With the rising demand for eco-friendly products, buying a present for a friend or a loved one is becoming a more difficult thing to get right. But with more sustainable items being created daily, you don’t have to fret about not being able to find something suitable.

Although there are plenty of products to choose from, it’s still important to make sure you know what you’re buying, where from and how it was created. To help you do just that, we’ve put together a handy guide to making the right choice when ensuring gifts aren’t damaging the environment.

Recycled material over single-use plastic

Single-use plastic has been a talking point for quite some time now. With hundreds of millions of tons of plastic produced every year, disposable plastics cause serious damage to the environment and can’t be recycled.

The magnitude of the problem is so vast that a ban on single-use cotton buds, plastic straws and stirrers came into effect on 1 October 2020 – with further crackdowns expected.

Opt for products that are re-usable. A trendy shopping bag is a practical gift that can be used time and time again, for example. Also, make sure that packaging is biodegradable, reused, recycled in the form of paper rather than plastic.

Support green initiatives

One of the ways in which businesses play their part in helping their environment is through green initiatives when a consumer buys one of their products. A prime example of this is the planting of a tree every time a certain item is sold.

Look out for retailers who mention charities such as the Woodland Trust and National Forest who plant trees to help the environment.

This is a great way to not only buy someone a special gift but also let them know that a pledge has been made off the back of the purchase. Win, win.

Choose an efficient supply chain

Thinking about how an item has been delivered isn’t always the first thought on peoples’ minds when ordering online. But when it comes to couriers picking up packages and distributing them, things can be done to ensure it’s done as sustainable and efficient as possible.

The use of a plastic palletwhere vehicle fill can increase by 40 per cent is just one way businesses are reducing their carbon footprint. This is beneficial at it means drivers can deliver more goods at once and limit going back and forward to warehouses.

Carry out some research about which businesses are taking this measure and others like this for improving efficiency. This would be especially handy if you’re ordering online rather than going into a store where you can cut out the need for a courier.

Support local

Shopping local is one of the best ways to make sure you’re not harming the environment. Making sure you order from a UK business or one as local to you as possible will help you reduce the risk of excessive travel being required to deliver your item.

It can be tempting to order from websites where goods can ship via international channels, but ordering from the UK – as locally as possible – will be worth it even if there’s a cheaper option from a more global retailer.

Don’t forget though, you won’t just help reduce your carbon footprint, but you’ll also be supporting local businesses who pride themselves on selling sustainably sourced products.

Use helpful websites

One of the easiest ways to know if you’re buying from an eco-friendly seller is via their online shop. Most will have categories such as ‘plastic-free’, ‘recycled materials’ or ‘social contribution’. So, if you’re unfamiliar with how to shop sustainability for someone else, be sure to look out for these labels or categories before you make a purchase.

And that’s our list of top tips for buying a present when it comes to an eco-conscious friend or loved one. Buying ethically sourced products with sustainability and zero waste at the heart of its design is a certified way to play your part in a greener future for the UK.

 

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