Eco-Friendly Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is usually a flurry of wrapping paper, cards, plastic packaging and consumerism. And traipsing around countless shops, jostling with the throngs of over- zealous shoppers in panic mode can be exhausting – leaving you frazzled, fed up and anything but festive!

We typically spend 60% more of our income during the Christmas season and Australian councils report a 30% increase in household waste during the Christmas season – which begs the questions, is it really worth it?

As a nation, we are becoming more environmentally-aware and consumers are increasingly making smarter buying decisions in a bid to reduce waste and environmental impact. Equally, recipients are becoming more appreciative of eco-friendly gifts.

So, to help take some of the stress out of Christmas shopping, we’ve put together our top 7 eco-friendly gift ideas.

1. Experiences

Not only do gift experiences produce less, or even no waste, but if you’re looking to maximise happiness, experiences are the way to go, according to Harvard Psychologist Daniel Gilbert. People are increasingly spending their money on experiences, rather than on material things, with Millennials leading the trend.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of different experiences you can gift, but the important thing is to really think about what they would most enjoy. From crazy daredevil adventures, to more languorous undertakings, there is something for everyone.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Tickets to a concert or event
  • Signup to a course or series of classes, such as art, yoga, cooking or creative writing
  • Online subscription to a magazine
  • A hot air balloon ride
  • A skydive
  • Swimming with dolphins
  • Wine tasting
  • A massage or day spa experience
  • An alternative therapy session, such as reiki or reflexology
  • A travel gift card from Flight Centre
  • A voucher for Australian tourist parks

 2. Homemade Treats

Food is often made with love and we all appreciate home-made goodies. Bake some festive mince pies, Christmas cookies, or a yule log. Or for loved ones who are seriously time-poor, why not bake a series of meals they can freeze? Just remember to store the meals in reusable containers!

3. Music

Whether it’s classical, 1920s Jazz, pop, or heavy metal, everyone likes some genre of music. Why not buy an iTunes voucher or compile a playlist of your loved one’s favourite tunes?

4. Time

Your time is arguably the biggest give you can give. Consider how you can best use your time to help or entertain loved ones. Why not create some fun games to play, such as quizzes or a treasure hunt for the kids?

Whether you’re running errands, looking after the little ones, doing a Spring-clean or helping to fill a skip bin with unwanted junk, they’ll be sure to appreciate your time.

5. A Meal Out

Rather than give a physical gift or experience, why not treat your friends or family to a meal out. It’s something you can all enjoy together – and no-one will have to slave away in the kitchen!

6. A Gift to Charity

The person who has everything can be impossible to buy for. So rather than buying for them, you can donate to a charity instead. Be sure to donate to a cause they care about. Not only is a thoughtful gesture, but you’ll be supporting a good cause which will give you that ‘feel good factor.’

For animal lovers, you could sponsor a donkey or orangutan in their name.

7. Eco-Friendly Gifts

And for those whom you want to give a physical gift, choose wisely. Avoid items with excess packaging, select ethically-sourced products and use recycled paper for your wrapping.

Nowadays there are literally hundreds of eco-friendly products widely available – from organic essential oils, to sustainable clothing, to reusable coffee cups and more.

With a plethora of eco-friendly gift ideas, you’re bound to find that special something for that special someone.

And for more ideas on how be ‘green’ throughout the festive season, check out our blog on ‘5 Top Tips for a Low-Waste Christmas.’