Alternative Christmas gifts 2018

It’s that time of year again, Christmas. I’ve put together a blog of gifts that are perfect for the ethically minded, or any person you love. All my gift suggestions will be vegan, and eco friendly. This year I am emphasising the importance of shopping local and Irish!

Number 1 – Forester products – this is a new Irish company run by a vegan couple based in my hometown Letterkenny. It is the first of its kind, supplying 100% vegan and PETA approved unisex wardrobe staples made with Portuguese cork. They also donate 10% of their profits to good causes. Check them out https://foresterproducts.com

Bags €130 – €135          Belts €30          Wallets €35

Number 2 – Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics is an amazing store with all vegan products from shampoo bars to bath bombs and loads of more ‘lush’ items! I’ve tried a crazy amount of bathbombs by now and I love the shampoo bars as they last forever! I got a gift set one Christmas and it lasted me the whole year. The Sleepy cream is so lavendery (if that’s a word lol). Since I’ve tried their amazing bath products, shower products, dusting powders, everyday creams. The next on my list will be their toothy tabs! Tooth paste packaging is something we could all cut down on!

Number 3 – Green, eco friendly everyday replacements for your loved one this Christmas – Bamboo Toothbrush (I got one for my boyfriend one Christmas and he loved it), Bamboo Hairbrush, Metal or Paper Straws, Eco Cup – below €4.50 Dunnes Stores, Eco Lunchbox – €7.99 Homestore & More, Baby Toy – TK MAXX reduced to €3.

Number 3 Charity shop finds – in the past 6 months I have started to pop into local charity shops every now and again to see if I can find any preloved items that I’d purchase. I’ve found lots of bargains new and old! Not only clothes have I found but also home decor and since I moved into first new apartment with my boyfriend we picked up items from clocks to tea sets! Below are some of the items I managed to find all range from 50c to €5. Ranging from Ralph Lauren, Savida to Abercrombie and Fitch. Why not pop some of your old clothes in a bag and donate and replenish your wardrobe with a few cheap steals 💃🏼

This summer I also joined Depop! Which has been fun! I’ve sold, bought and my favourite thing to do is swap! It’s so easy to use and you can shop all around the world! The thing is to be careful though, many people have been caught by people who didn’t send them the item they swapped for! I’ve been fortunate but this would be the only downside and also be careful with postage. I’ve swapped RI jacket for a RI dress, swapped dresses, bought shoes and jewellery it’s another great place for us girls especially who don’t get the wear of some clothes as we should! #30wearsisthe rule! My best purchase was a Ted Baker dress and hat I got for a wedding at https://cliffatlyons.ie, for a fraction of its original value. I met the seller and tried it on and it was perfect!

Number 4 – Homemade Gifts –

  1. This year I wanted to do something different and came up with idea when my little sister was doing a clear out of her clothes. I kept a few items before I donated the rest to a local charity shop. I got two cushions in Penny’s Letterkenny for €6 and began the decorating. This can be a present with a very personal touch.

2. I also made an advent calendar this Christmas using branches I collected from outside and I painting them. My mum and sister have been loving opening these so far this December and have their orders in for next year haha.

3. A baked treat sounds delicious but why not give your loved one the baking opportunity and there’ll be no excuses as you do not burn the cookies! Why not fill a glass jar with cookie mix, brownie mix or another simple recipe together, so all they have to do is add simple ingredients such as water and oil to it. They can reuse the glass jar then so there is no waste or simply recycle.

4. Decoupage something old you have at home or something you find at a charity shop. My mum has been mastering this lately!

Number 5 Wrapping – Instead of buying wrapping paper this year, why not go for a green, original gift wrap. Perhaps opt for old newspapers and a red ribbon to design it, a pre-loved scarf is another option and my last idea would be placing all the gifts under the tree and covering them with a blanket.

Number 6 – The Natural Soap Company – Another local company and Irish ☘️ https://donegalnaturalsoap.ie/ There’s plenty of gifts on here at a really good price at that! People can complain sometimes that local can be more expensive, but it’s not always true. This is a great place if you want to shop for all the family, there’s men’s grooming sets, soaps for granny, socks, ceramic items, butters, balms and oils. This company has been palm oil free since 2010! Give it a look and decide for yourself.

A bunch of other Christmas gift suggestions that I just don’t have the time to discuss in detail.

Books – all available from amazon.co.uk

  • BOSH! Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants.
  • Vegan on the Go
  • The Dirty Vegan
  • The World of the Happy Pear

Vegan cooking course – there are several in Dublin. This year Castlegrove Hotel, Letterkenny had a course running.

Vegan Afternoon Tea voucher – The Westbury Hotel, The Westin Hotel Dublin and The Shelbourne Hotel, and The Morisson Hotel.

Donate to a charity that your loved one is passionate about. Perhaps the ‘Treecouncil.ie or crann.ie’ on their behalf if they are passionate about the promotion of planting and care of trees in Ireland or maybe to a Animal Charity that is struggling to care for animals.

A monthly vegan subscription – https://www.thevegankind.com seem to be very popular with several pages giving away prizes recently!

Rewrap old gifts that you never opened, they can be used and treasured by someone you love.

Vegan Chocolates and Goodies – that can be included in a Christmas hamper

  • Vego Chocolate
  • Moo Free Calendar
  • Booja Booja Chocolate
  • Eat real crisps (I love the Tomato and Basil Flavour)
  • Hippeas
  • Vegan Jellybeans
  • Freedom Mallows Vegetarian Mini Pink & White Vanilla Marshmallows

I could go forever with the perfect gifts this Christmas but I will leave it there! I hope these are helpful and you have a very merry ‘green’ Christmas 🎄🥂

Love

Donna 👸🏼

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