Gift Ideas

Christmas Gifts for Eco-Savvy Families

For Mum

I am not a fan of spiders in my house and I have been known to hit the ceiling when one runs across my bedroom floor as I climb into bed. The Spider Catcher is a nifty gadget ensuring a humane and safe way to remove spiders, and the creepy crawlies from your home office or even garden! The Spider Catcher is super easy to use. You simply squeeze the handle which opens up the bristles on the catcher, place the bristles over the spider (or any other annoying insect), release the squeezy handle which then closes the bristles around the spider, it is then securely held while you walk the spider outside for release (by squeezing the handle again). The Spider Catcher boasts a long handle that is just under 26 inches, so you can rest assured that you are not too close to the spider!  You can read a full review of the Spider Catcher here.

The Spider Catcher by Brainstorm is £11.99 RRP on Amazon.

For Dad

Does your dad run on coffee and is he partial to trying something new in the coffee machine on a regular basis? We always seems to have a new exotic bag of ground coffee rocking it out in our fridge door.  We quite often think of a magazine subscription as an ideal present for dad, but a Cafédirect Handpicked monthly subscription may be the perfect gift for any coffee connoisseur.

Each month, dad will receive a different coffee from Cafédirect Handpicked’s Discovery Collection, specially curated by experts who have unearthed hidden gems from the finest farms across the globe – from Tanzania and Vietnam to Brazil. So sitting at the breakfast table each morning really can feel like a trip around the globe.

cafedirect subscription service

As well as experiencing hidden coffee gems, they will also be able to learn about their coffee thanks to the fascinating Tasting Booklet that comes with it. As they explore exciting, new flavours from around the world they will also discover their personal taste profile preference – be it bright and aromatic or rich and chocolaty. They’ll also be able to choose from espresso or filter through to whole beans or pre-ground, depending on how they like to brew, and each bean is locally roasted to order and packaged in the UK, so freshness is guaranteed in each monthly delivery (that will fit straight through their letter box).

When we opened up the packet of Cafedirect’s Colombia Balboa, the smell was heavenly. The smell of freshly ground coffee is certainly one of my favourites wafting through the house in the morning. I sat and absorbed the berry-like, sweet cocoa taste and instantly appreciated what good-coffee tastes like.

Subscriptions start at £24 for 3 months, and go up to £85 for 12 months.

For a Christmas baby.

gNappies glen lassie

Its more important than ever before that we start ditching the disposables and looking for some more eco-friendly alternatives to disposables. gNappies have a fantastic range of practical, colourful and earth friendly nappies. This super Christmassy gNappy Glen Lassie nappy from the gPants range, would be ideal for any little girl this Christmas. There is a Glen Laddie nappy too for the boys! You simply pop-in one of the gNappies disposable inserts into the waterproof pouch that sits inside the gPants, and you’re ready to go!

gnappies disposable inserts

We tend to you birth-to-potty style nappies in our house, that we stuff with a cotton pre-fold so I was a little nervous to try the disposable inserts. But, they were very quick and easy to get the hang of. They hold a good amount of waste (even for my little girl who is a heavy wetter), and the best bit about the disposable inserts is that they are completely bio-degradable, and wet ones are compostable (just bin the poopy ones)! My compost bin is always hungry, so it was very pleased to know it had something else to munch on.

The Glen Lassie gPants are £17.95 and a pack of 40 disposable inserts is £8.95. Keep your eyes peeled on my blog for full review of gNappies gPants!

For the Dog

a maze in a blow slow eating dog bowl

A-Maze-In-A-Bowl, is the ideal feeding bowl for dogs that tend to stuff as much food into their faces as time allows. Our dog Scrapper is like a canine hoover. Meal times are a pain, as he gets far too excited and eats far too quickly, leaving himself feeling bloated and possibly suffering with indigestion.

Designed by vet Paul Proctor, the bamboo fibre bowl is the result of a growing concern that dogs presenting at their surgery, increasingly suffered from being overweight and often has digestion issues. Paul says ‘The PDSA report in 2014 confirmed what we already knew which is that 1in 3 dogs in the UK are overweight. We can teach owners not to feed their dogs titbits through the day but we also needed to slow the whole feeding process down, so we decided to do something about it.

The A-Maze-In–A-Bowl is designed to be interactive, to make meal times much more as nature intended and to stop them becoming a boring routine of full-bowl-empty-blow. As the name suggests, the dog has to work round the maze to find his food, which slows down feeding times.

The bowl was an instant success. It took Scraoper a few minutes to use his brain (something that rarely happens) and work out how to wiggle his tongue around the maze and find his food. The bowl is suitable for wet and dry food, and both went into the bowl really easily. The eco friendly bowl is made of bamboo fibre but strong enough to withstand the interest of the largest dog, it won’t tip up or skid across the floor providing a satisfying, entertaining eating experience. And, it is even dishwasher safe!

The A-Maze-In-A-Bowl is £18.79, with free shipping and is available from the Simply Pets Online shop.

For the Cat

Poopy Cat Blocks review

Poopy Cat allows you to build your very own dream playhouse for cats. You simply build the blocks by folding and clicking them into shape, then stack the blocks in any way you wish to create a unique and super-fun play space for your feline friends. The blocks feature holes for the cats to climb through, slides to whizz down and bridges to cross, all simply made from extra strong recycled cardboard. A great 100% biodegradable eco-friendly product that has a reduced environmental impact, unlike may other conventional cat towers.

Our cats swarmed the completed tower, that took us around an hour to build/play with. They were exploring the structure, climbing through all of the tunnels, batting each other on the head with swift paws emerging from hidden holes, and even our dog got involved… and was quickly told to hiss off by the cats. The Poopy Cat kit is designed to beat boredom, stop unwanted bad behaviour, exercise your cat and create a safe space for your cat, as cats love to be up high with a good view, but hidden away in a quiet space.

To read a full in depth review of the super-cool Poopycat BLOCKS kit, visit here.

The basic Poopy Cat BLOCKS playhouse kit is £34.95 and is available from the Poopy Cat website. Check out their website for inspiration for building your own Poopy Cat Tower of Awesomeness!

For Grandma and Grandpa

The Chimney Sheep is a superb new draught excluder made for chimneys! If your grandparents have a lovely warming open fire, they may know all too well how draughty a fireplace may be. A study has suggested that 4% of household heat is lost up an open chimney, so fitting a chimney Sheep in place can reduce your household heating bills by around £64 on an average bill.

chimney- sheep

The Chimney Sheep website gives you a nice clear way of making sure that you order the correct Sheep, as the size of flues do vary. From £16- £65 there is a wide range of Chimney Sheep to explore, to find which is right for you.

For Your sister

olverum_-_new_pack

Bring the fresh scent of outside, inside with Olverum, a stunning bath oil made from a luxurious blend of 10 aromatic essential oils; lavender, pine, eucalyptus, and juniper to name just a few. Just a 5ml dash in your bath water is enough to tingle your senses and relax your whole body instantaneously, Especially after a particularly stressful or hectic day. Olverum has a truly natural scent, of pine and lavender along with other subtle hints of rosemary and lemon that help to decongest and open up your airways.  I thoroughly recommended a steamy soak with Olverum if you have a cold stuffing up your nose. As soon as I started running my bath the lush scent started filling the bathroom and unlocking my nose right away. My husband even commented on how beautiful the smell was as it drifted down the stairs, and actually filled our whole propetry with such a fresh scent that lasted all night long, as we could still smell it in the morning! I do like to leave my bath water in the tub overnight when I have used any nice smelling products, as I believe that no pretty smells should be wasted down the plug hole!  You can read a thorough review of Olverum on my blog here.

A bottle Olverum is available from the Olverum website directly or Harvey Nichols and Fenwick stores. Bottles are priced at £23.50 for 125 ml (25 baths) or £36.95 for 200ml (40 baths). An investment that I do belive is completely worth it. There are endless products made to give you an ultimate relaxing bathtime experience, but I think Olverum really is the ‘cherry on the cake’ …

For your brother

Meccano have released the all new Meccano Meccanoid Personal Robot by Spinmaster. Quite possibly the coolest toy have I have seen this year. The Meccanoid G15KS, is a build-it-yourself 4ft robot. OK, technically its not an eco-toy but it is bound to keep your brother quiet for some time, meaning you won’t be needing to spend so much time and money on food and beer for him on Christmas day.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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