With Christmas just around the corner (ahem…5 weeks and counting), it’s time to start thinking about your plans for the holidays – who’s going where, who’s cooking what, what’s going under the tree, who’s going to sit next to Old Uncle Bill? Jokes. We love Old Uncle Bill. And we really love Christmas, and we know you do too! Christmas really is such a lovely time of the year, a time for giving, for sharing, for spending time with loved ones, but unfortunately, it’s also a rather wasteful time of the year. We cook more food than we know what to do with, we splurge on glittery wrapping paper that can’t be recycled, and we often get (and give) gifts that just don’t get used. So this year, we challenge you to think a little differently about your Christmas planning, with waste and sustainability in mind, starting with what’s going under the tree this year, and choosing more sustainable gifts
Here’s some ideas on more waste-less, sustainable gifts:
Do more and buy less
Experiences make you happy. Things make you happy too, but only temporarily. New things are only new for a little bit, but then they get old, or they run out, or you eat them. Experiences, on the other hand, lead to memories, which become a part of who you are as a person, and grow to become fonder over time. So this Christmas, agree with your family to try and give or share experiences, rather than material gifts. And experiences can be anything from volunteering, to a holiday across the world. Whether they’re a big investment, or cost absolutely nothing, shared experiences are more sustainable, and make for happier people. Here’s some of our ideas:
- Think of what your family and friends love to spend their time doing, and try and give them more of that! Buy a voucher for their favourite restaurant or ice-cream shop, get them tickets to go to the movies or the theatre, or splurge on plane tickets to the coast, so they can fit in a little more beach lazing & surfing!
- Or, are they crazy about cycling, or mad about running? Enter them into a race, and they’ll love you for it!
- Encourage each other to do something fun, something different, something exciting! Buy tickets to go to Gold Reef City, or to spend an afternoon at Bounce. Look in your area for some fun activities, like rockwall climbing, lasertag, ziplining, go-karting, etc. and you’re sure to find something exciting!
- Grow your hobby, or learn a new one. Sign-up for a cooking class together, or send your loved one on a photography course. There are so many cool hobbies out there, from sewing, to gardening, and even bird watching!
Give gifts that keep on giving (literally)
Here are some physical gifts that make for great experiences down the line, we think they’re the perfect for Christmas:
- Plants and seeds – they really are gifts that keep on giving (okay we’ll stop). Buy your loved one some seedlings to transplant, maybe some beautiful marigolds, or some herbs. Or if your partner has green fingers, why not some seed packets? Remember to keep it indigenous and seasonal!
- Here’s one for the sports lover – why not get them season tickets for their favourite rugby team, so they’ll never miss any of the action!
- This one’s our favourite – buy a tent! Camping holidays make for cheap, exciting experiences. Here’s to lots of fun, family getaways in the future!
- Board games and puzzles. Don’t laugh, we think they’re underrated, and admit it, we all love a round of 30-seconds (and wine)! Board games bring people together, and make for lots of laughs, and good memories. Why not update your old 30-seconds and buy some new cards, or why not find a new game to try, and hold a games night? You might be surprised when it starts to become a regular occurrence.
- If you’re looking for some simple kitchen goodies to buy, think about getting something reusable, like these beautiful bowl covers, that can replace glad-wrap and tinfoil, or perhaps these reusable metal straws, for the smoothie lover in your life.
When choosing a gift for your loved one, think local. Products that are made locally have a smaller carbon footprint, and by buying local, you are choosing to support our local communities and grow our local economy. And try to keep it ethical too – think organic, fair-trade chocolate, indigenous flowers and notebooks made from recycled paper.
And you’ll be glad to know we’ve got you sorted! Buy a Gift Hamper from us, filled with local, delicious, artisanal goodies – perfect as a Secret Santa present for your friend, a stocking filler for a loved one, or a Christmas gift for a family member! The earth will love you for it! And we think your loved one will appreciate the gesture. Check out our full range!
And lastly, don’t forget to consider the wrapping and packaging. Buy recyclable, where possible, and go for the less-is-more look when wrapping your presents. And why not make your own cards and tags this year? Buy some cardboard paper, some Christmas stickers, and you’ve got yourself a rather corny, but rather cute (and pretty cheap) festive card!
Whether you’ve started to think about Christmas presents already, or whether you’d prefer not to until the last possible moment, we hope we’ve inspired you to try and be a little more sustainable this festive season, and to look for more waste-free, sustainable gifts. And keep an eye out for next week’s blog post, where we look at other ways to reduce waste this festive season, and to have a more sustainable and ethical Christmas.