It’s been over a year since I started identifying as a ‘zero-waster’ but, in truth, I’m not at peak zero waste. Not even close.
But if you know me and my ethos around zero waste you’ll know I’m totally okay with that. I live low-impact and strive for achievable, sustainable results NOT perfection.
Most of the time, that’s no drama. It’s simple because I’ve created systems and processes that work for me and my family. There are things I don’t stress about and things I really, really do. The pressure points I have will, no doubt, be very different for you.
I’ve actively chosen not to be too prescriptive when I write about zero waste life; it’s all too easy to forget that what we find simple is insurmountable for someone else.
I digress. So, as I was saying, zero-waste life is easy peasy. Ahem….except when it’s not. And while, for me, that ain’t often there is a magical time we all become quietly and tenaciously obsessed with buying ALL THE THINGS, wrapping them and presenting them to our loved ones.
In the immortal words of Noddy Holder (who is mortal rendering this sentence ridiculous), IT’S CHRIIIIIIIISSSSSTMAS!
*Searches for perfect FGTH Gif. Loses 3 days.*
It’s probably my sixth Christmas living without STUFF. When my husband and I went travelling we were always home for Christmas, and not wanting to add bulk to our tiny 30 litre backpacks we got used to asking for practical things we needed and the odd bit of stuff we wanted, and had room for.
Sidenote: Travelling long-term quelled any shopaholic tendencies I had left, so I’d recommend it as a strategy…..albeit a really extreme one.
Anyway, you get the picture. I’m a pro. I’m also not about to enable you to buy a heap of jazzy, plastic-free things you simply don’t need under the guise of a ‘zero waste gift guide’ so instead here’s a simple guide to enjoying a zero-waste Christmas, whatever your budget.
FOOD & DRINK
As a vegan family it’s easy to fall back on the old nut-roast. Last year I made a mushroom wellington, which was quite nice but….mushrooms (gross,)
This year I’m planning to order a vegan box from Riverford who we get a weekly veg box from. Okay, OKAY, there’s a nut roast in it but, you know what? I won’t have to make it.
And I’ll be heading straight to Anna Jones for the vegan inspiration I’ll need to make the rest of our veg box a little jazzy.
As for drinks…..it’ll be a semi sober Christmas for me this year bar a little fizz on Christmas day 🙂
I really am of the opinion experiences over things are your best bet when it comes to gifts. But my husband is more about the stuff. And our toddler is really not arsed about much but will happily play with the box for hours.
As I get older (and poorer due to aforementioned child) I am more in need of things than before. But ensuring all my things are ethically made, sustainable, cruelty and plastic free leaves no room for Amazon orders, so if you need some gift ideas for the zero-waster in your life here’s what I’ll be wishing for:
Audible: If you follow my rule of ‘Something they want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.’ you will be stuck on….well, books. I love books, and pick them up at the charity shop but I kinda love listening to books even more.
I consume way more books this way; listening while walking, running, or drowning a toddler tantrum out. So, personally, I’d LOVE a month subscription in my stocking 🙂
Readly: Along the same lines, I’ve recently signed up for Readly (99p for the first month) and I LOVE IT. Magazines are so expensive, and full of adverts and excess waste but I need to read them for work (and pleasure!) so this is a brilliant option and an awesome zero waste gift.
Classes: I like the idea of learning something, and last year I bought my mum a silversmith course, which she loved.
I know there are plenty of digital options but I like the idea of something local and a bit random. Wreath making in my local brewery or something…..
Tickets: I LOVE the cinema so much, so that would always be my top choice. Especially as Oli and I currently go to the cinema solo, or have to pay for a babysitter making it pretty costly.
I REALLY want the Jenna apron. To be honest, I’d happily also ask for the Roma dress and Denae jumpsuit too, they’re both dreamy. But I know I genuinely really need an apron on account of all the baking all the clumsy in my life.
UNWRPD are a really cool UK company making zero-waste, zero plastic subscription boxes you can tailor. You can buy a one-off box or sign up to a regular subscription.
They kindly sent me a tailored box for free so I could test it out and I was chuffed with the packaging (minimal, recycled and recyclable) and range of products; natural deodorant, toothbrush and mini toothpaste, yummy smelling soap and a soap bag,
I’m ordering one as a gift, and I think I’ll start sending these instead of flowers to people too. Great for new mums, birthdays and just becauses’ 😉
If you buy your UNWRPD box through this link you receive 25% off your first order!
I’m kinda obsessed with everything Mama Owl but I really love this baby all-in-one.
And what will I be wrapping things in? The awesome scarves from Lush made from upcycled plastic bottles returned to store, newspaper, or odds and sods I find around the house (I stash anything I think might come in handy later, like tissue paper)
I also requested no wrapping paper or cards from family. I got a stony silence, but I’m kinda happy to play Scrooge 😉
Honestly, when it comes to decor I am STUMPED. I’m not really one to go all out simply due to my styling ineptitude.
I *think* I’m gonna repurpose my fairy lights and go hard on stringing them all over the shop. And probably make a wreath for the door too….then I think it’s gonna be a case of old jam jars and tea lights!
How do you do Christmas? Let me know in the comments!
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