Giving bad gifts is not trending. Here’s how to make your gesture count this Christmas.
Christmas in all of its joy and generosity can sometimes make us lose sight of what’s really important at the end of the day. While it should be a time to unite with friends and family and count your blessings, it’s easy to get swept up in the consumerist carry-on with tempting sales at every turn. Something we are ALL guilty of.
Not to mention, gifting for the sake of gifting isn’t fun for anyone. You’re essentially wasting your hard earned dosh – which can be better spent elsewhere on things you want and need – to provide someone with a crappy gift they’re going to ~have~ to find a use for, or worse, throw away.
Thankfully, the shift towards a zero-waste economy is underway with more brands creating products that do more good than harm for the environment – and ultimately you.
But it’s not all about choosing a sustainable gift, sometimes it’s about choosing a gift that gives back; providing a family or community with necessities they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
For some conscious gift ideas, scroll below:
Choose plastic free, organic and sustainable gifts
While gifting is fun, many products come with plenty of wasteful packaging in tow. According to Recycle.co.nz, New Zealanders throw away 30% more rubbish than usual with an estimated 50,000 tonnes of waste produced during Christmas week alone.
Options are virtually endless these days with many retailers opting to stock conscious, sustainable and eco-friendly products. If you need to fill some stockings, be a better person and choose from a collective that takes all the guesswork out for you.
TRY: Oh Natural
With gift edits curated for Him, Her, Kids, Vegans, Foodies – you name it – there are options aplenty. The hardest part will be resisting the urge to buy two of everything, you know, so you can try them.
TRY: Trees That Count
With a view of growing our land, not our landfills, Trees That Count seeks to mitigate the number of people turning to poorly thought out gifts and, instead, encourages the gift of a native tree. If you find yourself about to pull the trigger on a half-ass gift just for the sake of gift-giving, consider a native tree instead. They come standalone or in different variations of hampers. It’ll grow on you…
For the person who has everything, gift them a goat
Okay, maybe not just a goat. From cows, chickens and toys to anti-trafficking, immunisations and trauma care, there are families in despair that will receive life-changing opportunities with your help.
TRY: Oxfam Unwrapped
Oxfam Unwrapped is your one-stop shop to get a card and the gesture of gift going to those in need. Starting as little as $16 to provide books to providing clean water for a school at $106, there’s bound to be a gift that resonates with everyone.
TRY: World Vision Smiles
Much like Oxfam, you can buy practical gifts that are guaranteed to help communities around the world survive and thrive. From funding vege gardens to training teachers, these generous acts of kindness will provide smiles all around.
TRY: Tearfund Gift For Life
At Tearfund, it’s the little things that make a big difference. Starting at $10 going all the way up to $580, there’s a gift donation that suits your budget you can make on behalf of your recipient. There are food and animal gifts, plus more targeted causes such as anti-trafficking, emergency food and immunisations.
The gifts that give back to charities
If you’re not sold on gifting someone something that isn’t tangible and you’re set on them having something exciting to unwrap, look for brands that are collaborating with charities for the greater good.
Skinfood has teamed up with three charities this Christmas – The Aunties, Dress For Success, and Women’s Refuge – for their “Gift-Back” bundles. You can buy a heavily discounted bundle of divine Skinfood products knowing that a nominated charity will be receiving one as well. It’s the definition of a win-win.
TRY: Indigo & Iris
Earlier this year, Miss FQ was privileged to meet one of the CEOs behind social enterprise Indigo & Iris; the famed ethical mascara curing treatable blindness in the Pacific. Not only is their product heavenly to use (we’re talking super hydrating coconut oil formula that does not – we repeat, does not – smudge, 50% of their profit goes to the Fred Hollows Foundation.
TRY: Trade Aid
There are full-time organisations like Trade Aid which operate as a social enterprise around the clock ensuring those who produce their products are guaranteed fair working conditions and wages. They’ve been in this gig a very long time and have consciously shopping down pat.
We’re only scratching the surface on what kinds of conscious gifts are out there. Imagine what you could discover in your spare time browsing the web for thoughtful, charitable or ethical gifts. And if in doubt, why not ask your favourite retailers. Wallace & Cotton routinely team up with Starship and local fave RUBY is accepting unwanted gifts in their stores to supply the Women’s Refuge.
Happy shopping & Merry Christmas!