If you’re anything like me, the waste that is produced at Christmas time genuinely upsets you – yet you love the magic and joy of this special time of year. So why can’t we celebrate and do good at the same time. Well, actually we can, when we buy gifts with a purpose and we celebrate in a manner that is producing minimal waste. We’ve put together a list of must-have gifts on your shopping list that do good and are good, as well as a list of ways to reduce your waste this holiday season.
Presents with Purpose
- Saint Belford has created a diary like none other; their 2019 Curation is everything you need and more; with sections to track your habits, create a self-care plan, a bucket list and with sections that keep you on track and accountable, it’s a planners dream. They come in different colours and with gift pack options, check them out here: https://www.saintbelford.com.au
- Instead of giving a product-like gift, why not gift your bestie a special day spent together at a Personal-Growth and Yoga Workshop in the beautiful Carlton Gardens. We are running The Inner Tribe workshop on December 9thand it’s not too late to get yourself and a friend a ticket and receive a goodie bag each. It will be a day spent amongst the trees learning about our inner-world, practicing yoga, eating delicious food and connecting to one another and our deeper selves. Read more about what you will learn at the workshop here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-inner-tribe-personal-growth-yoga-workshop-tickets-52345509829
- Did anyone else grow up in a European family that would gift baskets of goods as presents, filled with wine, chocolate and biscuits? Well recently I decided why not gift these baskets but do so in a homemade and recycled kind of way. Find and clean all your old jars and make some homemade jam and biscuits. Here are some great and simple recipes: https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/incredible-homemade-strawberry-jam/ https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/almond-recipes/amaretti-biscuits/
- Gift books you’ve read. Yes I said it, recycle your books instead of letting them gather dust on your shelf. If you love your books as much as I do, then this one will be hard for you. My books remind me of my journey and how each one gave me something I needed at the time I needed to receive it. However they are just things and not having them won’t take away those lessons or memories – so why not get one of your favourite reads off the shelf, wrap it up and gift it to someone special. Tell them, this book meant so much to me, which is why I’m giving it to you.
- Make a donation in someone’s name. About 2 years ago I sponsored a little girl living in Kenya, and 1 year ago I got to go to Kenya and meet her in person, an experience I will never forget. Last Christmas I decided to give that same special gift to my Mum, I sponsored a little girl from Mexico on behalf of her. I paid for the first month and then transferred the details over into her name. When realizing what I had done, she was emotional and said it was the most special gift she ever received – which is funny because she didn’t ‘receive’ anything, she was giving something. She was giving this little girl the means to go to school and get an education, which would hopefully pull her our of poverty and change her life for the better. If you want to sponsor a child, I would recommend Plan International, as they have the highest rate of your donations going straight to the child and not to advertising or business costs. I also worked closely with them when I went to Kenya and met many of the locals who worked for Plan International and they were the most beautiful and wonderful people. Check out Plan International here: www.plan.org.au
Worthwhile Waste Reduction
- Straight up – lets get rid of the plastic this year. That means no paper plates or cups or plastic cutlery. Play the old-school game and get fancy, decorate the table with flowers from the garden, beautiful wine glasses and the plates you eat dinner on every night. Need more, ask your family to bring some of their plates/cutlery with them. Anything that can we placed into the dishwasher and then back into the cupboard is a keeper and a winner this year.
- Doggie bags – it’s no surprise that most families cook way too much food every Christmas, or is that just mine? Well either way, make sure you keep EVERYTHING. Create doggie bags for the family, freeze what you can and give the rest to any pets.
- Present buying is really where most of the waste comes from, so much plastic and paper and cardboard. Try to buy presents that come in no plastic packaging, especially when it comes to children’s presents. If you can’t help it, then keep the packaging and cardboard and use it later for arts and crafts; OR just purchase the presents I spoke about earlier.
- Instead of buying presents for EVERYONE, which produces so much waste and also is very expensive, why not do a family KK. Last year our family did KK with a budget of $200 each – everyone got to write down a couple of things they wanted and then their KK could choose what to buy from that list. It was fun and worthwhile as everyone got something they actually wanted. I’ll never forget the year (pre-KK) that I received decorated coat hangers… yeah KK definitely is a better options!
- Give the animals a rest – when buying products, especially household and beauty products we don’t realise what they have gone through to get on the shelf. Laboratory tests, animal testing, chemicals to preserve it and much more. This year buy cruelty-free products, turn the product around and look for the cruelty-free or not tested on animals sign which is often a little bunny with ears, if it doesn’t have it, then turn it around and sit it right back on the shelf. Choose what you support with your money. This might not seem like its about waste, but you would be surprised about the lengthy process of animal testing and all it produces, to find out more visit: https://www.peta.org.au/living/cruelty-free-cosmetics-makeup-australia/