Looking for the best charity Christmas cards to send festive tidings to your loved ones? Check out my guide to this year’s best buysof cards that give back in 2022.
Whilst some people call for the end of Christmas cards on environmental grounds, I have to admit, I love a Christmas card. I do get really excited when I see a handwritten card from a loved one appear on my doormat.
Christmas cards can be a really thoughtful way to spread festive cheer and to let those people special to us know that we are thinking of them. Especially when it comes to the family and friends that live further away. Even though we don’t see them as often as we would like, a handwritten card in the post is a simple way to show we care.
Rather than an environmental disaster, I think there are ways to send cards with people and the planet in mind. There are so many charities selling beautiful charity Christmas cards this year. And not only that. Some charities have made many careful and considered sustainable and ethical considerations. Look out for FSC certified cards printed in Britain and glitter-free cards. I’ve even found cards that can be reused in clever ways, and cards that can be planted in your garden.
The Best Charity Christmas Cards That Give Back In 2022
Here’s a roundup of some of my favourite cards, that consider both people and planet, and support some very worthwhile charities this Christmas 2021.
In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links.
British Heart Foundation – Supporting Heart Disease Research
If you would like to support the British Heart Foundation’s important work in funding research related to heart and circulatory diseases and their risk factors then try this box of 30 charity Christmas cards at £8.75. The cards are made with sustainably sourced and FSC certified materials. What’s more, they are glitter-free, and so are completely recyclable. As well as being designed and made in Britain, they are packaged in a recyclable cardboard box, making them completely plastic-free.
The pack includes Christmas cards of all different sizes and designs, with matching envelopes.
10% of the purchase price is donated to British Heart Foundation.
Mind – Christmas Cards Supporting This Mental Health Charity
If you are a fan of Seasalt, the ethical clothing company, then you’ll love these charity Christmas cards (£5). The designs have been illustrated by Seasalt artists, with five beautiful sets to choose from. Each pack contains 10 Seasalt Christmas cards (two of each design) and the inside is blank for your own message.
The cards themselves are made in the United Kingdom and are printed on FSC paper. What’s more, the cards have an uncoated finish and are free from glitter, so can be recycled.
All profits from the cards will go to support Mind, the mental health charity. This charity offers information and advice to people with mental health problems and lobbies government and local authorities on their behalf.
Oxfam – Alleviating Global Poverty
Oxfam has a really sweet collection of FSC-certified charity Christmas cards, that are all printed in the UK and are glitter-free. Find 10 packs of cards for £2.49 or premium single cards, available in a 3 for £5 deal.
What’s more, this year all of Oxfam’s Christmas cards contain crafty ideas for reusing them before you recycle them. Inside each card is a novel idea to give it another life – from puzzles and postcards to gift tags and tree decorations. It’s a clever sustainable touch that I really like.
All profits from the sale of the cards go towards Oxfam’s work in focusing on the alleviation of global poverty.
Traidcraft – Supporting Fair Trade
Traidcraft sells a collection of glitter-free charity Christmas cards via their website, priced at around £3.75 for a pack of 10 cards. In keeping with Traidcraft’s Christian principles, most of their FSC-certified cards do take a religious angle. A small selection of non-denominational cards are available too.
With every purchase of Traidcraft’s charity Christmas cards, a donation is made to Traidcraft Exchange. Traidcraft is one of the original fair trade pioneers in the UK. They advocate the importance of organic farming, sustainability, and transparency to the lives of growers and artisans around the world.
A donation is also made to Traidcraft’s partners – CAFOD, SCIAF, and Christian Aid. By working together with other charities, helps to combat poverty on a global scale and make as much change as possible.
MND Scotland – Providing Care and Support to People Affected by Motor Neurone Disease
Etsy, the platform for individual makers, artists, and crafters, doesn’t seem like the natural place to look for charity cards. However, if you want to support both independent artists and support charities at the same time, then it is in fact a great place to look for charity Christmas cards.
I found these beautiful packs of 8 charity cards* (£12), from Glasgow-based artist, Sarah Gibson. These sets of 8 cards, available in various stunning designs, are printed on FSC paper. The cards come in plastic-free packaging, and they also include kraft paper envelopes which are made from 100% recycled paper. The cards are also fully recyclable after Christmas.
10% of the profit from these Christmas cards goes to MND Scotland, a charity supporting those living with Motor Neurone Disease.
National Trust For Scotland – Supporting Heritage and Conservation
Finally, if you are looking for something a little more environmentally friendly than a standard card, then try these seeded paper charity Christmas cards (£12) from The National Trust for Scotland. This charity protects Scottish castles, battlefields, gardens and glens, islands, and wildlife. In keeping with their conservation ethos, once your recipient has finished displaying their card they soak them in water and from then the seeds should grow.
These packs contain 4 cards each with a different design, and 100% of the profits go towards the Trust’s work in caring for Scotland’s heritage.
Christmas cards don’t have to be single-use. Old Christmas cards can be reused and turned into gift tags. After Christmas is done, simply cut out shapes or elements of your card to reuse the following Christmas. I get my kids to do this – it’s one of their favourite post-Christmas tasks!
Do also remember that cards with glitter on them should not be recycled. Instead, these should be reused or placed in your general waste bin.
Which oat milk is the best? I have been asked this very question with increasing frequency this year. Especially so after some news stories broke earlier this year linking a certain oat milk company to deforestation in the Amazon. There’s more on this deeper in the article, so do keep reading.
We made the switch to oat milk for all our dairy needs quite some years ago now. In our quest to find the best oat milk, we have tried just about every oat milk going.
In this article, let me run you through the twelve most widely available oat milk brands in the UK. I’ll let you know what I think about the taste, and look into the ethics behind each brand, to help you decide which oat milk is the best.
First off, you might be wondering why I’m focusing on oat milk and not other non-dairy alternatives.
Whilst non-dairy alternatives can be made from a variety of crops, some are more problematic than others. Almond and rice are water-thirsty crops. Almonds alone require more water than any other dairy alternative, consuming 130 pints of water to produce a single glass of almond milk. Coconut milk also has its problems. As the demand for coconut milk has grown, this has led to deforestation and the exploitation of workers.
Oats, on the other hand, tend to be grown in cooler climates such as the northern US, Canada, and Europe. Therefore, oats are not associated with deforestation in developing countries. Oats also requires considerably less water than almonds and rice to produce a glass of milk.
Which Oat Milk Is the Best?
Now let’s focus on the oat milk brands. This list is in alphabetical order, rather than in order of best to worst. You’ll soon see why.
I have tried a few of Alpro’s oat milk offerings. Their regular oat milk (£1.80 for 1 litre) is too thin and too sweet for my taste. I can tolerate it in cereal or porridge, just about. However, in tea and coffee, it’s a no-go for me. The Alpro barista oat milk (£1.90 for 1 litre) was way too sweet, and I definitely expected a lot more creaminess to it than what it offered.
In terms of ethics, Alpro is owned by Danone, one of the major European dairy players. Danone has a 26% share in the global fresh dairy products market. Their fresh dairy products account for €11bn of their total sales, whilst bottled water accounts for €4.7bn of their total sales. Let’s just say it’s an uncomfortable contradiction, buying oat milk (particularly if you are buying oat milk as an environmental choice) knowing that you are supporting big dairy AND bottled water.
Aldi’s Pro Nature Only Oat Milk (75p for 1 litre) is a basic oat milk – containing only oats and milk. It’s not fortified with any vitamins or minerals, like some of the other oat milk brands, which is something to bear in mind if fortification is important to you.
As you might expect from oat milk made from just oats and water, there isn’t a whole lot going on. It’s not sweet, just oaty, but I personally found this milk a bit too thin and watery for my tastes. However, in terms of price, it’s the cheapest oat milk I’ve found, and due to its low ingredient list, then it could be a great choice for those that are intolerant to some additives.
When I was updating this post in August 2021, I found that Aldi no longer sells this milk. Instead, they offer this Actileaf UHT Oat Drink, which I note is made in the UK, for a lower carbon footprint. It’s also fortified with Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin D. I’ll be sure to update further once I’ve given it a try.
Asda’s own brand UHT oat milk (85p for 1 litre) is, for me, the best budget oat milk. Not too thick, not too thin, it has the perfect consistency for tea, coffee, and cereal. It has a great taste – not too sweet, and not too over-powering. What’s more, it’s fortified with calcium, vitamin D2, vitamin B12, and iodine.
Asda’s own brand of fresh oat milk (85p for one litre), on the other hand, is a complete abomination. How they can get their UHT milk so right, but their fresh milk so wrong is beyond me. I think it tastes like a wax crayon. Oat milk should never taste of wax crayon. Whoever has made it clearly hasn’t tasted it. Avoid at all costs.
In terms of ethics, Asda was owned by US behemoth Walmart for 21 years. In 2020, a majority stake was bought by UK-based Issa Brothers, the billionaire owners of the Lancashire-based petrol forecourt firm EG Group. Walmart retains a minority stake in the business.
What about Innocent’s oat milk (£2 for 750ml)? Well, the positive is that it comes in a plastic bottle, which is easier to recycle than the tetra-paks that all the other brands of oat milk come in. The negative is that Innocent oat milk does not taste good. It’s so thin and watery and, frankly, does a disservice to oats. I couldn’t even finish the carton.
In terms of how ethical Innocent is, it’s a dismal picture. Innocent is owned by Coca-Cola. In 2009, they bought a 20% share in Innocent, and in 2013 they took full ownership.
Ethical Consumer Magazine’s research into Coca-Cola highlights several ethical issues. These include climate change, habitats & resources, palm oil, pollutions and toxics, human rights, workers’ rights, irresponsible marketing, animal rights, controversial technologies, anti-social finance, and political activities.
Lidl Oat Milk
Lidl’s Just Free Unsweetened Oat Milk (89p for 1 litre) is similar to Aldi’s oat milk. Both in terms of minimal ingredients, and the fact it has no added vitamins or minerals.
The milk itself is thin and watery, and not particularly creamy. In terms of taste, it’s not sweet, which is a big plus point for me. It’s acceptable in tea. However, because of its thin consistency, it did not make for a pleasant cup of coffee or bowl of cereal.
If you are a tea drinker looking for basic milk at a more affordable price, then this is a good option, otherwise, I would avoid this one.
Ethics-wise, Ethical Consumer Magazine research has highlighted several ethical issues with Lidl. These include climate change, habitats & resources, pollution, human rights, workers’ rights, anti-social finance, animal rights, controversial technologies, political activities, anti-social finance, and factory farming.
I finally found Moma oat milk in my local Sainsbury’s in January 2022. I’ve had many requests from readers to write about Moma, so it was an exciting day to find this. Priced at £1.80 for 1 litre, it’s pleasant tasting – not overpowering – and makes a perfect cup of tea and coffee.
I was impressed until I did a little digging into Moma. Moma’s porridge is made with dairy products, so Moma is not a dairy-free company. Meanwhile, in December 2021 it was announced that Scottish soft drinks manufacturer AG Barr is purchasing the Moma brand. AG Barr produces bottled water as part of its portfolio of drinks, which isn’t a great environmental choice to support.
Morrisons Oat Milk
Morrisons own brand UHT oat milk (85p for 1 litre) is high up there in my opinion. It’s got a good creaminess to it and the perfect consistency. It’s not too sweet, and it’s enriched with calcium, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin D. Go for the long life, rather than the fresh stuff. We did not enjoy their fresh oat milk. At all.
I do like this one. This milk is made in the UK. It doesn’t separate in coffee. It’s got a good consistency. It’s got a good taste, and it is enriched with calcium. The only thing I don’t find stands up is the claim from Minor Figures that it is foamable. The milk just does not give a good foam compared to Oatly Barista – it’s a much thinner milk.
Oatly has a few different types of oat milk available. In my opinion, the best one is Oatly Barista (£1.80 for 1 litre). A nice creamy milk, I find I need to use a lot less of this milk in my beverages to get them to the desired colour. Oatly Barista also makes a mean frothy coffee.
Ethics wise, it’s complicated. In 2020, Oatly sold a stake of the company to Blackstone, a private equity group. However, Less Waste Laura linked Blackstone to a controversial Brazilian infrastructure investment that has been accused of contributing to deforestation in the Amazon.
Blackstone has denied having all links to deforestation. However, notwithstanding that accusation, Blackstone’s CEO Stephen Schwarzman has been a prominent Wall Street supporter of Donald Trump, donating $3m to support the president’s re-election. It certainly leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Provamel milk* (£2.09 for 1 litre) is not my milk of choice. Weak and watery, it makes a pretty insipid cup of tea and did not fare well in coffee either.
Whilst all of Provamel’s products are organic and GMO-free, Provamel, has since 2016 been owned by Danone. This ownership is troubling. Read more in the Alpro section of this guide to best oat milk, if you want to know more about Danone.
I bought a carton of Provitamil (£1.59 for one litre) when the local shop was all out of all other brands of oat milk. This should really have been a sign that maybe this brand of oat milk was not up to scratch. But what can I say, when the choice was this or black tea then there are always tough decisions to be made.
I found Provitamil watery and weak. You could pour in a quarter of a carton and it wouldn’t change the colour of the tea. I switched to mint tea during this sad time, because I could not bear this milk.
Provitamil is made in the UK and is part of the Drinks Brokers Ltd portfolio of brands. Within Drinks Brokers Ltd’s portfolio is their own brand cows milk and Springwise Bottled Water. If you’re looking for vegan milk that doesn’t support the dairy industry or the bottled water industry, then I’m afraid it’s not this one.
Rude Health Oat Milk (£2.29 for 1 litre) is another oat milk that I struggle with the texture and consistency. It’s just too thin and takes a lot of milk to get my tea to the desired colour. I seem to go through a lot more milk when I use this brand. This isn’t great when it’s one of the most expensive oat milks around.
If you want to opt out of buying pre-made oat milk, one option would be to make your own oat milk. Personally, I’ve not had much success in doing so. It’s a bit of a faff and can be a bit slimy. However, once I find a good technique I’ll be sure to share it here on the blog.
Another option, if it is available to you, is to support local producers making and selling their own oat milk.
Since writing this article, I also wanted to update you that I have switched to getting my oat milk delivered. I get Oato fresh oat milk, which is made in the UK and comes delivered to my door in returnable glass bottles. It tastes lovely and doesn’t curdle or split in tea or coffee, which is a win. Oato says that “we don’t have a history in the dairy industry and do not have any large investors with questionable portfolios or motives. We’re a small, UK business and proud of it.”
I sometimes have issues in the summer with keeping my oat milk deliveries cool, but I found a useful milk hack, in case you have the same problem.
Is Any Oat Milk Ethical?
As you’ve read, there are many issues. From big dairy to big investors with dubious portfolios, to anonymous investors, and big supermarket chains with dubious supply chains. As such, it’s really tough to say which is the most ethical oat milk. Each brand has its own issues.
Personally? I would buy whatever oat milk is easily available to you at the price point you can afford, and the taste you enjoy. Why do I think this? Well, what I think this article highlights is the limitation of green consumerism.
More people are switching from dairy to non-dairy alternatives because of concerns about climate change. And yes, this undoubtedly helps the environment. However, green consumerism on its own won’t save us from climate change. When a green product that we buy is used to possibly help fund the dairy industry, other non-green investments, or to line the pockets of shareholders then green consumerism cannot be the answer to climate change.
Oats and Activism
This is not to say that I don’t think that green consumerism doesn’t work at all. I just think it needs to be coupled with green activism to bring about systems change.
Elizabeth Cline addresses this extensively in this article for Atmos – where she writes: “We must not mistake Ethical Consumption—a private act—for political power or organized, collective social change that benefits everyone. When we retreat into our Ethical Consumer bubbles, some of the most powerful institutions in our society get a free pass to run roughshod over people who don’t have the market choices we do“.
So drink oat milk. But also, where you can, also campaign for better policies and regulations that align with your ethics. I’m reading my way through this book* at the moment to help me understand more about effective activism.
I'm Wendy and welcome to Moral Fibres, a UK based eco-blog. I'm a sustainability expert, and my aim is to make sustainability simple, by researching and writing on all things environmental - from product guides to breaking down big ideas - so you don't have to.
As well as the blog I've also written a book on natural cleaning - Fresh Clean Home is out now!
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