As we approach the height of this year’s festive season, with emotive adverts all around and big brands trying to flog us the latest gadgets to give as gifts, many end up being more taken by the spirit of the season. Relaxing with friends and family, helping those in need and focussing on our goals for the new year.

We’ve worked with some incredible startups over the years who work incredibly hard to grow their businesses, doing amazing things in their local communities and even working to save the planet.

So if you want to do something a bit different this year there are plenty of pretty cool ways you can support smaller businesses whilst staying green AND sharing the love. Here are our top five:

End food waste with OLIO

Your fridge is full of Turkey, blue cheese and 20kg of sprouts and you realise you may have overdone it… just a little. It’s easily done during the festive season, and most of us have been there before.

Shockingly, statistics suggest that food waste over the festive season is equivalent to 4 million Christmas dinners thrown away every year. But leftover food need not be wasted. Enter OLIO, the startup that’s putting an end to food waste by connecting neighbours and local shops so surplus food and other household items can be shared.

Download the OLIO app for free this Christmas and list any of your excess food so that your local community can benefit in just a few clicks. You’ll get a double warm fuzzy feeling from avoiding food waste and feeding others over the festive season.

See our history with OLIO here.

Spend time with someone you love with Datemakers

Christmas has always been a great time to catch up with loved ones, so why not do something special this year.

If you’re based in Bristol you’re in luck. Datemakers is a startup that’s on a mission to make everyone’s dating lives easier by providing a place where you can discover and book Bristol’s best date ideas and experiences. From a warming rum tasting session to saxophone lessons for two, they really do have an experience for everyone.

So if you’re looking for some perfect quality time to wind down under the festive fairy lights, you’ll be pleased to know Datemakers are running a special deal this Christmas, offering five £10 gift cards for just £20.

See our history with Datemakers here.

Green Christmas shopping with Giki

We’re all trying to change our behaviour to help the planet these days, recycling and reusing when we can. But it’s easy to become overwhelmed whilst shopping and trying to decide whether something is ‘green’ or ‘ethical’ enough.

Giki is the free app that’s changing this by allowing anyone to scan supermarket products for an ‘at a glance’ look at how ethical products are. They do this by giving products badges for things like having recyclable packaging, good animal welfare, sustainable palm oil or being locally sourced. If a product you’ve scanned is short on badges, Giki suggests a selection of alternatives so you can make the best possible choices for both yourself and the environment.

Give Giki a go when shopping for your Christmas roast this December and see if you can make some green upgrades on your favourite treats.

See our history with Giki here.

Pay it forward with Ordoo

Ordoo is the app that allows you to order and pay ahead at bars and cafes so you can beat the queue for a coffee on the way to work, or get the beers in at your favourite festival without moving an inch until they’re ready for you at the bar.

This Christmas Ordoo has partnered with Tap London and Crisis to launch a new campaign that gives you easy ways to help the homeless this winter. One way you can help is to double up on drinks by adding a second drink to your Ordoo order to give to a homeless person. Just add reward code ‘payitforward’ for £3 off an extra product at checkout.

If you’re in London, you’ll be pleased to hear that a number of ‘tap’ points have been placed around the city which allow you to use contactless payment methods to donate £3 to a coalition of 21 leading homelessness charities. Alternatively, simply use the Ordoo app. Ordoo are giving 10p to Crisis for every order placed through the app. So the more Christmas pudding lattes you buy, the more you’ll be helping those in need!

Ordoo is available in London, Bristol and Bath, so if you want to share the love this Christmas, help someone in need and pay it forward!

See our history with Ordoo here.

Share the cost of a gift with Chippin

Of course, whilst it’s nice to work hard to be greener and more giving of our time at Christmas, it’s still nice to give and receive gifts.

But why not spread the cost this year? Chippin is a great platform that allows groups of family and friends to spread the cost of a gift equally, partnering with luxury brands such as the Oxford Shirt Company, Sarah Horne Botanicals, HiHo Silver and more.

To split the cost, simply find the perfect gift through one of Chippin’s partners and select ‘Pay by Chippin’ at the checkout. You can then invite friends and family and set the amount they’re happy to contribute. Once full payment is received by all parties the gift is shipped.

See our history with Chippin here.

If you’d like to discuss your startup or project, get in touch with Simpleweb today.

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