We have a confession to make, we’re not big on Christmas. Not that we don’t love spending time with family and friends, eating good food and supporting acts of kindness and giving. We just don’t dig the insane amount of commercialism, consumption and waste that goes with it. We know there will be a few of you nodding along with us!
We considered putting together one of those Christmas lists of all the beautiful, sustainable and eco products we could find (and we have done a little bit of that!). But, what we really wanted to do was remind us all what’s behind the act of giving, where our gifts come from and how we can make this yearly celebration something that lasts.
So, if you are one of those people (or a part of one of those families) where giving a physical thing is important (and hey, we get it!) here are a few of our favourite products. These come recommended because they are products we use (no endorsements, we promise!), and also they promote an alternative to products people already use. So, hopefully we subtly change some habits of our loved ones at the same time!
Bee Green Wraps: Sustainable alternative to cling wrap, plastic free and last a long time!! They also come in delightful patterns, are Australian made and have a solid commitment to minimal waste practices.
Who Gives a Crap: Yep, toilet paper. TP. We’re almost talking about poop. Don’t roll your eyes at this one! The team behind this brand are smart, sassy and sustainable. And, we can vouch for this as a Christmas gift. Last year Daniele gave this to her parents (previously non recyclable TP users) and it was a successful conversion!! Change can happen!
Workshop: Encourage curiousity and a learning, active mind. These guys are set up all around the country now and host all kinds of workshops from lino printing, recycled paper making, pasta rolling, collective ukulele classes and yoga.
If you don’t want to buy something (and we get that too, goodbye capitalism!). Get crafty, creative, DIY and make something!
Gingerbread: It’s Christmas, so let’s get a little spicy with our cooking. This recipe is from one of our favourite food blogs and it’s a great little treat. Best thing about cookies is, you can get as wild as you like with the decorations.
Make Jam: Remember all those sweet old Grannies and Aunts who make jams, jellies and relishes? Well, we wanna join their kitchen party! Recycle and use old jars, use remnant fabrics for the tops and make some delicious spread from food in your fridge! We particularly love the cooking from Sarah Britton, who’s a big organic and sugar free foodie.
Body Scrub from your Garden: Super simple and again, you can recycle old jars, remnant fabric scraps or paper for decorating and labels – and pick a few scented lovelies from your garden. We recommend using organic coconut oil, it makes a difference on your bod and for the environment!
Donate. It can be a mind field sometimes when you want to try and do some good and you work hard for your pennies, so you want to spend it well, right? Does your money go to the right people, does it go to where it’s needed, is it just funding administration? We know those questions, we ask them too. We think the best ways we can foster change in our communities is by living it, and sometimes that means supporting and investing in others who are tackling these things too (often on a bigger scale). You don’t always have to donate money, so many NFP’s and NGO’s welcome volunteers and it is a great way to be a part of the change you want to see. You also get to meet some pretty great people too! These are two of our top charities at the moment.
Orange Sky Laundry: These guys offer a washing service for homeless communities – but more importantly a place for conversation and connection. It’s a really empowering initiative, has clear goals and outcomes and we think it’s pretty great.
ASRC: The most prominent organisation that supports refugee and asylum seekers in Australia. This is an issue we care a lot about and often feel quite helpless in the current political climate. You can do all sorts of things through ASRC, whether it’s donating dollars, food, clothing, your time. The team promote positivity and resilience, and well, we just feel grateful that there are people out there advocating for the smaller and more vulnerable voices.
Of course, you can do any of these things throughout the year – and we wholeheartedly encourage it! Acts of kindness, compassion, choosing to spend your pennies wisely on products that will last, investing in businesses that are ethical, sustainable. We really believe that the power is with us – as consumers. And, things are changing (even if it’s slowly). We think this a time when we might be able to spread our awareness and different way of thinking, being and living with a few others. We hope you’ll join us! And please share any of your ideas and favourites in the comments below!