Christmas time is a wasteful time. But giving and receiving gifts is of course a large part of the holidays! Of course, there are a few shops out there, like cannedgoods, that sell nice, green, recycled things, but navigating the shopping-landscape is especially hard this time of the year.
In this article we want to share some general tips with you that can help you celebrate with peace of conscience and enjoy this merry time.
#1 Value and Meaning
Oh yes, here we go again: Preparation is key.
Don’t panic and buy some random stuff on Christmas Eve. Pick a gift that has value and meaning to the person receiving it. Not every gift needs to have a special purpose or be useful – you don’t have to give socks to be sustainable – but it should be worth the energy that went into producing it to the presentee. This way you’ll be sure your gift doesn’t end up never being used or thrown away immediately.
#2 Lasting Impressions
Buy something that lasts (forever). What about a nice house plant instead of a bouquet? Or maybe as general gift idea? There are a few nice flowers that make for particularly nice Christmas presents.
#3 Homemade Goods
Consider not going on a huge shopping spree at all. Instead make something yourself. Nowadays we tend to forget that Christmas is supposed to be about love and family. Don’t let yourself get sucked into blind consumerism.
Lots of family members would love to receive a gift you put your love and time into. Sure, you are not a toddler anymore so a scribbled picture might not work, but how about some homemade cookies? In our fast-living society no one really has time for the whole Christmas baking shabang. Your cookies will definitely be appreciated!
You can also craft your own cards, candles, decorations and so many other ideas!
#4 Support Local Shops
Try to do your Christmas shopping in your local shops. Shopping in small businesses not only has a nice feel to it and can be a Christmas time activity all in itself, it also helps boost your local economy to create a stronger, more sustainable business environment. Yes, ordering everything on Amazon is convenient but it really isn’t an eco-friendly choice. Plus, small local businesses might have a lot of things you wouldn’t even find on the internet. So, consider making your Christmas shopping a Christmas time event to get you in the Christmas spirit.
#5 Eco-friendly wrapping paper
You can easily give your gifts a nice festive look without buying wrapping paper. Think reused cards, evergreen twigs, recyclable brown paper, or even nicely styled bags.
#6 Oh Christmas Tree
Don’t buy a plastic tree. Buy a real Christmas tree. Preferable a potted one that can live beyond the Christmas days. Look for an FSC Certification and confirm the tree has been sourced sustainably.
#7 Secret Santa
Doing a Secret Santa is a really nice option for larger groups. Don’t dismiss it! Instead of receiving lots and lots of small gift that nobody really wants or needs, everyone would get just one real gift. There are a few variations of this merry tradition that make for even more fun – and even greener options, like Dirty Santa. If Dirty Santa is just a way to get rid of your trash you haven’t been doing it right! It can be a really nice and sincere way of regifting: There is always stuff you own (but don’t really want or need) that are actually really nice items. Regift, declutter, repurpose and make a friend or co-worker happy in the process.
Are there any sustainable Christmas shopping tips we missed?
What are you getting your friends and family this year?