It is that time of the year again. Christmas is a time for giving (and receiving!) and we have updated our list of ideas for sustainable presents that care for the environment as well as people – any time of the year. (Remember, if you leave the shopping to the last minute you are more likely to get things that are less than ideal!)

1. Give one good-quality, durable gift

Many children (and some adults) get a number of presents which are mostly junk and break easily, and are tossed out after a few days or less. It is better to buy fewer, higher-quality presents that will last longer. Always avoid junk or disposable anythings.

2. Give a useful, practical gift

I guess everyone has received (and perhaps given) one of those useless, whimsical Christmas-themed presents that you end up throwing out. Useful, practical presents like food, clothes, homeware or tools are much more sustainable. Other useful options are sunblock and natural personal care products.

3. Give a ‘green’ gift

Give organic, natural, renewable presents; an organic cotton or hemp t-shirt; a bowl made from recycled wood; a straw hat.

4. Give a recycled gift

There are many products that are made from recycled/up-cycled materials including clothes, toys, hats and bags.

5. Give a locally made present

Buying locally made products not only helps the local economy it also helps the environment. Rather than supporting faceless multi-national corporations, supporting local people, people you may know, will help them have a better Christmas too.

6. Give a tree or pot plant

Seedlings and pot plants are a great present that will endure. Choose native plants that will encourage native birds and insects. Potted herbs will supply culinary enjoyment and pleasant aroma for as long as they last.

7. Give a second-hand present

A classic or antique vase, bowl or ornament. A piece of memorabilia. A hard-to-get, second-hand book.

8. Give a hand-made gift

People love things that are handmade, beautiful and unique. Give an artwork or a well-made piece of craftwork.

9. Better still, give a home-made present

The personal touch means a lot to people. The more personal the better. Make some jam, preserves, sauce or relish. Bake biscuits or cakes. Make a wooden breadboard or bowl.

10. Give a donation

You can give a donation to a worthy charity on another person’s behalf.

11. Give a book about sustainability

Spread the word, share your knowledge and your passion.

12. Think about the wrapping

At the end of Christmas day there is usually a huge pile of wrapping paper and packaging. Try to buy gifts with less packaging and instead of wrapping them, put them into a nice reusable bag or box or wrap them in a scarf or bandanna.