Christmas is fast approaching and although this time of year is about coming together with family and friends, being grateful, showing thanks and enjoying the magic of the season, it’s also a time for gift giving. As someone who is a conscious consumer I like to be mindful of what we buy but as a mother, gift giving at this time of year is just so special, the excitement of Christmas Eve and the joy on my little boys face when he opens his gifts makes my heart melt. I think the important thing for this time of year is to be mindful with the choices you make and try to minimise waste. I’ve got some tips to help you make this process eco-friendly without losing the excitement and fun.
Find gifts that your loved ones are really going to enjoy, not something you just buy for the sake of it. Be mindful by keeping it simple, making it personal and not going overboard. If you can’t find the perfect gift consider an ‘experience’ gift, a voucher or even a donation to their favourite charity.
SECRET SANTA THEMES
If you have a large family circle it’s a good idea to consider doing ‘Secret Santa’. It saves so much packaging, money and is way less stressful. I also love the idea of doing a secret Santa ‘theme’. If your family all has similar interests you could theme it around that. The idea is everyone buys something to a certain value and only within a certain theme. Here are some eco-friendly ideas to give you some inspiration:
- Exclusively hand-made
- Something from your local market
- Edible gifts
- Gifts that grow
- Gifts that educate
- Gifts that showcase the place you live
- Gifts for self-care
- Something you make yourself
GIFTS FOR CHILDREN
When it comes to buying for your children look for quality gifts that won’t break before the new year has come. Look for toys made from eco-friendly, sustainable materials like wooden toys, growing kits, organic cotton pyjamas and clothing, creative play and plastic free items. If you are buying things like beach toys choose those made from silicone and with toy trucks and cars try to get the sturdy metal variety for older kids or recycled plastic options like ‘green toys’ for toddlers and little ones. Find a great range of these types of gifts from the small business children’s brands in our eco-gift guide! Lots of amazing discount codes in there too!
SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS
Supporting small Australian businesses not only keeps your money close to home, supports other families and the local community but you can save financially on international shipping costs and avoid the much bigger carbon footprint that it attracts. You can view our small business eco-collective here
CARDS + TAGS
Consider sending out an e-card to your family network or use recycled paper cards instead of the traditional plastic and glitter coated cards. A great alternative to using traditional gifts tags is to use small wooden clothes pegs – these can be reused every year and are super cute and unique! If you’re after something special you can even find cards infused with seeds that can be planted in your garden. Don’t forget to get organised with some compostable sticky tape too.
The amount of paper wrapping waste over Christmas is huge and many people may not realise that most of this paper can’t be recycled due to the dyes, texture, laminates and additives used like glitter. Alternatively why not try something that’s eco-friendly, zero waste and looks beautiful?
My tops picks are:
FABRIC – we did most of our wrapping with fabric last year and it was a great success. You can use pieces of fabric you have at home or check the offcuts bin at your local fabric store or head to the op shop as scarves work great. The best thing is you can use it again next Christmas. The style of fabric wrapping you will want to achieve is a Japanese method called ‘Furoshiki’. There are more than a dozen different ways to wrap gifts this way depending on the shape and size of the item. Check out some ideas and instructions here.
BROWN PAPER – We absolutely love the natural look of recycled paper and it particularly looks beautiful at Christmas under a green tree. Choosing this type of wrapping paper means less waste and less pollution when it’s being made. Just make sure it doesn’t have that waterproof feel, as these ones have a coating and can’t be recycled.
JARS + TERRACOTTA POTS – home-made treats, plants, candles, jams and any small gifts go perfectly in jars and pots. There are so many sizes available and this option means the packaging is completely reusable.
KIDS ARTWORK – Do you have piles of beautiful paintings and drawings that the kids have brought home from school? These masterpieces will make the most thoughtful and personal wrapping paper ideas for your nearest and dearest. This idea is one the grandparents are sure to love!
DECORATING YOUR GIFTS
Skip the plastic bows and junky Christmas merchandise and go on a foraging adventure with your children or friends. Leaves, seedpods, paperbark and berries make stunning decorations for Christmas gifts. Dried flowers and herbs like Rosemary from the garden also add a touch of natural beauty when tied with jute or cotton twine. If you prefer to do some crafts, try making small salt dough ornaments and dehydrated orange slices, these look amazing together with a touch of greenery. Find the recipes for these and lots of amazing discounts from our small business eco-community by signing up below for our free ECO CHRISTMAS GUIDE!
Wishing you a wonderful festive season