The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - The Sunday Cook -

A Yougov sur­vey found that more than half of UK adults get at least one un­wanted gift at Christ­mas. If the £740 mil­lion we il­lad­vis­edly spent on these was given to Send a Cow, the char­ity that com­mis­sioned the re­search, it could sup­port 22 mil­lion im­pov­er­ished fam­i­lies by giv­ing each one a goat.

This seems just the “feel good” fac­tor Clare de­scribed, so I go to the char­ity’s web­site (senda­ and buy my hus­band a kid, en­vis­ag­ing his pro­found grat­i­tude upon re­al­is­ing it is not hu­man and will be raised in some­one else’s home.

Next on the list: my mother. I con­tact Alice Guy, whose East Sus­sex fam­ily have been liv­ing plas­tic-free for nearly two years. She points me to a new and grow­ing gen­er­a­tion of re­spon­si­ble on­line shops.

The Fu­ture Kept (the­fu­, for ex­am­ple, sells achingly cool gifts for adults that are eth­i­cal and – al­leluia – mailed in plas­tic-free pack­ag­ing. Nor are they alone. Archie’s Bou­tique (archies­bou­ – pur­vey­ors of gifts for chil­dren and fam­i­lies – has also moved on from plas­tic pack­ag­ing.

Fort­num & Ma­son, mean­while, is fo­cus­ing on some­thing a lit­tle stronger. Its spirit of the month is an or­ganic rose gin called Tink­ture (£45, fort­nu­mand­ma­ Its glass apothe­cary bot­tle has been beau­ti­fully de­signed, en­cour­ag­ing its re­use. “We want to clean up booze,” says Tink­ture’s founder, Han­nah Lamiroy.

It proves easy to find stylish plas­tic-free gifts for adults. Ba­bies and tod­dlers too are a cinch – wooden stack­ing toys abound. My teenage niece will be thrilled with her present from Lush, whose fizzing bath prod­ucts are now largely packed in pa­per and fab­ric.

With my eight-year-old, how­ever, I hit a wall. Loath ei­ther to aban­don my chal­lenge or dis­ap­point him on Christ­mas morn­ing, I call Car­rie Cort. She, her hus­band, and her 10-yearold son Adam were named Bri­tain’s Green­est Fam­ily last year. What will be un­der the tree for Adam?

“He re­ally wants Nerf guns,” says Cort. “He knows I won’t buy new plas­tic, but I will give it a sec­ond life if we find it sec­ond-hand some­where.” Sorted.

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