The lights are up, baubles dazzle, carols echo through the shopping centre, kids line up to sit on Santa’s lap, whilst presents hastily pile up underneath the tree.
Christmas is my all-time favourite season of the year. It also used to be ALL about the santa sack, and present opening from all 30+ members of my extended family. These days, since becoming more conscious to consumerist culture in my everyday life, this time of year delivers me a hamper-full of stress.
With a holiday that celebrates and profits from the act of unconscious spending, I can feel my internal perfectionist screaming at me saying “ummm...what do I do?!”. All that single-use, plastic-coated, glitter-dipped, tinsel-wrapped, built-in redundant, mass-produced stuff we gift is harming our planet, and the people on it.
I speak for all when I say that stepping back into this cycle of mindless buying can feel inevitable.
I’ve had my fair share of minimalist crises when it comes to gift-giving. And yes, I do apologise to those who’ve been at the receiving end of my questionable recycled gift-wraps, and budget zero-waste presents. However, it has paved the way for this blog post, which I hope will encourage you to join me in thinking outside the (plastic-lined) box this Christmas!
Tackling the festive season, whilst staying true to your Earth/self connection…
A list of 5 zero-waste Christmas ideas, brought to you by many triumphs, and many lessons learned:
A stuff-less Christmas
An idea that may upset our inner-child, but is a beautiful opportunity to think outside the box (literally) when buying gifts for our loved ones. Experiences (wine-tasting, getaways, coupons for favours, theatre shows, a cooking class) are memories that will last a lifetime.
Experiences > material possessions!
Or, take this to the next level and actually have a fully, gift-less Xmas. Make a donation to a charity you care about. Being around people we love and adore, and letting them know how we feel is an invaluable gift in itself.
Buy for value.
Will this gift add value to your receiver's life? Most importantly, will it last? (in memory, or in physical condition)
Buy second hand things only, support local/ethical businesses, get crazy in the kitchen and go DIY-wild (beeswax wraps, delish treats, beauty products), and wrap these sustainable gifts in compostable wrapping (found online), or in recycled textiles from your cupboard or local op-shop. You can actually make it look incredibly cute by using Furoshiki techniques!
Opt for secret santa
Reduce gifts by organising a secret-santa/ KK setup with your friends/family/workmates!
A money and resource-saver… honestly can’t go wrong.
Say YES to reusable things
If all else isn’t vibing with your Xmas style, supporting the circular economy is the easiest thing to do to live out our best sustainable lives. Say yes to reuse and recycle!
Ask yourself: what is this item made out of? Can it be easily reused? Repurposed? Is it made out of recycling-friendly materials?
By simply questioning tradition, and realigning ourselves with our planet, we consciously create a sustainable culture for all gift-giving occasions to come!
Now, fellow earthlings, be on your merry way, and join me in spreading eco-cheer throughout this years festivities. (really hope this helps you out!)
My best wishes to you all, and your quest for less.
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
- Ruby and her jar o’ trash.