Sustainable Christmas gifts

Most often, when people think of gifting Christmas presents they envision games and toys, large items wrapped up in layers of shiny wrapping paper and ribbon.

However, there are plenty of gifts you can give that can be even more meaningful. How about supporting someone's livelihood in a faraway country or helping them have enough to eat?

Thinking global

Through the help of organisations like Oxfam, Australians can send a gift or two overseas this Christmas.

Oxfam Unwrapped is program that allows people to buy gifts for those in need of behalf of someone else.

That means as a present, you could send some chickens to a hungry family in South Africa, or gift a school in Cambodia a clean water tap on behalf of a friend, relative or yourself. Now that's in the spirit of Christmas!

In addition, not all gifts have to blow the budget! Buying seeds for a family in Sri Lanka can cost as little as $10 and helping a woman start a small business as little as $14.

There are even corporate options available, so businesses can give the gift of sustainability to people and environments all around the world.

Thinking local

Closer to home, you might also want to think about practical, real-life presents you can give to your loved ones that promote sustainability.

For instance, could your sister with a big family use reusable sandwich wraps? This helps to save money as there is no need to buy plastic wrap ever again with this handy kitchen essentials.

Or what about gifting a beautiful plant? These help to cleanse the world's oxygen so that everyone breathes easier – a fantastic sustainable gift.

You could even head to an op shop to find some unique gifts for your loved ones. This is sustainable because it reduces the demand around the world for new and unnecessary goods to be produced.