Friday, 18 November 2016

Weekly Green Tips #32 - 7 Green Christmas Present Ideas


Week 32 -7 Green Christmas Present Ideas


With the festive season fast approaching and many people being far more organised than me when it comes to present shopping I thought a post in my Weekly Green Tips series about the types of presents you can give whilst helping the environment would be a timely idea.  Rather than listing specific green items I am, instead, suggesting how you can switch your whole buying ethos to one that moves away from the huge excesses that currently seem the festive norm.  Can we work together to make this a Christmas where you still give generously but not excessively?


7 Green Christmas Present Ideas



1. Less is more


Truthfully, do we really NEED all the presents that pile up under the Christmas tree?  We know babies prefer playing with the box and most people would be quite happy with a couple of really thoughtful presents.  So rather than than feeling you should splurge our all that money, cut back and keep it simple.  If you have a large family why not do a Secret Santa so you buy one present for one family member only?

2. Buy from small independent shops/businesses and traders


Don't line the pockets of CEOs and shareholders when you can help a family put food on the table and pay the bills by buying from a family run small business.




3.  Make your own gifts


Now I admit I am terrible at sewing anything but I make a mean jar of chutney/jam and my cakes/sweets aren't bad either, if I say so myself.  People love home-made presents so put your skills to work and make some presents for this Christmas.  For more ideas have a look at these posts from Little Sprouts Learning - The Ultimate List of Gifts you can Make and Zero Waste Gift Ideas from Skip The Bag.

4. Buy fair trade, ethically produced, recycled and organic products


Over-packaged, imported plastic presents from the far east are not really doing much in the way of helping the environment.  Now that you are buying fewer presents than other years you can spend a bit more time checking their green credentials.  Choose organic foods or clothes, toys made from sustainable wood, products where the workers are paid a fair wage and work in decent conditions and gifts made from recycled or upcycled materials.


5.   Give "service" gifts


Presents do not have to be actual "stuff" - what parent wouldn't love a baby sitting token so they can have a night out?  Then there are memberships you can buy or you could adopt a wild animal or sponsor a child.  We used to buy our parents goats ... well the villagers in where-ever got the goat and we got the satisfaction of knowing we were helping families in need without having to do any of the cleaning out!



6. Ask people what they want


How many times have you received a gift you really don't want?  Too often to mention I suspect so why not ask people what they actually want?

7. Don't buy just because you feel you should


So your friends buy presents for all the children in your child's class and you now feel pressured into doing the same?  We teach our children not to buckle under peer pressure yet we watch all the Christmas adverts, see the shelves piled high with stuff and we enter a buying frenzy ourselves.  Stop!  Enjoy the adverts but then apply points 1-6 and do not buy because you think you should.  But if you REALLY want to buy oodles of stuff then think about buying for a child in need.  Various shoebox schemes exist such as Samaritan's Purse where you fill a shoebox with gifts for a child who might otherwise receive nothing on Christmas morning.


So have I convinced you to buy a bit less this Christmas and spend in such a way that will help the planet?  Christmas is a wonderful time to show your generosity, just don't go overboard and this year and think outside the (Christmas) box.  For even more ideas have a look at this Zero Waste Christmas blog post from Design Life Hacks.

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PoCoLo

A Green and Rosie Life

18 comments :

  1. Thank you! We are trying to have a less consumer Christmas this year, and these are great ideas. #PoCoLo

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    1. I hope these help then and let me know if you buy into any of these suggestions.

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  2. What amazing ideas for gifts! I wouldn't have thought of any of these but I love that they are all green! #PoCoLo

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    1. Thank you and I hope you are inspired to follow some of these ideas. Let me know if you do.

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  3. Last year I gave all the book club and mah jong group toilet paper from Who Give's Crap? It's that thing we need to give something but we get little things that are really just for the sake of it. One year I gave xmas past to the book group...I like the charity gifts that give twice. This year I've giving a fair bit from the Thank You people

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    1. I'd not heard of Who Gives A Crap (it is yet to launch in the UK) but what a great idea. Toilet paper made from recycled materials and they donate 50% of profits to build toilets in the developing world.
      https://au.whogivesacrap.org/

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  4. Love this. Everything about this. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you - hope you can be inspired by some of my green suggestions.

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  5. I do think Christmas gift giving has gone a bit bonkers, we tend to have monetary limit on gifts, but if I find the gift that is perfect for someone then I don't go up to the limit. Likewise I find myself wanting simpler things and this year I'm hoping for membership to the RHS. My husband's family do the list thing - and make it super complicated - but with one thing on my list I hope I get it!! Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

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  6. I love these ideas. Now if I could just convert my family. #PoCoLo

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  7. These are nice and responsible ideas! #PoCoLo

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    1. Thank you - I hope you can try some of them.

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  8. Great ideas! We did the shoebox this year for Samaritans Purse and LP loved doing it! Thanks for linking to #pocolo

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    1. I have done the shoebox scheme before in England so I do need to find an equivalent in France.

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