Some frequently asked questions on GCT’s shop and adoptions. General, Adoptions, Recycling, Shipping, Teemill.


  • How often do you send orders out?

Orders are sent out a minimum of once per week, but we always try to send them out more frequently during busy times. If you need your order to be dispatched quicker, please email, and we will see what we can do.

  • How does my purchase support conservation in Galapagos?

All the Galapagos Conservation Trust shop sales go directly back to support our work.

  • Can I add a donation to my order?

Yes, you can add a donation on the product page or in the shopping basket before checkout. All donations through the GCT shop go towards our vital work in the Galapagos Islands.

  • How do I send an order as a gift?

You can send an order directly to the recipient by adding their address at checkout. Why not add a hand-written gift message for £1.50 so your recipient knows who the gift is from? There are no invoice slips included inside the order.


  • How are digital adoptions received?

Digital adoptions are available to download from the order confirmation email sent to the purchaser. We do not send digital adoptions directly to the recipient. This is so you can control how and when you gift the adoption. In your order confirmation, you can download a plain certificate or a gift certificate that can be personalised.

  • When do the recipients receive their email updates?

If you have given us the recipient’s email address and permissions to email them, we will add the recipients’ email to our database at the beginning of the following month. For example, if you order an adoption in July, we will add the recipient to our database at the beginning of August. This allows you to order an adoption in advance, making the recipient less likely to have their surprise spoiled. If you want us to add them at an even later date, please add a note to the order or email, and we will try to accommodate where we can. If the recipient is under 18, please specify their birth year on the product page. We collect this information to ensure that we are appropriately contacting our supporters. Anyone under 18 will not receive our monthly eNewsletter but will receive our species-specific adoption emails if opted-in.

  • What if the recipient wants to opt-in/opt-out later?

They can unsubscribe by using the links at the bottom of our GCT emails or by emailing They can also update their preferences here.

  • I’m too late for a particular delivery date…

Don’t worry, all our digital adoptions are available to download immediately from your order confirmation.

All the postal adoptions also come with the digital adoption pack, so you can print or email a digital certificate to the recipient while you wait for the postal pack.

If you need your order to be dispatched quicker, please email, and we will see what we can do, but this cannot be guaranteed.

  • What’s in the postal adoption pack?

In the Galapagos species postal adoption pack, there is a folder containing; a personalised certificate, fact-file, postcard, welcome letter, and colouring sheet. Our hammerhead shark, penguin, tortoise and sea lion adoptions come with a soft toy. Our Floreana mockingbird adoption comes with a pin badge. Our Marti the Hammerhead shark adoption pack comes with our Marti the Hammerhead Shark: A Galapagos Journey storybook, leaflet, A3 poster, personalised certificate, postcard, stickers and a bookmark.

  • What’s in the digital adoption pack?

Our Galapagos species digital adoption pack includes a downloadable fact file and two digital certificates – one that can be personalised at home and one that can be sent on or printed as is. The Marti the Hammerhead shark digital adoption pack contains downloadable versions of Marti the Hammerhead Shark: A Galapagos Journey storybook PDF, leaflet, A3 poster, personalised certificate, postcard, and a bookmark.

  • Can I visit my adopted animal?

Our adoptions are symbolic and aim to raise awareness of particular Galapagos species’ threats rather than individual animals. We run various projects across the Galapagos Islands that span our three programme themes: Restoring Habitats, Protecting Species and Driving Sustainable Solutions. Our adoptions are a vital fundraising tool and help support projects in these programme areas where we feel it is most needed. Therefore, we don’t give updates on individual animals but rather send exciting emails about your chosen species with links to resources, activities and more information on their threats and how we’re working to conserve them.

  • What happens at the end of my one-year adoption period?

Currently, we offer our adoptions as a one-off purchase through our shop. At the end of your one-year adoption period, we invite you to repurchase another adoption. If you want to support us regularly, a really valuable way is to become a member. Becoming a member comes with benefits such as our bi-annual Galapagos Matters supporter magazine and an exclusive pin-badge.


  • How does my order come packaged?

We send all our parcels in recyclable plastic-free packaging, with paper tape.

  • How do I recycle my adoption?

All the printed materials can be recycled. In the UK, it’s normal for household recycling to include paper, but please check your local council website. Books, pin badges and soft toys could be re-gifted or donated to a charity shop if no longer wanted.

  • How do I recycle my packaging?

The padded envelopes, paper envelopes and paper tape can all be recycled. In the UK, it’s normal for household recycling to include paper, but please check your local council website.


  • How much is postage?

Standard second-class postage in the UK is £3, or £1.50 for selected smaller items. All international parcels (including to the EU) are £15.

  • How long will it take for my order to come?

Parcels sent in the UK should take 3 working days from the day of dispatch but can take up to 5 working days. International orders should take 7 working days, but some locations can take much longer. Orders are sent out a minimum of once per week. If you need your order to be dispatched quicker or sent first class, please email, and we will see what we can do (not guaranteed).

  • Is international shipping tracked?

Yes, international shipping is sent tracked. If you wish to know your tracking number, please email once you have received confirmation that your order has been shipped.

  • I haven’t received my order, what should I do?

Please email after your expected date, and we can investigate further for you. Please bear in mind, even outside of busy periods, there can be delays in postage outside of GCT’s control.

  • Do I need to pay duty on international orders?

Yes, you may need to pay customs charges for any international orders, including the EU. This is outside of GCT’s control, and you should check the individual rules for the delivery country before ordering.


  • What is Teemill?

Teemill is a third-party company that GCT uses to fulfil certain products such as clothing, tote bags, stickers, and prints. All the clothing is printed in the UK on 100% organic cotton made in an ethically accredited wind-powered factory. The prints come on premium 300gsm recycled paper using eco vegetable-based inks and are shipped in reinforced plastic-free packaging. Even the stickers are plastic-free. Everything is then printed to order and shipped to you in recycled plastic-free packaging. The proceeds from our products will go towards funding the projects that we support in Galapagos.

  • Why can’t I check out with Teemill and the GCT shop in the same order?

Teemill is an entirely separate platform to the GCT shop and sells different products. Using Teemill allows us to create exciting products for you that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to stock, without the cost and wastage of ordering in bulk, as everything is printed to order.

  • What are the delivery costs and timescales?

The shipping cost depends on where an order is sent to and how fast you want your order to arrive. All shipping information can be found in the cart when placing an order. Please find out more in our Teemill store help section.

  • How do I return an order?

This is done through Teemill, not GCT. You can find out everything you need here.


If you have any other questions, please get in touch with us at