Five questions to ask before you get out your credit card

  • Does your loved one really need it? Avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle. Does your loved one really need the gift or souvenir you're buying? Would a donation or experience be better?
  • Was the gift made or grown locally? Wherever possible, choose gifts that have been made or grown locally. Buying locally will support the local economy and employment, and minimise energy use and emissions.
  • Is the gift made from biodegradable or recycled materials? Wherever possible, choose biodegradable gifts, gifts made from materials that can be recycled or gifts made from recycled materials as much as possible. These products will have less negative impact on our waterways, air and soil once you have finished using them.
  • Does the gift have an energy efficiency rating, guarantee or environmentally-friendly grading? Does the gift come with a guarantee? Is the brand committed to responsible practices? Does it have an Energy Rating Label? Look for products that promote sustainable farming and manufacturing.
  • How is the gift packaged? Does your gift have excess packaging? This can be particularly relevant when purchasing online. Choose products with less packaging and remember to take reusable shopping bags from home rather than use single-use plastic bags. While you're at it, create an e-card rather than use a paper card, and get creative with your gift wrapping.

(Source: Sustainability Victoria)

Our top sustainable gifts

  • Plants bars of soap, shampoo bars or sustainable beauty products
  • Second-hand books by a favourite writer
  • Donation to a charity
  • Reusable water bottle or straws
  • Homemade treats such as truffles or lemon curd
  • Wooden toys
  • Second-hand games consoles and games or tablets
  • An experience – a massage, concert tickets, yoga classes etc
  • Non-plastic jewellery

Spark joy by donating to charity

If you don’t need more stuff this Xmas, say no to wasted energy and spark joy by donating to a charity.

The Good Registry has 65 charity partners that make things better for the planet, people and animals.

To put that in perspective, if every New Zealander replaced one $10 gift card with a donation to a good cause, that would be $49 million of goodness – and a lot less packaging and wrapping going to the landfill.

You can give Good Gift Cards or create your own Good Gift Registry and ask friends to donate to a charity you choose.

It’s also a great option for corporates to replace branded merchandise.

This year The Good Registry is partnering with some new charity partners, including The Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch City Missions.

In the first week of lockdown, Wellington City Mission had a 400% increase in requests for food parcels, and Christchurch City Mission saw a sevenfold increase in their budgeting advice service. During the second Auckland lockdown, the Auckland City Mission broke its own record by providing more than 1,500 food parcels in one week.

The Good Registry was co-founded by three Kiwis who are all passionate about doing good things.

“We’d love to see anyone who cares about people and the planet choosing to give kindness instead of stuff this Christmas. Many of us don’t want or need more stuff - but everyone appreciates a little kindness. That’s never been more true than it has in 2020.”

Check out The Good Registry(external link)

"Many of us don’t want or need more stuff - but everyone appreciates a little kindness."

Christine Langdon, Co-founder and Chief of Good