With the Christmas season getting closer, and the shops bombarding you with offers that look too good to be true, it is hard to control your spending. Your buying habits will have a long term impact on your life and the environment. If you would like to become a more conscious shopper and protect the environment, you might need to make some difficult choices. Below you will find a few tips on how to get started. This year I’m really working on giving back, not only to the community around me but the planet as well.
Support Your Local High Street
If there is one thing you can do to support local businesses it is that you refuse to buy from large retailers and check out what your local stores have to offer. You will not have to pay for delivery, and might even get personalised recommendations and advice when it comes to Christmas presents. You can sign up for local offers to be delivered on your phone and make the most out of your time spent hunting for presents.
Reduce Your Use of Delivery Services
It is also a good idea to learn to say no to getting items delivered to your home address. While it might be convenient and easy, you have to consider how much fuel is burnt to get the goods from one corner of the United Kingdom to the other. When you use apps always check out whether or not you can combine your delivery. Read the Ebates review to find out whether you can combine postage and save money at the same time. There must be several local retailers having similar offers, and the less your presents travel the less guilty you will feel about buying them. I have made a conscious decision to reduce my online spending, especially being lured into sales/deals and aimlessly buying clothing I don’t really need and then returning it.
Buy from Local Farm Shops and Producers
When it comes to the Christmas dinner and impressing our friends and family members, we often visit the large supermarkets. Make a change this year and try one of your local markets and farm shops. You will get the right produce for the dinner, even if you are gluten free and vegetarian. You might even pick up some new recipes to feed your foodie passion and impress your guests. Support your local businesses is so important and so many people forget about the wonderful butchers or fruit and veg stalls around them.
If you would like to create a unique present for your loved ones, you might be able to use what you already have. A broken necklace, for example, can be used to create a bracelet with some charms, or you can use the beads to create a unique upcycled picture frame. You don’t have to be a DIY guru to create something useful and beautiful from used furniture or unique finds. You can find some good quality second hand furniture on gumtree or Facebook and set yourself a little DIY task. Pinterest is full of ideas as well!
Track the Carbon Footprint of Your Purchases
It is crucial that you consider the carbon footprint of your Christmas. While shopping local and supporting businesses in your area is a good idea, you will also have to find out how much of the Earth’s resources were used to create the item. Avoid plastic, leather, whenever possible, and opt for organic and biodegradable materials. Check out where each item is made, and track the distance it travelled to get to you.
It is important that you don’t get caught up in the hype when it comes to Christmas shopping. Consider your environmental impact before you decide which presents to buy.
Purchase Eco Friendly Gifts
This year my family and I have decided to purchase eco friendly gifts to each other. Although it will be hard to say good bye to the cute Christmas gifts the novelty will wear off after Christmas Day has gone and the once cute Christmas presents will be lying in the corner of you room or in the bin! Another thing I won’t be doing this year is wrapping my presents, I have recently found out that wrapping paper is not recyclable so yet another thing that is easy to cut down on. You can wrap your presents in brown paper and decorate them with stamps and ink.
I hope you can try some of these tips in the run up to Christmas, it’s so important that everyone works on decreasing their environmental impact. Have you tried any of these tips before?
Love, Cally x