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The Christmas List of an Anti-Consumerist

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; malls are being raided, people are fighting over their size, trees are being cut down for the sake of decoration, Americans are adding an extra one million tons of garbage to the landfill per week, and most of us are getting things we don’t really need. I do not say this all to be a buzz kill, I say it because it is true.

While I do thoroughly enjoy Christmas and receiving presents, what is on the top of my list this year is not being wasteful. Instead of feeding into the consumerist agenda which causes me to desire things I will probably end up trashing the week after the holiday, I have decided to only wish for things I truly need and want.

In my opinion, it does not take being an anti-consumerist to simply want to get things you are going to use. Thus, here is a guide of inspiration for anyone like me who is trying to avoid holiday waste.

Experiences

Concerts, vacations, spa trips, amusement park tickets, a gym membership, sky diving… the list goes on. Not only experiences are a less wasteful gift, but they are also way more memorable. Another plus is that it doesn’t always have to be expensive and you can spend it with the people you love. My favorite thing and sometimes the only thing I ask for each Christmas are concert tickets to see my current favorite musician if they are on tour.

books

This one is geared more toward people who enjoy reading. Me, I love having a physical copy of a book since I already stare at a screen all day for school and work. I recommend ThriftBooks for the cheapest and sustainable book options, but supporting a local bookstore isn’t a bad idea either.

Yoga mat

This is another niche gift idea, but as someone who enjoys doing yoga, I wanted to find an eco-friendly and pretty looking yoga mat to use for my practice instead of a flimsy one from TJ Maxx. There are so many yoga mat companies that make their mats from natural materials. After doing extensive research I found a beautiful sustainable travel yoga mat in cork from Yoloha (now I just cross my fingers that Santa pulls through).

film camera / Art supplies

Although this is not the most environmentally friendly item on my list, a film camera and art supplies are something I can use daily that allow me to create and that gives me joy. Film photography is a passion of mine that I have not been able to continue since my original camera stopped working. From my experience, film cameras are best bought from eBay, making them thrifty and truly old school. Art is also something I love to do but that I lack the tools for. Trying something new and being creative are things that can stay with you forever, therefore, I would recommend thinking of your interests and hobbies when coming up with your gift ideas.

giftcards

There is no easier and more useful gift than a gift card (when it is for a place you normally shop). Your distant family members will thank you when all they have to do is fetch a Trader Joe’s gift card for you amongst all the number of other presents they have to buy. It saves you money, and you get to choose what you like when you go to that store. It’s less wasteful, and its a win-win.

Sofia is a sophomore studying Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communications at FIU. You might have already guessed, but she loves all things writing and art. She was born and raised in New Jersey but currently resides in Miami. Sofia has a passion for seeing new places, trying new things, and delving into the world of different media.