Ensuring your Christmas gifts aren’t going to negatively impact the planet or the community can be tricky. With the Live for Less ethos in mind, our guest blogger Nicole Lutz has created this handy-dandy gift guide to help you on your way.

Gifts for fashionable friends

Shop local

Held in South Bank on the first Sunday of each month, The Young Designers Markets feature local up-and-coming designers and their handmade wares.

Plan ahead

Consider downloading the The Ethical Consumer’s free Good On You App before hitting up the department stores. Featured brands are rated based on their impact on people, the planet and animals.

Wear no evil

“Wear no evil” is the slogan for Etiko, a family-run Australian clothing and footwear brand focused on human rights, environmental protection and animal welfare. Buy anything from flip-flops and undies to street-shoes. Visit a Brisbane retailer here or shop online to avoid the crowds.

Gifts for the green thumb

Gifts that grow

Plants make a great gift for any gardening enthusiast. Choose from the seasonal selection at Northey Street City Farm Nursery at Windsor or another community nursery local to you.

Knowledge is power

Purchase a workshop session from the Bellarong Community Farm or Northey St City Farm. Classes including everything from garden design courses to vegetable pickling workshops.

Give all year

PIP is an Australian Permaculture magazine for people who want to live the good life in harmony with the planet. It’s published seasonally and a subscription costs as little as $33. They also have an online shop brimming with gifts.

Gifts for kids

Crafty Christmas

Set your kids a cash limit and set them loose in Reverse Garbage. Their imaginations will go wild at the array of materials just waiting to be repurposed. Alternatively enrol them in a school holiday eco-art workshop.

Fair Trade fillers

Oxfam has a 50-year history as one of Australia’s most ethical retailers with a focus on community rather than profit. Shop for stocking stuffers online or in their Brisbane store.

Sustainable play

Eco toys is an Australian family business specialising in sustainable toys made from non-toxic materials.

Presence instead of presents

Rather than giving a gift, take a loved one out for a bite to eat and give back to the community at the same time.

Get on board

Esspresso Train Cafe and Catering at Nundah is a community run cafe and initiative of the Nundah Community Enterprise Co-operative (NCEC). The NCEC create sustainable employment and training opportunities for people with mental illness, learning difficulty or intellectual disability. Espresso Train also supports the Suspended Coffee scheme, providing hot drinks to those who can’t afford it.

African adventure

Take your tastebuds on safari at Mu’ooz in West End. This not-for-profit provides experience, training and employment opportunities to African refugees.

Give hope

Hope Street Cafes provide training and hospitality experience to those in our community who face employment barriers. With two convenient locations (South Brisbane and West End) and a focus on local food, it’s a great spot to catch up this Christmas.