Christmas season is upon us, which heralds one of the biggest stressors of the holiday season – deciding which gifts to buy for our loved ones! If you’re anything like me, attempting to find the perfect or most thoughtful gift for my family and friends is always a struggle. I often find myself trawling through the Internet for hours or window shopping without buying anything. But recently, and especially after establishing my sustainable swimwear company, I’ve also been thinking more about how to make more eco-friendly decisions over the holiday season. If my swimwear products are all made from sustainable options, then why should my other life decisions be any different?
Whether it’s changing up the way I conceive of gifts, or improving some holiday practices and traditions, here are some tips I’ve accumulated over the years on how we can all make this Christmas more sustainable but equally as memorable!
Ditch the wrapping paper
We all love presents with a pretty bow tied over them. But if this means creating plastic waste or wasting paper unnecessarily, then consider ditching wrapping your gifts entirely. Most festive wrapping that involves paper with glitter, foil or coatings is not recyclable, which means that you might actually be exacerbating the efficiency of the recycling chain if you dispose of unrecyclable materials incorrectly.
But at the same time, if your kids are anything like mine, the best part about receiving their gifts is the anticipation that comes with tearing them open. So what are some alternatives to wrapping paper? There are tons of sustainable options nowadays, including reusable cloth wrapping, recyclable gift bags, or eco-friendly wrapping paper that doesn’t have to end up in the landfill.
Be more conscious of your holiday lighting
While decorative holiday lights are always a must-have during Christmas, they also generate a lot of energy waste. If you have a small Christmas tree at home, turn off the tree lights and any other decorative lighting at night or when no one is in the room to reduce any energy waste.
However, if you anticipate entertaining guests for prolonged periods or would rather keep the lights on to create a special ambience, you could also consider using LED lights which use a lot less energy than traditional light bulbs. They might be slightly more expensive, but they create a worthy long-lasting impact for our environment.
Source for sustainable gifts
Rather than buying gifts that produce waste, consider sourcing for sustainable options that show your consciousness towards your ecological footprint. Not only are sustainable or natural products usually more beneficial in terms of health, but they also encourage a culture of greater mindfulness towards the environment.
For instance, if your friend has been asking for a yoga mat for a long time, then maybe consider getting them a cork mat which is harvested from sustainable oak instead. Alternatively, if your loved one has been looking for something to boost their quality of living, opt for natural products instead. You can also head to our page for some natural and sustainable soap options!
Replace store-bought gifts with handmade crafts
Not everything has to be store-bought – rather than buying products that are sure to generate waste (even as an unintentional by-product), why not do a DIY with things you either already have lying around at home or resources that are eco-friendly? You could make your own bath bombs, or even your own chocolate fudge if you think your loved one might prefer something sweet and edible instead!
Not only would these be uber impressive, but they also show thought and care in a way that no purchased product could. I have personally tried making photo collages and memory books before for my family, which they complimented especially after seeing how much effort went into it. It’s always the thought that counts the most!
While you’re still here, check out our holiday gift sets and bundles for ideas on what to get for your loved ones this Christmas.
Have a great holiday,
August Society Founder & Creative Director