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Life & Style

Life & Style

Ethical Christmas Gift Guide 2018

ethical christmas gift guide 2018

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It’s that time of year again – Christmas is less than 6 weeks away – and so I’ve put together my annual ethical Christmas gift guide packed full of ethical ideas for him, her and for little ones.  From vegan, to palm oil free, to plastic free, to zero waste, to organic, I hope there’s something here for everyone.

I don’t subscribe to the idea that you should spend lots of money at Christmas so all of my ideas are around the £30 mark or less, and start from just £8.  

Ethical Christmas Gift ideas for Him and Her

DIY origami paper lamp kit (£19.95) from OWL Paper Lamps.  I love this paper lamp kit that you make yourself (full instructions provided!).  Please note, this item ships from Portugal so bear this in mind with shipping times. 

Stainless Steel Lunchbox (£18) by Green Tulip.  A great gift for anyone.  I have a stainless steel lunchbox that I use for work that my partner pinches on a regular basis!  

Soap, candle and flannel gift set (£21.50) from Soapdaze.  I love Soapdaze, and this gift box packed with a vegan candle, handknitted facecloth, and vegan soap is a lovely gift for someone that deserves a good pampering.  

Beeswax Food Wraps (£15) from Abeego.  I love my beeswax wraps, and I think they made a lovely gift.  Alternatively you can make your own wraps – it’s really easy – promise!

Succulent enamel pins from Katy Pillinger Designs (£18 for 3).  A cute gift for your friends.  Split them up so you all have one each, or give them all to one lucky recipient.  

Fresh Clean Home (from £8.30). Currently reduced on Amazon but also available at other retailers.  I have it on very good authority that this book is brilliant for anyone that’s keen to give making their own cleaning products a go ;)  You could even gift it with some amber spray bottles and/or a bottle of liquid castile soap

Vegan and Palm Oil Free Pamper Gift Set (£18.70) from Bloomtown.  Vegan?  Check.  Palm oil free? Check.  This gift set is perfect for anyone looking to indulge in a bit of natural beauty.

Vegan and plastic free candle (£11) from Vegan Bunny.  After a delicious smelling soy candle from a plastic-free company?  Vegan Bunny is the place to go!  

From clockwise, top left:

The Danish Art of Whittling (RRP £9.99).  I have been ogling this in my local bookshop and it looks like a wonderful guide to whittling (my new found favourite hobby).  

Hydroflask (£23.99).  I love my Hydroflask – I wrote an ode to it here – and I promise, whoever you gift it to is sure to love it too.  

Safety Razor (£32.50) from Babi Pur.  For ladies or men looking to swap from plastic razors.  

Bamboo Multi-Tool (£15).  I  have one of those for my bike and it’s by far one of the most useful things I carry with me on a daily basis, and not just for my bike.  There’s few things you can’t mend with a multi-tool!  

Guppy Friend (£25.99) from tentree.  For ocean conscious pals that want to help stop microfibres from their laundry.  

Georganics Tooth Care Set (£19.90) – A complete oral care gift set for anyone that wants to green their dental routine.  

Ethical Gift Ideas for Kids

Pretend Play Kitchenware Set (£29.99) from Toby Tiger.  This sweet set contains enamel pans and metal utensils, and it’s so lovely to find a plastic-free set.  I could imagine this being a lovely hand me down set that will last for decades.  

The Lorax: How To Save The Planet Edition (£11.41) from Harper Collins. We have this book and my kids love it.  As well as containing the classic Lorax story from Dr Seuss, it’s also packed full of ideas on how kids can help the environment.  

Paper Bead Craft Kit (£11.95) from Ethical Superstore.  Is there a kid that doesn’t love crafting?  I certainly haven’t met one yet.  This kit allows kids to make beads from recycled paper, which can then be used to make jewellery.  Hopefully adults can get a shot too!  

Banana Pyjamas (£19.99) from Toby Tiger.  These fun GOTS certified organic cotton are sure to be a hit at bedtime.  These beauties come in lots of other fun patterns too.  

Personalised Water Bottle (£15) from Not On The High Street.  Which kid doesn’t love seeing their name printed on anything?  I know when I was little I used to get incredibly excited when I saw my name printed on anything in a gift shop.  Now some 30 years later my kids are the same.      

Recycled Fire Engine (£19.95) from Ethical Superstore.  This cute fire engine is made from recycled milk bottles and is sure to provide tons of fun.

ps: here are 10 zero-waste and plastic-free shops on Etsy if you’re looking for more low impact gift ideas, and here are some more lovely kids eco-friendly gift ideas.  

Health & Beauty, Life & Style

Guide to Plastic-Free Conditioner

zero waste conditioner uk
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I’ve been on the hunt for some plastic-free conditioner that doesn’t dry out my hair.  I’ve been using solid conditioner bars since the start of this year, but over the long run, I noticed my long-ish hair becoming dry and prone to breakage.  A problem I’ve never suffered from before.  

I tried using an apple cider rinse, which I categorically did not enjoy.  I didn’t feel that it worked for me, and don’t even ask me about the smell.  All I’ll say is that perhaps my hair is more porous than most…

Although solid conditioner bars are easily accessible, and the default zero-waste option, I wanted to see what plastic-free conditioner options were out there that aren’t solid bars.  As sharing is caring, I thought I’d share the fruits of my plastic-free conditioner research with you lovely lot.  Don’t say I’m not good to you!  

plastic-free conditioner uk
Clockwise from top left

Lavender + Rose Geranium Hair Conditioner

This preservative and silicone free lavender and rose geranium hair conditioner from Wild Sage & Co is infused with broccoli seed oil (yes, broccoli) for naturally shiny and silky smooth hair.  Priced at £20 for 175 ml, it does cost a pretty penny, but apparently you don’t need to use as much as you would with regular conditioner. 

Packaged in: a glass bottle and metal lid.

Bentonite Clay Conditioner  

This bentonite clay conditioner* is by Afro Bob Tro.  Priced between £9.50 and £18, it’s pH balanced to suit afro hair. 

This plastic-free conditioner contains no preservatives, colours, silicones, sulphates, mineral oils or parabens.  Packed full of natural ingredients, such as shea, argan, grapeseed, hemp, olive, and coconut oils, selected for their conditioning properties, and pro-vitamin B5, panthenol and wheat protein for strength and shine. 

Packaged in: glass jar with metal lid

Argan Oil

This fairtrade and certified organic Argan Oil from Conscious Skincare* costs from £12 and can be used in place of conditioner.  Simply add a few drops to your hair before washing to use as a deep conditioner, or rub a drop or two into the ends of your hair – Argan Oil is easily absorbed into your hair, and helps to boost shine and condition even if your hair is dry.  It also has hair strengthening properties and assists in detangling.

Packaged in: metal bottle with metal lid

Herbal Hare Conditioner

This jar of conditioner* from Trawden Soap Kitchen is cruelty-free, paraben free, silicone free, and vegan-friendly., it contains no artificial fragrances or colourants.  Prices range from £6 to £11.50, and you can choose between a herbal or citrus scent. Shampoos and an intensive conditioning mask are also available, in the same plastic-free packaging.

Packaged in: glass jar with metal lid.

I’m going to give the Herbal Hare one a go first and will report back on my findings!  In the meantime, I’ve written a couple of guides to plastic-free toiletries.  Check out this plastic-free bathroom post and this post for more inspiration!