Nov 04

8 3Rs Christmas Gift Ideas

Thnking of ‘going green’ this Christmas – read on.

Here’s a few gift ideas I came up with.

1. Give An Experience

2. Adopt a Turtle

3. Subscription to Spotify

4. Give Time

5. Make Something Yourself

6. Use Freecycle

7. Reuse – Ebay/Charity Shop/Car Boot Sale

8. Plant a Tree

1. An experience

Give someone an experience this Christmas and they will have a story about how they went bungee jumping, were a keeper at a zoo, or had afternoon tea at Windsor Castle for years to come.

However be careful when selecting your experience – many of them are highly carbon intensive!!

Alternative Christmas Present

Golf lessons: http://tiny.cc/wb5vz

Bungee jump: http://tiny.cc/5wh5c

Spa treatment: http://tiny.cc/gdn4b

Ghosthunting: http://tiny.cc/71xmg

2. Adopt a turtle

Adopt a wild animal, save some trees from destruction, help the world. Right now a turtle is eating a plastic bag it thinks is a jellyfish.


If you donate to a worthy cause your money will go to charity and you will also receive something to give on Christmas Day eg. a card, cuddly toy, certificate.

Adopt a turtle: http://tiny.cc/eeqpz

Save Trees: http://tiny.cc/p0f3t , http://tiny.cc/aof9b

Energy Saving Stove: http://tiny.cc/i3qw9

3. Subscription to Spotify

Spotify is a music streaming service offering streaming of selected music from a range of major and independent record labels’  Wikipedia

7 million people are now using Spotify and its not even available outside Europe. Developed by a team in Sweden this music streaming service has been taking Europe by storm since 2008. With 10 million tracks available at the touch of a button and from major record labels including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal its not hard to see why.

Where Spotify is available anyone with a PC can access all the 10 million tracks for free. The trouble is you have to put up with those annoying banner and audio ads.

For £4.99 a month you can give the gift of ad free unlimited music to a music loving recipient.

Girl Listening to New Music Player for Christmas

The only trouble is once your subscription expires they might well be hooked….

Spotify: http://tiny.cc/ayz29

4. Give Time

Time, the most precious gift of all. Time waits for no man (or woman). Once it’s gone there’s no getting it back.


People need help with all sorts of things. Here are a few examples of things you could do: Help with the kids, lifts to shops/ shopping, trip out, go to the park, walk the dog, cook a meal/ meals

If you have a particular skill, giving your time could be even more valuable. You could teach someone something!

eg. Music lesson/s, computer lesson/s eg. how to use Facebook / Twitter, car maintenance, makeup/ painting nails, budgeting, driving lessons, crafts, home brewing, help to fix bike, DIY

Suggestion: If you have a range of skills you could write them down and offer them over a time period and put a limit on the date it is to be done eg.

Happy Christmas :)

3 hours – Piano Lessons/ Car maintenance/ Makeup

Will do by Jan 15th latest

5. Make something yourself

For the more crafty people you could save money and the environment by making something yourself. Here are a few examples:

Picture book: http://tiny.cc/4xr9n

Plastic bag crouchet: http://tiny.cc/tz1u9, http://tiny.cc/i9g42

If you live in Manchester, UK there are craft workshops which teach you how to make ‘Junk mail jewelry’, ‘Reuse button bags’ and more: http://tiny.cc/yp2b903b1r

6. Use Freecycle

Freecycle logo

Freecycle is a ‘grassoots movement of people who are giving and getting stuff for free in their own towns.’

It is free to sign up and there are 494 groups in the UK alone. Once you sign up you can post on the site offering your unwanted items or requesting items.

I found these items posted in the past few days for my local groups (Manchester and Salford). Don’t you think they might make great gifts?!

DVD Player For Christmas Gift Crey Chair for Christmas Baby sterilizer for Christmas

(Representations of actual items)

Large Teddy Bear – Like New: Large Teddy bear for collection.
Like new with label still on it.

Baby bottle electronic steriliser: Brand new 6 bottle electric steam steriliser. Bottles not included. Brand: Avent express.

Toshiba DVD Player: Toshiba SD 230E – works fine. With power lead, but you would need a scart or other connector. No HDMI (which is why I bought a new one).

Computer Chair: Gray fabric computer chair with arms, swivel mount, and height adjustable. In good condition.

Espresso Maker: Have an espresso maker for offer

A few to avoid: Soil Large amount of soil from extension dig out, 17 Cardboard Boxes, A Bowl I have a spare bowl…

Tip: Make sure to send a convincing message to request items as there may be competition. Eg. make them laugh and be flexible


7. Reuse – Ebay/ Charity shops/ Car boot sale

Ebay – you can use the ebay auctions or buy it now but make sure the item is used/ unwanted/ refurbished as a lot of stores on eBay sell new stuff. http://www.ebay.com/, http://www.ebay.co.uk/


Charity shops – If you have an eye for a bargain why not try picking up a gift at a charity shop? You never know you might stumble across a great find. Try not to go with anything specific in mind, you may just find the right present for that great aunt or even the not so good one.

Charity Shop Inside - Recycled Goods


If you go to a wealthy area you can often pick up the best bargains

Seek out smaller charities

Check out the accessories

Have a chat with the staff to see when items come in. They might offer to find and hold items for you.

Car Boot SaleIf you are prepared to get up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning and get there early you may just grab a bargain. http://www.carbootsales.org

8. Plant a tree

This may be a controversial one for the environmentalists. Planting trees to sequester carbon from fossil fuels is not a sustainable solution for global warming and can be used to justify carbon pollution ie. ‘Yeah, I went on holiday to Jamaica but I bought some carbon offsets…’.

That said planting trees to create or restore a forest can benefit wild animals which live there and can also add biomass to the forest which reduces CO2 in the atmosphere.

The Trees for Life project in Caledonia, Scotland is restoring the Caledonian forest. They planted 250,000 trees in 2008-2009.

Scots Pine

Trees for life http://www.treesforlife.org.uk

Treetwists: http://www.treetwist.co.uk/

Crafty/ Alternative:

For lovers of rock music: http://tiny.cc/utzarodjxy

Hairy Growler jewelry (recycled) http://www.hairygrowler.co.uk/

Handmade Norfolk Soap www.handmadenorfolksoaps.co.uk

English Wine: Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2005 http://tiny.cc/iivo1

If you have any thoughts good or bad about this post please post a quick comment. Also if you have any great ideas on green christmas gifts I would be grateful for the input.




  1. LetsWasteLess Nelc

    HI there, love all these ideas, I’m planning to Tweet them from @RubbishGeek
    I’d also recommend the Oxfam gifts – especially for the person who has everything, help them to help someone who has very little. You can even buy a goat or a toilet!
    Best Wishes,

  2. itsjoewhite

    Yeah, I saw the pic of a goat in a box on the Oxfam website – unwrapped. Didn’t see the toilet – maybe not as photo friendly 😉

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