Top tips for an eco-friendly Christmas from The Green Blue.

Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue Campaign Manager

If you are buying a gift this Christmas have you thought about how it might impact the environment?

Christmas often comes with excess. Between gift-wrap, food packaging and single-use one-off gifts, the Christmas season can really takes its toll on the planet. But it does not have to be that way. More and more choices exist to gift thoughtfully without causing more harm to the world around us. We can all make a conscious choice to purchase gifts that give back to the planet.

So this year why not try to make your gifts as environmentally friendly as possible? There is a huge selection of eco-gifts available, but here are some of our top tips to help you to choose your eco-gift while considering its impact on the environment.

Recycled materials

Buying gifts made from recycled products require less natural resources and energy in production and help to minimise waste going to landfill.

The Old Salt Loft have designed a team navigator kit bag, made from, you guessed it, recycled sail cloth. These kit bags come with free personalisation features, of a name or number, and are ideal for storing all your boating gear.

RASH’R reclaim ocean waste, from fishing nets to plastic bottles, and develop bespoke rash vests. (exclusive discounts available for RYA Members)

If you are after something more decorative, Always Plastic Free have a Tide, Time and Moon Clock, which is also made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles.

Natural ingredients

This is especially important to those frequently on the water. By swapping to natural products it helps to minimise water pollution from chemicals such as phosphates.

Friendly Soap have produced a natural all-in-one travel soap for your body, hair and clothes. It is fully bio-degradable and naturally antiseptic.

For your relatives that love being outdoors, you could try Shades All-Natural sunscreen. It is SPF 25 and is made from organic natural ingredients of shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax, and comes in a metal tin, avoiding single use plastic.


Sustainable materials

A great replacement material to plastic and cotton products is bamboo. It is a renewable, fast growing and naturally organic product that does not require fertilisers or irrigation to flourish. It is a versatile product that is considered carbon neutral and bio-degradable.  Some bamboo based gift ideas include bamboo bed linen, towels and robes from paragonbamboo. All the raw materials are organically grown and the bed linen can be composted when it needs replacing.

Other sustainable gift ideas to consider are Naked Necessities’ plastic free shaving kits.  The metal shaver has a bamboo handle as well as shaving soap made from more natural ingredients.

There is also the Swol Panda vintage bamboo watch from or perhaps some Bambooy sunglasses.

Swap a gift for an experience

The most environmentally conscious gift you can give is not a gift but an experience. This could be an RYA voucher towards a training course or RYA gift membership, a boating experience day such as a sailing lesson, or maybe trying out something new such as a paddleboard hire session, the list is endless.

Finally, it is not just the gift itself you need to think about. You may want to consider sending an e-card in support of one of your favourite environmental organisations – WWF or Friends of the Earth, and think about where you purchase the product as this will also have a sustainability impact.

If possible, buy gifts from local and/or independent producers. Also, something that is often overlooked, is thinking about how you plan to wrap your gift. The majority of wrapping paper can be recycled, with no sellotape or glitter, but keep an eye out for wrapping paper that is FSC certified or made from recycled paper. You can also purchase paper based wrapping tape from preventing the use of single use plastic and making it easier to recycle the discarded wrapping after use.

The Green Blue is the joint environment initiative created by British Marine and the Royal Yachting Association to encourage a more sustainable recreational boating sector. To find out more about The Green Blue visit