Eco Christmas Gift Guide - Part II

Photo: lola1960 /
Photo: lola1960 /

Would someone in your family like an adopted ellie for Christmas?

As the festive season approaches draw some inspiration for green gifts from Hazel Sillver's second guide to ethical presents, which includes something for the pet dogs as well as the elephants!


*Frankincense resin for home burning, from £3.80

Nothing smells of Christmas more than the lemon balsam odour of frankincense smoke. The loose resin from The Frankincense Store comes from trees in Oman that are farmed ethically (tapped for resin only twice a year). Chuck a handful of it onto an open fire or purchase some charcoal tablets and a burner.

*Frankincense bath & body products by Neal's Yard, from £14

Frankincense oil is heartening and deeply calming, smells delicious and rejuvenates skin. Neal's Yard Remedies sell a range of products made with ethically harvested incense, such as the festive Frankincense & Mandarin Shower Cream, £14 and a new Frankincense Organic Spa Collection, £39.50.


*Plant a tree in India, 75p per tree

A tree is a kingly gift. Donate on someone's behalf via the Grow Trees campaign. A tree or a grove of trees will be planted to help rural communities in India. The recipient will be sent an e-certificate or of course you can print out the certificate to give in person.

*Donate a chocolate job, £19

Oxfam offer lots of aid gifts that improve the lives of people in developing countries - for example allotments, green energy, a clean water supply and this, a chocolate master class for the budding cocoa grower, who will be given seeds, tools, cultivation and marketing know-how and help setting up a co-operative.

Gifts for children

*Tree identification kit, £10.43

An ideal gift for budding tree huggers - children love this identification kit. The gift pack contains ID cards for 24 different tree species, which can be identified by leaf, fruit and bark, a tree measure, tree seeds and information on the commercial use of trees.

*Bamboo teddy bear, £14.95

This cuddly chap has been made from eco-friendly bamboo fibre and recycled materials. Bebeco sell lots of other great gifts for young children, including natural rubber bath toys and recycled cardboard playhouses (such as a fabulous pink castle!).

Gifts for babies

*Baby playsuits, £15

The Really Eco Baby Shop sell a range of playsuits, such as the green apple suit, which is made from 100% fairtrade organic cotton. If you want something cheaper, they also offer a fun range of bibs, such as this bright pink Hetty Hippo Baby Bib, £7.50, which is made from food-grade silicone.

*Baby bubble bath, £7.50

The Bubbles and Cuddles Organic Baby Bubble Bath by Pitta Patta contains calming lavender oil and cheering bergamot oil. Also lovely is Baby Bubbles, £9.50, by the Sedbergh Soap Company, which is 71% organic and has a faint lavender scent.

Gifts for teens

*Recycled iPhone4 Cover, £12.95

Stylish sleeves for iPhones made from recycled plastic and implanted with silver ions to reduce bacteria - available in white, milkshake pink or black. Nigel's Eco Store also sells solar-powered MP4 players (£85) and wireless speakers (£71.48).

*Organic T-shirts, £25.00

Howies sell 100% organic cotton t-shirts that teenage boys love. Each of the designs is hand-printed in West Wales. The company also sells great t-shirts for girls, such as the Lady Rider (£25.00).

Gifts for those who like to be pampered

*Spa Find products

Created from pure Dead Sea minerals and organic plant extracts these 'spa experience' products are free from parabens, GMOs, and animal ingredients. And of course they are not tested on animals. Try the Heavenly Hydration Salt £13.00 for 500g

*Nourish products

Suitable for vegans and stocked full of organic ingredients the Nourish range has one particular product that is ideal as a Christmas gift. Their Golden Glow Toning Soufflé (£24.95 for a very big pot!) contains frankincense, myrrh, argan oil, smells divine and leaves a festive glittery shimmer on the skin.

Gifts for pets

*Mungo and Maud Organic Dog Treats, £16.25

A very generous Santa might treat well-behaved pooches to a bag of these! The tasty organic biscuits come in an attractive hessian bag and are available in Carrot, Pumpkin or Granola. They are healthy too - for instance the Granola is packed with oats, spelt, seeds and egg.

*Catit Eco Terra Mice, £1.79

Cats will love playing with these cornrusk and raffia mice toys. They are made entirely from natural materials and come in recycled packaging. Catit make a range of Eco Terra cat toys.

Gifts to suit anyone (if in doubt give them socks... or an elephant)

*Amazing Bamboo Socks, £4.99

Unisex black socks made from 78% bamboo. The material is stretchier than many eco socks, hard wearing and soft. Nigel's Eco Store sells them in packs of 3 and 5, in case Santa is feeling generous.

*Foster an elephant, £31

Give the gift of fostering an orphaned elephant to an animal lover. Choose the ellie you'd like to adopt, such as Faraja (who is 7 months old) or Bongo (who is 3 years old). The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, who run an elephant nursery in Kenya, will send the recipient a certificate, profile and photo and regular updates.

*Resurgence & Ecologist subscription, £30

This is a wonderful Christmas gift (well we would think so, it's our sister magazine!) The lucky recipient will receive six copies of Resurgence & Ecologist over the course of 2014, as well as membership to The Resurgence Trust. The beautifully illustrated mag is packed full of cutting-edge, inspiring articles on the environment.

Hazel Sillver is a freelance journalist and a regular contributor to the Ecologist Green Living section. Email:

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