Having trouble getting everything done before Christmas next week? Feeling guilty that all the wrapping paper will just get thrown away and end up in a landfill after all the gifts are unwrapped? Well guess what? It isn’t as hard as you think to celebrate Christmas and even give presents in a way that has a lower impact on the environment. This post is all about putting an eco-friendly spin on Christmas 2018.
Wrap your presents differently this year! Choose alternative materials such as:
Old newspapers – Keep some of your newspapers leading up to the holidays and try wrapping gifts with them. Perhaps refrain from wrapping clothing in newspaper to prevent any ink transfer!
Old maps – Perhaps you took a trip together with the gift recipient and still have the map you used to help you navigate while travelling! Why not wrap their gift using this map rather than keeping it in a box where it is no longer of use!! This will be a great conversation starter and will bring back great memories for both of you.
Kitchen towels – This could be a great add on for a gift and is a great zero waste alternative to gift wrap which just ends up in the trash.
Jars – Use jars for homemade baked goods; this is not only a great way to keep costs down for gift giving but the jar can easily be used for food storage within the kitchen of the gift recipient.
Baked Goods – Everyone loves baked goods! Try making some homemade items for family and friends this year. Check in with your loved ones to find out who has allergies or dietary restrictions and try to make your baked goods as allergy friendly as possible! Attach a little recipe card to the box or jar that holds your home baked gift to ensure everyone is aware of the ingredients.
DIY gifts – Sick of waiting for an hour to pay for your Christmas presents at the local mall? Looking to save money and experiment with homemade products? This year create some DIY gifts for your family and friends; from homemade beauty products to handmade cutting boards there is so many options for creating the perfect DIY gift! Check out Youtube or Pinterest to get inspired!
Crafts – If you have kids make some homemade ornaments as gifts for teachers, aunts, uncles and grandparents! Perhaps you really enjoy oil painting and decide to paint a different winter scene for each friend or family member. Again this is a great way to save money while still giving a very special gift to the people that you care about in your life!
Buy Gifts for Your VIP’s
My grandma used to call my sister and myself her VIPs which stands for Very Important Person. I am sure lots of people helped you out this year and did something nice for you. However, I highly recommend making a very short list of the people who truly matter most to you (your VIPs) and ONLY buy gifts for them. Give gifts to the people that made the biggest difference in your life in 2018. Maybe instead of a gift exchange ask if your family members would like to pool money together to make a donation to your favourite charity or volunteer with you during the holidays (i.e. contact your local soup kitchen, church, or food bank to sort, package and even distribute food).
Perhaps as I mentioned earlier have your kids decorate simple ornaments from the dollar store for each of their teachers at school and for your extended family members. Write really nice cards, send an e-card, or take your closest family friends to dinner to spend quality time with them during the holidays. Use less time searching for the perfect gift, instead make something homemade or give the gift of a great evening out. Practical gifts are another great option – find out what your sister’s family needs for their new house and purchase a few items to help them create the perfect kitchen, living room, or dining space. All of these are heartfelt gifts that will be appreciated immensely and perhaps remembered better than an expensive box of chocolates.
I hope my suggestions for celebrating Christmas more sustainably will allow you more time to spend with the VIPs in your life while also showing how much you care about them and maybe even leave you with more money in your wallet after the holidays are finished.
If you would like to begin simplifying and decluttering your life in 2019, contact Melissa at Let There Be Space using via the following email address – firstname.lastname@example.org.