Christmas is just around the corner and this year more than ever people are starting to think about how they can be a bit more ethical and environmentally friendly with their Christmas present buying. Myself included!

Every Christmas I plan to be super organised about my Christmas shopping buying thoughtful, wonderful presents in advance without the mad rush on Christmas Eve. Yet every year I find myself shopping for and wrapping everyone’s presents in the few days before Christmas.

This year I am promising myself I will be more organised and I will try to be more ethical with my Christmas present choices. To help me in my quest to be better with my Christmas present buying I have created the following 6 mantras or rules to help me on my way.

1. I will avoid the online retail giants

This is going to be a toughie. A couple of years ago and I was the first to denounce Amazon encouraging my friends to shop local, don’t let the high street die…

But somehow I ended up jumping on the band wagon, getting a Prime membership and purchasing books, presents and more at the click of a button. I mean it’s just so easy, right?

Now it’s time to get back to it and carry on as I once did. Amazon is out and ethical online retailers are in. If you’re absolutely determined to shop from the comfort of your sofa this Christmas, have a look for local artists and craftspeople, who are doing more and more of their business online.

Chatsworth Christmas Market, Derbyshire

2. I will shop on the high street in independent local shops (where possible) 

When you spend your £s in local independent shops you’re contributing more to the local economy than when you buy from the giants. Exact numbers for the economic benefits are hard to come by, but local retailers are an integral part of any community and often have a more personal stake in the prosperity of the local area.

Getting out of the house may take a bit more effort than sitting with my laptop making a few clicks and waiting for your parcels to be delivered. But hopefully, not only will I find more unique presents for my friends and relatives, but I’ll be walking off all those mince pies!

Christmas markets are a great place to shop from unique independent retailers too. 

Get out there, talk to people and support your local economy, I’m certainly going to try and will report back how it goes.

3. I won’t buy any unnecessary plastic

Plastic waste has been something people have been talking more about this year, and for good reason. The impact of plastic on our environment is still not fully understood, especially in the ocean, where alarming amounts of it end up. I’m determined to try and do what I can do make sure the gifts I give to other people aren’t made of or wrapped in lots of unnecessary plastic.

I haven’t quite defined what makes it necessary or not, I guess something along the lines of no ridiculous packaging, one use plastic, etc. I feel a whole plastic post coming up separate to this to try and get my thoughts together on this. Would love to hear about your plastic free tips. 

4. Buy experiences over unwanted gifts 

It’s hard to know what people really want or need for Christmas. Do you really need another moisturiser or want another scarf?

Experience Christmas gifts aren’t for everyone. Some people find them annoying to ‘have’ to do something, but where possible I’m going to try really hard to buy things people really want. The less unwanted presents, the less waste this Christmas will create.

Christmas dinner - Hygge

5. Get creative and make some homemade gifts

Time is always an issue up to Christmas (so much to do, so little time) but Olly and I (mainly Olly ;)) have already made a start on some homemade gifts and have plans for a few more too. 

We all lead busy lives, but think of all the time you spend shopping and try putting a bit of that aside for homemade gifts instead. I know I certainly love a homemade gift, the thought and time that goes into something homemade can mean SO much more than anything bought in the shops. 

Homemade Christmas cookies

6. Wrap presents in more ethical paper

Once all my presents are bought it’s time to wrap! According to an article in The Guardian the UK uses 8000 tonnes of wrapping paper each Christmas. That’s mad! And more importantly, that’s a lot of trees.

So I’m going to make sure I use recycled paper or make use of old magazines and newspapers for my wrapping. I’ve already got some Christmas present bags saved from last year so they will be put to good use too. We’ve also started the hunt for interesting vintage boxes to put our presents in too… though I might then want to wrap the vintage box?!

Anyone else want to join me on my 5 Christmas shopping rules for a more ethical Christmas? Got any more I should add? 

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1 Comment

  1. All good ideas. Another thing you can do is give second hand gifts. This year half of our gifts for our son are second hand. A book or game doesn’t have to be brand new to be new for someone else. As long as it’s stil in one piece, it’s good. Sometimes second hand can even be brand new, since someone else doesn’t want it . It’s a good way to encounter waste and give stuff a longer life span.

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