Christmas is just around the corner, & by now we’re all thinking about what to get our friends, family & Phil from accounting who we got in Secret Santa.
For those who have everything, what do we get them? We swing down to the local two dollar store & pick them up a gag gift. A belly button brush, in inflatable chair, the electronic kitten in a box that takes your coins. Sure, these gifts are fun. They’ll elicit a giggle at first, entertainment for the first couple of uses. After a week, they end up in the back of a cupboard … waiting until the next clean-up to be thrown away.
In researching her film, The Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard discovered some pretty horrendous information about all the 'stuff' that we consume.
- Of all the materials that are consumed, only 1% remain in use after six months. -
- In the past three decades, one third of the planet’s natural resources have been consumed. -
- There are over 100,000 synthetic chemicals in commerce today. -
- Only a handful of synthetic chemicals have even been tested for human health impacts & none have been tested for synergistic health impacts. -
- The average US person now consumes twice as much as they did 50 years ago. -
- Each person in the US makes 4.5 pounds of garbage a day. This is double what we made 30 years ago. -
- For every one garbage can of waste you put on the curb, 70 garbage cans of waste were made upstream to make the junk in that one garbage can. -
This Christmas, we want to make a conscious effort to reduce our waste, & the waste of those who we are gifting to.
If you’re thinking that you want to reduce your Christmas giving waste, but don’t quite know where to start, we’re taking the guess work out of it, & providing you with some great suggestions.
Reusable Coffee Cups
Perfect for those whose day doesn't start without a kick of caffeine, the benefits of this gift are twofold! Either fill up the cup at home to save the cost of a coffee in the morning, or bring it out at the coffee shop to save a takeaway cup being used then thrown away.
Loose Leaf Tea
Tea is good for the soul. Also great for the body too! Did you know that most tea bags are made with plastic? Which makes shopping for loose leaf tea a much more planet friendly option.
Shop our new range of all ethical tea here
Bamboo Water Bottle
For those who love to stay hydrated ... & for those who should stay hydrated. Water is a necessity to life, & we should be drinking it only under the best of circumstances. It is much more sustainable to grow bamboo than timber, it's biodegradable, & it won't release any harmful ingredients into your water.
Soak away your worries with some bath salts. If they're made from all organic components, & come in an environmentally friendly packaging, then you won't have any worries to soak away!
Shop our bath salts here
Handmade Bar Soap
Not only are you supporting the environment by using products that are plastic free, but you're looking after the livelihood of those that made your wonderful smelling soaps.
Shop our handmade soaps here
Soy Wax Candles
We all love candles. The way that they smell. The way they gently cast their light around the room. Better yet, soy wax candles are biodegradable, & a much longer lasting alternative to the traditional paraffin.
Shop our soy candles here
Reusable Fabric Gift Wrap
What's a gift without a little wrapping? This year, why not make your gifts stand out by wrapping them in a sustainable gift wrap. If you're stuck on the 'paper' trail, try using newspaper or plain kraft paper. Alternatively, mix things up a little by embracing the Furoshiki method (Japanese art of wrapping your gifts with material). Not only will your guests get a quirky looking gift, but they'll get a scarf, tea towel or other material item to call their own.
If you’re looking for something a little less specific, try brainstorming from one of the following categories.
Give an experience as a gift. Tickets to the opera, a sporting event, theatre, stand up comedy ... whatever you, or your receiver is partial to.
We all should take the time to learn something new. Be it a language, dancing, arts & crafts ... you name it, there's probably a class for it.
Rather than getting someone something that'll get thrown in a closet for its lifetime, give them the gift of choice.
Shop our Gift Cards here
We all love to eat. Bake some biscuits or a cake. Give them a bottle of something sparkling. A jar of something sweet. Something that has a short shelf life, that is guaranteed tasty equals a good pressie.
We have a ton of delicious consumables ... shop them here
Rather than giving something unneeded to someone, give something to those who have nothing. There are tons of charities out there that do amazing work. And we can help them with their work by donating to their causes rather than purchasing unnecessary gifts.
Giving the gift of Christmas minimalism will probably require a little more effort. But we promise you, you'll feel better, your gift receiver will appreciate it, & the planet as a whole will love you all the more for it.
By R'chelle Louwen