Switch up the holiday rules
Christmas does not have to be expensive nor busy. With a bit of planning, the right mindset and only a few essentials, it is possible to have a productive, stressless and affordable holiday season. Of course there isn’t a perfect recipe or a magic formula, but we hope that you find our tips helpful or are inspired to come up with your own ways of becoming more conscious about your consumption, after having a read.
De-stress your time
One of our absolute favorite ways to put our minds at ease, is by making lists and planning our time well. Creating a plan for what you’ll eat during the holidays, when you’ll go ice skating, bake ginger bread cookies, which days to spend with certain people, and when to make, donate or purchase gifts, can ultimately be very feeing. Try to get the “tasks” you find most stressful done as soon as possible, like making parts of your Christmas day dinner in advance and freeze it. That way your Christmas day will run more smoothly. You can also spend one day, or 30 min a day focusing on making progress - and you’ll probably notice that you de-stress your life. Additionally, taking time to sit down with hot chocolate and vegan cream while watching a Christmas movie, is the perfect way for a lot of us to unwind after a tiring week. You should also remember that this is a time of year to both relax and celebrate - don’t fill up your entire schedule or set too high goals for yourself or the holiday.
Don’t waste your money
There is this Norwegian expression“Ikke kjøp bare for å kjøpe”, which translates to “Don’t buy it just to buy something” and it can be very useful to keep in mind. It’s easy to be blinded by the yellow and red price tags claiming to be saving you money. Especially the Black Friday prices and the urge to just get the shopping done, but try to remember the importance of thinking through what you purchase. Think through if you really need another Christmas ornament and whether or not your mother really need another vase. Also keep in mind that money does not have to dictate how much you appreciate people. It’s the thought that counts. Although putting thought into every present is one of the best parts of this holiday, using much energy on each gift, especially when you have to pick out something for a colleague you don’t know that well or a picky friend - the process can become dreadful in the long run. This year, try asking them if they would like you to either donate the money to a charity they like, do a swap or make them something at home!
Ways to wrap - the zero waste way
♲ Use what you have on hand
A way of recycling can be to re-use old containers, newspapers, magazines or cardboard boxes and re-purpose them as gift wrapping. The gift can still look wonderful, without the purchase of wrapping paper. Some old newspaper pages will look beautiful and rustic, paired with some hemp tread and a spruce branch.
♻ Wrapping with a purpose
Make the wrapping a gift itself - like a mason jar or a canvas bag. Ever heard of furoshiki ? It is Japanese fabric wrapping, also known as knot-wraps, that can be used as a scarf, accessory or tote, but doubles as a neat little thing that you can wrap your presents in - maybe a vintage scarf will do the trick? That way, the “wrapping” can be used and appreciated over and over.
Donate money to a charity in the name of your loved one. There are countless of good causes to support out there. Make sure to take interests and passions into consideration - do you know someone who love horses? Then donate money to a charity that works toward animal welfare and who works against horse and carriage rides. Know someone who likes to surf? Donate money to an organization that works to keep our oceans clean. Know someone with a passion for the current conflict in Jemen? Or someone who loves sloths more than anything on the planet? For a personal touch, make sure that the money you donate reflect the person the gift is for. Regardless, this is truly a gift with a purpose.
✉ Get personal
The best gifts to receive are the ones that are well thought through - and they are also the most fun to give. Write a letter and include memorable photos or create a photo album (online or an old fashioned one!). It will for sure make them smile, knowing that you appreciate them and the time you spend together. Another possibility is to gift an adventure! Take your loved one out to eat, on a hike or maybe a pottery lesson? Either find something to do that they love or an activity you would like to share with them. Memories are far more valuable than a materialistic item they don’t truly need. A more affordable option is to put off time and have a special evening in - put together some delicious ingredients and make a wholesome meal (maybe make their favorite?), have some wine while playing vinyl and board games. The perfect evening if you ask us. "(Pssst! We are doing this with a lot of our friends!)
✈ Plan ahead
Going on a trip with friends anytime soon? If so, it could be a wonderful idea to put off some money this holiday, and forget about materialistic gifts under the tree. Wherever you are going, spend the collected money on an activity you can do together. Our ideas would include wine tasting, a picnic, a cooking class or skiing. Get creative! This way, it more likely that you’ll spend your money mindfully and well.
Zero waste gifts
✄ Make it yourself
There are so many possibilities when creating something from scratch! It really depends on the person, but if sewing is your thing - a new canvas bag created from vintage/ second-hand fabrics, decorated with embroideries, can be a wonderful option. If you prefer to cook or bake, it is also possible to give away a jar of homemade goodies. Try chocolates, mints or roasted almonds! If you want more of a challenge, you can also attempt to make your own bees wrap from jojoba oil, beeswax and a cute and vintage fabric.
⌓ Customized baskets
Make your loved ones a zero waste beginners’ basket! Include cutlery, glass straws, a canvas bag, zero waste tea/coffee and a small guide on how to start their zero waste journey. If they have a certain interest, you can customize the gift to their personality (and of course to your budget). For instance, if they are into yoga - you can include a zero waste yoga mat. Or if they love coffee - include a reusable coffee cup! If the lucky friend is a book worm, they will for sure love a basket filled with second hand books, their favorite tea, a blanket and some handmade chocolate.
zero waste Webistes
Norway zero waste shop, ig: @Unwrapped
Lush.com (Remember to bring your own packaging to store your new products)