Our very own Lyzi Unwin gives us a run down of how to think green when it comes to Christmas gifting.
Christmas is fast approaching, and the pressure is on. Not only are we being bombarded by adverts everywhere we look and wish lists from loved ones, now many of us are so much more aware of what we’re buying. We want it to be more ethical and sustainable. We can never do everything perfectly, but we all want to try and be better.
With this in mind, here are a few ideas to take the stress out of Christmas gifting.
- Consider not buying, or buying less. Minimise the list of people you have to buy for, and perhaps only buy them one thoughtful gift each – many people are happy to not receive anything, and you’ll have more time to make a considered purchase. Give a gift that really matters - something they will use/treasure forever.
- If you are buying, stay close to home & buy from independent shops! Especially if they stock homemade, small batch, ethical & sustainable wares.
- If you’re shopping online, you can still buy from indies! There are so many talented artists and makers out there… ask friends for recommendations.
- Buy second hand! You can get so many good quality second hand goods – we need to keep these things out of landfill, and many things don’t need to be bought new. You can get incredible clothing, electricals, homewares, jewellery... pretty much anything you can think of. Check charity shops, vintage, and online.
- Re-gift. This seems to be a controversial topic, but if you’re not using it, it’s a great idea to pass it on to someone who will! There’s no harm, as long as you don’t pass it back to the person who gave it to you…!
- Give a hand me down or sentimental heirloom. Many heirlooms are saved for giving in a will, but why not get some enjoyment out of passing it on now and seeing the joy on your loved one’s face? This would be a really special, meaningful gift.
- Give a charity donation. ‘Tis the season of giving after all, and many of us have plenty. Why not give a donation to a local charity, help the homeless, or give to our charity partner – the Environmental Justice Foundation. They work to protect the natural environment and the people and wildlife that depend on it.
- Make something! If you’re feeling pretty crafty, why not make a gift out of recycled/repurposed materials. Or you could make something edible – biscuits, marmalade, pickles..
- Think about your wrapping. Once you’ve settled on your gifts, don’t forget to wrap them thoughtfully. Plain brown paper or newspaper is easy to recycle, or use reusable wrapping like fabric, silk scarves, or make fabric bags. Don’t use plastic tape if possible! Ribbon, string, or twine made of paper are all great alternatives.
- Make your own cards. Use recycled or recyclable materials, or consider not sending them at all this year!
Christmas is often a time for excess, but it doesn’t have to be in detriment to our planet. When we look back on Christmasses passed, the main thing we remember is how lovely it was to spend time with loved ones – what more do we really need?