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SDG12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Worldwide material consumption has expanded rapidly, as has material footprint per capita, seriously jeopardizing the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 12. Current material needs must not lead to the overextraction of resources or to the degradation of environmental resources. Policies that improve resource efficiency, reduce waste and mainstream sustainability practices across all sectors of the economy need to be invented urgently.

December is a time of celebration for many people across the world. In Christmas celebrating countries, it can also be a time of waste as an increased amount of paper and plastic is generated. With the world moving toward greener and more sustainable ways of life, many people are looking at alternative ways of gifting and wrapping gifts that don’t dampen the Christmas cheer.

Alternative gifts
Charitable donations instead of gifts isn’t a new concept but it has become easier to set up and do with website dedicated to charity fundraising and varied methods of payment. It’s now much easier to support a loved one’s loved cause.

The digital gifts options range is ever increasing. With more digital content available online, it’s becoming easier to buy subscriptions to magazines, newspapers and streaming sites such as Netflix, or CuriosityStream for those into documentaries and movies about art, science, history, travel and much more. Amazon has a gift option for ebooks and Audible (digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers) also has a gift option. In most cases all you need is the recipient's email address to send the gift. You can even gift someone an app for their phone or tablet. If you’re unsure of what exactly someone might like, digital gift cards allow for easy online buying.   

But not everyone is interested in the digital world. Many prefer their feet IRL (in real life) and there are gifting options that keep on giving. You can subscribe a loved one to monthly gift boxes. There is a large number of companies that offer monthly gift boxes with a huge array of products such as food stuffs, kitchen items or cosmetics.

Alternative gift wrapping
Eco wrapping paper, newspaper or brown paper with a cheerful cotton ribbon or colour raffia are lovely ways to wrap gifts. Gift bags or decorated paper bags can be reused or recycled once they’ve reached the end of their life.

Gifts can also be wrapped in bandanas, scarves or put in fabric shoppers or other reusable bags. The Japanese furoshiki and Korean bojagi are cloth wrapping traditions used for gifts and carrying everyday items.

Reduce Reuse Recycle doesn’t mean the end of Christmas cheer, just a different one.

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