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The tragic news this year about the horrible air quality in some big cities around the world, unusual droughts and floods are the sad examples of the consequences of the climate change caused by the mankind. I find myself startled by the magnitude of the problem: is there anything an individual can do to make it better at this stage?

Walking along the high street of my home town shop windows are already filled with glittery Christmas stuff: clothing, cosmetics and jewellery – all displayed to attract the Christmas shoppers. The sight of this enormous quantity of products actually makes me feel a little nervous and anxious. Questions start to build up in my mind: “Where is all this stuff going to end up at?”, “What happens to the products that are not sold?” and “Who actually needs half of these items?”. Not that I would ever want to refuse anyone from having a generous, beautiful and gift-filled Christmas, but I just cannot do it the way I have been doing it before.

And I don’t think it’s only me. We all know it. We have extended the life of our over-consuming habits for too long.

Does needing change mean we have to let go of something we are not ready to give up? If one’s successful and happy Christmas is dependent on the metal shade of wrapping paper, triple-packed cookies transported from the other side of the earth or a target number of gifts received per person, then the answer is yes. But we all know that Christmas spirit is made from much more important ingredients than those listed above.

This Christmas we can change the glossy, non-recyclable wrapping paper to beautiful gift boxes that are also environmentally friendly. You can feel the difference just by holding one in your hands.  (Please see Truly Gifting box range for second hand gifts.) The fresh home made cookies or the masterpieces from the local bakery can replace the imported counterparts – what could be better! And a smaller, personal gift with an idea, story and/or history beats a hundred meaningless goods.

As a Truly Gifting enthusiast, I advocate second hand gifting. These days, purchasing pre-used goods is as easy as buying them new. There are plenty of shops -online and offline- to choose from. These come with a wide range of prices to choose from. Whether it’s a Vestiaire Collective’s luxury second hand product or stuff from a local Freecyling community. There are various alternatives to the pickiest people and especially to those who seem to have it all: Pre-used is very much unique.

I am well aware that without new, there can be no old. I also advocate for buying new items, but focusing on a different way of consuming and extending the life cycle of a product. When you buy an item which is well made from good materials, preferably by a company with ethical standards you can count on, then your purchase is sustainable and long lasting.

For example, Polarn O. Pyret, a clothing company for children, has a neck label in each of their clothing items with room for three names. Their message is that the product is made to last, made to be inherited. And why not to be gifted, again and again.

All change is driven by individuals. Small good deeds add up, turning into movements when there are enough individuals sharing the cause. This sharing will make a difference.

 

I hope we can make it together this Christmas!

 

TIIA

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