Ormiston Trust and in her role she supports the Grants team. Previously, she worked in the City for 10 years, firstly as a dealer on the floor of the London Stock Exchange and then as an equity salestrader.  

Samia is a business and ICT Teacher with over 20 years of leadership experience in Education, working with leaders from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 5. Her experience has ranged from working as an Acting Head Teacher to a Deputy for an Education Trust. Some of the key highlights from her education career have included building schools and setting up education provisions, including a teaching school, and winning several National awards. Samia is passionate about ensuring the young people in her care have the best possible experience and has always led by example by sending her own children to the schools she has been a part of.

Ray leads the youth engagement, partnerships and fundraising work streams at Ormiston Trust, in particular having strategic oversight of how we as an organisation can embed the voices of our young people in everything we do, and how we can work with partner organisations to maximise shared outcomes and opportunities.

His background is in community project development and funding, having worked with charities, schools, and local authorities in East Anglia to develop a plethora of projects including primary-secondary school transition, award-winning youth amateur theatre, social prescribing in rural GP practices, and youth commissioning boards, for which he was recognised as a Prime Minister’s Point of Light.

Ray is a global health and medicine graduate, alongside his work at Ormiston, he is a hospital doctor and public health academic. He is also an #iWill Ambassador and national #iWill Partnership Board member.

Anne is Finance Manager at Ormiston Trust and has worked for Ormiston Trust for over 30 years, overseeing the property portfolio and asset management. She combines her work at the Trust with voluntary community work and has raised thousands of pounds to enhance leisure and education opportunities for young people in disadvantaged communities. 

Karlene is Finance Manager at Ormiston Trust and has been handling the Financial Management of Ormiston Trust since 2014. Her background is in Financial Services with 20 years working in the industry and she has a passion for systems, processes and spreadsheets to enable good finance management. 

Aneela is the Head of Education at Ormiston Trust. Prior to joining Ormiston Trust, she was Head of Professional Development and School Improvement at Beaconhouse Group, overseeing the professional development of over 8000 teachers and implementing systems for school improvement across 200 international schools, in the Southeast region. Prior to this, she worked at Universities in the UAE, where she taught on the Bachelor of Education and Diploma programmes, and previous to this she was a Lead Advisor for Nord Anglia Education services, working with head teachers and principals to raise educational standards across schools in Abu Dhabi.

Melissa is a Programme Management Officer at Ormiston Trust. In her role she supports the #WeWill programme management, and works closely with the monitoring & evaluation, social action toolkit & skills, and youth engagement teams. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Development at the University of Sussex, and her postgraduate degree in Global Health and Development at UCL. Over the last eight years, she has dedicated much of her time to working with non-profit organisations in the UK, Nigeria, China, and Tanzania.