‘Ho, ho, ho!’- ‘Can you hear that? I think it’s Santa!’- ‘Ho, ho, ho-w can you be giving ANOTHER pair of socks this year?!’.
While Christmas is the most cheerful time of year, it’s also the most wasteful. Last year alone, research found that Australians were giving $400 million worth of unwanted presents which is a major hit to our pockets and the environment. Unfortunately it’s not only the gifts that end up in landfill, it’s also the single-use wrapping paper, packaging, Christmas cards and decorations that are thrown out with the festive season.
While these statistics may evoke a feeling of doom or gloom, they really just go to show that we like to treat our loved ones. It’s nice to receive a gift, but it’s heartwarming when that gift is a meaningful one. It’s understandable that the effort and thought going into your gift giving may differ in what you wrap for your tireless provider of a mother compared to the Secret Santa present for Bill in Accounting. Regardless of who it’s for, it’s easy to make it count this Christmas.
It’s time we change the gift giving game and make it sustainable. It’s always daunting to change up tradition but these gift ideas are actually a quick and easy way to make everyone think you’ve gone the extra mile- yes even Bill. As an added bonus, they will save you and the world a fortune in wastage. Get your notepads ready because this gift guide will be the most important list this Christmas.
1. Experience Gift Voucher
Gifts were made to be experienced but when was the last time those anagrammed tea towels gave you a rush of worldly wonder? An experience gift voucher can deliver unforgettable memories, the chance to try something new, learn a skill, meet new people or uncover a passion all in one. It may seem like a lot to pack into one present but the world of opportunities it can offer is exactly why this unique present is gaining so much popularity.
This gift idea is perfect for every type of person in your life. For the adrenaline junkies, fuel their need for speed with activities like skydiving, white water rafting or jet boating experiences to start the new year with some thrills. The foodies in your life will thrive with an authentic culinary experience. Whether they are a home-based masterchef or just love to eat, the opportunity to learn some new skills in an expert-led masterclass is too good to pass up.
A gift for the hard workers is easy, you just have to help them relax. While they would never purchase this for themselves, a spa day is the best possible gift they could receive so treat them to a massage or facial and be sure to throw in the essential oils… they are going to need them. The adventurers can take a hike… (literally)! Whether they’d prefer to explore the hills by foot, bike or from above by hot air balloon, the perfect tour is awaiting them.
For the inseparable lovers, a vineyard getaway is your best bet. What’s more romantic than the intoxicating landscapes of the country-side infused with tastings of the best wine and local produce. Fuel the serial hobbyist with another activity to add to the collection. Whether it’s flying, whale watching or diving, there is a niche experience ready to be found.
Be sure to treat the young backpacker with a night away from their grungy hostels to live it up in a luxury hotel room for the night. You’d be surprised what a personal shower and clean sheets can do to reinvigorate someone in their worldly adventures. Last but certainly not least, for the person you just can’t shop for a gift voucher is the best way to go so that they can choose their own adventure.
The best part about a Gifting Owl experience voucher is that these presents can be purchased and sent instantly via email to the recipient anywhere in the world. A gift like this could never be wasted and with no nasty packaging, this is the number one sustainable gift for 2020.
To thank your holiday party hosts this year, instead of buying a package wrapped flower bouquet, opt for a gift that will last into the new year. I know what you may be thinking- I can’t give Johnny plant, he can barely be trusted to look after himself. But not to worry! You’d be surprised at how resilient houseplants can be. Succulents are the kings of self sufficiency and thrive best without direct sunlight or constant watering and will be sure to spruce up the home decor. If you can’t escape the beauty of a flower arrangement, a bouquet of natives are the perfect option since their vibrant petals dry out instead of withering and can be kept as a unique centerpiece. It’s a good bet that your party hosts love to cook so if you’re looking to get a little creative, make an edible arrangement out of herbs. This tasty arrangement will guarantee you an invite to next year's feast and a few dinners in between so get picking!
3. Tasty Treats
What is more special than receiving a box of freshly baked cookies. Whether your recipient is gluten-free, non-dairy, zero-sugar or vegan, you can find a plethora of easy recipes online to make delicious treats for this festive season. This gift is the perfect option for a Secret Santa recipient or a crowd pleaser at holiday parties since you can be sure it will be enjoyed and the only wastage being a few lost crumbs.
4. A Meaningful Donation
For your special loved ones who say they want for nothing, a donation in their name is the gift for them. By picking a charity or cause they are passionate about, you can show you’ve been listening. Otherwise, hand the choice over to them with a voucher to a flexible donation platform so they can choose themselves. This zero-waste and meaningful option eliminated the awkwardness of unwanted gifts and is a great way to give yourself and the receiver the feel-good feeling of making positive change in the world .
5. Home Coffee Kit
Majority of the population drinks coffee on a daily basis. Since it’s such a major part of our daily routines, we tend to outsource this luxury which can get expensive and produce a lot of coffee-cup waste. A home coffee kit is a unique gift that can give your recipient the opportunity to have their delicious coffees from home and save a small fortune along the way. This gift idea can be easily used as a cheap gift option or upgraded depending on how many items you involve in the kit. First and foremost, a reusable coffee cup is the base for all kits. Additional items to include are a bag of fairtrade beans, homemade chocolate mocha mix, a french press, espresso percolator or aeropress. However they like their caffeine served, this one is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
6. Digital Subscription
In an age of streaming services, it’s likely you’ve got at least three different subscriptions to your name. They are all pretty affordable on their own until you add it all up and realise you’re contributing a small fortune to your monthly entertainment budget. You know you’d like this present so lead by example with a gift card for Netflix, Stan or Spotify. It’s sure to be readily received and put to good use so you don’t have to worry about missing the mark this Christmas.
Whatever you end up gifting this year, keep the sustainable theme going with environmentally friendly wrapping. If you prefer the traditional wrapping style, swap the glossy roll with a paper substitute or even use left old papers or catalogs found around the house. For a more artsy look, a fabric wrap using a hanky, scarf or tea towel is a great way to give a two-in-one gift. Alternatively, ditch the need for a physical present and send it digitally. An experience can be gifted completely online and removes the need for physical wrapping altogether.
Once you step outside of your gifting comfort zone you’ll never want to go back! It’s time to turn this white Christmas into a green one so go forth and have a very merry and sustainable Christmas!