According to The Australian Institute, nearly one third of Australians expect to receive a gift they will never use this December. That equates to over 900 million dollars of gifts that will either be donated, or worse, end up in landfill.
Not a great festive season story, huh?
One of the best parts of the holidays is the joy of gift giving, but how can we share in the tradition without contributing to the problem?
Regift Or Thrift
Haven’t you heard? Old is the new new! Thrift stores are treasure troves of unique finds that make the perfect gifts and redirect tonnes of unwanted items from landfill. Check out one of the many Salvos or Lifeline second-hand shops in our region. You can “thrift” at home too – if you received a thoughtful gift that doesn’t quite fit your style, pass it along to someone who’d appreciate it.
Don’t stop at gifts! You can pick up ribbons, printed sheets, or pretty pillowcases to use for wrapping. Check out this great tutorial on furoshiki, the Japanese art of fabric wrapping, here, for inspiration. Sustainable for your wallet and the planet.
Make A Donation
Spread the festive spirit by giving back. Consider donating to a meaningful cause in someone’s name. It’s a thoughtful gesture that resonates far beyond the holiday season.
Our friends at Bangalow Koalas have a range of gifts you can purchase that support the planting of koala habitats in our region. Visit their site here How to Support Bangalow Koalas – Bangalow Koalas. Or, as our branches have, you can adopt a koala with Friends of the Koala.
Another great option is donating some delicious non-perishable food items to your local Summerland branch’s Christmas drive. Head into a branch near you to learn more.
Shop Small Local Makers
By choosing to shop local, we help boost the local economy and support our wider community. It also removes the environmental cost of things like transportation and packaging. And we know who made it; we can talk to them face to face and be assured that the items are produced ethically. How wonderful!
We can also choose consumable gifts that can be enjoyed and not forgotten in a drawer to end up in landfill down the line. The gorgeous Poppy & Fern at The Farm in Byron Bay are the perfect place to pick up beautiful blooms. Or you could visit the enchanting Nimbin Apothecary and grab a selection of soul soothing bath and body care potions. And don’t forget your local markets where you can find all sorts of delicious homemade and homegrown treats! Check out our non-exhaustive list of markets across our region here.
Give An Experience
Because, let’s face it, magical memories are far more precious than possessions. What about gifting tickets to a show (how about something at the Brunswick Picture House) a pre-paid class (we love the mindful art classes at Think Purple in Tweed), offering to babysit and pay for date night (187 Cantina in Lismore do gift vouchers and great cocktails), or pack a picnic and take your giftee on an adventure (Bundjalung National Park is a beautiful spot for a day trip)? The options are endless, and virtually waste free.
In a world filled with wrapping paper excess and gift-giving stress, let’s reimagine the holiday spirit. This year let’s make our celebrations more meaningful, memorable, and, importantly, mindful of our impact on the planet.
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