The planet needs our help – and what better way to lend a hand than by giving eco-friendly gifts this festive season. Here are seven ideas from industry super fund-owned bank ME to save money and the environment.

1. Keep cups

Australians toss out 2.7 million disposable coffee cups every day. The gift of a keep cup reduces waste – and can deliver ongoing savings as a growing number of cafes offer a BYO cup discount.  Consumer group Choice gave the KeepCup Original a thumbs up, and it’s super affordable, retailing from around $17.

2. A native plant

Bees are vital to our food supply. The sting in the tale is that honey bees are under threat from loss of habitat, pesticides and climate change.  Give bees a valuable helping hand by adding a touch of Australiana to Christmas with the gift of a flowering Australian native plant.  Natives tend to be drought resistant, low maintenance, and there’s a good choice of flowering varieties, which is great news for bees. Look for grevillea, kangaroo paw, and lilly pilly, and pay less than $15 for a young plant.

3. Bamboo straws

Australians use about 10 million single-use plastic straws each year, and they’re one of the most common items polluting our beaches and harming marine animals.  Bamboo straws are an eco-friendly option. They last for years and are very affordable. Pick up a pack for under $13.

4. Baked with love

Handcrafted gifts like a homemade fruit cake or newly baked cookies show you care. They also require very little packaging and often cost far less than shop-bought equivalents.  Use organic ingredients for added sustainability.

5. A fruit basket

Grab a wicker basket for next-to-nothing from the local op shop and fill it with organic seasonal fruits (or veggies). It’s a healthy, sustainable gift that can be pulled together for under $25.

6. A veggie patch

The locavore movement – eating locally grown produce – is cutting food miles from paddock to plate, thereby reducing environmental damage.  Help the people who matter to you become locavores. A gift made up of a planter tub, potting mix and seedlings of fail-safes like spinach, lettuce, and silverbeet can ensure friends or family never run out of homegrown greens.

7. Water bottles

Australia has some of the cleanest tap water in the world, yet our passion for bottled water sees around 373 million plastic bottles end up in landfill each year.  The crazy thing is, it takes up to seven litres of water to produce a single litre of bottled water. That makes it a no-brainer to gift reusable water bottles.  Pick one up for under $10 at department stores and let the giftee pocket ongoing savings. Drinking eight glasses of tap water per day costs just $0.98 annually compared to around $3,650 for the same quantity of bottled water.

By keeping the planet in mind, you can keep your festive budget and the environment in great shape.

This article is brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit

Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229500.


Date Published: 04/12/2019 Category: Member Benefits

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