This Christmas is different from any before. The hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping along with the pressure to find the perfect gift seems secondary, as the excitement of being reunited with loved ones takes over.
Although for many it’s ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, unfortunately it‘s also the most wasteful, generating around 30% more waste.
When we fall into the trap of excessive and unnecessary over consumption, or the panic buying kicks in, it can be easy for our festive focus to go out of the window, making mindful and meaningful choices less likely.
One common discovery this year has been the realisation of how little of the ‘materialistic stuff’ we actually need to make us happy. So with this in mind, it’s worth considering ways we can collectively make more sustainable choices. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Shop local / Independent
We are surrounded by amazing independent shops here in South Manchester that could use our support now more than ever! Rather than buying all of your gifts from larger chains/ mainstream stores for convenience, consider having a shop around. Quite often you can find something unique, good quality and cost efficient as well as supporting a local business at the same time. If you are really looking to make a sustainable change, research some local shops which have a similar ethos and pay those a visit first!
Quality over quantity
When panic mode kicks in and we just want the shopping to be done, we can find ourselves buying any old thing and losing track of the meaning behind it! Making conscious choices and opting for one special gift over lots of little things could be a good way to ensure the prezzie is well received along with saving money and avoiding unnecessary over consumption. We’ve all had that Christmas present that doesn’t go down well and might end up getting chucked! One good quality, thoughtful gift could lessen the change of that awkward post Christmas hunt for the gift receipt as well as reducing waste.
Handmade gifts can be really sentimental and a great way to make the most of your creative skills. Things like homemade candles, knitwear or jars of jam. A friend of mine once made me a body scrub using left over coffee granules – reducing waste and a lovely natural exfoliator. If this isn’t for you, choosing vouchers / experiences over actual gifts works as a perfect way to spend some time together without excessive overconsumption. Subscriptions to a magazine, yoga classes or a national trust membership are some of my favourite ideas. Really thoughtful and the gift that just keeps giving!
Pick proper packaging
There is so much left over wrapping paper, boxes and plastic once the presents are revealed. Making a conscious effort to opt for recyclable packaging or wrapping prezzies in something that you already have/can reuse is a huge step toward a more sustainable approach. Keep a hold of those ribbons for next year and of course, remember to recycle responsibly.
If you find yourself feeling the pressure of just buying a few more stocking fillers, pause and be present. Remember the best gifts this year are togetherness and time. Consider the tips above and do what you can, small steps toward being more conscious are better than none.
It’s been a tough year, be sure to be sensitive to those who may not be in the financial position to give gifts, as well as those who are unable to spend it with loved ones. Sending festive love your way.
Holistic Health Coach - Anna Whyte
The ‘Wellness with Anna’ philosophy focuses on taking a more balanced and holistic approach to health. Often, the tools needed to make a lasting change are already in your toolbox. I offer client led guidance in order to support the progress of an individual working to meet their personal wellness goals. I will not diagnose, treat or take responsibility for bringing about wellness change, but direct, listen and support development.
We work together on a journey to make health a main priority, both physically and mentally.