The end of the year is usually a very busy time. Although the main objective is to meet and share with our beloved, Christmas is also full of excesses, unconscious consumption and food waste.
The icing on the cake is that we don’t get what we want: 62% receive at least one unwanted gift each Christmas. That’s about 2 billion € spent on unwanted gifts. The Netherlands is one of the top spenders at this season in the EU, along with Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
Psst! Don’t be an “unwanted gifter” . We have the perfect way let your family and friends pick their own favorites!
Here’s a list of things you can start doing at home to have a more conscious Christmas!
1- Choose quality over quantity
Take the time to choose quality products, with certifications of origin and that ensure durability. Less is more, that is our golden rule for a more sustainable life.
2. Gift an experience
Giving an experience as a gift can reduce the physical demand of shopping at this time and its commuting. There are many options such as a concert or a dinner reservation at a great vegan place, to share a special moment with someone you care about.
3. Pick plastic-free gifts
Be aware of what you’re adding to the shopping basket! Look at the materials they are made of, where do they come from, if they are Fair Trade, Organic, Vegan certified, if the papers are recycled or come from a sustainable source. If there are plastics, make sure they are upcycled!
This point is really important to us: In our marketplace you’ll find the description of each product with its certifications, stamps and manufacturer information.
In addition, you can give away something that allows someone to change some habits at home for products that are kinder to the environment in their daily routine:
Duurzaam Giftbox Large t.w.v. €89 | Betere Producten€49.95
Backpack Annapurna Natural Renewed€115.00
Starter Kit Sustainable Shaving – Safety Razor + Shaving Soap + Protective Cap€34.95 | Free Shipping
4. Become a gift wrapping professional
Take it to the next level by wrapping your own gifts (pick from the store those with little or no packaging). You can recycle paper from home or if you must buy wrapping paper, make sure it’s recycled and furthermore that it can be recycled later, that means avoiding plastic ribbons and tape or foil-backed wrapping paper.
Also, check out this fantastic idea from our marketplace, it is the perfect zero waste gift wrap for Christmas. You can reuse it over and over and save trees by not using paper gift wrap. Also grab some wrapping ideas from Furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping with cloth.
Also, take a look at this origami tutorial to avoid the use of adhesive tape when you wrap gifts!
5. Reduce food waste
We all like to leave with a doggy bag for the next day. But when this turns into eating until you are stuffed, not being able to eat the next day and throwing away the food, then we have a problem!
Let’s be aware of the work and energy behind each food. Let’s buy more realistic amounts for the number of people that will be gathering. And if there are leftovers… avoid using cling film which is super polluting, instead you can use tupperware, foil or better yet: vegan wax cloths to keep the leftovers fresh for several days.
One Extra Large Harvest Vegan Wax Wrap The Vegan Food Wrap Co.€17.50
Vegan Food Wraps Set | Organic Cotton
6. DIY Christmas decorations
It is not necessary to be super trained in crafts. You can upcycle decorations from other years or make them with recyclable items that are easy to find at home. Also, making your own Christmas decorations helps you save money.
7. We couldn’t miss… the Christmas tree!
The pros and cons of using real or artificial trees indicate that for an artificial tree to be compared to the environmental impact of a real one, it must be reused between 5 and 20 years. So… if you can have that perspective, go ahead! But we also bring you some alternatives ;D
1- Go a step further and rent a real Christmas tree, you care for a tree over the festive period and return it to be replanted for use again the next year.
2- Be a conscious consumer and buy artificial trees that were pre-loved in virtual stores!
3- Make your own Christmas tree with reused materials or with lights as we show in this video!
4- Decorate one of your plants with Christmas spirit!
8- Have in mind the true sense of Christmas
What’s truly important at this season? The gifts, the decorations, the excessive food…? We think it’s spending time with those we love the most and share together the closing of a year and the beginning full of hope of a new cycle.
See all of our Christmas gifts ideas HERE!
Have a wonderfull holidays season!