Buying gifts for loved ones is such a lovely thing to do, for me, seeing a friend or relative open a present I bought them and seeing their face light up means more to me than how much I spent on their gift. It makes the other person feel good which makes us feel good too.
Every year, we buy gifts for loved ones; Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Anniversary, Valentines day, Mother’s Day, Father’s day, secret santa and those are just the ones that come up year after year at the same time, let’s not forget the one-off ones; leaving present, baby shower, new baby, Weddings. There are so many occasions we celebrate with those that are important to us and it’s great to share the love.
I need you to think back at, let’s say, Christmas. Think about all the gifts you received from friends, family, colleagues. Think about how you felt..I bet you felt good.
Now think about what they were wrapped in? And the packaging? Do you remember seeing gift tags with glitter? What about plastic ribbons? If you received clothes, was the tag attached with a plastic loop? Did any of the packaging come in plastic bags or sleeves?
Now think about the gifts you have purchased for others? Can you see a plastic pattern? I spent Plastic Free July looking at ways I could buy gifts for friends and family that didn’t include plastic and I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy.
The amount of packaging that ends up in landfill after Christmas is eye-watering. According to GWP
- An extra 30% of rubbish is produced and discarded throughout the festive period when compared with the rest of the year. This additional waste will be in the region of 3 million tonnes
- Approximately £42 million of unwanted Christmas presents are thrown out in landfill each year
- Brits will also bin what equates to 108 million rolls of wrapping paper. This means that approximately 100 million black bags full of packaging from toys and gifts are discarded
We cannot sustain this level of waste. We all love buying gifts for loved ones but we need to start really looking at what we buy.
Something massive corporations don’t like us knowing is that, as consumers, we have an incredible amount of power when it comes to the purchases we make. We can literally make or break a product/brand/line – if no one buys it, it’s back to the drawing board for their creative team.
Start looking at what you are buying and be careful about Greenwashing, marketing companies love to trick us but we are wising up to their tactics. Here are some tips to help you
- Can you see plastic?
- Do you have a zero-waste shop near you
- Is the packaging paper/cardboard and can it all be recycled?
- If it comes in plastic, does the store offer a recycling drop off recycling facility?
- Have you looked online to see if there is an eco-friendly alternative?
- Eco-friendly subscription boxes are a great way to cut out the plastic
There are so many eco-friendly products coming on the market everyday but these are sometimes drowned out by massive corporations shouting about their own products. Read my blog about greenwashing and how to identify it.