Making Christmas Eco-ho-ho Friendly
Sustainable Christmas Gift Ideas
The Christmas season is right around the corner and unless you are super organised and already have it sorted, it’s time to start thinking of Christmas gifts for your loved ones and Secret (or Bad) Santa celebrations!
Last year, for Secret Santa, my friends and I decided to keep to the theme of sustainability. It was quite fun to see how everyone got inspired. Also, as we had to put a little more effort and thought into it, the gifts happened to be wonderful and useful things.
So, why not opt for sustainable presents this year?
Think of things like reusable products, locally and handmade items, or experiences instead of material things, just to mention a few.
There are many options for eco-friendly presents, although it can sometimes be hard to be inspired, here are a few ideas:
Reusable items – a metal water bottle, a cute keep cup, a nice canvas shopping bag that can also be used as a beach bag, etc.
Restaurant/shopping gift cards
DIY kits – pottery, cocktails, painting, etc.
Wooden toys > plastic toys
An experience on your friend/partner/sibling’s to-do list
Do local shops a favour
In addition to what you buy, think about where you are buying from.
Avoid buying from international online stores such as Amazon, Asos, or Shein and consider doing your shopping locally, or from Australian online shops. Try not to contribute to more carbon emissions from these online giants.
Melbourne has a few local markets where you can find unique, handcrafted things, and it is also a great weekend activity.
Here are a few artisan markets worth a visit:
Rose Street Artists Market in Fitzroy
South Melbourne Market
St Kilda Esplanade Market
Look up markets in your local areas and try to plan a visit when you can! Not only is this more sustainable, it’s also a nice outing.
The same applies to food. If you’re planning on feeding a fancy cheese platter to your guests, or a nice barbeque and some fresh salads, consider getting your produce from local markets or shops. They can be pricier but not always, and if so, it’s worth it, the quality of the meat from a local butcher or the cheese from a local fromagerie is next level.
Also, if you are hosting, please do not use single-use plastic dinnerware. There are sustainable single-use options now such as bamboo or recycled carboard, otherwise, get your family to help clean up!
It’s a wrap!
Another item to consider is wrapping paper… Let’s not over-use the wrapping paper. I know it sort of takes away from the thrill of the silly season fun, but sadly, wrapping paper is incredibly wasteful.
Try and prioritise using recyclable wrapping paper. When made of paper, you can dispose of it in the recycling bin. Just be careful as some wrapping paper such as the glittery or patterned kinds contains plastic and cannot be recycled. Depending on the type of wrapping paper you use, you may be using a single-use plastic product, and you probably don’t want that.
Here’s what you can do:
Buy recycled or recyclable wrapping paper
Use fabric. Have you heard of Furoshiki – the art of Japanese gift-wrapping using cloth? It’s cute.
When it comes to Christmas, it is hard to be organised, inspired and eco-friendly all at the same time. Although in the current climate crisis, it is important to look at celebrating Christmas in a sustainable way. Whether it is the things you are gifting, the food you are cooking, or the cutlery and glassware you are using, there are many things you can do and buy to be eco-friendly. It is also a great opportunity to be creative!
Doesn’t the thought of a warm hug to the planet for Christmas bring you joy? It sure does to me.
Wishing you all a merry, eco-friendly Christmas.
Written by Megane Hazee