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Eco christmas gift guide

Hazel Sillver

2nd December, 2012

As the nation gears up for one of the last pre-Christmas shopping weekend, our Green Living Writer Hazel Sillver recommends presents for loved-ones that won’t cost (or damage) the earth...


Chocolate Mendiants by Cocoa Loco, £12.99

Mendiants are a French delicacy: chocolate discs topped with nuts, dried fruit and spices. The organic dark chocolate mendiantsby Loco are delicious. Their Dark Chocolate Pralines are also scrummy. 01403 865687. 

Hazelnut Truffles (Artist’s Collection) by BoojaBooja, £24.99

Eat these and die happy. Each heavenly mouthful of roasted hazelnut and chocolate is dairy and gluten free, vegan, organic and handmade. They also come in a beautiful painted box. 01508 558888


Pine Reviving Bath Milk by Weleda, £10.95 

Soaking in a bathtub of this is akin to being in a pine forest. The incredible smell comes courtesy of two natural spruce oils: Silver Fir and Siberian Pine. Weleda’s Lavender Bath Milk is also sublime. 0115 9448222

Organic Frankincense Face Cream by I Am Natural, £8.50

This super hydratingmoisturiser smells wonderful and contains antioxidants and omega 3 & 6 oils. It doesn’t leave a greasy residue and I find it prevents the tight dry skin that winter heating creates., 07737 764660


White Winter Candle by Willow, £28

This GM soya and beeswax candle has a beautiful and delicate spicy fragrance. It reminds me of an old Caron perfume, Nuit de Noël, which was designed to smell of night air on Christmas Eve. 01590 670483


Gluten Free Baking by Michael McCamley, Parragon, £10

Michael was the Gluten Free Chef of the Year 2010; this new collection of gluten-free bakes is his first book. To me, its highlight is the recipe for mini Cinnamon & Chocolate Doughnuts, which are served with warm melted chocolate. 

Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero, Da Capo, £25

300 new recipes from the author of Veganomicon, inspired by cooking traditions around the world, including Greek, Thai, Lebanese, Moroccan, Colombian, Jamaican and Peruvian recipes. My favourite is the African tofu peanut stew. 

Indian Vegetarian Feast by AnjumAnand, Quadrille, £19.99

Ideally each plate of food should be 60% vegetables, which means most of us are under eating our greens. This new book is filled with inspiring ways to eat more veg. I love her recipes for Smoky Spicy Aubergines and Coconut French Toast. 


Recycled silver and fairmined gold from Cred

Cred sell a huge range of beautiful fair tradejewellery. My favourites are the Hold Me Close pendant (£45) and the Large Feather ring (£192), which are both made with recycled silver. 020 3176 7836

Ethical jewellery from Oxfam, from £2.49

The Ethical Collection is a range of reasonably priced fairtrade jewellery from Oxfam. I love the blue Glass Hearts earrings (£4.99) and the Bronze Bird necklace (£9.99). 0300 200 1292


KabloomSeedbom from Nigel’s Eco Store, £10.99 

Essential kit for the budding guerilla gardener: these seed bombs will transform abandoned wastelands into a colourful sea of flowers. Each is made of recycled paper and contains hardy seed such as cornflowers and sunflowers.

Earphones by Woodbuds, £20

Comfy earphones made with sustainable plantation hardwood and bio-plastic. Choose between red, blue, yellow, white or black; each pair comes in a recycled box. Woodbuds plant a tree for every 100 sold.


Cardboard Rocket Playhouse from Nigel’s Eco Store, £34.95

A giant rocket made from robust recycled cardboard, which children can decorate themselves with crayons or paints. It is suitable for 3-7 year olds and can be folded away after play.

Gourmet Grower Mushroom Kit from Fungi Futures, £12.95

All you need to grow your own pearl oyster mushrooms. The kit is made of recycled coffee grounds and recycled cardboard and requires only air, shade and water to produce two crops of mushrooms.

Red Snuggle Suitby Organics For Kids, £43

Cosy cotton-lined winter jumpsuit for babies. Available in scarlet, blue, green, brown, pink and purple.Organics for Kids also sell mini ponchos and fleeces to keep little ones warm. 01865 379230


Dedicate a tree with The Woodland Trust, £15

With the ash trees under threat, our woodland needs all the help it can get. Dedicate a young sapling or a mature tree in one of 50 UK woods. The money will go towards the upkeep of the woodland and you will receive a certificate. 0845 293 5840

Evergreens from Beeches, from £4.35

Delightgreen-fingered relatives with an evergreen plant. Euphorbia ‘Silver Swan’ (£5.60) has lovely variegated white and grey foliageand the Christmas rose (Helleborusniger, from £4.35) has huge glossy leaves and white winter flowers. 01799 584362

Scented narcissi, from the Isles of Scilly, from £21.95

If you want to give someone a bunch of flowers for Christmas, UK-grown narcissi are a good choice. Just a small bunch will fill a room with perfume. Choose from traditional gold varieties or a bunch of elegant whites. £21.95 buys 50 stems delivered by post.  01720 423767

Hazel Sillver is a freelance journalist and a contributor to the Ecologist Green Living section; email:

*image courtesy of



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