How to buy sustainable gifts this Christmas

This year has been quite a different year in many ways, but one of the things that people have experienced, especially with the restrictions in November, is that they have less opportunity to get to physical stores to buy gifts.

Many are turning to online shopping instead, and, while it can be tempting to get multiple items from one online marketplace, do we really want to be supporting the commercial giants this year when so many small businesses have suffered? As an alternative, here are some tips on how to buy more consciously this year and in doing so you can not only support small and local business, but you can achieve less waste and, more than likely, less plastic too.

Buy experiences

Did you know that (according to approx. 81 million unwanted presents are received each year, and of those, one in ten will end up in landfill! Avoid unwanted gifts ending up in landfill buy buying experiences instead. There are so many options out there once you start to look and all on our doorstep here in Andalucia, Spain. Everything from Alpaca Walks to Hammam Vouchers, tailor-made guided walks or nature retreats, sky diving simulators or even book a whale or dolphin-watching trip ready for the summer. Almost anything you can think of will make a superb alternative to a physical present and you’ll be zero waste and plastic free at the same time!

Make charity donations or arrange adoptions

Similar to experiences, a gift like this will avoid unwanted presents being bought and potentially later discarded. If you know people who love certain animals, you could arrange an adoption or sponsorship of an animal, some ideas might be: adopting a donkey from El Refugio del Burrito in Mijas or further afield you can adopt an orangutan in Borneo. You could also donate to a charity the value you may have spent on a present. Some of the larger charities have well-established gift giving products where you do receive a small token in return, but it can sometimes be nicer to give to the smaller charities that might be even closer to your heart.

Attend classes or activities

When restrictions are lifted it will be easier to fulfill a gift idea like this, but it’s something to think about even if you don’t manage it this year. Once you start looking you will find a multitude of opportunities to attend a class or activity with the receiver of your gift. You might want to attend a cooking class, a pottery class, a painting class or start that new Zumba class you’ve been meaning to try. Buying that experience for someone will enable you to have fun together and share memories instead of items. You might step it up a gear and head out go-karting or dune buggy driving or even horse-riding. Or make it cultural and spend the afternoon at an art gallery, a theatre show or simply head to the cinema. Throw in lunch after and you’ll be creating memories instead of waste ?

Any of these ideas are sure to be well-received and it’s something we think people should do a lot more often. The idea, experience or entrance tickets can be presented on paper as something physical to receive if necessary, and then you can always print a photo from your experience together to frame after the event too. We encourage you to get thinking about your sustainable and zero waste gift ideas this Christmas.