By Rosa Kent -
Over the past month, since starting my internship at The Good Registry, I have embarked on a confronting journey – on a road to breaking up with excess stuff.
This idea really hit me while I was doing some research into Buy Nothing Day – a counter approach to the Black Friday sales – and I came upon a quote by Joshua Fields Milburn from The Minimalists: “Truthfully, though, most organising is nothing more than well-planned hoarding.”
I could almost hear the mammoth mountain of forgotten clothes groaning at me from the corner of my room.
This was when I started to realise that what I have truly been missing out on is less.
Going into the Christmas holiday season, this has also forced me to think more seriously about what I’m giving to others. Do I really want to add to their stash of unused junk and secret Santa gag gifts that sit in a forgotten corner of their house – or worse yet, go straight to the tip?
According to the Sustainability Trust, Kiwis send an extra 50,000 tonnes of waste to landfill every Christmas. That would be the same as 14,286 twenty-foot shipping containers packed full of rubbish – enough to stack up 105 times higher than the Auckland Sky Tower!
Because of this, clutter is a particularly important conversation in the lead up to Christmas. Not only is there a great opportunity to prevent unnecessary waste, but this period always serves as a perfect excuse to reflect, and to challenge ourselves to do things better.
So as we inch closer to Christmas, here are four helpful tips for cutting down the clutter this holiday season, and hopefully, to leave more room for a few extra bits of joy instead.
- Ask for less stuff.
Get specific about what exactly you really need or want this Christmas. Consider making an arrangement with your friends and whānau about not buying so many gifts, or giving small and useful ones instead. If you know that a few people want to buy you gifts for Christmas, set up a registry through The Good Registry here for your loved ones to donate to a charity of your choice – to spread more joy and less waste.
- Rethink Christmas cards.
Buy second-hand instead: Set some time aside to trawl through a few op-shops to look for some second-hand cards. This is a great way to find some absolute one-of-kind gems that no one else at the Christmas party will have.
Upcycle old Christmas cards: If you end up with a bunch of cards this Christmas or already have a big stack from previous years, check out these eight crafty ways to re-purpose them
Send virtual cards: To avoid adding to your loved ones’ collections of greeting cards gathering dust in drawers, send virtual cards instead. If you don’t know where to start with this, Good Gift Cards from The Good Registry can include personalised messages, and you can email them to whoever is on your list this Christmas. Plus, you can choose the amount you want to give and the recipient can donate that money to charities they care about.
- Give less ‘things.’
It was once said that the best things in life are not things. So, this Christmas, focus on special gifts that won’t trash the planet. Here are a few ideas:
- Give experiences.
- Buy a membership or subscription.
- Make a playlist.
- Give a Good Gift Card.
- Perform acts of service.
- Write a poem or song.
- Consider sustainable dinnerware and decoration options
Christmas can be a wild time for all types of unnecessary waste beyond gift-giving. So, before purchasing a pile of new plastic dinnerware or Christmas decorations, have a hunt for some second-hand options instead. You could also choose to decorate with natural decorations like pinecones. If you’re eager to buy Christmas crackers, give these reusable ones a try.