Last-minute guide to an ethical Christmas
20 December 2021 at 4:18 pm
Feeling a bit disorganised? You’re not alone. Read on for guidance around a last-minute dash towards a more ethical and sustainable holiday season.
Five days to go (yes, we know!). It’s been a big year and in the flurry of Omicron and COVID testing you could be forgiven for not feeling as organised as you might have been for, say, Christmas 2019.
However, worry not, we’re here to help take some of the pressure off with a quick rundown of last-minute ideas for a sustainable holiday season.
There’s still time to beat the Christmas Eve rush and buy from a socially-conscious business IRL.
Take a look at B Lab Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand’s directory before you place any last minute orders and see if you can find a local business to buy from. The same goes for checking in with Social Change Central who have a list of social enterprises you could support.
A few of our favourite brands this year (who have all very kindly donated items for our Impact 25 prize packs – we’ll share more in the new year how you can win) are Coconut Bowls, a Byron-based B Corp creating sustainable homeware from coconut shells and coconut wood; Earth Worthy ethically made bedding, bags and gifts; and The Karma Collective an online store donating 50 per cent of its profits to animal welfare charities.
If time is not your friend or you can’t get out of the house, then gift cards to spend with your favourite, socially-conscious businesses in the new year are always an option.
Making a donation
The most sustainable way to approach the gifting season is to, well, not buy anything — in a world of “stuff” the old adage of less is more has never been truer.
So, if you’re keen to give someone a gift but don’t want to “consume”, why not donate to a charity or organisation in their name?
Start by choosing a charity working in a space your giftee is passionate about or, if you don’t know where to begin, check out Pro Bono Australia’s Guide to Giving for some charity inspo.
If you’re in Victoria you can combine a charity donation with a spot of shopping, as this year the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has a pop-up shop selling a range of gifts, food and pantry items with 100 per cent of the profits going back to the organisations supporting those seeking asylum.
Cutting down on waste
If you’re planning on getting together with friends and family over a meal there’s always the temptation to buy more than you need, leading to either eating until you’re in a food coma or throwing excess food away.
Neither outcome is great.
Buy only what you need, shop seasonally if you can, and choose locally-sourced produce to avoid the deluge of plastic-wrapping.
Speaking of “wrapping”, another pile of waste we produce every December comes from the reams of colourful paper we use to gift-wrap our presents.
This year, instead of buying rolls of gift wrap, find decorative tins or boxes that can then be reused; use pillowcases, napkins and material placemats tied up with ribbon or string; or dig out old newspapers, magazines or kraft paper to wrap your gifts.