Friday, 19 November 2010

3Rs Christmas Gifts


Thinking of ‘going green’ this Christmas? – read on.

Here are some gift ideas I came up with:

3Rs Gift Ideas

1. Give an Experience
2. Charity Gifts
3. Subscription to Spotify
4. Make Something Yourself
5. Use Freecycle
6. Reuse – Ebay/Charity Shop/Car Boot Sale
7. Plant a Tree

1. Give an Experience

Give someone an experience this Christmas and they will have a story about how they went bungee jumping, were a keeper at a zoo, or had afternoon tea at Windsor Castle for years to come.

However be careful when selecting your experience – they can be carbon intensive!

Golf lessons:
Bungee jump:
Spa treatment:

2. Charity Gifts
Adopt a wild animal, save some trees from destruction, help some less fortunate people. Charity gifts are a great way to share some festive spirit this Christmas.

If you donate to a worthy cause your money will go to charity and you will also receive something to give on Christmas Day eg. a card, cuddly toy, certificate.

Adopt an Animal:
Save Trees: ,
Energy Saving Stove:

3. Subscription to Spotify

‘Spotify is a music streaming service offering streaming of selected music from a range of major and independent record labels’ Wikipedia

7 million people are now using Spotify and its not even available outside Europe. Developed by a team in Sweden this music streaming service has been taking Europe by storm since 2008. With 10 million tracks available at the touch of a button and from major record labels including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal its not hard to see why.

Where Spotify is available anyone with a PC can access all the 10 million tracks for free. The trouble is you have to put up with those annoying banner and audio ads.

For £4.99 a month you can give the gift of ad free unlimited music to a music loving recipient.

The only trouble is once your subscription expires they might well be hooked….


4. Make Something Yourself

If you like crafts you could use your skills to make a present, and save money and the environment at the same time. Here are a few examples:

Picture book:
Plastic bag crouchet:,

If you live in Manchester, UK there are craft workshops which teach you how to make ‘Junk mail jewelry’, ‘Reuse button bags’ and more:

5. Use Freecycle

Freecycle is a ‘grassoots movement of people who are giving and getting stuff for free in their own towns.’

It is free to sign up and there are 494 groups in the UK alone. Once you sign up you can post on the site offering your unwanted items or requesting items.

Tip: Make sure to send a convincing message to request items as there may be competition. Eg. make them laugh and be flexible

6. Reuse – Ebay/ Charity shops/ Car boot sale

Ebay – you can use the ebay auctions or buy it now but make sure the item is used/ unwanted/ refurbished as a lot of stores on eBay sell new stuff.

Charity shops – If you have an eye for a bargain why not try picking up a gift at a charity shop? You never know you might stumble across a great find. Try not to go with anything specific in mind and you might just find something great!

If you go to a wealthy area you can often pick up the best bargains
Seek out smaller charities
Check out the accessories
Have a chat with the staff to see when items come in. They might offer to find and hold items for you.

Car Boot Sale – If you are prepared to get up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning and get there early you may just grab a bargain.

7. Plant a tree
Planting trees to sequester carbon from fossil fuels is not a sustainable solution for global warming and can be used to justify carbon pollution eg. Offsetting long distance flights.

That said planting trees to create or restore a forest can benefit wild animals which live there and can also add biomass to the forest which reduces CO2 in the atmosphere.

The Trees for Life project in Caledonia, Scotland is restoring the Caledonian forest. They planted 250,000 trees in 2008-2009.

Trees for life

Crafty/ Alternative:

For lovers of rock music:
(Reuse) jewelry
Handmade Norfolk Soap
English Wine: Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2005

Thanks for reading.

Joe White

For further inspiration on green living this Christmas and beyond visit my blog:


  1. I just had some rubbish removed from my house this week and was given a leaflet by the company saying they will be removing christmas wrapping paper for free after christmas.

    Not sure this is being advertised on their website - but worth finding out more if like me you'll have alot of unwanted boxes and wrapping.

  2. You all are doing such an awesome job! The ideas keep flowing I see. Thank you for sharing with me and everyone – I can't get enough!