Seven sustainable gift ideas this Christmas

posted on 12.12.2019

This article is brought to you by ME.

The planet needs our help – and what better way to lend a hand than by giving eco-friendly gifts this festive season. Here are seven ideas from industry super fund-owned bank ME to save money and the environment.

  1. Keep cups

    Australians toss out 2.7 million disposable coffee cups every day1. The gift of a keep cup reduces waste – and can deliver ongoing savings as a growing number of cafes offer a BYO cup discount. 

    Consumer group Choice gave the KeepCup Original a thumbs up2, and it’s super affordable, retailing from around $17.
  2. A native plant

    Bees are vital to our food supply. The sting in the tale is that honey bees are under threat from loss of habitat, pesticides and climate change. 

    Give bees a valuable helping hand by adding a touch of Australiana to Christmas with the gift of a flowering Australian native plant. 

    Natives tend to be drought resistant, low maintenance, and there’s a good choice of flowering varieties, which is great news for bees. Look for grevillea, kangaroo paw, and lilly pilly, and pay less than $15 for a young plant.
  3. Bamboo straws

    Australians use about 10 million single-use plastic straws each year, and they’re one of the most common items polluting our beaches and harming marine animals3.

    Bamboo straws are an eco-friendly option. They last for years and are very affordable. Pick up a pack for under $134.
  4. Baked with love

    Handcrafted gifts like a homemade fruit cake or newly baked cookies show you care. They also require very little packaging and often cost far less than shop-bought equivalents.  Use organic ingredients for added sustainability.
  5. A fruit basket

    Grab a wicker basket for next-to-nothing from the local op shop and fill it with organic seasonal fruits (or veggies). It’s a healthy, sustainable gift that can be pulled together for under $25.
  6. A veggie patch

    The locavore movement – eating locally grown produce – is cutting food miles from paddock to plate, thereby reducing environmental damage. 

    Help the people who matter to you become locavores. A gift made up of a planter tub, potting mix and seedlings of fail-safes like spinach, lettuce, and silverbeet can ensure friends or family never run out of homegrown greens. 
  7. Water bottles

    Australia has some of the cleanest tap water in the world5, yet our passion for bottled water sees around 373 million plastic bottles end up in landfill each year6.

    The crazy thing is, it takes up to seven litres of water to produce a single litre of bottled water8. That makes it a no-brainer to gift reusable water bottles.

    Pick one up for under $10 at department stores and let the giftee pocket ongoing savings. Drinking eight glasses of tap water per day costs just $0.98 annually compared to around $3,650 for the same quantity of bottled water.


1Sustainability Victoria: Single use items - Coffee cups  

2Choice: Best BYO coffee cups  

3Sustainability Victoria: Single use items - Straws  

4Bamboo Straws Australia  

5Choice: Is bottled water safer than tap?  

6University of Wollongong: Water bottle refill  



This article is brought to you by ME Bank. This information does not take into account your situation and you should consider if these products are appropriate for you. For more information, please visit

Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679.

The products or services being advertised are provided by third parties, not REI Super and therefore will not be the responsibility of REI Super. REI Super may invest in these third parties but does not receive any payments or commissions from these organisations as a result of members using the products and services. Members should make their own assessment and seek professional advice as to the suitability of such products or services for their individual needs.


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