So, I’m going to really up my game when it comes to sustainability in the new year and I thought why not start with this Christmas. This is the time of year when producing household waste and buying single-use products sky rocket. I guess it also helps that I’m on a super tight budget this year so I’ve been forced to keep the Christmas shopping list as short as possible…
It’s all too easy to get caught up with buying gifts at this time of year and before you know it, you’ve bought a present for every person you know. Ok..an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. In previous years, I’ve fallen into a trap of feeling guilty and end up buying ~random crap~ for far too many people.
This year, I decided to buy gifts for just a handful of people and put a little extra thought into choosing the perfect present for them (which also suited my budget!) I think there is far more ways to show your appreciation for somebody than buying them something – for example, myself and my two best uni friends like to go out for dinner together at Christmas time instead!
One really easy way to be more sustainable this year, is to turn to your local high street instead of doing all of your Christmas shopping online. I live just a 5 minute walk away from a beautiful high street in South East London which is full of lovely independent shops which I really wanted to take advantage of this year.
Without giving too much away, a few of the gifts I picked up from independent shops included beautiful homemade soaps and shower products, homemade chocolates and hand painted house plant pots!
I think books are a fantastic, personal gift, so I popped into my local bookshop to pick up a couple of good reads for two of my closest friends. Now…I’m trying to be super careful here and not reveal all my gifts but here’s one of the books I picked up. I’ve heard soooo many good things about this book, Dolly Alderton herself is such a legend – I almost bought a copy for myself. Luckily, my best friend who opened this gift (early!) was so happy with it and said I could read it when she’s finished 😉
As for gifts which are certainly not from independent stores, I tried to keep the list as short as possible and only buy good quality products. For example, the women in my family absolutely love The Body Shop (almost as much as I do!) so I got a few bits from there. I was pretty impressed with the (lack of) packaging to be honest, all the products came in recyclable cardboard packaging and there was barely any plastic. Oh, and it goes without saying that all of their products are cruelty-free!
For a more luxurious gift, my sister and myself decided to get our mum a limited edition lipstick, something she wouldn’t usually buy for herself. We split the cost and this way, we avoided buying her lots of little random bits and instead got her one quality, special product which will last her years!
The vast majority of wrapping paper isn’t recyclable and used just once – such a WASTE. So, to wrap up my beautiful gifts I opted for two types of recycled brown paper. I’m a big fan of simple but cute wrapping. I got two big rolls from a stationary shop for £2! To accessorise, I used up some old gold ribbon from last year, re-used some Anthropologie tissue paper (from a previous gift) and bought a roll of recycled green ribbon.
I also dried orange slices by slicing a big orange and baking the slices for 2 hours on a low heat and flipping them every half an hour.
For Christmas cards, I only sent a few. I found these amazing recycled cards which made use of old pencil sharpening – CUTE.
And finally, I’m going to be putting my baking skills to use this Christmas buy making little selection boxes of treats for my grandparents. Stay tuned for Christmas brownies, mince pies and gingerbread men!
Thankyou for reading,