General Chatter, Impact and Sustainability

The Guide to Sustainable Gifting

‘Tis’ the season to be gifting! With the festivities come family celebrations, games, food, more food, and of course gifts waiting under the tree.

Whether you’re shopping for 50 people or just one loved one, it’s becoming increasingly important to shop sustainably. Gift something that not only they will love, but that the planet will love too. Read our guide to sustainable gifting this Christmas and beyond.

Used books

Well, any blog post on sustainable gifts would be incomplete without a mention of used books. Gone are the days where ‘new is king’. Used can be just as special, sentimental, and valuable as a new book. Gifting a book to someone is a personal and thoughtful idea.

If you’re feeling nervous about gifting a used book, perhaps you can leave a little note in the package.

‘Used books are just pre-loved books. And I hope it can be re-loved by you’.

Cheesy, but true. There is no shame in second-hand gifts.

Here at Wob, we stock millions of titles, so that you can find the perfect gift. However, if you’re looking for some inspiration – why not check out some of our favourite reads, all about sustainability. Perfect for your green-hearted friends and family.

When buying for children, why not give them the gift of reading? We have plenty of brilliant kids books for all ages, available at great prices, so you can fuel their imagination for less.

Zero waste beauty

Bath bombs, pamper kits, and the like are common presents over the festive period. Gift sets are often packaged in lots of plastic. Why not visit your local zero waste shop to see what they have available? Also check out sustainable brands from Tropic who offers refills of product packaging, to carbon-neutral skincare Neal’s Yard. You can do your bit for the environment as well as give a gift they’ll love.


Does your giftee have a favourite app or service that they use regularly? Why not buy them a subscription for the year ahead. Whether it’s a language learning app or their favourite magazine, a food box or a streaming service, you know they’ll love it and use it for a long time! It’s a no-waste gift that keeps on giving.

DIY hampers

Hampers always make for a lovely, personal gift. Grab a cardboard box, wrap it in some aesthetically pleasing paper, and fill it to your heart’s content with all of their favourite things. Food and drink is always a good idea, just try to buy items with a long enough shelf life – and there should be no waste!

Woodn’t it be nice to give children sustainable toys?

Brands such as Little Dutch, create beautiful, Montessori-inspired wooden toys. The toys are wonderfully crafted and long-lasting. These are perfect for passing down from child to child for generations. Unlike plastic toys, they won’t harm the environment if the time comes to say goodbye. Their range of wooden toys is finished with non-toxic water-based paint, making for both a safe and sustainable gift. There are plenty of other brands selling unique, wooden toys too. Have a look at local and independent sellers on Etsy. Browse wooden – not plastic – this Christmas!

Sustainable Secret Santa

If you’re taking part in a ‘Secret Santa’, it might be hard to know what to buy, and you might be concerned about waste if the recipient doesn’t like their gift. Joke presents are always fun, but might not be sustainable. ‘Drawnames‘ and similar sites allow you to anonymously request a wish list and create your own wish list, as well as add your hobbies and interests. That way, you can be sure they’ll love their gift, no presents go to waste, and it makes Secret Santa sustainable!

Shop Christmas

What do you think of our guide to sustainable gifting? Add your own tips and tricks in the comments below.

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  • Reply i am in australi December 3, 2021 at 5:24 am

    i am in australia but i keep getting book prices in pound sterling how do i change it to aus $dollars

    • Reply Jonella Vidal December 6, 2021 at 3:42 pm

      Hello, thanks for getting in touch. We do have a dedicated Australian website here: where all prices are in Australian dollars.


  • Reply Julius Hargitai December 14, 2021 at 6:55 am

    Hi, this is Julius,

    I am desperately seeking the account details but I can’t find them. Could you help me out with it?
    I ordered one or two books and I have no idea when and where they are.
    My user ID is either [email protected] or [email protected].

    Thank you in advance

    • Reply Jonella Vidal December 20, 2021 at 10:38 am

      Hello Julius,

      Please note, the Wob Blog is not monitored by customer service.
      Please contact the team here or on our social media, and they will be able to assist you.

      Thank you.

  • Reply Maria Bradley December 20, 2021 at 10:35 am

    I have just had a delivery of a book by Elizabeth David (French provincial cooking) which your website says is a VERY GOOD copy. As for your description of very good I do not think this book can be classified as very good at all (It is dirty, pages faded by dust and the cover is as bad).
    I have bought several books from WOB and the very good condition is really almost new. I had to wash the cover with soap water.

    • Reply Jonella Vidal December 20, 2021 at 10:41 am

      Hello Maria,

      I’m sorry to hear that your book was not up to our usual standard.
      Please feel free to contact our customer service team who can assist you with this and provide options for a refund or replacement.
      You can contact the team on our website or on our social media accounts.

      Thank you

  • Reply Erika December 22, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Are you guys likely to sell gift cards in the future? I absolutely love the site and sometimes I don’t know exactly which book to get someone. Gift cards would be sustainable too!

    • Reply Jonella Vidal January 5, 2022 at 3:37 pm


      Thanks for getting in touch! We don’t currently have plans to offer gift cards, but we’re constantly reviewing ideas just like this. If we do start to offer gift cards, we’ll be sure to let you know.

      Thank you, and happy reading! 🙂

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