Festive Gift Guide

While we've given you loads of ideas for DIY, homemade presents, we understand that not everyone has the time and/or inclination to make gifts, but they still want to give them. Here's a couple of our favourite ethical prezzies to help you out.

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Creative Kids

Micador's Early StART Jumbo colour pencils are ideal for 2-4 year olds. They're made with 100% Forestry Stewardship Council certified wood – and we love them so much that we awarded the Green eARTh collection a highly commended at this year's Green Lifestyle Awards. $8 (pack of 10), www.micador.com.au

Nanananananana… Batman!

If you’re looking for something unique, Etsy has a huge range of handmade and vintage jewellery, homewares, clothing and more. It’s a great opportunity to support local designers and reduce your holiday footprint by purchasing eco-friendly products and restored vintage pieces. Checkout The Laser Co – they use recycled or ethically sourced timber that is laser cut into custom cufflinks, phone cases and home decorations. We love their Batman Cufflinks (pictured). $27.50, www.etsy.com/au

Soul Shoes

All you need to know is the size of your loved one, and if you're sneaky enough to order them some ALAS shoes before 9am Monday 22 December, you should get them just in time for Christmas. Plus,the kind folk at ALAS would like to give Green Lifestyle readers a 20% discount on these Fairtrade certified beauties by using the code ALASSPECIAL at checkout before 31 December 2014. $198, www.alasthelabel.com

Hearts of Gold

A donation to charity is thoughtful, compassionate, and can have long lasting benefits to developing communities and the environment instead of adding to landfill. And let’s face it – it's pretty convenient for the giver too!

Rainforest Rescue is a not-for-profit organisation that purchases and restores pieces of land critical to the conservation of forests. After thousands of hours of tireless work they have managed to bring neglected properties in the Daintree Rainforest back to health. However they need help to continue protecting this land for the future. Every $25 gift card they sell this Christmas can save five square metres of rainforest. www.rainforestrescue.org.au

Give a gift of hope with Plan Australia’s gift certificates. You can choose from a variety of causes from the stocking filler Emergency Kit for $8.00 that provides a family with the seeds and tools necessary to grow their own food, to $50 that buys a pig for a family in Cambodia. www.my.plan.org.au/shop

Easy-as Chocolate

Yum yum, excuse us while we spoil ourselves with a little festive indulgence... the Alter Eco chocolate truffles are divinely delicious, and come in a fancy, completely recyclable packet with compostable wrappers. They're Fairtrade certified, ethical chocolates that are, if you get our gist, 'the best thing' to bring when you're told to bring nothing at all. $9.95 (9-piece box), www.altereco.com.au

Aussie Luxe

Planet Luxe creates beautifully scented household products from organic botanical blends that leave out all nasty chemicals. With unique Australian scents, we love the lemon myrtle, Kakadu plum and ylang ylang blend. And there's chic new black packaging too. Hand balm ($45) & hand wash ($25), www.planetluxe.com.au

Biodynamic Love

Weleda has been creating beauty products for over 90 years using their own biodynamic ingredients to enhance skin naturally.

Anything they can’t make themselves comes from one of the fair trade partners that Weleda works with to encourage biodynamic farming methods.

There's 3 Weleda Gift Packs to choose from with gorgeous all-natural scents, each with a 200ml Creamy Body Wash and 50ml Hand Cream;

– Pomegranate for powerfully soft, renewed skin, to prevent the signs of ageing with 100% organic pomegranate seed oil, macadamia and sesame.

– Sea Buckthorn as an intensive care for dry skin, keeping it soft, supple and smooth, with antioxidant-rich sea buckthorn berries.

– Citrus to invigorate and enliven, with cooling and stimulating qualities of lemon to support the skin’s collagen and elastin foundation, and naturally regulate the skin’s pH balance.

$29.95, www.weleda.com.au

Naturally Safe 'n Sweet

Vanessa Megan’s new range of candles are hand-poured in Sydney using cosmetic grade soy wax with blends of calming essential oils. There are 4 great scents that we're sure are all great, but we can vouch for the Essential Blend with absolute, unquestionable confidence. $39.95, www.vanessamegan.com

Going beyond presents

Don’t forget that for a truly ethical festive season, that there’s more to it than getting thoughtful presents! At Christmas Australians buy more, travel more, and eat more than at any other time of the year. We reckon every single one of us should check out and implement Planet Ark’s 12 Do’s of Christmas. Join Planet Ark, workplaces, councils, and individuals across the country and make a commitment to do your bit for 2014.
To make a commitment, visit: www.12dos.planetark.org