Read this guide before you make your Christmas list!
Christmas is getting closer. Soon, I’ll cwtch up on the sofa with my fiance, presents under the tree, sipping some Baileys Almande (if they ever get round to releasing it)! Christmas songs on in the background, reflecting on how much love I have for my family and friends.
It isn’t long before the mad rush of Christmas begins. Fights in the supermarkets, queues out the doors, gridlock everywhere and a persistent feeling of why are people going crazy about this?
The truth is, I have always loved Christmas. In what is otherwise a very bleak time of year, I love being reminded of the good in the world. I love making time for my family and friends, the light in the darkness, bringing magic into my children’s childhoods.
What I don’t love? The queues, the gridlock or the rubbish. There’s no denying that Christmas traditions are centered around massive overconsumption. We can be more conscious about our choices, without opting out of our traditions altogether.
8 tips to make your gifting experience more eco-friendly
Wanting to be kinder to our planet doesn’t have to mean opting out of traditions that are important to you. Here are eight eco-friendly Christmas gift plans to see you through this year.
- Cut the Christmas list. The most obvious but often resisted point, the easiest way to make your Christmas more green is to stop buying for anybody and everybody! Will your second cousin really miss another box of chocolates? Of course not!
- Buy pre-loved. If you buy something preowned, you don’t use new resources. This is especially useful for computer games, tech, clothes and homewares.
- Shop local. When you buy something from a local business, you’re not just throwing money into a faceless corporation. You’re helping pay for school uniforms, music lessons and food on someone’s table. Wherever possible, buy from a local business. Did you know you can filter Etsy sellers by city?
- Wrap sensibly. I keep a box full of gift bags I’ve saved over the past few years. My dad and I have swapped one gift bag between ourselves for about 3 years! If you use paper, then avoid anything with foil or glitter as these can’t be recycled.
- Give your time. If you really want to show your friends and family you’re thinking of them, the most important gift you can give is your time. Make time for the people you love: either by spending time with them or offering to do something for them that will take time out of your day. Babysit, do some DIY, batch cook some meals for their freezer.
- Give vegan food. We can forgive people unfamiliar with vegan food for thinking vegans survive on salads. Why not put together a small hamper of your favourite vegan foodstuffs and accidentally vegan food?
- Give something useful. If you give something that would have been bought and used anyway, then no resources will have been wasted. If it isn’t something they would normally buy but it makes their lives much easier, then they’ll thank you for it!
- Re-gift. Did you get something for your birthday (or even last Christmas) that wasn’t really you? Find someone else to give it to this year. Just make sure it isn’t the person who gave it to you in the first place!
If you really want to show your friends and family you’re thinking of them, the most important gift you can give is your time.
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It is a time to enjoy your family and friends. Do it with a clean conscience this year.
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Featured image photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash