GOING GREEN FOR CHRISTMAS

If you are still searching for some inspiration for this year’s Christmas presents, there is no better time to look at some nifty gadgets that will go on being useful – at home or on board – even when the novelty factor has worn off and Christmas Day is a distant memory.

Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue Campaign Manager

There is a huge array of eco-gadgets and green gifts on the market these days, and a range of dubious claims about saving money or being environmentally friendly. Get past the hype and there are some really useful gizmos and stylish kit worth checking out.

A solar powered phone charger is small enough to fit in your pocket, and can get you out of trouble when you have been streaming funny boating mishaps for hours only to find that you have no battery left to make an important call. Using the power of the sun and an inbuilt battery, this small device can give your phone that extra boost when needed. There is a selection available from PowerBee (www.powerbee.co.uk) from £5.99.

If you prefer a dry shave to a wet shave then a hand crank eco razor could be the gadget for you. These razors are cordless and battery free meaning you can power it up whenever you need it. Handy when on the move and, of course, if you like to stay clean-shaven on board. Available from Amazon at around £9.99.

Here is a great way to give someone a gentle nudge to take shorter showers. Efergy Showertime Shower Coach attaches to your tiles and indicates the amount of water you use each time you shower and it even has an inbuilt LCD clock and alarm. From then on, every time you step in the shower it lets you know when you have reached your allocated time and amount of water.  Available online from SmartGreenShop (smartgreenshop.co.uk) for £7.95.

It might be the wrong time of year to be thinking about deckchairs, but there are some great gifts – from deckchairs and cushions to weekend bags – made by giving old sails a new lease of life. RagBags UK and Reefer Sails are just two companies making fantastic products for your home, the beach and, of course, on board.

If you are thinking of getting someone skincare products or cosmetics then this is a great opportunity to avoid purchasing gifts that contain microbeads. Download the ‘Beat the Microbead’ app which enables you to scan the barcodes of many products to find out if they contain microbeads. Otherwise try to avoid gifts with ‘polyethelyne’ in the ingredients list. For an eco-friendly alternative try Sukin Natural Skincare range (sukinorganics.com).

And finally, the Christmas favourite – socks! But this time bamboo socks. Soft, breathable, fluff free and naturally antibacterial. Apparently they do not ever smell – though that is no excuse for not changing for a fresh pair every now and then. They are even available with a nautical twist from www.seasaltcornwall.co.uk

Happy shopping and merry Christmas!

To find out more about the work of The Green Blue visit www.thegreenblue.org.uk