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10 Planet-Friendly Gift Ideas

Many of us have more than we need and yet continue to fill our homes and lives with ‘stuff’. Choose gifts with meaning, like our ideas below isn’t always easy when we lack inspiration and time. So, for a better lifestyle and a better world we’ve compiled ten of the best for your festive shopping.

Experience gifts

Do your children have loads of toys they never use? Or buying for loved ones who seem to have everything? Make this Christmas different by purchasing them an ‘experience’ instead. Jetboating, sailing in the harbour, fun-park tickets, surf lessons or a pedicure. Experience gifts aren’t wrapped in plastic, won’t be left at the back of the cupboard and will make memories.

Food wraps

Cling film (plastic food wrap) is choking our oceans and filling our landfills. Beeswax food wraps are a fantastic alternative to this and are easy to make yourself. Check out this food wrap kit from a local Kiwi business, MakeKit, who design DIY projects.

Non-plastic beauty products

Shampoo bars, body bars, conditioning, shaving and cleansing bars. Bars are big business and stop millions for plastic bottles from heading for the landfill every year. Furthermore, they tend to be made with better ingredients such as shea butter and natural oils so they are more concentrated than supermarket products and last longer.

Solar Panels

Good for the planet - good for your wallet, because according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) solar power creates the cheapest electricity. Ever.

At Harrisons Solar, we supply superior solar panels with longstanding warranties, offer immediate savings and have a social conscious. LG Electronics is ranked 6th in the Wall Street Journal’s list of 100 most sustainably managed companies and LG continues to actively lobby for mandatory recycling of panels in Australia and New Zealand.

Compost bins

You’ll be amazed how quickly a benchtop compost bin fills up and come in all shapes and sizes. If you have a sizeable garden we recommend an outdoor composter that you can turn (to agitate the waste) and is off the ground so rodents can’t take up residence in the warm compost.

Recycled clothing

Do you have champagne taste on a beer budget? Quality fashion can be expensive and fast fashion takes an enormous toll on our environment. Why not buy quality, classic pieces second-hand?

Did you know most commercially made clothes use 1kg of chemicals to produce only 1kg of textile. Plus, a staggering 23% of all chemicals used comes from the textile industry! Add that to statistics stating most of us wear only 20-30% of our clothes, quality preloved clothes just make sense.

Gifts bought locally

Purchasing close to home is packed with benefits. Yes, you’re supporting the local economy, reducing your carbon footprint and easy returns - but there’s a feel-good factor about it too. And with local ports congested due to Covid19 restraints, purchasing within our country ensures getting your Christmas gifts on time. Enquire about popular local markets in your area, such as General Collective and Crafternoon in Auckland.

Reusable shopping bag

Look out for reusable shopping bags which fold up easily and are light as a feather. Pop it into a side pocket of a handbag or laptop satchel and you’ll never be caught short again.

Sustainable reading

Books such as Living without Plastic offers lots of fresh ways to adapt your buying habits, teach you how to make your own cleaning products and incorporate alternatives to plastic wrap. This is a great gift for all ages.

Green Toys

US toy designer, Green Toys, produce sturdy toys made from 100% recycled plastic. The packaging is made from recycled cardboard with no twist ties, blister packs or cellophane wrappers too. Available at selected toy stores such as Toyco.

Buy a native plant

Support native wildlife and balance New Zealand’s ecosystem with a native plant and enjoy more tuis, bellbirds and silvereyes in your community.

Alternatively, gift a tree from the Kaipatiki Project and they will plant it on your behalf at a local reserve. Trees that count is another initiative who have funded or planted over 600,000 native trees so far.

Whatever gifts you choose this Christmas, consider the products back story and the lifecycle of the packaging, and we’ll all have a healthier, greener tomorrow.

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