5 min read
From the presents to the parties to the children determined to impress Santa with good behaviour, there’s lots to love about the season.
But Christmas comes with a naughty list and it’s not all good cheer. Sandwiched between wrapping paper and leftover turkey legs is a lot of holiday waste, which makes sustainable shopping super important during this festive rush.
Fortunately, being eco-friendly is easier now than ever before. And we’ve put together some of our favourite tips to get you started:
Despite what your children might say, it isn’t about the number of gifts; it’s about what’s inside. A great way to honour Mother Nature as you wait for Father Christmas is to shop with intention. Tiny changes, like shopping at local, family-run businesses, can make a world of difference and offer something unique that may just last a little longer than yesterday's “must-haves” that become tomorrow’s landfill.
The best gifts aren’t pricey; they’re purposeful. It’s sometimes hard to remember this, with the glitz and glamour of the season and sugarplums dancing in our heads. But practical gifts are fun with the added bonus of being useful. Some of our favourites include socks and undies (yep, I went there), lunch box bags, and stainless-steel water bottles (we love the ones from MONTII) and of course our Bobo&Boo Bamboo Dinnerware tick all the conscious consuming boxes!
Many kid’s toys come with batteries (even adult ones too – no, not that kind!). The downfall of these power packs is their use is short-lived; once they’re disposed of, they end up in landfills where they leak their harmful chemicals into the earth. Be kind to the environment by going battery-free and buying gifts that either don’t run on power or charge via a USB port. You might also consider investing in rechargeable batteries…. just make sure no one in the family accidentally throws them out!
You don’t have to be as crafty as Santa’s elves (who are hopefully hard at work making me a Tesla); there are tons of simple, DIY projects that can be done from the comforts of home, including natural and eco-friendly bath bombs, lip glosses, slime, and more. I love this Make & Play book!
If tangibleness isn’t your thing, consider giving an experience instead of an object. These gifts often end up being better received than something bought merely for the sake of it. Consider the person you’re buying for and give them a gift aligned with their passions. It could be tickets to a museum, a day at the cinema, a kid’s cooking class, a wildlife conservation membership, or swimming with seals. When you think outside the cardboard box, the possibilities are endless!
Subscriptions are the most direct (and literal!) way to give a gift that keeps on giving. Some of the ones we recommend include a toilet paper subscription from Thank You. This company sells ethical toilet paper and will prepare you in the event panic buying TP ever happens again.
A craft box for kids is another idea. These offer variety, stimulate the imagination, and prevent your kids from suffering from Minecraft Arthritis (a medical condition we just made up!). A magazine subscription, such as a monthly Bluey subscription, is also perfect for little and big children alike. It offers everything from puzzles to National Geographics.
For a truly eco-friendly gift, consider swapping out the nasty cleaning products of yore for modern-day tidiness (Koh is a game-changer in this regard). Go a step further and clean the gift recipient’s house. They’ll cherish that forever…..or until their kids get home and mess up the living room.
And of course, nothing says Christmas giving like shopping from a not-for-profit organisation that contributes to the conservation of our beautiful planet! Our personal faves are a Walkways for Wildlife personally engraved paver at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or a T-Shirt or Hoody from Sea Shepherd Australia.
This is a big one, so bear with me! Imagine this scenario: You’ve bought a beautiful potted flower, wrapped it in an abundance of cellophane, tied it with a shiny, colourful bow, and topped it off with a silvery mylar balloon. A green gift, right? The gift itself is green, but all that plastic packaging is decidedly not. None of the packaging —which uses precious natural resources — can be repurposed or recycled. The recipient will enjoy the “glam” of the gift for a few seconds before tossing it in the trash….and Mother Nature will give you side-eye in the process.
Even if the packaging gets reused, eventually all that material will make its way into a landfill, becoming incinerated or ending up as more plastic pollution. That’s why the bottom line is simple: Reduce, reduce, reduce the use of extraneous non-renewable filler, packaging, and decorative items in order to minimise waste.
When it comes down to it, Christmas is about giving more than getting….and there is no better way to give to future generations than by taking care of the planet today. Reach out to us and let us know X