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Friday, December 4, 2020

Gifts for vegans: Here’s what to buy while reducing waste

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Buying presents can be wasteful, especially during festive times. Here are some ideas for gifts you can buy for vegans without polluting landfills.

From graduations and weddings to birthdays and Christmas, every year, millions of pounds are spent on gifts for friends and families. Giving presents is a way of showing love and appreciation during times of celebration, but what impact does it have on the planet?

According to Finder, on average, 21 million Brits receive at least one unwanted gift each year at Christmas. That is worth around £5 billion — a whole lot of waste. At Christmas alone, an extra 30% of rubbish is discarded during the festive season compared to the rest of the year; this wastage is in the region of 3 million tonnes. This waste from Christmas paired with that from the many celebrations throughout the year adds to the millions of tonnes of rubbish already in landfill sites.

Buying gifts can be a difficult task, especially on a tight budget. However, being thoughtful and conscious when buying presents will be appreciated by the receiver and the planet. Buying less means fewer presents are thrown away, which is a win-win!

Below are some great ideas for gifts for vegans and people who are conscious about animals and the climate.

Charity shops

charity shop giftsPurchasing presents from charity shops is a great way to donate to worthy causes and give items a new lease of life. Despite the products not being 100% plant-based, by buying from charity shops, you will be supporting people and/or animals in need (depending on the charity), promote sustainable fashion and raising awareness about important issues.

Across the UK, there are more than 9,000 charity shops, all full of original and one-off pieces that just cannot be found elsewhere. From clothes and fabrics to silverware and everything in between, charity shops have an abundance of items, all perfect for gifting to that special someone. Not sure where the local charity shop is? Use the Charity Retail website to locate a nearby store.

Adoption gifts

adopt a dogHave a friend who loves animals and the conservation of endangered species? Then adopting an animal would be the ideal gift for that person. Currently, there are 41,415 endangered species on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List, so now more than ever, scores of animals are on the brink of extinction.

All is not lost, though. From WWF and ZSL to Wildlife Trusts and Dogs Trust, there are many ways of helping to protect at-risk animals. Adopting an animal for a present is a great way to support conservation programs. And to stay updated on important issues facing the animal population. Whether adopting a tiger, lion, elephant, dormouse or dog. Investing in helping innocent creatures is the perfect gift for any vegan.

Experiences

vegan gift experiencesBuy that special someone an amazing experience rather than a possession. From racecar driving and hot air balloon rides to fine dining and glamping trips. There is an experience gift for everyone.

Virgin, Last Minute, BuyAGift and many more companies offer hundreds of experience days including arts and crafts, afternoon tea and mini-breaks — ranging from £30 to over £200.

Know a vegan foodie? Treat them to a plant-based fine dining experience: a 7-course vegan menu with a cookbook at Galvin La Chapelle or vegan afternoon tea at the Athenaeum, Piccadilly. Alternatively, gift your vegan friend a cookery class at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School or Tan Rosie Caribbean Cookery School, creating vegan cheese, delicious junk food and more.

Hampers

gifts for vegansCreate a hamper filled with all the vegan goodies that person loves. Whether it’s food, skincare or beauty, it is easy to construct a parcel full with their favourite bits and bobs. Simply choose a basket, box or hamper and add in some soy wax candles, items from Lidl’s new vegan beauty range and Ella and Mila nail polish.

Unsure what to put into a hamper? Buy a ready-made vegan gift hamper from Yumbles or British Hampers, both of which have many types of hampers and gift boxes from gourmet treats and superfoods to chocolates and snacks.

During the Christmas period, Britain throws away 108 million rolls of wrapping paper. That’s a ridiculous amount of paper to be binned, not to mention the millions more used throughout the year.

Following in the footsteps of vegan cosmetic brand Lush, why not swap disposable paper for some fabric? Lush is all about being cruelty-free and conscious. And so uses either recycled paper or fabric wraps to package its products. Follow its lead and wrap gifts in scarves or newspapers — it will look great and will not hurt the environment.

Olivia
Olivia Preston
Olivia Preston is currently living and studying to be a world-class journalist in London. Fan of fashion, politics, feminist activism and all things canine. A very happy individual!