Somehow, a month has passed since we launched! I'd like to say a big thank you to all who have supported us so far. But as the year draws to a close, you bet there's one thing everyone is thinking about and talking about - Christmas.
Christmas has increasingly become centred around one thing: consumption … consumption of food and drink, and of things, so many pointless little things. It can be a tough time of year if you’re trying to lead a more ethical and sustainable life. I know that some people choose not to participate; I understand and I congratulate you. For me, though, the sentiment of Christmas is too strongly ingrained. I hate the shops and decorations and the carols, but I love the meal plans, cooking shows and wrapping and giving presents. So how can you navigate consumerism’s high holiday in a more sustainable way?
I love buying gifts for other people – I love thinking about how I’ll wrap it and how happy the other person will be to open it. But it should be about quality, not quantity. Buy things that are well considered and that the receiver will actually use. Cheap gifts are usually cheap because the people who made them are paid less than a living wage. When buying presents, consider the item’s longevity and the process involved in manufacturing it and selling it to you.
Also, don’t be afraid to let people know what you want. Some think it’s tacky to have a wish list after the age of ten, but I’m a firm believer in them! You’ve probably had your eye on a few things all year that you keep meaning to buy for yourself but don’t. Give people a couple of ideas, but ultimately let them choose. You’ll still be surprised and appreciative and you’ll know the gift won’t go to waste.
Consider experiences or donation-based gifts. They’re not ‘traditional’ and they don’t look as great under the tree, but research shows that people gain more satisfaction from experiences than from goods. I have a friend I’ve known since high school and it’s become tradition for us to give each other experiences as gifts. It might take us a while to get around to organising them, but we always have a fantastic time spending the day together. What more could you want from a present? And I absolutely loved The Orangutan Project adoption certificate I unwrapped last year. It sits on a shelf in my living room and I’m constantly reminded by that sweet little face of the devastation palm oil plantations cause, helping me to be more mindful day-to-day.
We've put together a gift guide that might help your search. All brands and products on ecoture australia have been handpicked with consideration given to people, animals and the environment. Just remember that Christmas doesn't have to cost the Earth. Spend time with the ones you love and give gifts you know they'll love. Or none at all, if that suits you.
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