We love the silly season! The festivities, feasting, quality time with loved ones, and maybe even a holiday away somewhere. However, it’s no secret this can also be a time for over-consumption and stress.
We want to make sure you enjoy the Christmas and new year festivities, without the frustration and negative environmental impact. Here are our top tips for a conscious and sustainable festive season:
GIFT EXPERIENCES, NOT THINGS
In a world where we all have far more than we actually need, consider gifting someone an exciting or luxurious experience that you know they’d love, and may not be willing to spend the money on themselves.
This could come in the form of flight credit, restaurant vouchers, an eco-tourism experience, or wellness spa voucher… Who doesn’t need a massage at this time of year!?
Charity donations are another great gift idea, particular if you are aware of a particular passion of a loved one. Nothing says “I love you” like donating to a cause close to someone’s heart.
SUPPORT SMALL, LOCAL BUSINESS
Where you do want to make considered purchases and support smaller, local business like us. Who doesn’t love organic cotton Fairtrade underwear in their Christmas stocking 😉 It’s true that every dollar you spend casts a vote for the kind of world you want. Christmas gift shopping is the perfect opportunity to boost your local economy and support the work of local artists, producers, practitioners and craftsmen (and women). Local businesses are usually a lot more personal to purchase from, and have a more ethical and environmental conscience than their larger mass-producing counterparts. Local markets are the perfect place to start (not to mention you’ll avoid the hype of frantic shopping centre crowds… a huge plus)!
WATCH THE WRAPPING
Did you know that Australians use 150,000 kilometres of wrapping paper over the festive season – enough to wrap the world in paper almost four times!? This is a scary figure, as most of this will go straight to landfill and most wrapping paper is purchased in plastic packaging itself! Instead, opt for using up-cycled and recyclable papers, bags and trimmings, or embrace the Japanese art of Furoshiki.
Check out our friends at the Clean Collective for more insight on sustainable git wrapping ideas: https://bit.ly/2rkuhBz
REDUCE FOOD WASTE
While we’re all for a good Christmas feast, being organised and prepared can drastically reduce the wastage that is often left over:
- Communicate with guests, so no one doubles up on dishes
- Clear out the fridge and freezer to make way for storage space for left-overs.
- Share the love and everyone one home with ‘doggy bags’ – they’ll love you for it!
Supporting local famers and cooking with fresh, seasonal produce will cut down on your grocery bill and promise a variety of healthy and delicious dishes – far tastier then what you’ll get at major grocery chains, and guaranteed less plastic packaging.
As we near the end of the year, it’s easy to get caught up in the flurry of to-do and to-buy lists, whilst trying to make it to every social occasion on the calendar and fulfil intense work commitments at the same time. While it may not be possible to tick every box, it’s important to prioritise that which is truly important and to slow down enough to consciously enjoy the special moments with loved ones.
Written by M/G Basics writer