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Sustainable Christmas 101

I hate to break it to you... But it is officially time to start thinking about ✨Christmas✨

I know it still feels like August and that Christmas is still so far away (thanks lockdown), but we are only 46 days away. It sounds like plenty of time to get organised, but I am sharing this with you now so that you do have plenty of time, and won't need to come back to this blog when you realise that you really should have listened to me sooner. (Hello to future you if you are reading this in a panic now 👋🏽 don't say I didn't tell you so!)

I want to share with you how we are planning for a more sustainable Christmas this year, and some other tips that I think will make a difference in how you celebrate the holiday. This time of the year can be extremely wasteful, and we want to put an effort in to change how we celebrate this year. 

Make A Wish-List

Making a wish-list is probably my favourite thing to do, and favourite thing for people I am buying for to do. It may sound like a greedy, consumerism thing to do, but there are a few reasons why this is the best thing to do.

1. You get what you need/want. It can be wasteful and make you feel ungrateful when you receive a gift that you will not use or need in your life. It allows your loved ones to know that what they are gifting to you will get plenty of use, and they will know that you will enjoy it.

2. It gives you some control over the sustainability of the gifts you receive. You can choose the brands of specific items you need that you know align with your values (choosing specific small businesses/brands that you want to support). And while you won't be purchasing the item yourself, you are allowing your loved ones to support more small brands from your choosing. How good!

3. It just makes life so much easier. The stress of not knowing what to get someone and not knowing if they will like the gift is just a really annoying first world problem to have, but trust me, give it a go.

So when you are thinking of buying yourself something, don't. Add it to your wish list and hold off for the month. Send it to your fam and let them do the honour of granting your wishes true.

Be The Organiser

If your family aren't quite all on the same page with taking the sustainable/eco initiative and approach to Christmas, you take the lead. Not only will it mean that your celebrations will be more sustainable, but you are also helping the rest of your family too. Here are some things that I am organising this year:

1. Family Secret Santa: Secret Santa's are such a fun thing to do. We are make it into a game, where we each put a gift under the tree, and get to pick a number out of a hat and choose a gift. HOWEVER, the gift has to be something hand made. This will bring in creativity, personality, talents, and less waste! Plus it is a super fun game to play. You can introduce your own rules and flares to it. It is fun!

2. Choose To Decorate: Decorating can be a daunting task, but it can also be really fun too. Get creative! Choose natural things to decorate with, such as pinecones. Find a small business to support with their candles. Make your own decorations with the family. Find second hand decorations. There are endless opportunities. Tip: Pinterest is your best friend!

3. Ditch The Cracker: Speak up and say no to Christmas Crackers. Whilst they are fun, they are a major source of unnecessary waste. Who here still has a plastic paper clip, spinning top, key ring or mini deck of cards? Not me. Try making your own crackers, or check out https://www.hopper.nz/christmas for their sustainable, plastic free ones!

Organising can suck, but if you want to make a difference, then you just might have to be the one to take a step forward. It will feel great at the end of the day!

Gift Plastic-Free

There are so many aspects in gifting plastic free. Let me bullet point some ideas for you to keep it simple.

  • Use reusable wrapping cloths. recycled plastic free wrapping paper, and paper tape. It is super easy to do, and looks really cute too. *Use Pinterest again!*
  • E-gift cards (quick, easy, safe gift option!)
  • Find small eco businesses like ours where everything comes plastic free
  • Choose the gift wrap option where you are buying, so you don't have to buy wrapping paper
  • Write the 'to and from' on the present instead of buying stickers
  • Hand make your gift (jars of some sort of food are always easy! Jam, hummus, cookies, you name it!)
  • Gift an experience (picnic, massage, accomodation, activity, bike tour, camping trip, rock climbing, surfing lesson, whale watching, the opportunities are endless and grab one is your best friend!)
  • Plants! 
  • Donate to a charity on behalf of them
  • Offset carbon emissions for a holiday
  • Plant a tree and name it after them
  • Family photo shoot - a super fun experience and you will create memories to cherish forever
  • Gift a service (clean their house, do their gardening, be a baby sitter)

There are so many things you can do. Have a think about it, where you can ditch plastic, then try do it.

 

There are so many things you can do for a more sustainable Christmas! We will be continuing to share tips on our social media @thegoodsourcenz, and would love to hear your ideas too! Keep an eye out for more Christmas blogs in the coming weeks also

Get organising early and support local where you can! 

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