We've been considering ways to reframe how we think about ‘giving’ which take the emphasis off buying and consuming. If you have your own idea for alternative giving, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Give your time  

Steaming cup of coffee

Our time is precious all year round, but the festive season often involves more dashing around than usual. At times like this, it’s even more important to be mindful of how we spend our energy.

Rather than spending time looking for something to give someone, why not spend that time with them instead? Taking time to check in with a friend over a one-to-one coffee or phone call might be a gift that is very gratefully received.

An alternative way to gift your time could be to offer a promise of time in the future, in place of the traditional gifts – if you know a friend has a big DIY or garden project coming up, this could be your opportunity to step in and lend a hand.

Give to charity

If you're stuck on what to buy someone, why not donate to a cause that means a lot to them instead. A charitable donation can be a meaningful and personal gift that creates positive impact. Just make sure you think carefully about what your loved ones are passionate about, and the issues that have personally impacted them.

You could even ask them which charity they would like to support. It may ruin the surprise, but at least you can be confident they're happy with the donation.

Triodos customers can also raise money for charity by referring their friends to join the bank. We'll donate £25 directly to the Soil Association, Friends of the Earth or RSPB for each new Triodos Current Account customer who joins on your recommendation. Your recommended friends can choose to donate a further £60 (so a potential donation of £85 between you). Alternatively, they can choose to receive a gift voucher when they open an account with us.

Give to the planet

Bright holly berries nestled in leaves

Giving to the planet could mean something as simple as taking the time to give nature your full attention. Paying mindful attention to the colourful berries appearing in the holly or taking the chance to peer through bare branches and spot birds or mammals that would otherwise be hidden by foliage, could be the short break you need to reset during a hectic festive period.

If you want to take it an active step further, you could start thinking about seeds (literal and metaphorical) that you can plant now that will bring benefits to nature in the New Year. Check out our partner Garden Organic’s top tips for planning and maintaining your garden in December and January. Or you might want to combine giving to the planet and charity by supporting an organisation working to actively restore the natural environment. 

Why not combine this with giving to others and get a loved one involved? You could invite a friend on a nature walk or help your family make their garden more nature-friendly.

Give to your community

Channelling the spirit of giving your time, taking a few minutes (or longer) to make your neighbourhood nicer by picking litter could be a generous gesture to your neighbours that you care about them and the planet this Christmas. Another suggestion could be checking in with your neighbours – particularly if they're vulnerable – to see how they are coping with the darker, colder months.

If you want a longer-term goal for the New Year, our partner Friends of the Earth’s Near Me tool can help you find an environmental group near you that are campaigning or taking action to build sustainable communities.

Refer a Friend and support a charity this festive season

If you already bank with Triodos, we'll donate £25 directly to the Soil Association, Friends of the Earth, or RSPB for each new Triodos Current Account customer who joins on your recommendation. Eligibility, terms and conditions apply.

Refer your friends and family