Green Challenge Month Three: Green Giving

Green Giving: Good for the Planet and Good for Your Pocket Too!

Christmas is too often an awful time for the planet, as we buy plenty of things with good intentions towards friends and family but with no thought for the earth whatsoever. Many gifts which are bought are made of plastic, and many are often completely unneeded and unnecessary. Some presents are bought as a joke which will make someone laugh once and then end up in landfill. Read this dark but important post by environmentalist and author George Monbiot about our pointless and destructive over-consumption, especially at Christmas time.

Many of us are worse off this year than we've pretty much ever been, because of a long period of austerity which seems to have no end in sight. This month's Green Challenge- Green Giving- is good for the environment but could be good for our pocket too! Below you will find this month's challenges with points for each one, but if you scroll further down, you'll also find ideas of how to make and bake your own presents. Thought, time and love replaces money any day! Good luck with SCM Green Challenges Month 3!

Challenges and Points

Calculate your score using the points system below and then email us your score at the end of the month! See the current leaderboard here.

2 points: buy one green gift for someone for Christmas (see Ethical SuperstoreOxfam gifts, Good GiftsWoodland Trust Shop, Protect the PlanetGreen Tulip, Eden Project Shop etc. for ideas). If you have the money, you could buy someone an experience gift- at least there's no risk of it ending up in landfill!

5 points: make one gift for someone for Christmas (see below for ideas on what to make and how)

7 points: make a green gift for someone and share a photo of it with SCM!

20 points: all of your Christmas gifts are either bought green gifts (see Ethical Superstore or Oxfam) or they are all made by you (or a mixture of both)

30 points: make or buy all green gifts this Christmas, take pics for SCM and write a blog about the experience for SCM!

Ideas for Making and Baking Your Own Gifts

In the book 'L is for Lifestyle', Ruth Valerio quotes Richard Foster's 'ten principles of simplicity':

"Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status; Develop the habit of giving things away; Refuse to be propagandised by the custodians of modern gadgetry; Learn to enjoy things without owning them; Develop a deeper appreciation for creation; Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others."

Below are some ideas of what to make / bake for people this Christmas:

Mint Sugar Scrub by Good Life Eats

DIY Sharpie Mugs by Living Well Spending Less 

Cheque Promises: Write 'cheque promises' on pieces of paper, telling your friends and family the kind actions you will do for them. 

Vegan Brownies by Jamie Oliver

Chutneys, jams and cordials by The Guardian

Peppermint creams by Lucy's Friendly Foods

Fruit and nut chocolate chequers by BBC Good Food

Marzipan sweets by Netmums

Shortbread by BBC Food- can also be made vegan

Mulled wine sachets by Good Housekeeping