Billions wasted on crappy Christmas gifts that nobody wants: How to have a wealthier, healthier and better Christmas
Posted on November 28 2018
We all love a party – especially in Australia and especially in the summertime. Christmas is the perfect reason to get together with your favourite people, eat, drink and exchange gifts.
But Christmas seems to have morphed from a time of mirth, merriment and magnanimity, to a time of excessive over-consumption, when most credit card bills, waistlines and carbon footprints experience a massive blow-out. So, should we just give it a miss? Of course not! But we can do it better.
Australians are clearly a generous bunch when it comes to presents, spending more than $11 billion on Christmas gifts last year, but it’s sobering to think that at least 60% of the gifts we give are considered ‘unwanted’. Many of these (about $700 million worth) are thrown in the bin before New Year’s Eve and at least $4 billion worth of goods are returned to stores within a few days of Christmas, much of which is never resold, ending up instead, in landfill. There’s a whole new economy based on poor quality items that are not intended to last or even be particularly useful (these are especially popular as Secret Santa or Kris Kringle gifts at work parties). Although sometimes cute or fleetingly funny, these flimsy trinkets are symptoms of our modern take on Christmas and it’s really easy to imagine having just as much fun without them.
As well as wasting money on unwanted gifts, most of us produce about 30% more waste at Christmas than at any other time of year. In fact, every year, we throw away more than 365,000 m of wrapping paper, 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging and about $20 million worth of food (don’t even get us started about the problems caused by overeating at Christmas!). On average, Australians produce an extra 80 kg of carbon related to gift giving and Christmas is undoubtedly a big part of this for most of us. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy gifts, but you should buy quality presents that will last, be useful and appreciated. Better still, choose something that will help the receiver reduce their footprint next year!
Wealthy Healthy Better strive to help people live better all year ‘round, but Christmas is the perfect time for you to help your loved ones live a wealthier, healthier and better life, too. Giving someone you love (or work with or draw in a Secret Santa) a LIFE HACK PACK from our range will help them save hundreds of dollars next year, rid their homes of nasty chemicals that cause cancer, diabetes and reproductive disorders and reduce their ecological footprints. It’ll also help you reduce your Christmas footprint.
We have lots of smart and thoughtful gifts that improve lives and help you give, receive and feast without the guilt! Merry Christmas! 🧡 WHB