Gifting our friends and family during the festive season is a ritual that has nowadays somewhat become associated with pressure, expectation and waste, especially as a parent. It’s time to reclaim gifting as a joy and spread a little environmental and ethical love, and change the way we view gifting when it comes to mindset and behaviour. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Gift Second Hand
Shopping at second-hand stores and thrift stores is by far the most ethical way to give; not only are you preventing waste and giving items that might otherwise have gone to landfill a second life, you’re also donating money to charity and saving yourself a few dollars. Please also remember that shopping second-hand does not have to mean a compromise on quality – check brands, labels and the condition of the item thoroughly before buying. If you don’t feel comfortable gifting second-hand items to friends, what about making second hand gifting a family only rule?
Let’s face it, most of us have more than enough stuff in our homes so why not consider gifting someone an experience instead this festive season? It can be as extravagant or as simple as you wish; anything from dance classes for a little one to an exciting ride on a bus can be some of the greatest, most memorable gifts. Let’s start to shift the focus from material items and start focusing on creating memories.
Why not avoid buying gifts from Amazon or that have been imported from China and opt instead to get your Christmas shopping from your local high street or from a local market. Buying locally means you will be supporting small suppliers within your local community, all the while minimizing your carbon footprint and nabbing something probably a whole lot more unique and special in the process.
Gifting should be about time, effort and love, and what could show you care more than creating a homemade gift? Pinterest is full of ideas from making your own candles to baking homemade cookies to creating zero waste beauty products. Plus, once you strike upon a good idea, go bulk and make it for everyone!
Most of us really don’t need anything so what about removing gifting altogether and appreciating what we already have. Instead, how about donating to a charity close to your heart in the name of a friend or a family member?
And one more thing…
Wrapping paper and cards are rarely recyclable so consider using reusable fabric gift wrap or old newspaper with some twine instead? And what about sending an e-card or one made from a recycled card? However you chose to gift your loved ones this year, please remember that there are plenty of ways to give meaningful, sustainable gifts that don’t cost the Earth.
Emma Ross is a Londoner and mum to Jack and Sonny. Her blog space focuses on low waste living and parenting with a heavy dose of slowness and sustainably. The blog also explores eco-fashion, yoga, travel, cooking and more. Check out her blog: www.mamalina.co and follow her on Instagram @mamalinauk here.
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