There’s no doubt about it: Christmas can be a time of great waste. From making way too much food to giving unsuitable or unnecessary gifts, we can end up creating a lot of waste over the festive period, and it’s a crying shame. However, it doesn’t need to be this way, and in today’s post I’m going to go over some of the ways you can minimise your contribution to waste this year.
1 | Make your own gifts
The idea of DIYing your Christmas gifts can seem daunting. But, if you give yourself enough time, it can be really fun and rewarding. It’s also a great way to try out a new creative endeavour or hone your skills in a particular area. Wanting to practise your knitting? Why not make a scarf or blanket for someone? Trying to be more daring in the kitchen? Give this vegan chutney a try. Making your own gifts means that you’re consuming less and giving something that will likely be more appreciated by the recipient.
2 | Use recyclable and reusable wrapping
Am I the only person who keeps random bits of wrapping paper for years, with the intention of repurposing it at some point? As well as keeping hold of used wrapping paper (depending, of course, on its condition), I highly recommend using brown craft paper and string to wrap your presents, using as little Sellotape as possible, if any. This approach gives your gifts a really old school, traditional feel, while also being kind to the environment. Another option would be to use fabric wraps or reusable bags.
3 | Be selective about which brands you buy from
When it comes to Christmas shopping, it can be tempting to hit the high street and head into all the popular shops, selling poorly made tat which might not have much use or longevity for the recipient. It can be more personal (and is certainly more ethical) to try to source your gifts from charity shops, local handicraft markets and places like Etsy and eBay instead. Just make sure you leave yourself enough time for things to be delivered before the big day.
4 | Take a step back from consumerism
We had a virtually gift-free Christmas in my family a few years back – it was out of necessity, but turned out to be not nearly as bad as we thought it’d be. While I love giving and receiving thoughtful, useful presents, I also think it can be so easy for us to get carried away by the idea of buying dozens of things for our loved ones, much of which we can’t be sure they’ll even like. I’d recommend finding a balance between treating those you care about with material objects but also just enjoying the time you have with each other, or indeed on your own, away from the pressure of mass consumerism.
Christmas can put a bit of a strain on my morals – eating animals is encouraged and celebrated, and spending money is expected. While I’m accepting of the fact that this is just how things are, I will be doing my bit to try to minimise my impact, and if you’d like to too, I hope these tips help!