Christmas can be tricky to navigate when it comes to sustainability; it is a huge waste-producing holiday but no one wants to be the grinch giving boring gifts.
This becomes even trickier when you have kids in your life, so we’ve put together these tips to reduce your environmental footprint while also ticking items off kids’ wishlists.
Don’t buy new
Children’s books are a great option to find second hand. Many op shops will have classic books in great condition and if you’re lucky you might even find new books looking for a new home. If you start early you can often find unwanted gifts for sale on secondhand marketplaces; they’re good as new and you will be giving them a new home where they will be used and enjoyed.
Give an experience
Sometimes it can be hard to get kids excited about sustainable alternatives so why not give them an experience instead? It makes for great quality time spent with them and almost never comes wrapped in plastic. It could be as simple as a beach day with icecream included or you could get adventurous with activities like a visit to a tree ropes course.
Give them something that grows
From mushrooms to micro greens there are a heap of options available for at home grow kits this Christmas. Having recently grown oyster mushrooms ourselves, we can assure you the experience is sure to spark wonder and delight for kids and adults. Plus having grown it themselves may encourage your kids to try a new food.
Whatever you gift, think zero waste gift wrapping
Australians use more than 150,000km of wrapping paper during Christmas. That’s enough to wrap around the Earth’s equator nearly four times! We can all help to reduce this huge volume of waste destined for landfill by getting creative with our gifting. Use plain brown paper (which can be composted), wrap in newspaper, wrap in fabric (Furoshiki Japanese style, see pic below) or even just ask the recipient to close their eyes. You can also get creative with your kids and get them to decorate some fabric with paint, stamps or screen printing then use it to wrap their gifts, you can hang on to the fabric and use it again next Christmas. (Check out this post for more eco-conscious gift wrapping ideas).
Give gifts that can be recycled/ have recyclable packaging
If you’re going to give toys this Christmas why not pick brands that have created recycling solutions for their waste? L.O.L. Surprise! and Bunch O Balloons™ both have recycling programs available so you can make sure none of the waste ends up in landfills.
Another great option is a colouring in book and some markers or pens. There are heaps of books available which are made from recycled paper and once the markers and pens are used they can be recycled through TerraCycle’s Writing Instruments Recycling Program (you can also drop them at participating Officeworks stores).
Article submitted by TerraCycle.
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Cover image credit: Bogdan Sonjachnyj.