Documentaries such as the BBC’s Blue Planet II and A Plastic Ocean have made us think twice about buying things wrapped in plastic.
Angelique Ruzicka gives some suggestions on how you can have a green Christmas and save money, while still maintaining the spirit of giving.
You’ll be considering the environment, benefiting Earth and your wallets.
Fewer gifts usually translate to less spending. But every festive season we are thrown into a tailspin about who to buy for and feel the need to reciprocate when a random friend or family member buys an unexpected gift.
Organise a Secret Santa at work or at home and get everyone to draw a name out of a hat and pledge to buy a gift for that person.
There can even be a limit set on how much you should spend.
Otherwise, if you think your family will agree, suggest only the children get presents and adults forgo buying one another gifts – it’s been a tough year after all.
Use your skills and craftsmanship to create something for friends and family, instead of buying an expensive item.
Consider using material you already have at home. “I’m hoping to make DIY zero-waste gifts this year – something that will help others use less plastic long term and not cost me too much.
"I will probably upcycle a lot of fabric,” says Colleen Shanna Francis from Cape Town.
Batteries can be expensive and if they power toys they often don’t last long, especially if they are for a gift for young children who can be unforgivingly relentless when they fancy a toy.
Batteries are hazardous to the environment if they end of up in a landfill.
Consider buying wooden building blocks or cars that don’t need batteries and are educational at the same time.
Have you received a present that you don’t like or are unlikely to use? Wrap it and give it to someone who will make use of it.
Not only will you save money from not having to buy a gift but you will help the environment by preventing another item from ending up in a landfill.
If you buy someone an experience then you’ll save money on wrapping, cards and other paraphernalia.
Ensure you can buy something that doesn’t need to be printed to be redeemed and simply forward the email or voucher on to the person.
“My favourite thing for my daughter is a year-long subscription to the aquarium. She loves it and it’s educational," says Anna Alves of Cape Town.
Cheap plastic toys are often built to last as long as the final course is served at Christmas lunch.
Consider toys made of more sustainable materials, such as wood, that are less harmful to the environment if they are discarded.
Consider locally recycled goods that are made for individuals and small businesses.
If you buy quality, well-made wares, you will save money as you’ll spend less on repairs and replacements.
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.