On a day where consumerism and excess are celebrated, we need to be more conscious about our choices.
Christmas is around the corner and if you’re anything like me you’ve left gift buying until the very last minute. On a day where consumerism and excess are celebrated, we need to be more conscious about out choices.I recently read that in the UK alone 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is discarded at Christmas time. That’s excluding all the other Christmas waste that ends up in a landfill after the holiday is over, and excluding the rest of the world. This has led me to re-evaluate my own holiday habits. I’ve been living mostly plastic free for about 4 months now and so the season of giving has suddenly become the season of dreading. So, without further ado here are some sustainable gift giving tips to keep your conscience clean this Christmas.
6 Sustainable Gift Giving Tips
- Make It Yourself. DIY gifts are a great money saver and a thoughtful, sustainable alternative to store bought gifts. There are some amazing tutorials online for creative DIY gifts.
- Avoid Plastic. If you prefer to buy a present avoid gifts that are packaged in plastic, it might seem like a difficult task but it does exist and it feels so good to contribute your money to sustainable businesses.
- Think before you buy. Is this a practical, reusable gift? Or will it end up in the trash within the next few weeks? Most people throw away unwanted gifts, I don’t remember most of the gift’s I’ve been given because I don’t have them anymore. Try to find out what the other person needs and if your gift will be useful to them in the long term.
- Food Glorious Food. If you can’t think of anything they need, edible gifts are a great idea! Make sure you present your tasty present in a sustainable container, perhaps a glass container, or a cardboard box.
- Avoid conventional wrapping paper. Most wrapping paper is non-recyclable and just creates unnecessary waste. There are so many creative ways to wrap your gift that doesn’t involve wrapping paper. Some alternatives are old newspaper, a beautiful material scarf, maps, old calendar pages, the list goes on. Here are some great ideas.
- Stop buying and receiving gifts for Christmas. This is the most difficult one however the most sustainable one yet. I’ve informed my family and friends that I don’t need anything for Christmas. However if they can’t resist (my mother will not be able to resist) to please avoid anything plastic and unnecessary.
The holiday season is one of giving and receiving with gratitude. However the best gift we can leave future generations, is a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable planet.