The Boiler House

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6 Eco-Friendly Gifts for a Mindful Christmas Season
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You’ve spent the last few months ticking all the boxes on your eco-warrior list. You’ve switched to a plant-based diet, your house is devoid of plastic and you re-purpose even the most meagre leftover! But will the seasonal consumerist frenzy throw a wrench in your eco-plans?

Any product, however eco-friendly, has some kind of impact on the Planet. If you think the biggest present to yourself would be to not partake in transactional gift-giving.. go for it! You could even try and pledge a “buy-nothing Christmas” with family and friends. But if the thought of opting out is stressful, then conscious gifts are the way forward. Gifting your loved ones something mindful will leave a green mark in their hearts, guaranteed! Our motto this Christmas is “buy less, choose well and make it last.” And following this philosophy, here’s a list of our favourite eco-minded brands.

Little Sun Solar Lamp

A quintessential portable solar lamp designed by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen at London’s Tate Modern. It’s really as cool as it sounds. As far as eco-gadgets go, it is one of the most sustainable in town. Featuring a dimmer for adjustable brightness, charging this lamp for 5 hours in the sun will produce more than 50 hours of light. Great for educating your mini-me on sustainable living. Also handy at festivals, camping, or other outdoorsy occasions for all ages!

We love Little Sun because their vision is that of a world with “universal access to clean energy”. Moreover, they re-invest part of their profit into bringing affordable solar energy to rural African communities. What’s not to love? £22.00 incl. VAT + shipping costs, available for purchase on Little Sun’s official website.

Mud&Bloom Nature Boxes

Looking to getting your young’uns off the screen? Mud&Bloom gardening and nature boxes are guaranteed to do the trick. Each box includes certified organic and biodynamic seeds and comes with organic peat-free compost pellets. So you can get planting straight away! In addition, they contain nature news and a seasonal quiz aimed at teaching children about the seasons, plants, insects, birds, soil and rainfall.

Schoolteachers have developed all the activities suggested in the boxes, making sure they support the national curriculum. Furthermore, the method range of the tasks is all-encompassing, as they incorporate different educational methods coming from the Steiner and Montessori philosophies. Choose between a 3, 6 and 12-month subscription. Cost ranges between £10.95 to £11.95 depending on the subscription option of your choice.

Mindful Kin Mindfulness Cards

Bristol-based Mindful Kin’s mission is to promote mindfulness for the whole family. Their set of twenty mindfulness-based activities is fun and easy, suitable for the whole family to do together. Aimed primarily at children from preschool age up through primary school, MindfulKin help parents and offspring learn about the world around through cultivating presence.

These activities offer everyone involved tools to become more aware of thoughts and feelings “in-the-moment”. In addition, they also provide techniques that help manage emotions appropriately and relax accordingly.

We love these mindfulness cards because they essentially help develop ways of spending “time” together. And we think that connection is what Christmas should be all about! MindfulKin is currently offering a free, handmade worry stone for anyone ordering 2 sets of activity/cue cards. Available for purchase on Etsy for £12.

Bamboo India Electricity-Free Speakers

You have to listen to these amazing bamboo speakers to believe them. Designed to amplify your mobile phone’s speakers naturally, using the resonant properties of bamboo, they don’t require any cables nor electricity to work. What’s more, their super slim and light structure make them the ultimate eco-friendly travel gadget. Great for hands-free calls and Skype meetings.

Switching from a non-biodegradable item to a natural, compostable one allows you to take part in a movement for environmental and social change. Purchasing this product also empowers the producers in rural Maharastra, India, trained to run their own sustainable bamboo business.

To sum up, your choice will support higher standards of living for their families and their communities. Available to buy online for the modest sum of £5 (plus shipping costs.)

Ethical and Repairable Fairphone

Despite the utilitarian-looking design, Fairphone is the coolest smartphone on the market. That’s because its materials are responsibly sourced, and the company pays its workers well above the living wage.

Fairphone is the only smartphone in the world with a “Fairtrade Gold” certification for ethical manufacturing. Its full-day battery life, 64GB storage and modular components that are easy (and cheap) to replace make it superior to any other option currently available. In addition, it has space for two sim cards and offers software support for 5 years.

Admittedly, the production costs of this eco-phone are quite high. The price currently stands at £420. But buying a Fairphone isn’t just about buying a smartphone. It’s also about connecting with their global community of 15000 clients. Ultimately, it’s revolutionizing an industry and hopefully, bringing about social change in the world.

Indigenous Boutique Fashion To Make a Change

For those seeking to add tropical vibes to their winter attires, TMAChange accessories will do so ever so ethically and elegantly. Whether you’re after a beautifully hand-made artisanal clutch or sustainable and stylish homeware, TMAChange spoils you for choice. All of their scarves, bracelets and colourful yoga accessories are unique, handmade pieces.

We love this company as it works with Indigenous women across Latin America, supporting them in generating a sustainable income. By connecting these female artisans with conscious consumers, TMAChange is creating a support network for some of the most marginalized in the world.
Check out our interview with founder Kathrine Skinner, where she opens up about the trials and tribulations of setting up a company with a visionary ethos.

Prices range from £10 to £350. Available for purchase on TMAChange Boutique.

If you’re looking for more eco-friendly gift ideas, why not pop over to the Boiler House’s Conscious Christmas Markets on the last two weekends before Christmas? And we’ve also invited the Zero Waste Christmas Market into our beautiful space on Sunday 7th December. We’re a one-stop eco-shop between now and just before Santa leaves the North Pole. Make sure you don’t miss out on all the eco-fun!

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02 / 12 / 2019 // Written by Sylvia Helen Goodrick
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