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9 sustainable presents to give on Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and you will surely be already buying the gifts or you will be about to do so. Last year we gave you several tips to be sustainable during Christmas. Now we want to help you to be more sustainable in your daily life with these 9 gift ideas to live with nature, not above it!

9 SUSTAINABLE PRESENTS TO GIVE ON CHRISTMAS

Maybe our proposals will seem strange to you, since most of them are not “typical”. So as not to negatively surprise your loved ones with your gifts, we propose you to make a “Sustainable Pack” that includes those gifts that you consider most interesting and giving a gift addressed to all the members of home. Let’s start!

BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH

Toothbrushes are usually made with some type of plastic. Although some are recycled plastic, in all cases the brushes are not recyclable and, therefore, end up in a landfill, whose impact on the environment is enormous.

Fortunately, there are more sustainable options in the market: bamboo toothbrushes with bristles from Naylon 4 Dupont, which is the most biodegradable plastic of all.

cepillo dientes bamboo
Bamboo toothbrushes are composable (Picture : My Plastic-Free Life).

In addition to being free of Bisphenol A (BPA), which is dangerous to health, they are composable, which means that you can deposit them in your organic matter cube or composter. Some options come with recycled and recyclable cardboard packaging.

EXPERIENCES

Without doubt, giving experiences is the best option to avoid generating any type of waste, as much a sheet of recycled paper in which you have written what the gift consists of.

But if you really do not want to generate any waste, you have different options: go with the gifted person to the specific place, send him an online postcard or send a nice email. Sure there are many more, you just have to be a bit creative.

There are many options for different experiences to give:

  1. A weekend getaway: an excursion through nature (it has many health benefits), skiing, spas…
  2. A dinner in a good restaurant.
  3. Shows: circus (without animals!), theater, dance, concert of their favorite group, cinema…
  4. Tickets for them favourite team.
  5. Tickets for theme parks or museums.
  6. Subscriptions on music, movies, series and video games platforms.
  7. Online or face-to-face courses

If you have more ideas, leave them in the comments of the article!

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Giving experiences grows minds and do not produce waste (Picture: M. Arenas).

COMPOSTER FOR ORGANIC MATTER

A composter is an object that allows the transformation of your organic waste, such as the remains of fruit and vegetables, flowers and prunings, food remains, bread and kitchen towels, in a dark substance called compost, which serves as nutrients for plants.

The process takes place thanks to the action of insects and microorganisms. It is for this reason that the composter must be in a garden in contact with the ground. In any case, there are many options and some take advantage of the role of earthworms to transform organic matter. Some composters are even thought to have them in a flat.

compostador jardín, regalo sostenible, navidad
Garden composter (Picture: Unknown, Creative Commons).

If you have a garden or vegetable garden, do not hesitate to do composting!

The advantages of this practice are obvious: you manage organic matter directly in your home, which prevents its transport in specialised centres; and you get a substance with a very high content of nutrients to feed your plants and vegetables. In some towns, composting involves a reduction in the tax of domestic waste. Ask your town hall!

METALLIC CANTEENS

Did you know that a plastic bottle takes more than 700 years to degrade? Did you know that 90% of the cost of bottled water is for the bottle? Did you know that 80% of bottles are not recycled? Did you know that 100 million litres of oil are needed to make a billion of bottles? Did you know that 60 million plastic bottles are thrown every day in the United States?

Given these alarming data from Green Upgrader, do not you prefer to look for a more sustainable alternative?

I think of several options:

  1. If the quality of the tap water in your city or a natural fountain is good, fill out metal canteens (they do not weigh so much and you can take them anywhere).
  2. Invest in reverse osmosis (there will be a point in which the water will be almost free of charge) and refill metal canteens.
  3. Buy glass water bottles. The glass can be recycled more easily and, in addition, you can reuse the bottles to store lemonade or homemade juices.

FOOD CARRIERS

Food carriers are a sustainable alternative to aluminium foil and other single-use containers. In addition to being able to wrap your sandwiches, you can also carry your cookies, fruit… Even if you are a handy person, you can do it yourself at home.

porta bocadillos, regalo sostenible, navidad
Food carriers are a sustainable alternative to aluminium foil (Picture: EcoVidaSolar).

30% of the aluminum foil used worldwide is for domestic use. In addition, according to Fundación Tierra, to produce a single ton of aluminum, 5 tons of bauxite, the ore from which aluminium is extracted, are needed and up to 15,000 kWh.

Now you can get your lunch and snack to school, work, hiking or traveling in a sustainable way!

METAL STRAWS

Plastic straws can suppose a problem for biodiversity and the environment. In fact, according to Ocean Conservacy, they represent 4% of the total marine garbage of the world. Also, if the animals swallow them by mistake, they can clog the airways and the digestive tract. Surely you have seen this terrible video of a marine turtle to which they extract a plastic straw from the nostrils.

In the United States alone, 500 million straws are used every day (according to EcoCycle) and, in the specific case of McDonalds, it uses 60 million straws per day throughout the world (according to ReUseIt).

An alternative at home: use metal straws. If you are away from home, reject them.

METALIC TOOTHPICKS

The wooden toothsticks do not stop being pieces of tree inside a plastic jar, which have a unique use and then they finish, in the best of the cases, inside the bucket of the organic or the composter.

Worldwide, more than 15,000 million trees are cut every year to give different uses to the wood, which leads to very serious problems of deforestation.

Therefore, using metal toothsticks can be a good alternative: they are easy to clean, you can use them “infinite” times and with multiple different uses.

 

GLASS LUNCH BOXES

Are you among those people that when you go to the supermarket or the local store, buy the products (over)packaged with plastic items or polystyrene? How many people have not seen something similar to the photo?

It looks scy-fi, but day after day more supermarkets opt for this practise (Picture: Naranjas la Vieja Alquería).

Our proposal is to always buy products in bulk and carry lunch boxes, optimally made of glass (but we recognise that they are much more expensive than plastic ones), so shop assistants keep your food in them.

The advantages are many, such as avoiding changing the meat or fish wrapped in paper to a lunch box afterwards, the food is better preserved and is easy to store.

The benefits for the environment are also many, such as avoiding overexploitation of resources such as oil or preventing the possible generation of marine waste. You would also avoid throwing away the 50 kg of packaging that each person generates per year.

METAL EAR PICK

The traditional ear swabs represent an important impact for nature: in addition to being an important component of marine litter, they make it difficult to purify wastewater.

It is for this reason that, if you cannot avoid using ear buds, we advise you to use a kind of metal stick that is like a spoon to remove the wax from the inside of the ears. A reusable, sustainable and easy to wash option!

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Ear pick (Picture: Amazon).

. . .

These are our 9 sustainable ideas to give on Christmas. Do you have suggestions? Just leave your comments!

(Cover picture: Home Living 101)

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