Ultimate guide to Christmas eco-gifting

Plastic Free Noosa

ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CHRISTMAS ECO-GIFTING

Christmas is the time for generosity and kindness –
but it doesn’t need to be at the expense of the planet!

Considering the impact of our Christmas traditions on the environment, it’s worth re-evaluating how we can make our gift-giving more meaningful while caring for the planet this holiday season.

Rubbish volumes rise by a staggering 30% around Christmas time – mostly made up of packaging waste from consumer gifting, styrofoam packing, plastic and wrapping paper.

The charity organisation Million Women have done the numbers, and claim that if we reduce our Christmas waste by just one kilogram per person, we could save around 10 billion litres of water waste (that’s 4,000 Olympic swimming pools full), and prevent eight million kilograms of carbon dioxide pollution - all while saving millions of dollars!

This Christmas, we’re determined to do things differently. If you are too, read on for our top 10 ways to eco-gift this Christmas.


#1 BUT, KIDS!

We get it, some of our littler friends have their hearts set on (usually plastic) toys, and oh do we hate to disappoint. A motto we live by when Christmas shopping for kids is to buy them something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. So, with that in mind, pick a toy (or two) from the top of their list, and let that be enough!

#2 BUY LOCAL

Buying local is one of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact, given that supply chains account for an estimated 60% of all global carbon emissions. In Noosa, choose from an array of incredible local businesses that create sustainably, from potters and upcyclers, to craftspeople and gourmet chefs, so you don’t need to look further than your local community area or markets to find eco-gifts.

For beautiful hand-selected hampers filled with Noosa goodies, you can’t beat the selection from Noosa Gift Co, with offerings like The Peregian and Little Cove Mini.

Native plants and eco-conscious wares created by local talented artisans can also be found at the Noosa & District Landcare's Hinter-Hub in Pomona.

Or leave the details to the experts and get your shopping done in a day when you jump on the Boutique Homewares Shopping Tour with Noosa Transfers and Tours – they will tailor the tour to your wishes or take you to a selection of the best designer homewares and local gift retailers on this half-day tour of Noosa.

#3 LOW-WASTE GIFTING

One of the easiest Christmas swaps we can make is wrapping paper – remember, just one kilogram of reduced waste per person leads to monumental savings across the population. Ever heard of Furoshiki? It’s the Japanese art of fabric wrapping, and we love it! You can purchase reusable, purpose-made, printed Furoshiki fabrics, or better yet, dig through your linen cupboard and repurpose tablecloths, old sheets, and even printed towels in place of wrapping paper. You can also wrap them in old newspaper, kids’ artwork, and magazines, and finish them off with some natural twine and native natural items found in your backyard. For unique, colourful wrapping, drop in to see our friends at IN Noosa Magazine and pick up a ream of printing proof paper to use for wrapping - you can then recycle it when you’re done!

#4 GIFT ALTERNATIVES

Think outside the box (literally) when gift-giving this year. Consider gifting a donation, membership, or experience in place of a physical gift. Not only is it more sustainable, it’s also been proven that experiences are more emotionally satisfying than physical gifts, a win-win in anyone’s language!

Act local....

In Noosa, environmental options include a donation to Noosa’s Glossy Black Cockatoos and Wild Koalas, or the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, to help do your bit to ensure our incredible natural surroundings are protected into the future. For surfing enthusiasts, a Noosa World Surfing Reserve membership might be the perfect gift. Or even a donation to or membership with the Noosa Integrated Catchment Association (NICA), Zero Emissions Noosa (ZEN Inc.), Noosa & District Landcare, Noosa Parks Association and Trees for Tourism to support their work in conservation and combat climate change.

Beyond Noosa…

Purchase a certified carbon offset gift in someone’s name and introduce them to a community committed to acting and turning the tide on the climate crisis.

#5 EXPERIENCES

Instead of another room-cluttering gift, create memories to last a lifetime by gifting one of these Noosa experiences. With so many options, we could go on for days, but here is a selection of top ideas (check the Visit Noosa website for the full range).

  • A show at The J Noosa or Noosa Arts Theatre
  • Glamping at Habitat Noosa, where you can get up close to native wildlife
  • Surfing safaris with Epic Ocean Adventures
  • Self-guided tour of the spectacular Noosa Everglades with Kanu Kapers
  • Dolphin safari tour with Noosa Oceanrider
  • A day of boating on an eco-picnic boat with Eco Noosa River Adventures
  • Pottery course at the Butter Factory Arts Centre, Cooroy
  • Cooking class at ALBA by Kuruvita
  • Distillery discovery tour with Creative Tours
  • Discover local craft breweries with Joel’s Journeys
  • Give a gift voucher to your favourite Noosa restaurant
#6 SHOP SECOND HAND

By shopping second hand, you’ll save precious resources from landfill, give them a whole new life, and save yourself dollars in the process! Local op-shops and thrift stores are often stocked with clothing still bearing original price tags, or unused homewares in original packaging. Antique stores are treasure troves of precious items from times gone by, and one of the best places to score a truly unique and personal gift. Check Rockin Relics in Pomona for meaningful antique gifts, old vinyl records, vintage crockery, antique books, and more.

#7 CIRCULAR GIFTING

Thanks to technology and innovative thinking, many products typically destined for landfill are now being recycled or upcycled into other everyday products, which diverts valuable resources from landfill, and reintroduces waste back into a circular loop. One of the worst Christmas-present offenders is inflatable plastic pool toys – which have become super-sized in recent years, creating a super-sized environmental problem. Local business PLOYS Design repurposes old inflatable toys to create bespoke waterproof bags and purses, handmade right here on the Sunshine Coast (check out their partnership with SUNNY LIFE). Locally, Ocean Ears Noosa collects and upcycles micro plastics washed up along our Eastern Beaches to create bright, colourful earrings.

#8 GET BAKING

The silly season is the time to hit the kitchen and get baking. Delicious buttery shortbreads, rich fruity slices and chewy toffee bundled up in a decorative repurposed jar or retro bowl covered in a colourful beeswax wrap from Bee Eco Wraps make perfect gifts, handmade with love. If baking isn’t your thing, decadent, morish treats can be found at cafes, bakeries, and even the local The Source Bulk Food store and can then be bundled into upcycled glass jars and gifted.

#9 GET ON BOARD THE #REUSABLES TRAIN

Give your loved ones a gentle hint to stop using single-use items by gifting beautiful, locally-made ceramic coffee cups, drink bottles, or reusable tote bags. We love Pottery for the Planet for its eco-conscious selection of handmade ceramic cups, travel bowls, and dinnerware, in colourful, earthy tones that reflect the Australian landscape. Or pick up a reusable NOOSA water bottle from the Visitor Information Centre on Hastings Street.

#10 BUY QUALITY

Investing in products that are made to stand the test of time is another way to shop sustainably, at any time of the year. In other words – buy once, buy well! Let your dollars create the change you want by supporting companies that give back to their community and the planet, or are even certified B-Corp businesses, meaning they focus on purpose over profit.

...we have thought of two more ways you can eco-gift this Christmas, let's keep going beyond our top 10!

#11 BUY LESS, GIVE MORE

Handmade gifts often mean more than anything bought off the shelf. A quick google search will deliver you a world of inspiration, from handmade soaps and aromatherapy heat bags to infused oils and exotic tea blends. Get the kids involved and, with a little time and planning, create a collection of one-of-a-kind homemade eco-gifts for Christmas. Not so creative? The restoration of a family heirloom, like an old favourite watch or trinket will bring joy (and even a few tears) this Christmas. Your local community Mens Shed might be the perfect place to start when planning your restoration project.

#12 RE-GIFT

Our loved ones don’t always get it right, but one person’s trash is another’s treasure! If that unwanted gift is perfect for someone else, why not re-gift? A little discretion is advised here, but when done well, re-gifting is one of the best eco-gifting tools we have.

No matter what you choose to do, with a little thought and armed with the eco-conscious gift ideas above, your gift will be meaningful and better for the planet!

Eco Gifting Directory

We have some truly awesome small businesses across Noosa Shire that are committed to creating sustainable eco-friendly products and services. Choose eco-conscious gift-giving this Christmas and browse our Eco Gifting Directory to find the perfect present or two!

Eco Gifting Directory

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Ready to go plastic free? Plastic Free Noosa helps to protect the environment by empowering the Noosa community in eliminating single-use plastics through direct engagement, recognition and facilitating circular economies.

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