As we speed towards Christmas, the shops start to get busier and busier and the list of Christmas gifts you need to organise seems to get longer and longer.
Some people get great joy out of hunting for and buying gifts for loved ones while for others it is a chore mostly involving shelling out money for the sake of having something to put under the Christmas tree.
Whichever side you sit on I have some great tips to help ensure you give a gift this year that your loved one will appreciate and more importantly USE! There is so much wastage around this time of year and unwanted gifts and packaging are a big part of this. Thinking carefully about how you buy gifts will go a long way in making Christmas a little greener this year.
Give the gift of an experience to your loved one- a massage, a dinner out at the new local restaurant, coffee vouchers for their favourite cafe, tickets to a show or a local experience. Perhaps you could organise a day trip or weekend over to Rottnest Island. It is so much fun to be tourists in our own city and we sometime forget about all the great things it has to offer. It is also a great way to support local businesses.
Maybe they have talked about learning to paint or surf? Buying them a voucher for a painting course or surfing lessons could be the perfect gift for them to start a new hobby they have always talked about. Home made vouchers are a great one for a more personal touch or those on a budget- maybe a voucher for washing their car or giving them a foot massage.
Fruit hampers, yummy chocolates and homemade treats. This will always get eaten especially when the house is full of friends, family and kids running around.
Reusable drink bottles and coffee cups.
Eight million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans each year and plastic bottle and coffee cups are major contributors to this. Why not find a great bottle or cup that matches the style of your loved one. You could even have it personalised. This will encourage your loved one to bring it along with them to work while at the same time doing their part to reduce the impact of waste on our environment.
So many to choose from with this great gift idea!
You could choose a beautiful indoor plant that will really liven up their place while at the same time oxygenating the space. Something edible such as fresh herbs in pots for the window sill or a lemon tree in a big pot are great also and having this stuff on hand can really elevate Christmas cooking.
There are plenty of great resources online for choosing the right plant for the space based on how much light there is or just go and have a chat to the expert at you local plant shop.
Homemade biscuits, chutneys and jams.
A great way to keep the cost of Christmas shopping down and can be a great way to reuse old jars too.
With veggies like tomatoes and chillies in season and fruits like strawberries coming into season there are plenty of great recipes online to utilise cheap produce while making a great homemade gift.
Soaps and body products
Lots of options for locally made products that can be sourced from markets of shops that stock local products. Just look out for over packaging as all of this rubbish does end up in landfill. There are also many great recipes online for making your own coffee body scrubs, bath salts and scented body oils. You can reuse old bottle and jars to package them in too.
For the person who already has everything.....
maybe your gift can be a donation on their behalf. There are many people and organisations (and animals) who have really struggled this year and support is greatly needed. Finding a charity that your loved one really believes in and making a donation on their behalf is a great way to give back to those in need.
So many great green, alternative to Christmas shopping for you all this year. Think about how you can wrap or package your gifts sustainably. Maybe using recycled paper or bags. Perhaps not even wrapping and just tying some repurposed ribbon around the gift is enough.