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10 Last-Minute Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts

By Canopey Team

It’s the last week before Christmas, and that means that all of us who are behind on Christmas shopping are beginning to panic!

If you’ve made the mistake of heading to the high street over the last few weeks you will have witnessed the pandemonium that is currently hitting UK shoppers, and you might well be looking for other options than the usual hustle and bustle of the shopping centre.

With online shops now not being able to guarantee delivery for Christmas Day, that means there’s fewer options on the table for the last-minute gifts, especially if you’re looking for something sustainable, ethical or otherwise eco-friendly.

So here’s our top tricks for simple last-minute gift ideas for your friends or loved ones who care about the environment, which also happen to be kind to the planet.

A hand in the air at a music concert

1. Gift an experience

Gifting an experience is always a great idea, and can be just as precious (if not more!) than a physical present. It shows the amount of time and effort you’ve put into choosing something personal to them.

Try tickets to shows, concerts and events, or even a reservation to that fancy restaurant they’ve been wanting to try!

A row of plants on a countertop

2. Gift a plant

Plants are an easy win not only for the recipient but also for the environment. You don’t need a garden: everyone has space for a little houseplant, and loads can be grown on a balcony or window sill if there’s one available!

Try an easy to maintain houseplant like lemon geraniums and spider plants. If you have green fingers, you can plant your own from cuttings. Check out the RHS website for tips on how to get started – all you need are some pots, a few clippings and some soil.

Writing note on a post-it note

3. Gift an IOU

Giving the gift of time sounds awfully poetic and high-concept, but hear us out! You could make them a three-course meal, or do a bit of gardening or DIY, or even fix up their bike, though this one’s probably only best if you know how to use a socket wrench.

Make a fun voucher to give them something to open, then it’s up to then to ‘book in’ their gift at a time that suits them. If you’re lucky, they might forget and you can get away with it..

People at a pottery workshop

4. Gift a skill

Setting a friend or loved one on the path to a new skill is a fun and unique idea for a gift. It's a bit more creative while also reducing any waste, and a DIY kit or taster course is a great way to earn some brownie points.

Try soap making, knitting, pottery (like Sculpd clay kits), jewellery-making (Workbench London have ring mould kits) or a gardening workshop.

A wire with golden foil Christmas decorations

5. Handmade decorations

‘Tis the season to make pretty decorations, and if you’re struggling for ideas it’s a great Christmas gift that can reappear again and again each year.

Try knitting or crocheting, paper origami or use some simple quick-dry modelling clay. You can also make Christmas decorations from pine cones, dried slices of fruit, and even old tomato puree tubes!

Person standing on a hillside looking at a landscape

6. Plan an adventure

You don’t have to pay for an experience, you can create one yourself! Pick a place and start planning an itinerary.

Try putting together a Google map with pins of different locations. Get the tent packed up and you’re ready for a memorable experience (hopefully minus the rain).

A pair of hands around a plant as someone plants a tree sapling

7. Plant trees

Reforestation is a vital part of the puzzle for climate change efforts, and giving the gift of a mini forest is a lovely thing. It’s not only thoughtful, but also has a lasting impact.

You can plant through the National Trust which will provide you with a customisable certificate for your recipient.

Someone wearing a green Greenpeace jacket on the street

8. Gift to a charity

There are so many great charities to choose from, and they can kickstart a long-term care or commitment for a great cause, and we’re currently donating a third of the money we make from sales to Save The Children.

If you want to support environmental efforts, try Client Earth, Greenpeace or Surfers Against Sewage.

Charity Shop Gift Card

9. Give a gift card

Gift cards are the ultimate easy last-minute gift. They’re very minimal waste and can be specific for the person’s interests.

Try a Charity Shop Gift Card (eligible for a variety of shops nationwide), or a Canopey gift card, to give them the gift of shopping our wide range of eco-friendly products and essentials!

Man wearing a scarf and a beanie

10. Regift something you own

Whether it's a book you read and loved, cuttings from one of your house plants, the perfect scarf (which just wasn't for you), or some of the your homemade chutney batch which didn't turn out quite as expected.

It doesn't have to be something used, you can always keep presents you've received in the past that just weren't for you. There's no shame in that – just make sure it finds a forever home!