Get organised in advance

Get in early and have the ‘present’ conversation with family and friends. You might agree to have no gifts, and instead put the saved money and time into just being together. Alternatively, instead of buying a present for everyone, why not draw names out of a hat and have each family member buy just one person in the family one quality present.


Consider experiences over material things

Maybe you could gift a voucher for a massage, organise a picnic, or if you have particularly useful skills like repairs, mending or mentoring, you could gift these for future use. There are all sorts of homemade consumables that make great green gifts, like home baking, cordials, kombucha, chutneys, fermented goodies and spice mixes. If it’s within your budget, a day pass to the Zoo, a theme park or observatory are experiences everyone can enjoy together.

Give things a second life

Head to your local op shop or Trade Me to find treasure. Have a chat with your friends and family and see if they have any favourite things that you or a professional could repair for them; shoes that need new soles, broken jewellery, an amp, a zipper on a favourite top.


Buy local and from the product creator

If you do choose to buy something new, try to buy local products directly from the maker, aim for quality over quantity and avoid cheap flimsy things that have a track record of only lasting for a few months – things like inflatable toys, flimsy camping chairs, gimmicky ‘joke’ presents. Ideally get things that are repairable and at the end of their usable life can be composted or recycled.

Get creative when wrapping

Don’t feel pressured into spending lots of money on wrapping paper that will be used once then discarded. You can save money by using something reusable like a scarf or upcycled and compostable materials like newspaper or an old kid's drawing. If you do use wrapping paper, try to avoid glitter or laminated paper as these are not recyclable or compostable.

Article and images reproduced with permission from Wellington City Council