From our local Zero Waste shop — Twin Larder
At Christmas, UK households produce 30% more waste with over 250,000 tonnes of plastic discarded and £42 million worth of unwanted presents that are thrown out and sent to landfill each year! If you are worried about the state of our planet just like us, we have put together a few gift-giving ideas and tips for a more ethical, eco-friendly, low impact and sustainable Christmas.
1. Plan Ahead – forewarned is forearmed. Let’s face it, as much as Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It can also be the most stressful. So planning ahead is key. Make a list as early as January, that way you’ll be more likely to stick to the list. Also, having a plan will help avoid falling into the consumerism trap and last minute stress.
2. Ask – Sounds boring but asking for a ‘Wish List’ or gift ideas helps avoid unwanted gifts.
3. Secret Santa – these are very popular these days. Stick to practical gifts that can be reused over and over again or if in doubt – chocolates!
4. Homemade – true labour of love. If you like baking, how about some festive bakes? Food always goes down well plus who doesn’t like personalised bespoke gifts.
5. Handmade – from cards to gift tags. Don’t forget to save greeting cards you’ve received, especially the cute ones. Cut them up in various sizes and shapes and upcycle them into gifts tags. Or how about a jar of bath salts? Reuse a glass jar and fill with Epsom salts, dried flowers like lavender and / or drops of essential oils. Tie a ribbon around… et voila!
6. Buy Second Hand – from various online marketplaces and charity shops. There’s no point in buying new Christmas jumpers for example that you’ll only wear once a year. Also, look out for stocking fillers and bright colourful scarves. If you can, avoid novelty gifts.
7. Packaging – Have you heard of Furoshiki? The Japanese art of wrapping presents in fabric. Reuse ‘new-to-you’ scarves you’ve picked up from the charity shops to wrap your presents. Recipients can either keep the scarves or they can be reused again and again. If you prefer wrapping paper, try and avoid buying ones with glitter.
8. Gift an Experience instead of ‘things’ – cinema vouchers pottery making, National Trust…
9. The gift of quality time – go for an afternoon tea together, visit a new place together. Get creative! Memories lasts longer than things.
10. Shop local and buy from small businesses – not only will you be supporting an independent business you’ll also be helping the local economy thrive.
11. The gift of choice – Give Gift Vouchers to their favourite shops. That way the recipient can pick and choose what they actually need or want.
12. Buy Ethical – if and when possible choose less packaging if not completely plastic free, fairtrade and sustainable.
13. Reuse & Refill – collect and reuse various size glass jars. If you are fortunate enough to have a Refill Shop locally you can refill the jars with mulled wine spice, sweets, chocolates, dried fruits or nuts to name a few.
Finally, Christmas means different things to different people. One thing’s for sure, it’s way more than just the presents under a tree. The spirit of Christmas is about reflection, counting our blessings and spending quality time with friends, family, loved ones and those we hold dear in our hearts.
57 Guildford Road, Ash, GU12 6BQ www.twinlarder.co.uk