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Christmas is just around the corner – the decorations are going up and Christmas shopping season is underway.

Many of us are making changes to have a more sustainable Christmas period this year – from choosing where we buy our gifts from, what presents we choose to give and the materials we use to wrap our gifts.

To find out how we can be more sustainable this Christmas, we asked Gina Adie from local sustainable living shop Refillosophy for her top tips.

Christmas present shopping

After a difficult year for many, it is important that we continue to support local businesses as much as we can, and one way to do this is to shop local for Christmas presents.

We’re lucky to have so many talented people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire making lots of ideas for sustainable Christmas presents – from foodie gifts such as jams, nut butters or cakes, to tote bags, reusable makeup wipes and candles. To find products from all of these local companies under one roof, visit Refillosophy.

From Bakery Lane is a local company offering delicious homemade goods including granola, jams and chutneys perfect to gift family and friends, as well as cakes and traybakes for a little Christmas treat.

Udny Provender is an Aberdeenshire-based company specialising in fresh honey, vinegars and shrubs. Honey is made by bees which have millions of flowers to forage on, making each batch completely unique. Shrubs are cordials made of fruit and vinegar, perfect for mixing into cocktails- Udny Provender has delicious recipes including a Gin Shrub Tonic and an Udny Clover Club cocktail.

Creating your own hamper or gift basket for friends and family? Add in a delicious, locally-made artisan nut butter from Hungry Squirrel. All nut butters are free from palm oil so are much more sustainable than other types. Perfect for adding to a warming bowl of winter porridge, what’s not to love?

Blushberry Botanicals is an Aberdeen-based company specialising in plant based skincare products. Focusing on products that care for the skin and are safely absorbed by the skin, Blushberry products have been carefully curated and assessed by founder Lorraine, who is a cosmetic chemist. Blushberry products are the perfect alternative to generic beauty gift sets that you may previously have purchased as gifts for friends and family, and support local businesses too. You can purchase products individually or in ready-made gift sets including a Hand & Nail Luxury Eco Gift Set or Luxury Facial Skincare Gift Set.

Wrapr creates eco-friendly products handmade fabric face masks and wax cloth clings- the perfect swaps for single use cling film or disposable face masks.

Candles make perfect gifts for loved ones, particularly at a time when we’re spending much more time cosied up at home. The Little Candle Project produces 100% Sustainable Eco Soy Wax Candles here in Aberdeen, in scents including cinnamon and apple, double espresso, English pear and freesia, Black Plum & Rhubarb and much more. Not only is the production method and ingredients eco-friendly, you can even send your own container to the company to be filled as a candle.

Gift Wrapping

Instead of splashing out on rolls of Christmas-themed wrapping paper (many of which aren’t fully recyclable), opt for brown parcel paper to wrap gifts, tied up with string as a ribbon. If you’re looking for something to keep yourself or your children occupied, why not get creative with some crayons and decorate brown paper packaging to make your own personalised wrapping paper?

Another sustainable option for gift wrapping is the use of fabric instead of paper which has a longer life and can double up as a second gift for the recipient. Refillosophy will soon be stocking recycled sari fabric, or you can look in local charity shops for fabric like scarves or tablecloths to use.

Most of us have a drawer or cupboard with a collection of gift bags and wrapping paper tucked away in. Why not reuse what you have and make some room for your new Christmas gifts? Reusing gift bags and tissue paper that we’ve got stored away is a good way to use up leftovers, save money and help reduce the amount of wrapping that will head to landfill this Christmas.

We hope these tips will help you to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly Christmas this year. If you have other tips or advice to offer, please share with us at the Grandhome Community Facebook page.