**If you’re looking to have a more eco Christmas this year, you’ve come to the right place. This is not a sponsored post, but does contain links to other blogs I have written and sites you might find useful.
Calling time on pointless gifts to create a more eco Christmas
I have always been a thoughtful gift giver. Plus I’m thrifty beyond belief, with a brilliant eye for bargains. I can walk out of a charity shop with a carrier bag chock full (of often brand new goodies!) for a tenner. It drives my husband mad, because on the rare occasion he ventures into one, he doesn’t find a thing.
I also love to make edible and drinkable gifts as well as natural toiletries. Over the years I’ve been known to dedicate entire weeks to the gift making cause.
These days, I don’t get nearly as much opportunity to source or make presents. Unless my heart has gone into it, giving gifts for the sake of it just feels meh. Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoy putting together packages to send in the post. Spoiling friends, who are busy taking care of their own kids and are often forgotten about, is one of my favourite things to do. Obligation giving just does not sit right with me anymore though. Especially for children (more on that later).
Think of other ways to celebrate the countdown to Christmas
Call me jaded, but this will be my tenth Christmas as a parent. My views have changed somewhat over the years, and I have come to absolutely abhor kids advent calendars. Along with elf on the shelf, Christmas Eve boxes and everything else that leads to over excitement central.
They caused my children nothing but abject misery, so we stopped trying to keep up with what everyone else was doing two years ago. Instead we did a kindness challenge countdown, which was hugely successful. Each day between the first and twenty fourth of December, my kids were given a task to promote kindness within the home. You can read about it here if you like.
Last year we had our biggest sort through of clothes and toys ever, and donated everything to a local centre who provide for women and children in refuges. This year we shall be putting together bags of hygiene products, for our local hygiene bank. Take a look at their campaign on Instagram for all the details.
Becoming more eco-minded isn’t just about Christmas
As my kids get older, I want to steer them away from mountains of stuff twice a year. I want them to have memorable experiences, and fun days they can look back on. Also, I don’t want them to have unrealistic expectations. The idea that people automatically give us things, simply because it’s our birthday or Christmas is a concept mine find hard to understand. If someone isn’t in our lives on a day to day basis, they are in danger of being known as “such and such who sends us stuff.” Which is not good for anyone concerned.
The solution, and quickest way to be more eco (especially at Christmas time) is to opt out of consuming cheap products. Fast food, fast fashion, plastic crap the children get bored of after five minutes. Don’t even get me started on the disgustingly toxic paraben-loaded toiletry sets that are in every supermarket from the beginning of October. It’s all such bad news for the environment, and who really enjoys receiving these types of gifts? So let’s break this wasteful cycle. Giving pointless and unnecessary presents, purely because the calendar tells us to, has to stop.
Of course, there are some very lovely companies out there. Ones who consider the environment at every angle, and donate to many charities. Here are some of my faves: Librio, who make beautiful personalised kids books. Figtree Clothing, who promote a zero waste lifestyle, as well as selling stunning organic clothing and well sourced natural toiletries. Savon Stories, who hand make organic beauty products.
Try making your own gifts for a more eco Christmas
Home made gifts really are the best. I get such pleasure from giving things I’ve created myself, and they are always appreciated and gratefully received. Over the years my nearest and dearest have been treated to delicious sweet treats such as truffles, brownies, energy balls and biscuits. Savoury delights including pickles, chutneys and infused oils. Face masks, body scrubs and lots of random bits and bobs I can’t even remember.
If you’re in the market for making, check out this Pinterest board, which is chock full of gift making inspiration.
You might also like my epic (or so I am told) choco-coffee liqueur…
Will you be trying to have a more eco Christmas this year? Remember small steps lead to big changes!