Greener gift giving

The Christmas season is fast approaching.  It’s a time where we love to show people we care and/or show our gratitude with a special little something. It’s also a time where I am sure landfill contributions increase significantly. So much food, wrapping paper and well-meaning gifts end up in the trash! If this concerns you, perhaps we can look together at some greener gift giving ideas. 

Rethink, reuse, reduce

Bought gifts are lovely but I feel like our homes are overflowing with stuff!! There’s nothing wrong with splashing out on occasion but, for the most part, you don’t have to spend a lot of cash to make someone feel loved. It’s the thought and effort that goes into a gift that counts. Up-cycled, handmade, or home-baked gifts can be extra special. 

Literally Green

Plants make a great little gift. You can decorate tin cans as pots to give away seedlings. Old teacups or mugs make cute little planters for succulents. Kids will love potting up some little plants to give to someone special.

Seed packets or homemade seed bombs are also a fun way to gift some cheery flowers. 

teacup plant

Homemade

Baked goods can look really pretty presented in a jar, old biscuit tin or a simple lined cardboard box. Make your loved one their favourite biscuit or slice. Truffles and preserves make great little gifts too.

cookie gift

If you are into sewing you might be clever enough to up-cycle an old pair of jeans into a pencil case. Perhaps convert a vintage pillowcase into a toddler dress or carry bag.

Fabric Christmas bunting or ornaments are a cute way to spread the Christmas cheer too. 

One of the most lovely handmade gifts I have received was little crocheted rounds for makeup removal or toner application. This lovely reusable gift was packed in a cute little jar with a string bow to decorate.

Think local

There are so many great little businesses that make and sell awesome products. From soaps to kids wear and jewellery, Dukkha mixes to custom cookies. Explore what your local area has to offer. Not only will you support your local economy, but the reduced product travel is better for the environment too.

Less ‘stuff’

In the years to come, someone will more likely remember a cool experience you gave them rather than a store gift. A special trip- like to an aquarium or zoo, also gives the gift of a special family day.

My husband and his siblings got a family pool pass every Christmas as kids, and enjoyed many hours of their summer holidays at the pool, having fun and making memories.

Maybe you can bless someone by cooking them a meal. Perhaps pack a picnic for a special couple you know and babysit their kids while they enjoy some quality time together.

Make a donation to a charity, or a cause they care about. Compassion gifts is one I like to use each Christmas for loved ones who ‘don’t need anything’ but I still want to get something for them. 

That’s a wrap

Wrapping paper is synonymous with Christmas, but once the presents are opened I lament the pile of paper that immediately goes in the recycle bin. One look at Pinterest, and you’ll find a lot of creative (and greener) alternatives to bought wrapping paper.

A simple cotton bag makes for easy, reusable wrap. Vintage tea towels, fabric squares or newspaper tied with string are cool alternatives to traditional wrap. The paintings brought home from kindergarten can make for very special wrapping paper too.

wrapping paper

 

Gift giving is a fun tradition, but it need not be expensive to your wallet or the environment. Why not consider some greener gift giving options this Christmas. 

Kelly McCrohan
MOPS Blog Administrator