Oh look! It’s another festive season! Its the season for panicked shopping and stress-relieve-decorating. Aaaaah consumerism! Let us bury ourselves in garbage! Yes, I have been called a Grinch before, but hear me out:
I’m a fan of Greta Thunberg and in a recent interview I saw on the Ellen Show, I learned her top three “what you can do’s”:
- Go vegan (animal food products account for 14% of global emissions, just as much as cars)*
- Stop flying*
- Shop Stop (Only buy new things when you really need them)
My friends and family know, that I will not give them random gifts. I only get them things, I really think they will love and use. And that means that I don’t give gifts often. It also means, I have to have a space in my cupboard with perfect gifts I bumped into coincidentally and now they have to wait until that person’s birthday or high holiday.
This year, only the very small children in my life get a materialistic gift, and 70% of them I bought 2nd hand. I guess my point here is: lets be less consumerism and more love and spending quality time with people you love. Cook together, eat together, drink together, tell stories together and laugh lots. Because that’s how the holidays were originally intended to go. It’s a mindfulness exercise, I guess. And we all know that’s good for your mental health. You’re welcome.
Since Shop Stop already was a challenge this year, I have a different challenge for you this month.
Don’t buy gift wrap!
Gift wrap is one of the most unnecessary things you can buy. Because the world is full of pretty paper and its free!
Get creative, and wrap your gifts in:
- Old maps. I like the big road atlases, one page is usually the perfect size to wrap a book.
- Children’s drawings (with permission!). After all, you can’t hang all of them on the fridge.
- Wall calendar pages. There are so many options! Art, cute animals, amazing nature scenes, cityscapes, naked people, cars… there’s a theme for everyone.
- Posters of past events.
- Newspaper (the ones with lettering you can’t read are always interesting.) If its just regular newspaper, you can decorate with some extras, like nice ribbon, pressed flowers or fold an add-on out of newspaper, so it doesn’t look like the cliché “he wrapped it in newspaper!!”
- Foreign language manuals or magazines.
- If someone you know has particularly beautiful and/or illegible handwriting, ask if you can have their notes and shopping lists.
- Personalized hessian bags. It’s a gift in a gift!
- Dish towels.
- Beeswax paper. Especially good for wrapping food items.
- Fresh big leaves, like banana leaves. (Might be tricky to come by for free, depending where you live).
- Recycle wrapping paper from gifts you were given. Hide the marks with skillful folding, washy tape, stickers, more skillfully placed paper, pressed leaves or flowers.
* Click here to find out more about emissions from an easy-to-read source.