We all know how this story goes, your bin is overflowing with packaging and wrapping paper, you have more food waste than you know what to do with and your credit card statement is the stuff nightmares are made of come January.
If there is anything 202 has taught us amidst a global pandemic that surely, it’s the people and moments, we value more than the things and stuff. (Although I think Australia Post might think differently with the amount of buying our feelings, we did this year)
So how can you be a little bit more mindful this year?
- Gift Experiences
Given we live in a culture of now, I know when I want or need something I tend to go and buy it. This makes what may have been a great gift idea for a birthday or Christmas non-existent. Consider gifting experiences to people for things they may not do themselves or things that they would use anyway. Things like Restaurant and Cinema gift vouchers, Memberships to Zoos, attractions or educational programs for the kids. My favourite is shared experiences where you get in on the action too. I’m not going to lie I’m a little partial to some day spa time with Nicole. She has a lovely time and so do I.
- Consider how you wrap
While a big part of the emotional connection to Christmas is unwrapping presents, you can still achieve the same effect but by using scarves, or fabrics even pillow cases or tea towels. Tash tells me that she always sees heaps of scarves at op shops for next to nothing. The receiver can then re-use the scarf or tea towel for practical purposes or maybe even use it to wrap a present they are going to gift.
- Meal Plan
Have a think about how many people you are catering for and what dishes you will be serving. By being more mindful you can work around what exactly you need to purchase, where leftovers can be used and incorporated into new dishes to ensure you only buy what you need. If you plan ahead you can even avoid the Christmas rush t ensure you have all the non-perishables purchased prior to reduce your time in the shop come Christmas eve. If time permits it’s a great idea to give your fridge and pantry a big of a tidy before Christmas too. This of course lets you see what’s been hiding away in the dark deep corners and what has expired. Nothing worse than going to get something only to find its at the back of the fridge and its growing who knows what (ok that’s just me??)
- Ditch the plastic
There will always be leftovers, this much I’m sure of. But instead of going to town with the clingwrap consider using containers with lids or reusable beeswax food wraps. This is a really simple switch to make in your day to day life which is great o carry on into the new year. Ditching the plastic should also apply to the single use plates and cups, knives and forks you might be tempted to use. Yes, doing the dishes does suck, but some of the best conversations can happen at the sink. You don’t get that with throw away stuff.
- Ditch the Christmas Cards and Send emails or E’cards
Let’s be honest, sending a card with a generic message really doesn’t mean a great deal, yeas you took the time to hand write it but Chances are its more significant if you actually sit down and compose a message direct to the person. Of course, you may still need to send a few paper cards to Aunt Flo and Uncle Brian who haven’t got the internet yet but reducing the number you send is the perfect start.
There are a host of other ways you can be more eco, from Solar powered Christmas lights, to regifting dud presents, shopping at op shops, gifting to charity instead of gifting full stop the list is endless, but hopefully these few tips will help you make some smarter choices this festive season.