I just walked into the shops this weekend to find myself faced with shelves and shelves of Christmas goodies, baubles, tinsel, lights and the list goes on and on! The retailers are all over the Christmas mayhem – let me reword that… the retailers are creating the Christmas mayhem. Most of these goodies are of course “made in India” or “made in China”. Although I do not have a problem with imported goods, I do have a problem with creating plastic junk that ends up in boxes in my house or in the dump.
I always try and look at the bright side of things, so I have decided that seeing that I do have a few weeks to prepare for 1 day, I should not give into those last minute emergency gift buying sprees and start to think like the eco-conscious girl that I am!
1) Last year, 75% of people received a gift that they didn’t want.
2) 13.7% of people will throw away these unwanted presents
3) Gumtree estimated that 14.3 million unwanted gifts were given last year!
4) South Africans produce over 10 million tons of waste every year
Let’s get sustainable:
If you intend to buy a material object, think twice. To quote a funny man;
“A house is just a place where we keep our stuff while we go out and buy more stuff” – George Carlin
Choose experiences over stuff or something to look forward to after the one single day. Why not a voucher for a restaurant or a cooking class; instead of a new coffee machine. Sign your dad up for a gardening class over the weed wacker. There are some fantastic Digital Magazines available and they make the perfect e-stocking gift.
The options here are endless; membership trials for a gym/dance/yoga/Crossfit/surfing class… or a spa treatment are far more valuable than more things.
Christmas is about giving and remembering why we give – let’s not let Christmas become about materialism and the turkey on the table. If you are truly wanting a sustainable Christmas, then you would need to look at the foods you are consuming. Food choices have the biggest impact on the environment.
Consider what you are eating at your Christmas Dinner. Turkeys are one of the worst treated animals in factory farms so please think compassionately when you choose. There are plenty meat free options to choose from, check out these 6 ways to have the best vegetarian Christmas. Eat less meat and more veg. A plant based diet is not only better for the environment but it is also better for your health. Try and at least commit to eating a flexitarian diet (consciously cutting out meat a few days a week).
And last but not least, do something or give something to someone in need. Adopt a grandparent who may not have family to share Christmas with, give to someone in need, or assist a community group with an initiative that they already have. By making someone else feel good, you too will feel good.
Here’s to a more sustainable, healthy and compassionate Christmas! Do you have any more tips? Let me know now!