Sustainable Christmas shopping is so important as it helps relieve the pressure we feel in this busy season. What’s more, it’s better for our planet.
However, avoiding consumerism is hard. Especially at Christmas! Advertising encourages us to spend and spend. Meanwhile, the rising cost of living fuels our stress. Buying and delivering gifts creates massive environmental strain. So, a materialistic Christmas is the last thing we need.
Last year, we shared our favourite sustainable Christmas presents. This year, we recommend giving the gift of experiences—not things.
Gifting an experience saves money, time, and hassle. It’s a foolproof sustainable Christmas shopping strategy. And it’s bound to please! After all, experiences are memorable. They are meaningful. Most of all, they are non-material. So, they are more eco-friendly.
To experience a simpler, greener Christmas, read on.
Sustainable Christmas shopping makes memories
Experiences make great memories. That’s why gifting tickets is popular. But, have you considered the environmental cost? Many concerts, sports fixtures, and stage shows are not eco-friendly. That’s because large events generate carbon emissions. Basically, transport, infrastructure, and catering all pollute.
So when choosing an experience, we suggest staying local. By reducing travel, you lessen the impact. Events in your community are a more sustainable Christmas shopping choice.
Staying close to home narrows the options. Yet it also broadens your thinking! Many local businesses offer unique workshops. From vegan cookery to cider, there is something for everyone. You can even make botanical perfumes or pottery.
For nature lovers, consider a wildlife experience. Foraging and beekeeping are our favourites. And if the cold weather is unappealing, why not book for the spring? It’s a reminder that brighter days will come.
Gift them a sense of belonging this Christmas
As we’ve seen, eco-friendly events make memorable gifts. But, they are a one-off. However, memberships and subscriptions are the gift that keeps giving. Also, they are less expensive.
For outdoorsy types, rambling associations are good. Or, a cycling club. And, trial memberships are great. You could pay for their first month at the gym or yoga studio.
For intellectuals, subscribing to a publication or book club is an idea. But, please choose digital options over paper. Meanwhile, for elderly people, the University of the Third Age offers a wealth of courses.
Subscriptions and memberships are not expensive. Actually, the ideas above range from £15-£50. Besides, they are long-lasting. They bring your loved one into contact with others. Groups give us a sense of belonging. While this may not be material, it’s powerful.
Make a sustainable Christmas shopping pact together
UK consumers claim to prioritise the environment. However, research reveals expediency and cost as bigger factors. In other words, delivery times and price tags dominate our thinking. Naturally, this comes at a huge environmental cost.
The most sustainable Christmas shopping approach is not to shop at all. We love the idea of a “no presents” pact.
Not buying things is easier with support. So, enlist your friends and family! Tell them that tonnes of Christmas presents go to landfill each year. And gently, encourage them to think outside the (gift) box.
With a “no presents” pact, you can focus on what you really value. Your household can make commitments to each other. You could cook, clean, or do something special together. Or, you can all put money towards something together. Finally, giving jointly to a cause is a great option. Charities and animal shelters need constant support.
Why greener, simpler Christmas shopping is better for us all
In 2020, Christmas in the UK was largely cancelled due to Covid. A year ago, we were still struggling. This year, we seem to have forgotten that “Ghost of Christmas Past”. Advertising and media encourage the “old normal”. That “old normal” was highly consumerist.
The pressure to shop is really jarring. Currently, people are struggling with soaring costs. By rejecting the pressure, we make a difference. Making our own lives easier and focusing on value—not cost.
If you agree, please share our article. That way, more of us can experience a memorable and sustainable Christmas.