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To gift or not to gift…

It’s that time of the year again – festive season madness.  While we as Shop Zero do not promote consumerism and encouraged customers not to buy anything (excluding your essentials of course) during the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail campaigns, we are also realists and understand that gifting is a tradition for many during this time.

Sustainable festive gifting
I personally believe the trick is to handle it responsibly.  After two decades of attempting to mimimise our family’s festive gift budget, we have finally settled on a gifting solution that works quite nicely for everyone.  We all put or names on individual pieces of (recycled) paper, pop the names in a bowl and then each family member draws a name.  You will then ONLY buy a gift for that person whose name you drew and it has to fall within the allocated budget (which is R300 in our case).  This way everyone gets a gift and you can buy something decent for that amount – first prize being from a second-hand store.

Sustainable living inspiration
Why limit the joy of sustainable living to the festive season?  Let it be the start of a new lifestyle, one that focuses on being more aware of your impact on the environment.  Attempt to eliminate that which does not serve your health or the well-being of this planet.  Start by looking at what you consume on a daily basis and ask:
1. Is it all necessary?
2. Where can I cut back on waste and excess?

Introduce small changes instead of trying to tackle everything at once, which might become overwhelming and discourage you from the end goal: being kind to yourself and this beautiful planet.

For example: If you notice you love and eat a lot of chocolate, how can you still enjoy this treat in a healthy and responsible way?  Easy… through informed substitution!

Take Soaring Free Superfoods Raw Chocolate.  Although it comes in packaging, its Certified Organic Raw Cacao in home compostable packaging means it’s organic,  it’s a superfood and it’s packaged earth friendly.  By swapping a refined sugary chocolate bar wrapped in non-recyclable plastic for wholesome Raw Superfoods Chocolate, you know you’re doing the right thing, since the chocolate is fair trade, unprocessed and packaged in resonsible packaging.  You can even cut up the packaging and pop it in your bokashi composter bin.

This is a small example of turning an old ‘bad’ habit into a ‘new’ constructive one.   This process will become second nature if you continue to ask these simple questions as you navigate through your daily consumption habits.

Sustainable gift guide
If you are looking for sustainable gifting ideas that have a positive impact on our planet, here are some suggestions.  These really are gifts that keep on giving as they are ALL reusable and make a real difference to reducing your plastic waste:

R100 and under
Stainless Steel/ Copper /Glass Straw & Straw Cleaning Brush
Coconut Bowl
FreshBags veggie or bread bags
Masterstock Cape Wild Food 50ml bottle
Nourish luxurious body/ face soaps or shampoo bars

R200 and under
Market string bag
Hemp printed shopping bags: exclusive to Shop Zero
Bamboo toothbrush & travel case
Back2Nature vegan face & body products

R300 and under
Ecoffee/ William Morris reusable bamboo cup
Reusable drinking bottles
Composter: bokashi bin & bran
Kuro-Bo water filters
Tiffin food and picnic storage tin
Book: Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
Book: The Magic of Superfoods by Peter & Beryn Daniel

Happy sustainable shopping and remember, every small change makes a huge difference.  So even if you don’t shop zero waste yet, aim to shop eco-friendly.

The festive season is not necessarily a religious occasion for our family, but it is the only time we are all able to all take leave and come together as a family to look back on the year, be thankful for our blessings and spend quality time together.  We wish our Shop Zero customers and followers the same and more.

If you have any other sustainable tips and tricks or any ideas for responsible gifting solutions, please share it with us and post them in the comments here.