As the run-up to Christmas begins, here at Not In The Guidebooks, we’ve been considering ways to gift sustainably and responsibly, rather than spend another December contributing to the huge increase in waste we produce.
As much as it’s a time of year to indulge and enjoy, when considering what to buy and what to ask for this year, it’s well worth putting a little thought into how another iPhone or the newest PS5 will impact the environment.
Many Christmas gifts, like the products of those tech giants mentioned above, are produced with a detrimental effect to the planet. With so many presents being used briefly and then chucked in the bin, waste levels around the world rise by 25%-30%.
So, here are our four best sustainable Christmas gift ideas, to give you some inspiration on how you can treat your friends and family this year in a responsible, environmentally friendly way.
1. Head to Local Christmas Markets or Fairs
Buying from your nearest market is one of the easiest and most efficient ways of turning your Christmas gift from a fossil fuel-guzzling gift into a locally produced, environmentally friendly present.
Not only can you enjoy everything that comes with a Christmas market, i.e. fantastic food, but you can rest easy knowing there are hundreds of unique gifts that have been crafted, grown, knitted, or produced, nearby.
The benefits? Rather than buying a gift manufactured in a far-off country and flown to the UK for distribution, most market stalls make their products themselves, cutting down massively on the carbon footprint of their stock.
You’ll also be supporting local artisans and business people, rather than putting more money in the pocket of Amazon, Apple or other massive multinationals.
2. Send Personalised Food Hampers
You’ve got two choices here, and the one you go with depends on how much effort you want to put into a gift that will be genuinely welcomed and enjoyed and can help out local businesses.
You might find that your local cafes, delis, or cheese shops are actually already offering Christmas hampers, and these always prove to be great Christmas gifts.
If you can’t find anything nearby, however, then find yourself a basket, stuff it with wine, chocolate, some great cheese and any other Christmassy treats you can think of, and you’ve got yourself a personal gift of tasty treats anyone is sure to love.
Not only that but if you shop carefully and buy from your local independently run shops, then you’ll be helping small local businesses which, after a tough year in 2020, really deserve a little love.