It’s the most wonderful time of the year…or is it?

It is that time of the year again and whether you love it or hate it, there is no escaping it. Christmas is upon us.

Starting with Black Friday this year, which has now crept its way onto our beloved islands, the Christmas madness has commenced.

If you, like us, are tired of the endless buying frenzy of stuff that no one really needs  then we have 9 simple ideas on how to be a little more sustainable this Christmas:

  1. Gifts:

Buy fair trade or make your own(upcycling, ect)

A good option is COREGREEN, who have an option to send your budget and they actually suggest fair trade and eco gift ideas. Soooo easy it sounds too good to be true.

Also check out SayIt this Christmas, both in Fgura and now in Valletta too.

Some more sustainable alternatives can be found on our SUSY Map.

You might also find some cool gifts at the numerous charity shops around Malta and Gozo.

And don’t be too posh for second hand, remember Julia Roberts and Zack Affron swear by the hidden gems you can discover at thrift stores. Kurt Cobain also shopped there. Although that might not come as a huge surprise.

If the above options are not your thing, we at Kopin recommend giving a cool experience, be it an excursion, a fitness experience or a yummy meal. Always appreciated.

Tip: avoid spa gifts as these use a lot of water which in Malta we really shouldn’t waste

 

  1. Sustainable Christmas dinner– why not go organic this Christmas or at least buy free range meat and eggs? Local Vegetables are plentiful at this time so go local!

Alternatively go completely veggggyy…..if you dare… There are a few recipes out there, that even grandad might find acceptable.

 

  1. Home-made decorations – What to do with all those old newspapers, all letters and all plastic wrapping? Here’s an idea, why not use to make some funky Christmas décor?

And what about all the old Christmas and birthday cards? Gather them (if you dare), have one more nostalgic read and then produce something magical…

Instead of endless wasteful Christmas crackers and plastic shianigans, why not use recycled materials or home made stuff? Pintrest is full of ideas so have a look

 

  1. Secret Santa could make someone else happy this year, donate to children that cannot afford gifts or try the reverse advent calendar, where you donate a food item every day from 1st to 24th

 

  1. Use your work Christmas party to fund for a good causeà warms your heart more than mulled wine my friends….

 

  1. Christmas lights… we all love it, shiny magical lights flicker all around the island. Local councils and private citizens alike, make an effort to turn the Rock into one massive landing strip, be it the classic santa climbing up your balcony(oh the horror) or millions of little christmas lights. But why forget about our planet during Christmas?

Use LED lights, dispose of your batteries responsible and try a motion censor or timer so there are not on all the time. The added value of this is that you might scare the crap out of the neighbour’s cat that keeps peeing on your porch.

 

  1. Christmas Cards: again, lets use awesome recycled material

Or go to the Charity shop, where cards will be cheaper and are sold for a good cause.

The worst thing to do is to buy Christmas cards with audio and light effects, because the electronics involved generate problematic waste which often ends up in the wrong place – in the household bin.

 

  1. Cookies!

 

What is Christmas without sweets? Especially Christmas Cookies are a staple since they are good to share or as gifts (or to stuff your face with on a stormy day when your partner is at the Christmas work party).

So for the Bakers:  try to use products without palm oil(or properly sourced) and with fair trade sugar, nuts and chocolate.

If you are not the baking type, fear not, the fair trade options mentioned in point 1 also sell finished cookies and chocolate so INDULGE A LITTLE.

 

  1. Alternatives to Gift wrapping

This is a big one. Hardly anyone is left unmoved by the sight of so much wrapping paper littering the floor on the 25th. But is the alternative to unceremoniously hand over  unwrapped gifts? We say no!

Why not use one of those brown paper bags that we all have at home and make a collage from old newspapers and magazines?

This way you can even personalize the gift wrapping!

 

Be creative(or make your kids do it)!