The Green Roots Guide to Christmas Gifting
It's December and the season of abundance, decadence, and oh-so-much excess packaging is here. Ireland will generate more than 80,000 tonnes of packaging waste this Christmas. According to mywaste.ie up to 50% of gifts will be considered useless. How do we choose gifts that won't be immediately regifted or end up in the charity shop as soon as January rolls around? Here are some hot tips direct from Sustainable Santa to help you not be a massive waster this Christmas.
Avoid Panic Purchases: If you're stuck for a gift idea choose Useful, Reusable, Edible, or Consumable Gifts. Some of the best prezzies are things that can be used frequently or even on a daily basis. You can't beat a cozy pair of socks or a reusable personalised water bottle. These are gifts that keep on giving and bring a smile each time they are used. Reduce the number of gifts you buy by opting for Kris Krindle or Secret Santa, each person involved gives and receives only one gift. this is a great way to set a spending limit and cut back on shopping stress. Homemade gifts that are hand-knit, cross-stitched, home-sewn, composed, or cooked, are a wonderful way to share your unique talents and to gift something completely personal. Give the Gift of an Experience. We love to give vouchers for restaurants, or tickets to concerts and festive events like ice skating. For a truly unique experience check out Galactic Ireland: A nighttime star-gazing tour that's guaranteed to shift your perspective, and have you fall in love with the night sky.
In anticipation of New Year's Resolutions, you can gift a gym membership, a class pack for yoga, music lessons or a language course. We also love subscription memberships as gifts. Our favourite Irish subscriptions are Chocolate from Bean & Goose & GIY's 4 Seasons Grow Box for wannabe gardeners. Where you can, avoid major distributors, instead, shop local, and support small businesses, artists, makers, and craftspeople. We adore these handmade Lavender Eye Pillows by Grá Wellness they are our favourite stocking fillers. A little bit of Spa Luxury at home. Made locally with Wicklow lavender, they can be used warm or cool, and the covers are machine washable.
And these fantastic Decorations by Wicklow artists HandMade CréCré . These are the perfect small gift if you can bare to part with them, and they can be used year after year.
Reduce your footprint and seek out Second Hand, Recycled & Upcycled Gifts. Websites like Adverts, DoneDeal, TrashNothing.Com & FreeCycle, are great for sourcing preloved items. Avoid fast fashion purchases and instead support sustainable designers with circular practices like Liadain Aiken or Vintage sellers like slow fashionista Magical Creature Style (who can be found at The Dandelion Market every Sunday at The Well Bar on Stephen's Green, Dublin). For a selection of plastic-free presents and zero-waste wonders, we love Planet A If you are looking for Eco-friendly gifts for children, check out Jiminy Eco Toys. Their website is fun and easy to navigate, you can search for gifts by age, and each product is listed with its eco credentials.
Our top choice for a special luxury gift is Bespoke Perfume by Lady Lavinia Ravenswood Made in Dublin at a vintage perfumers desk with antique tools and bottled in unique vintage bottles that are both, beautiful and refillable. The Essence D’Immortelle range is cruelty-free, vegan, and sustainable, down to the finest detail, it is not just a perfume, but an experience. It is also possible to have a signature blend designed just for you. Lady Lavinia Ravenswood will be at Gallery X this weekend
Donations! If you would like to give a gift on someone else's behalf, check out Green Earth Organics, their mission is to make the world a healthier place by building a cleaner food system. You can donate an organic food box to a family in need. Or Plant a Tree for a loved one with HomeTree and receive a certificate in their name. That's a Wrap! For many people, wrapping and decorating their gifts is an important and exciting part of preparing for Christmas. We love to wrap with rescued paper, such as newspapers, magazines, & packaging paper. We also like to use rescued ribbons, dried flowers, & feathers to decorate the gifts.
You can also wrap gifts with reusable fabric using Furoshiki techniques. If standard wrapping paper is more your style, check for recycled & recyclable paper & recyclable brown tape Once you have your gifts wrapped, you can put them under a replantable tree from Adonis Flowers in Dublin, or Rent a Tree from Cork Pot Grown Christmas Tree in Co. Cork
Wishing you and yours a very green Christmas. What's the best sustainable gift that you've received or given? P.S. Don't forget to bring your reusable bags when you go shopping!!