News & Insights

Read and share Parliament Hill insights and news on the tips, trends, and key developments we’ve identified for benefit management and member satisfaction.

Gifting sustainably this Christmas

As part of our ‘Have yourself a sustainable Christmas’ series, we look at how you can gift sustainably this Christmas

There are many ways to shop sustainably this Christmas, such as avoiding single-use plastic items that can't be recycled. We can make changes when shopping such as swapping to Fairtrade or Organic-certified food and clothing, and buying second-hand items also saves on resources needed to make new products. A great way to shop sustainably this festive season is by purchasing second-hand clothes and home furnishings from places such as Vinted or Facebook Marketplace, as well as refurbished technology.

Charity donation

Make a donation to a charity this year and send around e-cards to friends and family letting them know, rather than buying gifts. So many of us are inundated with chocolates, alcohol, and toiletry sets. As much as they are a lovely gesture, sometimes that money could go to those who are in need at a time of year where so many struggle.

Buy someone a membership

Rather than a gift set or an item of clothing, buy someone the thoughtful gift of a membership for something they can enjoy throughout the coming year. For example, an English Heritage membership that includes unlimited entry to over 400 historic destinations across the UK will provide countless days out and memories for a loved one. Or if you know a fitness fanatic, a gym membership as a gift is a no-brainer! Covering the expense of a hobby that is a luxury to so many, allowing them to put their health and wellbeing first is a present that can really benefit someone.

Shampoo bars

We all wash our hair and know someone who loves to take care of their luscious locks. Because shampoo bars do not require plastic packaging, they are much better for the environment than standard liquid shampoo. Water-free products like shampoo bars are becoming popular in the eco-friendly beauty community as a way to reduce waste and in particular water waste. They are also an easy step to take in your journey to becoming more conscious about the environment when it comes to products we use on an everyday basis.

Buy gifts made in the UK and shop local businesses

Thousands of tonnes of products arrive in the UK by container from China every year. Shopping for presents locally means you will be supporting small suppliers, while minimising the carbon footprint associated with the transportation of the products you're buying. If you're doing your Christmas shopping online, marketplaces such as  Etsy  and  Notonthehighstreet  will tell you when a seller is based in the UK or when an item has been made in the UK.

Sustainable glitter

Christmas is a time to sparkle! But don’t let it be at the cost of our planet. Almost anything that sparkles is likely to contain plastic-based glitter. Since glitter particles are so small, they're considered microplastics: a major source of ocean, air, and soil pollution. Non-biodegradable glitters contain microplastics that end up in our sea, end up in our seafood, and end up in us. It's a problem that passes through the food chain. Be sure to purchase biodegradable glitters this festive season. Made from Eco-friendly onion powder, or plant cellulose, mainly sustainably sourced Eucalyptus trees. It's just as sparkly as non-biodegradable glitter, but it's made from plants.

Beauty products

A lot of us love to gift and receive beauty products to loved ones at Christmas. Well known beauty brand Burt’s Bees have achieved 99.6% Natural Origin average across their formulas. 100% of their packaging is recyclable and they use an average of 50% recycled materials across all packaging. Burt’s all have Landfill-Free Operations and are CarbonNeutral® Certified. Burt’s Bees are famous for their lip balms, however also sell cleansers and creams which are great gift ideas for someone who loves to pamper themselves, or maybe deserves a little self-care.

Gift an experience

Christmas presents don't always have to take the form of physical gifts; sometimes gifting someone an experience can be more personal and meaningful. For a gift that lasts, give a precious experience to a friend or relative — it could even be one that you can share and enjoy with them.

You can plan an experience yourself from scratch or check out  Virgin Experience Days , which organises experiences such as yoga retreats, foraging adventures, and glamping.

Support the arts by buying tickets for a show or concert with Todaytix . Alternatively, help out your favourite local restaurants by buying gift vouchers for meals.


If you have any tips to share on how you have made your Christmas more sustainable, then we would love to hear from you.


Christmas is such a magical time of year for all the family and an excuse for family and friends to get together and celebrate. We wish all of our clients, partners, staff and soon-to-be clients a fantastic Christmas and New Year
To read the other Blogs in our ‘Have yourself a sustainable Christmas’ series including; ‘Cremating a turkey or a meat free alternative’ and ‘5 ½ things that you could do to make Christmas 2023 more sustainable’, please click here .



Parliament Hill have been on their Sustainability Journey since the beginning of 2020. Since then, we have become Green Mark Level 3 accredited, launched a sustainability hub for our clients’ members. and updated our internal policy to enable our team to work more sustainably. To see more, visit ‘Our Sustainability Journey’

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