10 Sustainable Xmas Ideas & The First 5 Will Actually SAVE You $$!

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Ok its that time of year again and with this time comes a lot of fun, family time and sending spending spending. I absolutely love Xmas but its hard not to reflect sometimes on how much we consume, waste and buy this time of year, a lot of which ends up as landfill. So anyway this isn’t a rant, this is just some ideas that we do and things we have that contribute to more sustainable choices. Enjoy xo

1- Wrap in newspaper, saved excess packaging or one my favourites the colourful WHO GIVES A CRAP toilet paper wrappers. In our home we have a big box that we save all our InnerOrigin beautiful brown packaging paper as well as our Who Gives A Crap wrappers and use these all year round and especially xmas! It saves us money and also saves our trees.

2- Make Your Own Cards, I know its a little bit more time but you can’t tell me Grandma wont appreciate a cute handprint and hand made card from her Grandson or Granddaughter rather than a standard bought one. Making your own cards is a gift in itself, shows more love, care and thoughtfulness and is a great way to spend a productive, creative and fun day with your children. Not to mention you are teaching your children valuable lessons on sustainability, creativity and the simple art of writing and drawing (something that is being lots in todays computer, phone, iPad world). We personally do a day of Xmas dress ups and take photos and make these into cards that can be hung from the tree for decorations. They make fantastic Xmas decorations that provide a wonderful timeline of our family Christmas’s.

3 – Give Back– If you have kids I think I can safely say you probably have an abundance of toys, books and clothes at your disposal and I bet new ones are on the list for Xmas already! A practice we have adopted in our family is to Give Back each year. So every year we will choose 10 items in good condition (toys, books and clothes) and give these to various charities in exchange for the 10 new presents that “Santa” will undoubtably bring. This is not only a great way to Give back and uncluttered but a great way to teach your kids the importance of generosity and providing for those in need.

4 -Re Give From Last Year! Ok so this one may only be relevant to parents with the really young ones but last year for our sons first xmas we got an abundance of beautiful fun toys. In our mind he wasn’t yet old enough (he was 6 months) to truly appreciate these, not to mention that there was so many it would have been sensory overload haha. So we wrote on them who they were from and tucked them away for this years Xmas. He is now a year and a half and we cant wait to give that wooden car set from Aunty Britt that we know he is going to absolutely love!

5. Buy a Real Xmas Tree or Make one from Drift Wood. Firstly, no plastic which is a plus in my books but there is something really special about having a living Xmas tree that grows bigger each year. My parents have one that is higher than our house at home and it served as our family Xmas tree for many many years and now looks beautiful on their property. Making them is also a great craft day with the kids and a great way to reuse.

6. Eco Coffee Cup– Lets face it almost everyone drinks tea and coffee these days but did you know that almost all the disposable coffee cups you are drinking from are lined with plastic? So while they look like paper and you may think they are recyclable, think again, they are not. Even the coffee cups that say they are eco and compostable require specialised facilities to actually compost them and if that is not in your area then they will just end up in landfill. So this is a great one to A help the planet and B improve the health of others from avoiding drinking from plastic. Biome has some fantastic eco cups that you can check out HERE.

7. Biodegradable and Compostable Coffee Pods! Ok still on the coffee topic but did you know that 3-5 million coffee pods go into landfill daily!!!! Imagine the impact this along would create if these coffee pods were compostable! InnerOrigin now stock a completely organic, fair trade compostable and biodegradable coffee pods, good for you and good for our planet. So if you use coffee pods or know someone who does, or even your work environment then this makes a great gift. Check them out HERE.

8. Stainless Steel Straws! You may have noticed a trend by now but I am not the biggest fan of plastic and the plastic straws that you see everywhere contribute greatly to the amount of nano plastic particles filling our oceans not to mention the toxic chemicals that plastic composes of! We have THESE stainless steel straws in our handbag (along with our stainless steel cutlery) always and they make excellent gifts. You can check these out HERE. Also here is a fun fact, these are hand made by a 15 year old Ozy girl, so how cool is that!

9. Stainless Steel Lunch Boxes and Bottles! If you follow my Facebook posts you would have probably seen our Son’s stainless steel lunch box feature many times. Without a lie every time we are out having lunch or snacks someone comments on it and what a great idea it is! We use it every single day! It simplifies our life as I usually pack his lunch the night before and then we can just simply grab it and run in the morning. Not to mention its chemical free which is the most important feature to me! So while these bad boys are expensive they will last a lifetime and for me personally just a non negotiable when it comes to our Son’s food. Stainless steel drink bottles are another winner for the same reason. You can get them both from BIOME.

10 Well nourished e- book. Love cooking or looking for nourishing but tasty ideas especially for the kids lunchbox? As well as breakfast ideas and inspiration? I cant recommend Georgia from Well Nourished e-books enough…they are nutritional, easy to make and quick and being a e-book they save trees which a big plus. Check them out HERE

 

WHY should we do our bit to start making sustainable choices?

In our oceans today there is said to be not one cubic metre than does NOT contain nano plastics! There are some studies that are showing predictions that by 2050 there will be more pieces of plastic than fish in our ocean. Not only do these kill our beautiful marine life but they also impact our health from the fish eating these toxic substances that we then consume. Most people by now are aware of BPA or atleast know to avoid it but there are a number of other very harmful chemicals such as phthalates in plastic as well that should be cause for concern and in my mind avoided as much as possible.

Clothing is another area that is of course for concern. It todays marketplace clothing has become a cheap and attainable item that we readily buy, use minimally and then discard and move onto the next newest and greatest trend. Don’t get me wrong I like wearing nice clothes too and I buy them, but we also patch up all the holes and buy a lot second hand. The shear amount of clothing we discard is actually becoming a major problem for landfill. When it comes to children and babies there a tonne of used and often new clothes second hand on places like gumtree and online garage sales so why not look here for a few options in the future?

It scares me when I look at todays world and then my son and I wonder what the world will be like when he is the age I am now. How many marine species and land animals will be extinct, how many forests will be left? How clean will the air be for him to breathe, how safe will the products he buys and the food he eats be?

Its up to us as consumers to make the changes we want to see in the world. It is only when we start to shop more sustainably, make cleaner choices that we will begin to see changes.

 

If you want to read a bit more about why I recommend shopping through some of the above companies then check out my recent article Products and Services Our Family Value.


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