Low waste gifts.

I love giving gifts to people that I admire. It’s a special ritual that allows me to show my appreciation for an individual. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always hit the target. I believe the best way to avoid waste at Christmas is to help others navigate the gift giving. It would be so much easier if I had some hints.

Have a think about what you want for Christmas. To maintain the joy and surprise of the gesture, it shouldn’t be too specific.

Got some ideas? Now, tell one person. Preferably someone close to you with instructions that they must pass it on if anyone asks 😉

For me? I don’t need or want anything. Plus I am the WORST because my birthday is 2 days before Christmas. If I love giving gifts then I should make it fair for others too. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what you might like… What would make me happy? A membership that also gets me an experience! A gift voucher for a bulk foods store! A holiday! Or something that helps me have a holiday! Concert tickets (Sidenote: this concert changed my life and was the catalyst for our move from Sydney to Melbourne) Tea! A cleaner ocean! Beeswax so I can make more balm! A nice dinner! Essential oils! A cuddle! Soap! Less plastic! Pretty handkerchiefs! A true democracy! Plants or seeds! A caravan home experience! Less exclamation marks! Homemade dukka! Less poverty! And any zero waste goodies from brands I trust and admire!

Smashing pumpkins for Halloween.

Happy Halloween my friends!! Thank you for being inspirational humans and for following my journey through the tricks and treats of zero waste life. Let’s scare all the plastic away from the ocean with our unrelenting positivity and power of community. Knock those doors down! ✊🏼

Remember to get your candy plastic-free at bulk stores or from @loving_earth, chop up (or smash) your pumpkins for the compost bin and make / thrift your costume.

🐨 But what would this Aussie know about Halloween!? There’s plenty of great tips at @trashisfortossers

Zero Waste Christmas gift ideas

There’s still time to discuss more minimal approaches to gift giving (ie secret santa, gifts for kids only, plastic free, etc – more ideas in this post #christmasgifts203). Here’s a bunch of gifts that I’ve received/given that I found successful:

  • Mini homemade product samples (maybe steer clear of deodorant balm and toothpowder unless you’re absolutely sure the receiver is into it)
  • Donations or memberships (I loved having a @zoosvictoria membership for my 30th birthday)
  • Homemade marmalade, iced tea, dukka, beer or bread
  • Soap blocks such as coffee body scrub, shampoo bars, etc (@ethiquenz have a great range of different plastic free products)
  • Beeswax wraps (Surprisingly expensive so they make great gifts for those that have expressed an interest to try but were turned off by the price)
  • Experience tokens or workshops
  • Show/concert tickets
  • Plastic free toys and bamboo/hemp blankets for babies
  • Linen napkins, or special tea towels that also double as wrapping
  • Boutique beer and wine
  • Take away coffee cup or thermos: my favourites are @keepcup and @t2tea – Cash! A teenager’s favourite gift of all time 😜
Multipurpose beeswax balm | Ain’t no Planet B

Orange marmalade | Ain't no Planet B
When we have too many oranges, we make marmalade, orange juice and orange cleaner.
Low waste gifts
Low waste gifts

Getting ready for a sunny holiday

Getting ready for a sunny holiday is a handy way to prepare my summer capsule wardrobe.
Dug up my shorts and singlets from storage and will hide my overcoat soon.
Got swimmers, thongs (that’s “flip-flops” to my international friends), a slick lid, hankies and a maxi skirt for extra hot days.

Combined with a dash of Castile soap, handkerchiefs are going to be amazing when the weather gets really sweaty in that red dust.
Gotta be prepared for 30/86+ degree weather in Alice Springs
Special thanks to @therogueginger for letting me bounce ideas off her in preparation for the trip.
Turns out the zero waste alternative to many things is handkerchiefs 🙂

Less wasteful gift ideas

It might feel forever away, but now is a great time to float ideas about a less wasteful festive season, especially Christmas. There are loads of ways we could customise festive events while still staying true to our traditions and values. Discussing them now gives plenty of breathing room for everyone to consider a change and adjust accordingly.

I find gift giving is the hardest for my families to adjust to. Some ideas to consider:
– No physical gifts, just experiences
– One gift each: Secret Santa / Kris Kringle
– Only buy gifts for kids
– Set a plastic-free gift challenge
– Give donations instead of physical gifts
– Bring food, not gifts

If you could, what would you change about the festive season to be more environmentally conscious?

Zero waste birthday tokens

This is an epic 30th birthday present of individual experiences from some truly generous, incredible people. @_jameslake has been working hard and deserves a holiday so we’ve all pitched in to give him a trip to the stunning red centre of Australia: Uluru, Alice Springs, Kings Canyon.

Each token is an experience/travel item given to him from different people (coordinated via a simple spreadsheet). These tokens were attached to props/clues (that we already had in the house) to add the element of mystery and give him something to unwrap.

The wrapping was made of paper bags that we had hoarded over the last couple of years + some sticky tape in lieu of string. He seemed to enjoy carefully unwrapping each gift and trying to guess what each experience was.

Happy birthday @_jameslake shine on you crazy diamond