Sustainable Christmas Gift Guide
If you don’t love eating and drinking to your heart’s content each Christmas then we can’t really help you. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with over-consumption, give yourself and the people you love a lift this Christmas by buying them something that will actually help them reduce their consumption. Don’t let the Grinch steal Christmas with this list of more sustainable choices. A win for the gift giver, a win for the receiver and a win for the world!
Reusable coffee cups
We’re all very aware of how many coffee cups end up in landfill each year (about 2.5 billion if you didn’t know). Coffee cups are also very difficult to recycle because of the plastic lining that stops your delicious coffee leaking through your cup, but there is a solution — reusable coffee cups. There are many to choose from, but most of them have sufficient eco creds to make it very worthwhile to ditch the disposables and carry around a reusable instead. We stock Frank Green reusable cups and Ecoffee reusable cups, Ecoffee are made from bamboo. Added bonus: If you go to your local shop you might just get a discount on your coffee when you BYO vessel.
Reusable water bottle
The bottled water industry appeared as if from nowhere in the 80s and has been dominating the world ever since. Worth a staggering 78 billion pounds annually and successfully convincing plenty of people that one of humankind’s greatest inventions — turning sewage into drinkable water (disgusting of course, but, hey, it works) — is actually unappetising and sometimes unsafe.
Disturb one of the most successful advertising campaigns in the history of the world and get yourself a reusable water bottle. Most places will happily refill for you — and if you’re in an establishment that serves alcohol in the UK and you’re a customer they have to offer free drinking water.
Loose leaf tea
We drink an insane amount of tea every day as a country (even more than coffee), but believe it or not, they actually use plastic glue to seal almost all tea bags. There’s a handy little list here that tells you which bags to avoid if you’re happy to go in for single use or grab some loose leaf and a way to brew it. We’ve got some Lalani speciality tea available here. There are also tea bags that don't use plastic from speciality tea makers.
Since the highly effective introduction of the plastic bag levy, the amount of plastic bags used in the UK has been reduced by 86% since inception. Grab yourself another tote, our ones are climate neutral ones to cart your shopping home in.
Coffee is not all created equally when it comes to sustainability. Everything that is done at farm level, the way the coffee is transported, and ultimately the way it is roasted and packaged effects how sustainable a coffee is.
At Climpsons how sustainable a coffee is and how the farm is managed is always a key consideration when we select coffees, as well as paying higher prices than fairtrade. One of our coffees in particular — The Baron — is from Daterra Estate, who are the first farm in the world to receive Level A certification from the Rainforest Alliance. The speciality industry takes this into consideration and most speciality coffee will have much better eco creds than non-speciality.
A box of Roses is a classic Christmas but let's change the conversation as actually chocolate is regarded as pretty awful for the environment, and the supply chain is problematic in general. Seventy percent of the world’s cocoa is grown in West Africa, an area of the world expected to be severely impacted by climate change. Cocoa has been the reason for a lot of deforestation in the area and child labour is also a serious problem — between 2013-14 two million children were estimated to be used for the labour involved in growing and harvesting cocoa in Ghana and Ivory Coast. This is where Chocolate from Cocoa Runners steps in.
Cocoa Runners are at the forefront for the bean to bar speciality chocolate industry. Not quite as established as the speciality coffee industry, chocolate is now starting to catch up. Cocoa Runners source from different specialist manufacturers around the world, a lot of which is directly traded and goes beyond Fair Trade. We’re really happy to stock Cocoa Runners, check out their chocolate subscriptions so you’re never out of the good stuff. Added bonus: The beauty of eating good chocolate is you can have a few pieces and be pretty happy about it - instead of smashing a whole block of Cadburys on Boxing Day.
Check it out for yourself they have a chocolate festival this weekend.