Christmas has traditionally been the season of giving. Yet, this is not a reason to fall into the excesses of consumption, especially at a time when we should keep a close eye on our carbon footprints.

Photo by Cloris Ying on Unsplash

Given that many of us are becoming increasingly eco-conscious, it makes sense that people are being more thoughtful about the presents they buy.

How can this Christmas consumption hype be coherent with the attempt to pursue a sustainable lifestyle? Even though there is no ideal formula for more responsible consumption other than consuming nothing at all, for those who want to act sustainably but don’t want to give it all up, there’s still a solution.

Below, see tips for how to give more consciously this Christmas.

Gift subscriptions

A digital gift subscription can be the ideal sustainable Christmas gift. Apart from being entirely plastic and packaging-free, stopping materials from ending up in landfills, it can give someone longer-term enjoyment. 

Shop second-hand 

With second-hand shopping growing in popularity, the stigma around giving preloved presents is also beginning to fade away. If you feel someone might be hesitant about something preloved, gifting a luxurious item might be a safer place to start, as this seems less stigmatised and more desirable.

Invest in reusable essentials 

Many of the everyday items we use are not particularly noteworthy. You can make a thoughtful and practical gift by replacing a disposable item with a reusable and sustainable alternative. Some reusable gift ideas include: 

  • Reusable coffee cups 
  • Plastic-free water bottles 
  • Stainless steel straws 
  • Stainless steel lunchbox 
  • Reusable grocery bags 
  • Compostable snack bags

Invest in sustainable fashion brands

Buying clothes for Christmas is a tradition. However, as we continue to explore our campaign #SustainablyFashionable, it is evident that fast fashion harms the environment and raises serious questions about working conditions in the garment industry. However, there are brands out there that focus on sustainability and being eco-friendly. Clothes made from recycled materials provide an excellent place to start, as are those made from sustainable fabrics.

Support local businesses

While we’re always proud to stand with small businesses and see them rise to the challenges of the marketplace, we know this is a great time of year to support local businesses and craftspeople

Handcraft is one of the largest employers of women worldwide, often enabling them to work from home and care for their families while earning an income.

Opt for a donation to charity 

You could donate your loved one’s favourite charity name instead of buying them a gift. There are numerous charities and initiatives to choose from, many of which are environment-focused. A donation in the name of a loved one is always a nice gesture.