5 sustainable gifts to lessen your waste this Christmas…

Tired of Christmas shopping? We ‘re here to help you out with some last minute Christmas gift ideas that won’t break the budget and are good for the environment too!

  1. Book an Aboriginal cultural tour or buy from Trading Blak: There are between 12 000 and 16 000 Indigenous owned businesses in Australia and Christmas is the perfect time to support them. You could book a friend or loved one on an Aboriginal heritage tour right here in Sydney, Melbourne or near Brisbane. Alternatively, consider buying a gift from Trading Blak. The platform was started this year to stop exploitation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses in Australia and has a dazzling array of gift ideas.
  2. Get a gift from an op shop: Instead of buying your sister a brand new dress how about a second hand one from Vinnies or the Red Cross? According to Anita Vandyke in her book A zero waste life, world wide we consume 80 billion pieces of clothing every year. 6000kg of this clothing goes to landfill every 10 minutes in Australia. So do the planet a favour and buy second hand for Christmas. You’ll be giving new life to someone’s old favourite and making the world more sustainable.

3. Make a donation to a charity: A good present which is both ethical and costs the environment nothing, is to make a donation to a charity on behalf of someone. You might choose the Black Dog Institute if research into mental health is important to you or Black Rainbow if you know someone who cares about the welfare of LGBTIQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. Of course, for librarians the Indigenous Literacy Foundation is also a popular choice!

4. Give a handmade gift: Maybe you can paint or knit or you just bake really nice cakes? Steer clear of consumer culture and give a gift that’s from the heart. It will help the environment and you know it’s a unique, one of a kind present!

5. Regift something: Instead of throwing that gift you hate away, think about if there’s someone else in your life who might like it. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure and you’ll be adding to the share economy.

So think twice before you hit the shops this Christmas. See if you can give gifts that spread a little cheer and a little sustainability too!

By Anne Reddacliff, ALIA Sustainable Libraries Group committee member

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