Circular guide: green Christmas gift ideas

We’ve got some great green gift ideas for everyone keen to spoil their loved ones as well as look after the environment!

1) A book exploring upcycling across the world: The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability - Designing for Abundance

In Cradle to Cradle published in 2002, William McDonough and Michael Braungart imagined a world where industry would have a positive ecological footprint, where there would be no more waste only "nutrients", and eco-designed products that would feed the earth or could be indefinitely recycled. Ten years on, the two authors delve deeper and explore real-life upcycling examples across the world. An enthralling and topical book suitable for English-speaking readers.

€21.30 / $26

Associated article: Even more beautiful the second time around

credits: © 2014 William McDonough (

Credits: © 2014 William McDonough (

2) Little Sun: a small solar lamp that helps people too

Little Sun is a small social enterprise that was started in London in 2012 by Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen - respectively a designer and an engineer. Both committed to more sustainable energy and universal access to electricity, they designed a small solar flower shaped lamp that is not only sustainable but also affordable. Five hours to charge in the sun gives you 4 to 10 hours of light depending on the level of brightness you want. Whether you choose to give this beautiful gift to a person with no access to electricity or simply to a friend, some of the money you spend will go towards financing a solar energy project the brand has partnered in rural Africa.

€22 / $25

© 2014 Little Sun (

© 2014 Little Sun (

3) A night in an ecological hotel

This year why not give someone a truly memorable experience instead of a simple gift? A romantic getaway night in a luxurious eco-friendly hotel perhaps? There are dozens of unique establishments in France in some splendid locations where they make it a point of honor to combine high quality services and ecological practices: limited energy and water consumption, waste reduction, use of renewable resources, local organic food, etc. One thing’s certain - your friends will come back convinced that a more responsible way of life isn’t short of pleasures!

Discover a selection of environmentally friendly hotels in Paris!

Prices vary.

Related article: Welcome to Vietnam’s first container hotel

4) Riese & Müller: the hottest electric bike!

In Germany, electric bikes are an institution for everyone aged 7 to 77! No wonder one of the coolest electric bikes on the market is German. With its cutting-edge minimalist look and chunky tires, the Homage model by Riese & Müller is just perfect for any bike ride - in the city or in the mountains. A 2018 EUROBIKE Award winner, this fast and powerful model (with a Bosch Performance motor) will delight city folk. A great gift idea for a stand-out designer bike that helps the environment too!

From €5,099 / $5,785

Related article: What if the circular economy were the future of transport?  

© Riese & Müller GmbH (

© Riese & Müller GmbH (

5) iFixit: the new generation toolbox to fix everything and avoid throwing stuff out

Forget dad’s toolbox, this is a 21st century toolbox! iFixit is an online platform that brings together a community of "fixers" - people who believe it’s better to fix rather than chuck stuff. It’s an international support network to help you repair all kinds of objects with thousands of tutorials along with the opportunity to buy all kinds of tools and spare parts. iFixit offers a complete kit of 70 selected tools that will help you repair your electronic devices. Accompanied by a lifetime guarantee - of course!

€59.95 / $68

Related article: Fixers set out to repair the world

Credits: iFixit (

Credits: Courtesy of iFixit (

6) Jimini’s: Eat insects… and enjoy them!

Do you believe insects are the food of the future? You could be right! They’re a great source of protein that’s both healthy and environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, you could be on your own on this – your friends probably take you for an eccentric. The best way to convince them is to get them to try! Start slowly with familiar insect-based products such as pasta, cereal bars and even breakfast granola, all concocted by the French brand Jimini's. It will make an original gift and be a great talking point!

From €4.90 / $5.55

Related article: Insects - yummy!

© Jimini’s (

7) No more waste with an eco-friendly and reusable bottle!

Why use and throw dozens of cups every week when we could easily reduce our waste with a simple, durable and reusable water bottle? This is the principle behind the washable bottles produced by the Swiss brand SIGG. Eco-designed from a single seamless piece of pure aluminum and 100% recyclable, these bottles are a perfect - and very practical - designer gift! Ideal for people that not only love beautiful objects designed with Swiss precision but also always have a drink in their hand.

From €18.90 / $21.45

8) BlueLounge: a recycled bottle backpack 

The circular economy is good. And very beautiful too! As proved by this collection of large comfortable bags and covers for laptops and tablets - all made from recycled plastic bottles. A safe bet for anyone who cares about both style and recycling waste.

From €39.50 / $44.95


Credits: Image courtesy of Bluelounge (

Credits: Image courtesy of Bluelounge (

9) Mokulock: the wooden construction game for everyone – whatever their age!

Construction games are timeless and always fun, no matter how old you are! If you’re looking for a construction game for a child (or an adult!), the Japanese manufacturer Mokulock offers a set of 24 or 48 hand-made pieces made of maple, cherry and birch wood. A green alternative to Lego’s plastic bricks, with which Mokulock beautiful wood bricks are compatible. A gift that will delight young and old environmentalists alike!

From €22 / $25

© 2013 Mokulock (

© 2013 Mokulock (

10) Understanding how digital evolutions will change our economy in the book “The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism”

In 1995, economist and futurist Jeremy Rifkin predicted that jobs would inevitably disappear. In 2011, he shared his vision of a new carbon-free economy in his major book The Third Industrial Revolution. Today, in his book The Zero Marginal Cost Society, Jeremy Rifkin predicts no less than the end of capitalism, eclipsed by a model of goods and almost free services! Or how digital evolutions - the Internet of Things, the collaborative economy, 3D printing – will converge to profoundly transform the global economy.

From €10.70 / $12.15

11) Dinner for two in a vegetarian restaurant

"But don’t you miss a good steak?" “A meal without meat is not a proper meal”. “You must have a lot of deficiencies because of your diet, right?” If you're a vegetarian you can bet all those comments sound familiar. Since a great meal speaks a thousand words, why not treat your most suspicious friends to dinner in a gourmet vegetarian restaurant?

Discover a selection of the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in France.

Prices vary.

Picture Getty / Cultura / Tim Macpherson

Picture Getty / Cultura / Tim Macpherson


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