Make Your Christmas Shopping List Shine Green
The party invitations are rolling in whilst Christmas music jingles from the radio. The holiday season has officially kicked off! While we all look forward to enjoying some down-time with friends and family, many of us will feel less excited about shopping for gifts for them.
Not only can Christmas shopping be stressful, but all those gifts come with a notorious amount of packaging! Did you know at Christmas we consume enough card packaging to cover Big Ben nearly 260,000 times?!
Don’t despair just yet – we’ve pulled together our top tips for making your Christmas gift shopping low in stress, packaging and waste – that way you can enjoy the festive period to the fullest.
Get Creative With Your Gift Exchanges
Hopefully you don’t have as many presents to sort out as Santa, but perhaps you have a few more than you’d like to admit. Think about starting a gift exchange with family and friend groups instead of buying gifts for everyone. You can all get together for a festive drink to draw names or use sites like Elfster that will do it for you. Having a gift exchange will cut down on packaging and save money – allowing you to concentrate on buying one special gift instead of lots of small ones.
There are many fun and waste reducing rules you can add to your exchange. For example, sticking to a one-gift rule or giving only hand-made gifts like knitted scarves or Christmas cookies. There is also a White Elephant exchange where participants must give gifts found in their homes so no money is spent. Why not give one a go?
Make a List – Check it Twice
Take a moment to sit down and make a list. Write down everyone you plan to give a gift to and if you have a good idea about what they need or want write that down too.
Once your list is complete, don’t leave it until the last minute! Start your knitting now or buy a little here-and-there all year long. The perfect gift for your partner or friend may turn up at the most unexpected moment. Shopping throughout the year will save you time and the stress of holiday crowds. Just remember to store the presents in a safe spot where you won’t forget them!
Less is More
Try buying one high-quality item for everyone on your list, rather than a few small ones. There are lots of local Christmas markets popping up this time of year where you can buy gifts from local vendors that won’t come in lots of excess packaging. If you prefer shopping on-line, check out local shops on Etsy where crafts-people make beautiful hand-made treasures that are often kind to your wallet and the planet.
Think about buying recycled items. From reusable water bottles to trainers, many companies use recycled materials in their production. You can also spring for unique pre-loved items by checking local charity shops or on-line second-hand sites like Vinted for one-of-a-kind gifts.
Instead of giving loved ones physical things consider making memories with them. Give tickets to a gig, the cinema or a sports match. Gift vouchers to a favourite restaurant or beauty salon also go over well.
If you’re good at crafting avoid shopping by getting your knitting needles out or creating pretty jewelry. Bake cookies or make jam if you’re more into cooking. Take the time to learn a new skill and bestow your loved ones with the fruits of your labour this year, rather than the same old store-bought jumper or coffee-table book.
One last thought, if you do plan on heading out to the shops, don’t forget your reusable bag!