Midwinter, season of over-commercialisation looms. Here are some tips for making your gifts more sustainable.
- Ask people what they want. Surprises may seem attractive, but unwanted gifts can end up in landfill.
- Listen to what people tell you they want, especially if you think it’s boring. For the person who can’t afford new socks, new socks are brilliant.
- Start conversations about budgets. Don’t risk anyone feeling pressured to spend on gifts when they can’t afford to.
- For the person who has everything – give them gifts that will make their gardens more wildlife friendly. Plant a tree in their name. Donate to a charity on their behalf.
- Ask people not to use wrapping paper. Tell people that more than anything else, you’d like a waste-free Christmas. Start early on this.
- Give re-usable things. This is especially powerful for people who have no choice normally but to by the cheaper, throwaway options. You’ll save them money and help the planet.
- Give less. A few really well chosen gifts that will be loved and valued are far better than a sack full of plastic tat.
- If there are children in your life, talk to them about consumption and waste ahead of Christmas. Many of them are very aware of the climate crisis and may feel happier doing the festive season in a more sustainable way.
- Consider debunking Santa. The story of the big sack of toys is part of the commercialmass agenda. It’s not ‘the magic of Christmas’ it’s a tool to emotionally blackmail parents into buying excessive gifts. Consider talking about this with your family if that’s relevant to you.