Conscious Christmas Gift Guide
The end of year holiday season has the potential to be one of the most unsustainable periods of the year for households.
In our household we celebrate Christmas and we love to fill the holiday season with thoughtful, sustainably sourced & ethical gifts, delicious food and memory making. We make it a point to say no to all of the plastic and landfill waste that fills many bins at this time of year.
Here are our TOP 9 ideas for having a sustainable holiday season
- I love the giving of experiences and there’s something around town for everyone: beauty treatments for mums; theatre tickets; virtual reality session at Untethered VR; Tree Climb; or a Luxury/Gold Class cinema experience. The list of possible experiences if you take the time to brainstorm.
- When it comes to physical gifts, head to a Christmas market or look on-line to find local shopping options.
- If you don’t have time to head out to the shops then consider giving an electronic gift voucher. Most stores now have that option.
- Get creative when wrapping, using things like a tea towel, scarf, pillowcase, reusable bags, Furoshiki wrap, or MYO (Make Your Own) fabric bags.
- Shop bought Bon Bons would have to be one of the most wasteful Christmas purchases, with their excessive packaging and cheap plastic contents that almost always end up in landfill. This year to decorate our table I have made fabric Bon Bons and Reindeer Jars filled with bulk food treats. If you can’t sew, create a craft activity for the kids and make some covered in their artwork, the grandparents will love them. Alternatively save the paper wrappers and rolls from your Who Gives A Crap toilet paper. The Gift Edition provides bright holiday season covers and they make for easy to assemble bon bons.
- Switch to ‘refilling’ your cleaning and personal care products. Dishwashing liquid, laundry liquid/powder, bathroom and toilet cleaners, disinfectant, hand and body wash are just some of the wide range of products you can purchase re-using your own bottles and containers.
- Avoid plastic when purchasing fruit and vegetables. Start using reusable produce bags or compostable bags for all your fruit and vegetable purchases and avoid pre-packaged items (especially those in polystyrene).
- Make meat shopping zero waste. Start shopping at your local butcher and ask for your purchases in compostable bags or BYO containers. Avoiding pre-packed supermarket meat will make a big difference to your plastic and landfill waste. A compostable bag goes straight into your kitchen caddy and can also be used to contain any bones or trimmings.
- Give your recycling a health check. You could add to your recycling efforts and collect something you haven’t previously, valuable aluminium and other metals for example.
I’m not sure about you, but I’m nowhere near completing my giving list for this Christmas. While brainstorming some different ideas for gifts, I miraculously somewhat organically ended up making a hierarchy of giving. Feel free to use this as a guide for all gift-giving occasions!
2. Give an Experience
Experiences + memories are lasting, sadly most other presents are not. Give a friend or family member tickets to one of the ideas below + I doubt they’ll be disappointed!
3. Consider Second-hand
There’s nothing wrong with re-gifting unused items in your home (so long as your gift is something the recipient would really enjoy!). If you can’t think of anything to re-gift, jump onto Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Etsy, or head into a similar second-hand or vintage store. Buying from Australian vintage stores or local sellers might just make a huge difference to a small business owner’s Christmas, too!
4. Do It Yourself
Get creative + head to your local bulk food store to stock up on ingredients. Baked treats can make a wonderful present + can even be zero waste.
If you’re crafty, upcycle items in your home to make something unique.
If you’re into graphic design, designing a personalised e-book or guide would also make a wonderful present!
5. Buy Ethical
This may seem like the easiest option for a conscious consumer but, ideally, this should be the last. When all options are exhausted, think about (or ask!) what your recipient really needs + buy ethically made, fair trade, eco-friendly, local, organic (or better yet, certified organic!), and/or zero-waste.
At the end of the season, it’s really all just about making a conscious choice towards positive impact, no matter the way you go about it.