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Independent health store advice on natural, organic and eco-friendly Christmas ideas

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health store can offer a wealth of expertise. This month we talk to Josine Atsma, owner of Stirling Health Food Store in Scotland

We stock a wide range of natural, organic and eco-friendly Christmas gifts here at Stirling Health Food Store. Chocolates are always a popular choice and we have a good selection of vegan varieties from brands such as Goupie, Montezuma’s and Moo Free. We also have Advent calendars with dairy-free chocolates behind each door, which are an added treat in the run-up to Christmas. We try to stock brands that are plastic-free and packaged in cardboard to cut down on unnecessary waste. This is also the case with our toiletries and cosmetics, which make lovely Christmas gifts too. We stock brands such as Faith in Nature, JĀSÖN, and Ben & Anna, which is a good natural brand that is also plastic-free. Cruelty-free cosmetics make nice Christmas gifts or stocking fillers. Look out for brands that have the Leaping Bunny logo as this guarantees that the product has not undergone tests on animals.

Colourful and cosy

Other gift ideas include bamboo socks, which are not only sustainable but colourful and cosy too! We have a range of rock salt lamps in different shapes and sizes, some of which are also oil burners. Beeswax candles are nice gifts, particular for the dark winter months, and they are a much better option than paraffin candles which contain up to 11 toxic compounds that are carcinogenic. For loved ones who enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, we have kits to make your own kefir and also your own beer and wine. The latter would go well with our mulling spices, which bring a warming, Christmassy feel to red wine or cider.

Environmentally friendly ideas

I’m very much in favour of reducing waste, so my top tip for a more eco-friendly Christmas is to reuse wrapping paper from previous years. Also, why not consider sending e-cards instead of traditional cards? It’s much more personal. You can also source environmentally friendly Christmas crackers, where the gifts inside are made from wood or cardboard instead of unnecessary plastic. Other tips for an eco-friendly Christmas include opting for a vegan main meal instead of the traditional turkey, and choosing organic, seasonal, locally grown vegetables. We have a range of recipes on our website that include a delicious vegan Christmas wellington made from roast vegetables. Christmas is a wonderful time of year to enjoy with our family and friends, and it’s easy to make the occasion a little more eco-friendly, sustainable and healthy for everyone. Merry Christmas from us all here at Stirling Health Food Store!

Stirling Health Food Store

The store is based at 29 Dumbarton Road, Stirling, FK8 2LQ, Scotland. The shop has a long history, having first been established in 1976.

Josine took over ownership of the store in 2011 and runs it with her colleagues Stuart and Gregor. The store stocks a wide range of wholefoods, chilled and frozen foods, herbs and spices, vitamins, minerals and supplements; household products, bodycare and cosmetics, plus much more.

Minimising the impact on the environment is a key part of the store’s ethos. Josine and her team try to ensure that all products stocked are locally sourced, organic, natural, chemical free and cruelty-free. They also try to minimise waste by recycling cardboard, plastic and glass bottles and giving customers the option of buying food in bulk.

For more information, call the store on 01786 464903, email or visit:

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