Updated: Jan 19
Do you want to save money, improve the economy, help save the environment, and boost your mentality this Christmas?
Be a superhero, pretty much?
Let’s think outside of the box when looking for gifts to give by shopping local, used, and considering giving the gift of a donation this year - either in time, money, or goods.
The overarching consideration when looking into celebrating an eco-friendly Christmas is indulging in waste free (or minimal waste) consumables. Consumables are goods that are intended to be consumed, and in this context, not create excess waste. It doesn't have to be food, although it totally can be! Who doesn’t like a good quality chocolate, cheese, or candy?
Alternatives to food-type consumables include, but are not limited to: bath bombs, body care, scents, experiences, etc. If consumables aren’t really on your radar while you are shopping like a superhero than just remember to buy quality over quantity so that the item lasts thereby avoiding the dark side of the consumable world; disposable products are an extreme case of consumables because they are not meant to last, ending up in the garbage after a single use.
Mom n’ Pop Shops
Buying local is a great way to enhance your economy and promote regional growth. Getting to know who sells what around your neighbourhood increases your sense of community and togetherness. This, in turn, develops into a more sound environment for not only the prosperity of goods, but also the mental and emotional well-being of yourself and those around you.
It’s important to remember the hard work and pride that goes into running a business. Big box stores and worldly companies don’t look at each sale the same way as a local business owner does - they may even do a little dance when no one is looking. Also, giving selflessly is proven to increase happiness, just sayin’.
Buying used or re-gifting is often considered to be a taboo in today’s consumerist society but it has the potential to create the best memories for all those involved. Thrifting is one commonly used outlet when going zero-waste and it can be a great way to add adventure to your gift-giving this season too. When hunting through the treasures of a local thrift or antique store becomes part of the celebration, you’re giving a gift that comes with a story and all the memories made along the way!
Although re-gifting may still be considered a social taboo, it’s environmentally responsible and can become a super-fun tradition! One need look no further than the classic Muppet Family Christmas to catch a glimpse of the joys of passing it on. This happens when Kermit and his little nephew stumble upon Fraggle Rock where they learn the importance of a pebble that had been re-gifted so many times which allowed everyone to get a chance at giving and receiving love through a simple item. They even sing a cute song to go with it - “Lala la lala, lala la lala, Pass it On!”
What shows the Christmas spirit more than the gift of giving to those in need? Most charitable organizations give an optional, special token gift (teddy bear, chocolate, book, membership, etc.) when a donation is made. This can make the gift two-fold in that the individual you are gifting to gets a little something AND the organization gets the support it needs as well. I remember well the year my brother-in-law did this on my behalf and, to this day, I think is was one of the most generous and well thought out gifts I’ve received. (P.s. I got a Teddy which was later re-gifted and happily received by a younger family member).
No matter which tradition you decide to delve into, you’re guaranteed to feel like a superhero. You have the amazing opportunity to improve the economy, help save the environment, and boost your community’s mentality - all while saving money!
I’m so excited to hear your superhero gift-giving stories! Drop them in the comments below and share any extra ideas for how to make celebrations more meaningful, year by year.
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