Felix Cat


The student newspaper of Imperial College London

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Issue 1758
The student newspaper of Imperial College London

Keep the Cat Free

2020 Sustainable Christmas Gift Guide

How can you give sustainably this Christmas? Leave it to our Sustainability team for gift ideas that might help save the planet

Lore Schodts Bnpioil02tu Unsplash Photo: Lore Schodts


in Issue 1758

Despite the circumstances of 2020, at least Christmas is still a thing, right? More than ever before, it’s important to connect with the people we love and show how much we appreciate them. So, why not celebrate this year with thoughtful gifts that are not just good for your soul but also for the planet? Of course, it goes without saying, but when it comes to conscious consumption, less is always better. So, don’t buy presents for everyone just for the sake of it, and remember that experiences like cooking together, or setting up a special movie night can be just as memorable as any material object. 

We’re also aware that as students, money can be a limiting factor. That’s why we have included an approximation of how much each of these gifts are, although they can be cheaper/more expensive depending on the specific product (£ - Below £10, ££ - Between £15 to £25, £££ - Above £25). 

For the coffee lover – Pact Coffee (£) 

Why sustainable? Pact Coffee purchases beans directly from farmers and pay 25% - 125% above Fairtrade rates, ensuring that growers actually make a profit. The entire process is extremely transparent, meaning you can trace back all your purchases to the person who grew it. Most importantly, their 100% specialty grade fresh coffee beans are absolutely delicious! 

For the chocolate lover – Chocolate Tree (£) 

Why sustainable? The chocolate industry is one of the most harmful industry when it comes to sustainability, with huge environmental impacts and millions of underpaid workers in developing countries. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With Chocolate Tree, you can enjoy your chocolates and hot chocolate guilt-free, because their business model protects biodiversity and rewards farmers with a high price for their cacao. Their packaging is also sustainably sourced, and production operates with minimal waste. Oh, and they are a member of One Percent for the Planet, meaning that they donate 1% of their annual sales to environmental non-profits. 

For the beer lover – Small Beer Co. (££) 

Why sustainable? Small Beer Co. Is an award winning, ethical beer company in South Bermondsey. They produce their beer through careful natural processes, without any filtration, processing, clarifiers, or additional stabilisers. Why not opt for their gift pack, containing 4 of their original flavours and support a small local business? 

For your vegan friend – Cake or Death (££) 

Why sustainable? Cake or Death is an independently-owned vegan brownie store based in East London. Katie, the owner, delivers ridiculously fudgy brownies (bound to be a luxurious treat) which are dropped off through the letterbox, making for a wonderful, hassle-free, surprise treat. Plus, who doesn’t love brownies? 

For your homebody (all of us) - Wax and Wick Workshop (££) 

Why sustainable? Wax and Wick Workshop sells candles in jars made of 100% -recycled glass. Their wax is made of only two ingredients (sourced locally in the UK) – oils and soy wax, without any chemicals that are not only harmful for you but also for the planet. Finally, with every online order, the company donates 5% of your purchase to a social cause or charity of your selection. 

For the animal lover – WWF Animal adoption (£££) 

Why sustainable? As of this moment, thousands of species across the planet are on the brink of extinction. Not only is biodiversity critical to maintaining ecosystem services and human wellbeing, but just imagine how bleak the future would be without all the marvellous creatures on this planet. You can gift someone the ‘feel-good factor’ by adopting an endangered species for them through the WWF website, and you will not only be saving a life but also get an adoption certificate and a plush toy of your selected animal (depending on your adoption package). 

For anyone who cares about the environment – WEARTH (£ - £££) 

Why sustainable? If you didn’t find anything in particular on this list that you fancied, be sure to check out WEARTH. WEARTH is an online store partnering with hundreds of sustainable brands, bringing you a wide range of ethical and eco-friendly gifts; with entire sections dedicated to ‘personalized gifts’ ‘food & drinks’ and ‘gifts for him’ (who doesn’t struggle with the last one), you will be sure to find something special on this website. There are plenty of affordable options too. 

Christmas doesn’t have to involve splurging on random products that might never even be used. Instead, why not put more thought into the act of giving this year, for both your loved ones and the environment? 

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