Okay people, don’t panic, but Christmas is six weeks away! The shopping mall decorations are up, Bublé carols are jingling through my speakers and there’s talk of drawing names for Kris Kringle – yes, like it or love it, festive season is well and truly upon us.
While this thought might fill you with dread, I couldn’t be more chuffed. I’m a carol-chiming, gift-slingin’, merry mother from way back. What does strike fear into my heart, though, is the overzealous, guilt-addled overconsumption.
We buy far too much at Christmastime. Since having kids, nary a flat surface is bare at the close of Christmas day. No, one person needs so many new items and I promise you, not all of them are even used. I have oodles of unopened toys at the top of my children’s robes that I’m clamouring to regift.
Oh, and the waste! That’s one thing I hate: the waste, waste, waste, WASTE! Metre upon metre of plastic-lined wrapping paper, bringing mere minutes of joyful suspense, is hurriedly scooped into the bin. Poorly made toys break within days. It’s little wonder we feel a teensy bit empty when the gift-giving is a wrap for another year.
I love spoiling my loved ones as much as the next person; seeing the excitement on my kids’ faces as they unveil the toys they’ve waited months for, but we put ourselves under so much stress, even financial strain, striving to make one day perfect.
I don’t know about you, but my favourite part has never been the presents. I love a big festive lunch with my family, followed by a communal kip on the sofa to shake off our food comas, before digging into the leftovers.
I remember only one gift I received as a child – a handmade dollhouse, crafted by my handy Pop. I still take joy out of that masterpiece, twenty-eight years later, watching my daughter play with it.
My best memories aren’t of presents but of raucous laughter, listening to my grandparents’ old stories. Nanna, just a smidge tipsy off the fruity gordo, joking (for the tenth Christmas in a row) that we’d better enjoy her company, because she wouldn’t be with us the following year. Unrushed and blissful content in each other’s company; feeling as though there just might be enough love in one room to heal the world.
Instead of going overboard on gifts, this year, let’s be kinder to ourselves, our bank accounts and the earth. Choose mindfully. Those plastic toys du jour will be forgotten in a heartbeat, as kids move on to the next fad – why not choose gifts that will guide them outdoors and teach them about their world? My cherubs, ever the artistes, will delight in the Sow and Sow Posy Flower Press and Discovery Corner Sunprints.
And does anyone really need another chemical-laden fragrance gift set to chuck in a drawer and forget about? On my gift-list and wish-list are high-quality, low-impact gems that will last and last. If you love the ease of a giftpack, gift your loved ones with a healthier life and a greener planet, by choosing our waste-free and plastic-free Christmas giftbox.
Little Eco Shop offers a thoughtful assemblage of beautiful, sustainable wares for your every gifting need. With such a diverse collection of goodies, you’re sure to find something to please everyone, even that cranky auntie, who everyone’s scared to get stuck with for K.K. I’ve listed my picks of the season below …
For the ladies
Cheeki Insulated Tumbler in Pistachio, $32.95 – ‘tis the season for smoothies on the go and this 500ml beauty will keep hers icy cold in style, for hours on end.
Brush it On Sustainable Beauty Kit, $56.95 – packed with stylish, compostable versions of all her most-loved beauty essentials in a recyclable gift box. Brush it On donate 100% of their profits to for-purpose enterprises dedicated to environmental conservation, so this is one Christmas buy you can feel warm and fuzzy about.
Kappi Reusable Safety Razor in Matte Rose Gold, $59.95 – I’m a sucker for anything rose gold. I also love doing my small part to limit the billions of razor heads destined for landfill, each year, and trust me, your favourite lady will too.
ZeroCare Bamboo Styler Hairbrush, $27.95 & Organic Cotton Blend Scrunchies, $24.95 – Gift her with good hair days all year round. FSC-certified bamboo bristles massage the scalp and smooth static for a no-frizz finish, while two plastic-free scrunchies will hold her style firmly in place.
For the gents
Solitary Native Bee Home DIY Kit, $30.00 – What guy doesn’t love a DIY? A gorgeous project for dad to take on with the kids. They’ll embark on a nature walk, collecting twigs, gumnuts and other natural treasures and design a home with plenty of nooks and crannies for bugs to nest in.
EverEco Stainless Steel Bento Snack Box, $22.95 – Hungry fellas will appreciate this sleek and sturdy three-compartment bento for snack time on the fly, with generous dimensions to fill a man-sized appetite.
Ashortwalk Eco Bird Feeder, $19.95 – Bring his garden to life with this sleek, easy-to-use bird feeder. Made from 100% recycled plant pots, it’s the perfect gift for the earth-conscious bird lover in your life.
Keep Cup, Brew, Cork Edition in Press, $32.00 – Keep his coffee hot and a pep in his step with this stylish 12-ounce cup he’ll use over and over.
For the littles
Eco crayons, $18.00 – a rainbow of 100% plant-based, vegan and compostable crayons for the little creative in your life.
Poppy & Daisy Fun Fossils Kit, $49.95 & DIY Beaded Bag Tags, $24.95 – the little creatives in your life will adore making their own plaster ‘fossils’ and wooden bead bag tags, using only eco-friendly materials, and parents will love activities that keep the kids busy for hours throughout school holidays.
EcoNaps Bamboo Travel Change Mat, $29.95 – mums and bubs alike will adore the gorgeous hand-designed prints on these change mats, from botanicals to brights. Lightweight and totally waterproof, they make change times on the go a dream.
Wrap with care
It’s estimated that 150,000 kilometres of wrapping paper is used each festive season – enough to wrap around the globe nearly four times! There are innovative ways to wrap gifts, which can minimise the need for wrapping paper – have the kids design gift wrap on large pieces of recycled paper; upcycle gorgeous pieces of fabric or festive tea towels and tie in place with jute ribbons; buy a picnic hamper or storage basket as a gift and store smaller gifts inside … With a little imagination, there’s no limit to the possibilities.
If you do need to buy wrap, fabric wrap or post-consumer recycled paper is the way to go – check out our range by Hello Snowglobe and Earth Greetings. Available in a kaleidoscope of precious prints, these Aussie-designed and Aussie-made wrapping options will put a smile on faces, young and old.
Say it with a click
I love that I can take care of all my gifting from the comfort of home, makeup free and in slippers. I don’t have to worry that someone is going to claw my eyes out for the last singing Elsa doll and I can buy every grownup’s favourite – gift cards – in cardless form.
No one over the age of twelve is going to be disappointed to receive a gift card because there’s no greater feeling than being able to go out and buy whatever the heck you want (and not having a closet cluttered with unwanted presents). Our gift vouchers start at just $25.00 and, because we’re an online store, you won’t need to print them out (saving trees for the win!) - pick yours up here.
I shop early and with AfterPay (because dropping a grand on gifts is much more palatable in four convenient, fortnightly payments of $249.99, am I right?). Little Eco Shop offers AfterPay for all of your gifting needs, but no, we don’t advocate going totally cray on Christmas because, as we earth lovers know, you can’t consume your way out of overconsumption.
Waste-free Christmas shopping? Tick. Now you can sit back with a plate of cherries and your fruity gordo and stress less.Are you planning for a less wasteful Christmas this year? Be sure to write to us below and clue us in on your best tips for sustainable giving.