The word “sustainability” is one that has crept up more and more in recent times, it has become a word that is especially important for small businesses in New Zealand. But what does it really mean? If something is sustainable, then it is able to be sustained over a very long period of time. Unsustainability, is something that cannot continue at its current rate. At the moment, there are many aspects of our everyday lives that are not sustainable. Here are some examples of unsustainable issues; purchasing products that have been manufactured overseas as a result of cheap labour, the use of unrecyclable materials that end up in landfills, unsustainable food production and farming that causes harm to the environment, and the use of fossil fuels.
Christmas is a time of the year where all of these unsustainable facets of life multiply exponentially due to the influx of things like; gift buying, which ultimately results in a huge amount of landfill waste from it’s packaging, the purchasing of excess food, and the extra fossil fuel consumption associated with the higher amounts of travel.
So what can we do to ensure more sustainable practices this Christmas?
Upcycled Christmas Decorations
Save the trip to the store. Here is some inspiration for ways you can use items you might find at home to create your own Christmas decorations!
Image credit: Factory Direct Craft
Dazzling Pine Cone
Image credit: Country Living
Reusable gift wraps
Around 25% more rubbish is tossed away during the silly season around the world. A lot of this will be wrapping paper with a very short lifespan. It can be tedious and let's face it, not particularly fun to re-use wrapping paper. So why not invest in reusable cloth gift wraps this year?
Wrapper's Delight is a Wellington based New Zealand business who create gorgeous and sustainable fabric gift wraps. Click on each image to see the product.
Choose a gift that lasts
Investing in one high quality item is far more important than purchasing multiple cheaper quality presents. The longer life span of hand made, high quality products means less waste going to the landfill. Here are some great examples of nz made gifts that will last a lifetime:
Pictured from left to right:
Serve More Meat-free Dishes
Try your hand at more vegetarian or vegan dishes! Here are some great examples for you to try:
Lentil moussaka bake
A delicious main which serves as a healthier and more sustainable alternative to a meat dish. Link to the recipe.
With grilled peppers, zucchini, fresh mozzarella and basil. Link to recipe.
Buy From Local Businesses
When we buy from local businesses who sell New Zealand made products, our money is far more likely to be cycled back through our local economy than if we were to purchase a similar product from an international company or national chain. Buying locally made products is also more beneficial to the environment as less transportation is involved, giving the item a much lower carbon footprint.
Local Artisan is proud to be a marketplace that allows New Zealand businesses to thrive by connecting consumers to local creators.
Merry Christmas and happy sustainable gifting!