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 build-up to Christmas often involves dashing around, shopping for gifts and preparing for the big day. At times like this, it’s even more important to be mindful of how we spend our energy. The uncertainty around what gatherings may or may not be able to take place this Christmas is unsettling for many of us. 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

For the last two years, Triodos has partnered with charity 1625 Independent People who work with young people who are homeless, leaving care or at risk of homelessness in the South West. This year, co-workers throughout the bank are gathering gifts for its Secret Santa, donating clothing, art supplies and games to help the young people feel valued this Christmas. 1625 Independent People has published other ways to support the charity on its website.

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. Earlier this year, we helped Trees for Life crowdfund towards a new visitor centre on its Dundreggan Estate. Visit its website to find out how you can donate to support its work rewilding the Scottish Highlands.

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 Christmas

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