A Letter to Santa: Eco-Friendly Stocking Fillers

Dear Santa

Firstly, I’d like to say what a great job you do each year delivering presents to so many children! And well done for sticking with the old sleigh and reindeer, keeping your emissions to a minimum. I’ve also been really impressed with the steps you’ve taken in recent years to be more environmentally friendly – using paper tape instead of sticky tape, no glitter on the wrapping paper, oh and the Fairtrade chocolate coins were delicious (so I’m told).

Anyway, in an attempt to encourage your green efforts, I thought I’d offer you a few more ideas for eco-friendly stocking fillers:

Plastic-Free Sweets and Chocolates – choose foil wrapped chocolates or send one of your elves to your local sweet shop for loose pick and mix in a paper bag or your own container.

Books – I usually keep an eye out for any suitable books in charity shops, but if I’m after a specific title then second hand online bookseller World of Books is my first port of call. I’m sure they can deliver to Lapland. Bookshop.org is also a great alternative to Amazon, if you are after a newly published title. Or visit your local independent bookshop; if they don’t have it in stock, they’ll almost certainly be able to order it for you at no extra cost. If you need some inspiration, here are a few eco-themed book suggestions.

Underwear and Socks – I’m firmly of the opinion that the joy kids get from Christmas stockings is in the unwrapping, rather than the actual gifts! So feel free to stick everyday essentials like pants and socks in my kids’ Christmas stockings. Socks and pants are something you’ll probably need to buy brand new (confession time: I have few qualms about second hand underwear and have in the past bought kids pants from charity shops. But you can never guarantee you’ll find the right size when you need them, so buying underwear new is a compromise I make). If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of fast fashion and high street shops, then have a look at Good on You, a website and app which provides an ethical rating for brands.

Bath Bombs and Bubble Bars – my kids love bath bombs and they make bath time a lot of fun. Lush has some great bath bombs (including one which glows in the dark) as well as bubble bars, which can be used for more than one bath. If you or your elves are feeling particularly crafty, it is apparently quite easy to make your own bath bombs, but I’ve never tried and I’m sure you have more than enough on your plate at this time of year!

Seeds or Seed Bombs – I know, I know, Christmas is not the ideal time to plant seeds. But there are several vegetables and herbs which can all be sown in the darker months ready for planting out in the spring, for example cut-and-come-again salad, cress, basil, chillies, and aubergines. Wildflower and mixed annual seeds and seed bombs are really easy to sow and grow, although it is best to wait until the spring with these. Some trusted seed suppliers include Tamar Organics, Real Seeds, Meadow in My Garden and Pennard Plants.

A Small Game – and the emphasis is on small here Santa, like many families our house is already bursting at the seams with toys and games! If you or your elves have time to search the charity shops, you might find Top Trumps or card games like Cheat or UNO. If not, have a look on eBay for second hand games. Exploding Kittens comes highly recommended!

Stationery – kids (and some adults) love receiving stationery as a gift! Plus, it’s consumable so will get used! You can often pick up brand new stationery in charity shops or online from charity websites; my kids particularly liked the notepads you got them last year from ZSL the conservation charity which runs London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo. Bonus points for recycled notepads or pens!

Cuddly Toy – personally I don’t think you’re ever too old for cuddly toys and I’d hazard a guess that most primary age children will still love a cuddly toy in a stocking. Again, you’ll find plenty of second hand good condition cuddly toys in charity shops or at car boots or jumble sales. Alternatively, try conservation and wildlife charity websites; many of them have an online shop which means you’ll be directly helping vital conservation work.

I hope you’ll find this helpful this year Santa, please don’t take these suggestions the wrong way. As you can see, I’m a big fan of yours and think you’re already doing a brilliant job!

Well, I’d better let you get on with all the festive preparations. I hope everything goes smoothly this year and you have a very Merry Christmas!

Best wishes

An eco-anxious mum of 2

P.S. While I’m at it, please could I add an electric bike to my Christmas wish list? Thank you!

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