We all know how much waste is created at Christmas. From single use items like wrapping paper, gift cards and plastic protective shells around gifts, to excessive food waste, unwantedgifts and "cheap" gifts not designed to last the test of time. It is a fun and joyous time of year but can unfortunately also be very wasteful.
So here are a few considerations for your Christmas shopping that can reduce waste, encourage sustainability, bring you closer to your loved ones and the environment and have a green Christmas.
Challenge yourself to see how many you can use. Think of more? Feel free to post a comment.
1. Give someone an experience
Instead of a throw away material item, consider giving someone an experience such as a course like rock climbing, african drumming, dance or painting. Get them a holiday or even just schedule time to spend together.
2. Wrap presents using re-used paper
Be creative, use old paper, newspaper, magazine cutouts and other items to decorate your gifts and home.
3. Be intentional
Get something that the recipient actually needs and wants. Spend the time to do the research, you will understand them better and it will bring you closer. It will reduce watse and reduce land fill.
4. Buy quality not quantity
Get something of quality, something built to last, something that will last a life time or more. Don't let your gifts end up in land fill after a year or two. Use resources wisely.
5. Go second hand
Renew an old item using your own time and creativity to add value. Get something pre-loved, checkout eBay, GumTree or the Green Shed. It's a great way to get quality products at very low prices, reduce waste and increase re-use.
Find out what your friend or loved one supports and give a donation on their behalf. For example if you know someone loves animals or the environment, then give to RSPCA, WWF, ACF or Wildcare. It's also tax deductible and helps create a sustainable and generous society.
7. Go package free
Give gifts that have minimal if any packaging. For example come into Let's Be Natural with your own jars or containers and fill them with organic nuts and chocolates and make your own personalised Christmas label.
8. Give something that keeps giving
Give presents that benefit people, health, the environment, society and sustainability in a number of ways. How about a fruit tree, some hierloom vegetable seeds, a compost bin or worm farm. Gifts that if well maintained just keep on giving.
Above all remember to give your time, your appreciation, your gratitude, your help, your empathy, your knowledge, your experience, your encouragement and your love. These are all free, sustainable, waste free, packaging free and obligation free. They cost you nothing and benefit the environment, society, culture and the recipient in ways that no material objects can match.
Let's live, love and be generous.
Let's be sustainable, healthy and balanced.
Let's be natural.