I’ve been very motivated to have a more sustainable Christmas this year. I feel like Christmas can be a time of excess, unnecessary things, and the production of a huge amount of waste.
I have never been one to go overboard or crazy with gifts, wrapping, cards, etc., but this year I have made a real effort to make my festive contribution a sustainable one! Here are a few things I have done…
I have thought hard about giving useful and practical gifts this Christmas, and think I have a good selection of gifts sorted that people will find useful, fun, or be able to consume (think tasty beers, spice mixes, local wine…). I am also gifting some cool things I have picked up in op-shops, such as a collection of vintage buttons, pottery mugs, interesting or favourite books, and then also passing on a few of my own things that I no longer use, and know the receiver will love 😉
My work team did a ‘sustainable secret santa’, where we re-gifted something from home or that you had purchased at an op-shop. I thought this was so brilliant as secret santa’s are often so wasteful, and I find you can put a lot of thought into putting a useful gift in and come away with something really impersonal and rubbish-y.
Our team secret santa worked brilliantly, and there were some great gifts around the table. I hope this becomes an annual theme. I contributed a packet of (brand-new!) chopsticks I purchased in Vietnam and a little purse in the shape of a bear from Japan, and took away a Wasgij puzzle which I was so happy about!
A Christmas get-together
We invited our friends who live in town over for a pot-luck brunch last weekend, which was a brilliant way to catch-up with everyone before heading off for the break. Also by making it pot-luck, everyone brings a plate (or some juice, fruit, hash browns, pastries, whatever they are in the mood for!), so it makes life for the hosts very easy and everyone gets a delicious home-made (and therefore quite inexpensive!) brunch. My partner and flatmate were on preparing our food contribution, and they made delicious filled croissants and some bowls of strawberries. I was on the flat cleaning and setting-up!
Instead of sending a card, I have gone for online messages (or sometimes even a phonecall, gosh!) to have a good catch-up with those people who mean a lot to me. I’ve used messenger to catch up with friends overseas or living in different cities, and, as above we made a real effort to catch-up face-to-face with those people who mean a lot to us in Wellington.
I guess I can cheat a little at this one, as we purchased a Christmas tree and lights, and my mum gifted us some decorations a few years ago, so we already have quite a few things. Our Christmas tree is only small, just four feet, so also doesn’t take too many decorations at all to fill up! This year I bought some gorgeous aluminium bears and two glass piñata donkey decorations from our local op-shop, and then also picked up cute ‘build-yourself’ woodland creatures to add to the collection – I love them and think I will use them as ‘winter’ decorations around our flat as well as at Christmas-time.
Let me know what you are doing to make your Christmas more sustainable, I would love to hear!