1. Take a step back
It’s easy to go to the shops at your first stop for gifting, but many times, you don’t need to look further than your own home. Regifting may seem like a copout but giving someone a treasured book or passing along a gift you received but know you’ll never use, is just passing on the love.
Otherwise, there are always thrift stores to scour when wanting to find that something old and turn it into something new. Maybe they’re redecorating and you found a beautiful statement piece or a vintage handbag that has a story that goes with it. If they love tea, a vintage tea set will be the perfect gift for them. The options are endless.
2. Green is more than just a holiday colour
Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to go fully green in one go. If this is your first time buying sustainably, it’s ok to take it step by step. Maybe this is the year you pick sustainable wrapping paper (you could also try wrapping things in a dishcloth, or a scarf or even old magazine paper), or you do your best to be as conscious as possible when shopping. Try opting for recycled or sustainable gifts where you can. Even just buying locally makes a world of difference to your carbon footprint.
Who knows, by gifting someone a sustainable gift, you might kickstart the sustainable journey of a friend or family member. Even gifting materials that are made to last, such as stainless steel instead of plastic, will help.
Don’t know where to start? Take a look at our gifting section here.
3. Make it an experience
Not everyone wants something they can unwrap. Usually the memories that last the longest are of things we experience. Especially when they don’t treat themselves much, it’s the perfect way to make your Mom take some time at the spa for herself or maybe a friend of yours has been itching to do an advanced driving course but just hasn't taken the plunge yet. This is a sureway to help them along.
You can find some ideas here or see what’s local to where you live.
4. Gifts that keep giving
Subscriptions aren’t only for Netflix. Try gifting that bookworm in the family a subscription to Bookmate or Scribd. For the more outgoing ones, there’s always the option of Adventurous Ink. Reading is guilt free when flipping the page of your kindle.
There are also wine subscriptions for the wine lovers in your life. We like Little Wine as a sustainable option. There are also subscriptions to places like museums or the gym (for those trying to stick to their new year's resolutions). Or maybe you have a friend that just needs to chill out and they could benefit from something like Calm.
5. What about when you just don’t know what to get?
Family can be tricky, your cousin just started dating someone new (for the 5th time this year) and she’s bringing him to Christmas. Do you have to give him something? Surely not! But if you feel obligated to, there are ways to give gifts without really giving gifts.
Option one, give a donation in their name. Option two, plant a tree in their name, we love EcoMatcher. Option three, suggest Secret Santa and just buy one gift for the whole family.
We know it can be a tricky time of the year, but this heavily simplifies it and makes it more sustainable.
6. Let’s get digital
Ok, we know this seems impersonal, but it’s really not. You don’t waste time buying something that you know they probably will never use, and they have some extra moola to get exactly what they’ve had their eye on.
There are so many options here, vouchers for their favourite store, credits for gaming, you could even buy them one years worth of an app like Headspace.
Nothing is being left unused and everyone is happy. Easy peasy.
7. Unleash your inner creator
Want to show that extra smidgen of love? DIY shows you’ve taken some of your own precious time to make something that extra bit special. Buying some biscuits and a gift? Easy. Making them yourself…well now you’re talking. Everyone loves a homemade nibble. There are so many ways you can get creative with this, so here’s a Pinterest link to help you go down the rabbit hole. Some of our favourites are: stove top potpourri, mugs, whipped body butter and bath scrub. We can just smell the yuminess now!
Also making your own cards out of old maps or calendars is a great way to stay sustainable.If you want to buy a card, we recommend Seed Paper, with perhaps a hand painted pot plant. This way, you’re left with a beautiful plant, instead of waste, which is always a win in our books!