Christmas is the season of giving. But while rushing around shopping for last-minute presents for friends, family and coworkers, try to take a step back and think about what you are actually buying. It's easy to get caught up in the idea of buying fast, convenient presents. However, these presents may come at a cost to the environment, or the people behind-the-scenes making them. 

We go over a few simple ways you can give more meaningful and ethical gifts this Christmas.

Give thoughtfully.
The idea of giving is more important than the gift. In most cases, it’s not what we give, but how we give it. Personalised gifts always mean the most because they show that the focus is not on the gift itself, but the recipient. 

Give experiences.
These don’t even have to be bought experiences like concert tickets or music lessons. It could simply be a day that you’ve planned or a meal you will cook for someone. Memories like these are invaluable gifts and you can be sure the gift will not be unwanted.

Give gifts that are supporting companies and causes important to you.
Ethical and local brands are the way to go if you’re looking to buy something new. Try gifting reusable bags, containers or products from local businesses. The quality will always be high and you are contributing to a more sustainable and ethical consumer environment.

Give second-hand gifts.
There's such a stigma associated with giving second-hand goods as gifts when there really shouldn't be. Regifting is okay. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! What you may think is useless, someone else may love. Take a look at what you don’t use and think about who you could rehome it with this Christmas. Be sure to include a note about why you are handing this gift down to this specific person.

Give homemade gifts.
Even if you don’t consider yourself creative, try a few homemade gifts that your family and friends will actually want and use! Granola, jams, or herb plants, these gifts are unique and you know who the maker was!

If you’re really unsure about what to give this year, take a look at some of our sustainable gift ideas here.

What about you? How do you avoid receiving gifts that you don’t want or won't use?
If someone is planning on getting you a gift, let them know what you’re passionate about at the moment. Or try and organize a Secret Santa swap with a group of people, so everyone is putting more thought into just one gift.

Don’t forget about your wrapping!
Sticky tape and wrapping paper is used excessively over Christmas and then thrown out straight away, along with the mounds of packaging from opening gifts. Even if you're putting the paper into a recycling bin, it's still wasteful. Try opting for zero-waste wrapping this Christmas, by wrapping your gifts in fabric and tying with string. Each gift will be unique and the fabric can be re-used over and over again.

Simply by making a few more conscious choices when it comes to gift giving, not only will you be contributing to a more ethical Christmas season but giving more thoughtful gifts as well.

Happy ethical gifting!