Gift giving should be a time of joy but I know the overwhelming feeling of obligation and pressure to choose the ‘right’ gift can end up with a hands-in-the-air situation where you grab the nearest over-packaged gift box and slap a name on it, job done. Not to mention the expense and feeling like the amount you spend on someone should in some way be proportionate to how much you love them!
The thought of spending money on a present for it to sit unused until it gets re-gifted, donated or just thrown out is pretty uncomfortable and a survey commissioned by ING estimates $400 million was spent on 10 million unwanted gifts in 2018. Novelty items, candles, pamper products, pyjamas, slippers, undies and socks were the least appreciated gifts apparently.
Now, I disagree with pyjamas, undies and socks being unappreciated – they are practical items you can give a special twist to by purchasing a more premium brand than the giftee would normally choose, or in their favourite colour or with a favourite character on it.
Here are some zero-to-low waste gift options you can try this season:
1. Netflix/Stan/Kayo subscription
2. Movie tickets
3. Annual National Park Pass
4. Restaurant voucher
5. Box of Who Gives a Crap? toilet paper
6. DIY Bath Bombs
7. Voucher to Google Play
8. Theatre tickets or a voucher to Ticketmaster etc so they can choose a performance during the year
9. Reusables Starter Kit – KeepCup, Water Bottle, beeswax wraps and stainless steel straws
10. Homemade play dough (recipe to the right)
11. Homemade sugar scrub (recipe below)
The store-bought gifts with the lowest packaging options I find are stuffed animals, books, puzzles, board games and clothes (in general, just the one tag although some companies tend to go overboard!).
1 cup white sugar
¼ cup fractionated coconut oil
10-15 drops of spearmint essential oil
2-4 drops of green food colouring (optional)
Pour sugar into a bowl.
Measure out fractionated coconut oil and then add essential oil and food colouring to it.
Pour fractionated coconut oil/essential oil mix into the sugar and mix until well combined.
*Note: the food colouring doesn’t contribute anything to end product other than making it look pretty. Like a Kardashian. So, if you are sensitive to colours and would prefer to leave it out it will still work just as well and smell just as lovely!