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DEC 3: Rethink the gift giving norm.

wastenotchristmas

Did you know that Australian’s spend 630 million dollars on unwanted Christmas gifts every year!! Imagine what could be done with that money on an individual and national scale!

To counter this problem, we do traditional gift giving a little different in our family. Tom, Eli and I don’t buy each other presents. Instead we set aside a little bit of money to do something together as a family, like send a big day at the beach and have lunch out.  With Tom’s family we do Secret Santa so we are only buying one gift. This year the gift has to be purchased on Gum Tree which will not only be a fun challenge but also save items from landfill and give them a second life! 
With my family, we don’t buy presents at all. We all donate what we can afford and choose a charity together to donate to.  For friends I like make a preserve or bake some Christmas treats.  If we choose to buy a physical gift, I’ll try to shop from a small, ethical business and purchase eco-friendly gifts.  If people want to buy a gift for Elijah, I’ve suggested buying him swimming lessons.  He absolutely loves swimming lessons, but we can’t afford extra things like that, so it’s such a treat to be able to take him swimming!
In my stories today I asked what you do to curb crazy consumerism this Christmas.  Here are some of the brilliant suggestions I received!
  • take cuttings of succulents and re-pot into second hand mugs
  • buy a single family gift
  • second hand gifts
  • dinner out with friends instead of gifts
  • buy experiences
  • donate to charity
  • jars of cookie ingredients with a note saying ‘let’s bake together’
  • baking with recipe attached
  • a year’s worth of toilet paper
  • something you want, need, wear & read
Do you have any creative, waste-saving ideas to add to the list?

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