12 Steps to a Sustainable Christmas
THE COUNT DOWN HAS BEGUN !
Christmas is just around the corner and I truly cannot believe how fast it has snuck up. I know we all say this every year, but oh my! How fast this year has gone. I suppose that means we are all having fun, so here’s to another amazing year.
While having a very merry merry Christmas is a truly special part of everyone’s lives, religion and traditions, unfortunately, it does come at a price in environmental terms. That is why I wanted to chat today about reducing our eco-footprint this holiday season and my top eco gift ideas.
Every year roughly 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper will be thrown out or burnt, 125,000 tons of plastic packaging disposed of and more than a billion Christmas cards likely to be dumped.
On top of gift wrapping it is also said that around $4 billion worth of gifts are returned every
Christmas, and the majority of those don’t end up back on the rack, but in landfill. Accompanied by the mass consumption of food and beverages, comes a massive amount of pollution and waste. While this all seems a little overwhelming, there are many easy and beautiful ways to help reduce your impact this holiday season. Check out my top tips below for incredible gift alternatives, wrapping suggestions and memorable moments you can give this Christmas, without all the waste.
1. GIFT WRAPPING & CARDS – My go-to solutions for reducing waste from excessive amounts of Christmas wrapping include recycling previous wrapping paper you may have used throughout the year. Take the time to unwrap gifts a little more carefully than maybe a 3 year old, and I promise you can re-use the paper again and again, as well as gift bags and ribbons.
If you don’t have any previously used paper, I also like to shop recycled Kraft paper. You can shop this just about anywhere on the internet, though I linked by recent Amazon purchase below. This paper is 100% recyclable, no plastic packaging and can you spruce it up with your artwork, get the kids involved with some paint or even just some Christmas twine.
Make your own Making Christmas cards is one of the most enjoyable Christmas traditions. You can shop lots of different sized Kraft paper cards or present tags. Which also allow you to get creative and gift your family and friends a much more personalised and meaningful gift. This removed the use of non-recyclable gift cards and all the plastic packaging they often come in.
2. FOOD – If you are the designated chef this year take the time to keep things fresh and choose to produce a spread of wholefood and non-packaged foods. I completely understand grocery shopping with zero plastic is very difficult. But I advice is start from the outside of the supermarket and work you way in.
Try to achieve as much of your spread with fresh non-packaged vegetables and fruits. Use canned goods where needed and then head over to your local bulk foods store for all the tasty chocolates, sauces, grains and flours. It might seem like it doesn’t make much of a difference but if every one of us just manages to at least halve our packaged foods this Christmas, I promise you, the whales will be thanking us.
GIFTS – Now to the important stuff. We all love giving gifts to the people we love, my myself included. But this year I have various ways to help reduce purchasing of gifts just because its Christmas. The mass consumptions of all those silly trivial gifts, that no one ever really uses or actually needs (e.g. plastic packaged candy stockings).
I have found the best options to be taking the time to really think about what the person make like or need and choosing to shop that product from a sustainable, local and or ethically produced brand. Another amazing option is the gift of experiences. Everyone loves an adventure and with all the incredible sites like red balloon these days, its so easy to give someone an experience they will never forget! No plastic and plenty of memories.
My favourite brands and gifts idea at the moment for a sustainable XMAS
Senda Essentials: ethical and sustainable travel essential packs. Must have for any beach lover or travel nut.
Soultisurf: Beautifully handmade from recycled materials and ethically produced women’s swimwear.
Sun and Earth Zinc: All natural and Australian made zinc. Good for the ocean and your skin.
Earth bottles: Trendy re-useable coffee cups, drink bottles, straws and produce bags.
Ocean Grind: The gift of caffeine! Locally made and sustainably packaged, this Torquay local brand does not only offer sustainable products but setting the pace for sustainable living (not you can buy someone coffee and tell them to freeze it. Its stay fresh for ages)
Natural Harry: This beautiful online and brick and mortar store is run by a magical surf coast lady and offers a wide range of ethical and sustainable fashion, housing and beauty products.
YUKI Threads: Awesome for the boys and girls, this ethically produced clothing brand has some epic snow and skate style clothing.
Mia May Oils: Handmade all natural oils, from a beautiful surf coast lady. Perfect for glowing an healthy skin.
AKASO: Give the gift of creativity, by allowing them to document there ocean adventures (10% discount code F2WBAH23 )