It’s hard to know what people will like for a birthday, baby or wedding gift, or at Christmas when we have a long list to tick off. Do you find yourself hunting for things for family and friends – from babies to grandparents and everyone in between? Sometimes we buy gifts because they look cool, or they fit our budget. But have you thought about a gift that does some good for the world as well as the person who unwraps it?

Here are some things that have the right amount of style but also help you and the people on your list do a bit of good:

Upcycled presents

Gift giving often means waste because products are made and then disposed of when they’re not being used anymore. The beauty of upcycled gifts is they give things a second use and stop them being added to landfills. And some of these second uses are so creative – vinyl records that have been turned into bowls, floor mats from reclaimed rubber, watches from recycled timber, laptop cases made into wetsuits, and endless clothing and shoe options from a bunch of different materials.


Greening up indoors with plants

Plants can look great around the house and are also really eco – they help take CO2 out of the atmosphere and they filter the air indoors to make it healthier for us to breathe. Foodies will love it if you gift them a small edible in a container – like some herbs or a small salad green. Why not grab them a kit for indoor herb or container gardening, or some cute planters?


Drinks on the go

Most of us grab water, tea or coffee during the day, and often it’s in a cup or bottle we throw away afterwards. Lots of them can be recycled or composted, but a re-useable cup or bottle is a great way to avoid single use plastic. Have you thought about giving someone a BPA free plastic, glass or stainless steel cup or flask? It’s easy for someone to leave on their desk at work or take to a nearby cafe or a trip to the beach.


Something that’s not a thing

Try giving an experience or activity instead of something that might not get used. Something like tickets for a holiday or day trip to a spot out in nature, or a donation to an environmental charity on behalf of your friend or family member. There are lots of gift options from big charities that make a real difference to the world – for example, Oxfam Unwrapped, World Wildlife Fund species adoptions and Unicef gifts.


A re-useable shopping bag

Like a re-useable cup or bottle, a canvas or jute shopping bag helps people cut down on single use plastic. And with supermarkets moving away from plastic bags, this makes a really handy present. If you’ve got material left over at home or even old clothes and linens, you can make one for someone instead of buying one.