The wonderful evenings are ahead again with the December festive month. In this month full of holidays it is extra challenging to make sustainable choices. Because with Sinterklaas in the country, the wish lists of the children quickly fill up with their biggest toy wishes. If you can get away with an honest chocolate letter or sprinkles when you come up with the shoe presents, the expectantly beating hearts count on a little more on Pakjesavond. Fortunately, you can also make a sustainable choice here that makes the child, planet and your wallet happy.
Swapping certainly doesn't always come from crying
Consider Swap Sint, an initiative that works together with the toy exchange app SwipSwap. As they describe themselves: “Why buy everything new every year when you can also exchange? Recycle Sint wants to give as many toys a second life as possible. It is the best way to celebrate Sinterklaas in a sustainable and affordable way.” A great way to celebrate an unforgettable Pakjesavond while also being sustainable. Read more about how you can celebrate Sinterklaas sustainably from now on. Of course, the SwipSwap app can also be used perfectly for sustainable packages under the Christmas tree.
Peeking at your neighbors
Barter is booming not just for toys. In many neighborhoods in the Netherlands, there are active Facebook or Whatsapp groups where neighbors can exchange the most beautiful things with each other. Nothing to exchange, but are you looking for a sustainable gift and do you find vintage or second-hand no problem? Also think of the beautiful stuff that you can often find for a good price via the various local Facebook marketplaces. The largest in the Netherlands is Amsterdam Yard Sale, a closed Facebook group with more than 39,000 members where you can score the most beautiful gifts for next to nothing. There are also different Family Market groups in each city that are mainly focused on children's clothing, items and toys.
Would you rather not give second-hand gifts at Christmas, but make a sustainable choice? Then think homemade gifts. For example, you can dry your bunch of flowers yourself to give a nice drying bouquet. Or bake ginger cookies and put them in a glass preserving jar with a big bow. Learn to ferment and surprise your family and friends this Christmas with homemade kimchi or kombucha.
Support green entrepreneurs
Of course you can also just buy something in a store or online if you are not into DIY. Then pay attention to where you buy, buy locally from green entrepreneurs as much as possible. Such as the bookshop around the corner, that concept store that you walk past every day or take a look at the florist because they usually also sell vases, candles and other accessories for the home. Gift cards are always thoughtful, but please note that it is really from a smaller entrepreneur. For example, you can also buy a gift card from your favorite bistro. Has a baby just arrived in the family or is someone pregnant, have you thought of a Tiny Librabry gift card? You choose the amount yourself and the recipient can then rent something for the layette that makes them really happy.
So you can see that you can certainly come up with surprising and festive gifts this holiday season without having to make any concessions to sustainability. And that makes giving even better.