By Greg Evans, First Year History
The Croft Magazine // It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but fast-retail has made buying gifts for your loved ones increasingly unsustainable. This little guide will give you some inspiration for your most sustainable gift-giving year to date!
So, let’s start with wrapping. Last year in the UK, we sent an astonishing 108 million rolls of wrapping paper to landfill. So, this year I’m doing away with it completely as alternatives to wrapping paper can not only be a lot cheaper, but with a bit of creativity much easier on the eye too.
Whether its jazzing up some newspaper with some Christmassy foliage hastily cut from your neighbour’s hedge, tying up your gift with a vintage scarf, or popping it into a second-hand tote bag: avoiding wrapping paper is an easy way to reduce your impact.
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Having a green Christmas 🌿! Recently I asked you guys what you wanted to see this Christmas and it came as no surprise that lots of you are looking for low waste and more sustainable ideas for being festive. Well you’ve come to the right place! These fabric wrapped presents are perfect and can be done using tea towels or fabric scraps. Excited to share more ideas this year too.
As for gifts, you can’t go far wrong with a good reusable water bottle. In the UK 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are used each year, so when looking for the perfect drinking vessel I’d steer towards stainless steel - they’re much more durable and in the long run will pay for themselves. Top-tip – test how loud opening the lid is before you buy - nobody wants all eyes on them when they go to hydrate in the library.
Good SLS-free shampoo bars are an easy way to reduce plastic clutter in the shower. If you haven’t used one yet I’d definitely recommend - you’ll be surprised by how well they work, as well as how long they last. If you’re feeling generous, pair the shampoo bar with some re-usable cotton pads, or a solid deodorant to create a sustainable cosmetics kit.
One of the best things you can do to reduce your environmental impact is to buy second-hand. A visit to your local charity shop, a scroll through eBay or a rummage at a car-boot sale allows you to buy whatever you want with much smaller price tags. Think along the lines of books, vinyl, homeware and fashion accessories and you really can't go far wrong.
So, do away with the excess this year - the wrapping paper, the plastic and seemingly useless 3for2 gift sets. Buy second-hand, local, independent, or a combination of all three – and you’ll be well on your way to a more sustainable holiday season!
Featured: Unsplash / Mel Poole
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