Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without spoiling our loved ones and watching their faces light up while unwrapping the perfect gift. That is if it isn’t a great poker face while they are thinking what cupboard it can live in until it is deemed socially acceptable to re-gift or dispose of! To avoid this, why not just ask them what they really want or need? Spoiler alert! - It probably isn’t that plastic oojamaflip off Amazon.
Today, we are all overburdened with stuff, so much stuff we need big houses and extra storage to keep all of our stuff. Often, we don’t stop to think about where this stuff comes from, how far it has travelled to get to us and what impact all its packaging has on the environment. But don’t worry, Salisbury Transition City are here to help with some ideas for Christmas presents that your loved ones are sure to cherish (that won’t cost the earth…)
Vouchers are great! Salisbury is lucky to have some brilliant independent stores and by giving vouchers, your loved ones can choose exactly what they want, saving you from second-guessing. Shopping locally reduces the number of miles things travel, prevents excess packaging and reduces carbon emissions, all while keeping money in our local economy. Why not buy someone a gift voucher for Share Salisbury (A Library of Things) and give them access to a wide variety of useful items to borrow. Access to hundreds of presents is better than one right? Or how about a voucher for Blueberry Den, our local waste-free shop or even a massage at Vita skin spa (which they are unlikely to get for themselves).
Give the gift of memories
People outgrow things, but memories last a lifetime. Buying someone a gig ticket for their favourite band, a local theatre show or an experience they won’t forget at a local escape room not only lets you see their face light up when they open it, but when they get to enjoy their gift too. They may even take you along with them to enjoy it! Head online to Salisbury gig guide, Experience Salisbury or Eventbrite for some good ideas.
New isn’t always better
Second-hand shouldn’t be sneered at, you can usually get something in almost new condition from charity shops or online. Buying pre-loved gets the most use out of items in their lifetime while eradicating the packaging waste associated with buying new. Plus, buying second hand will also save you money. Check out the Phoenix Emporium for a wonderful and eclectic range of gifts for all.
Ditch the wrapping paper
In the UK we use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper every year! Most of which is made from foil or glittery paper that isn’t recyclable. Worse still, glitter is a microplastic that, when disposed of, can enter the ocean and be ingested by animals, which can be fatal. The good news is that more eco-friendly alternatives are available including fabric wraps (which are reusable), or plain brown packaging paper with paper tape (which are both recyclable)! Even better still, unwrapped gifts get the winning vote from the planet!
Turkey is SO last Christmas
The array of plant-based options for Christmas dinner expands every year, which is great news for those who are used to the same old nut roast! Not even Britain’s favourite dry Turkey can compete in the market anymore. Why not join the 40% of meat-eaters who are trying to reduce their consumption for environmental reasons by treating the family to something different for Christmas this year?
To tree or not to tree?
It is difficult to know whether a real tree or a fake one is best for the environment however having no tree trumps both! Unless, you already have one in the attic, in which case don’t throw this out as the tree you already have is always the best! If you have a garden, you could always buy yourself a potted Christmas tree. Most garden centres will have potted ones available, UK-grown varieties such as Blue Spruce or Nordman are best for the environment as they have had fewer miles to travel. And next year your Christmas tree will already be waiting for you in the garden.
Whatever you decide to do this festive season, we hope it’s a great one. Remember that a perfectly waste-free Christmas is almost impossible, but if we all make some small changes, we can have a really big impact on the world around us.