Sustainable Christmas Present Guide – Experience Edition

It is well known that people like experiences, but rather get to do things they would love to do. I, for example, would love to try paragliding and snorkelling and someday hope to get that experience. Meanwhile to provide your loved ones with a thoughtful gift that can be sustainable as well I compiled a list of things that don’t require wrapping. There should be things for different budgets!

Sustainable Christmas Present Guide - Experience Edition - byLiiL

Charity Donation – There are numerous charity donation present offers on the market especially on Christmas from giving a blanket, plant trees, adopt a wild animal. I am sure there is one for almost every charity there is! I would love all of these and remember getting one of the charity presents from my sister one Christmas. Of course, as a little girl, I always wanted to adopt a wild animal!!

Name A Star – There are such numerous amounts of stars in the sky so why not name one after your loved one as their present. I could see this as the perfect present for babies especially, but why not for everybody who loves astrology as well!

Lessons or a course – You all know that I am all up for a course to educate myself further on a variety of topics, but I am sure I am not the only one. The lessons can be from open universities, but could also be a cooking class, knitting or sewing classes, yoga classes or a teacher training course, you name it there is probably a class or a course for it!

Sustainable Christmas Present Guide - Experience Edition - byLiiL

Passes and Memberships – Your loved one might have eyed that certain membership for ages and not dared to spend money on it. Gym memberships, Zoo or museum passes, yearly cinema tickets.

Tickets to Events – Concert and theatre tickets will always be a wanted gift! But different exhibitions, movies even circus could be a fun addition as well!

Trip – Travelling isn’t always sustainable, but I believe it nourishes your sole so as long as you do it sustainably then I think this is a great present! Sometimes little trips locally can be as good as the ones done abroad!

Sustainable Christmas Present Guide - Experience Edition - byLiiL

A service they need – Sometimes there are things that your loved ones cannot do any longer or are fed up doing, but don’t want to use money on it. You could offer the service done by yourself or buy it for them, such as cleaning service which I am sure nobody would refuse!

Experiences – Dinner with a loved one, skydiving, paragliding, snorkelling, diving, hiking or there is a bunch of fun and sustainable activities such as Hunt for Northern Lights or Whale gazing. Some people might need something more relaxing such as Spa weekend or even just a massage appointment.

Your time – In the end what most people want is time with you. We are all very busy and often forget that all of our relationships require time and affection, so remember to offer your time to your loved ones in any way you can whether it is face to face, in a dark movie theatre or through skype call.

Sustainable Christmas Present Guide - Experience Edition - byLiiL

What kind of experiences do you like to receive as presents?

With love,

Lii

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Happy Favourites of the Week – Awaiting Christmas

Cheesy Christmas Movies – Lately I’ve been really into watching cheesy Christmas movies. I do an annoyed commentary on top of almost all of the time or smirk and laugh at the poor plot, but still there is something quite comforting in them and apparently, I am still looking for something comforting at all times! I know it’s too early, but then again I don’t really feel like being in a festive spirit just yet.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Awaiting Christmas - byLiiL

My little plant corner – I already shared a picture of my plant corner at the beginning of the week and how happy it makes me, and it still does! My little succulents are loving the light and warmth in that corner and growing much faster. In addition, we got some coconut husk soil which seems to really agree with them!

Seeing my family – It’s been a while since I last saw my family and although this trip of ours is short and doesn’t even cover Christmas it is still always lovely and rejuvenating to spend some quality time with your family. And especially seeing the little Godson again, he is already growing up so fast!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Awaiting Christmas - byLiiL

Snow – I ran away from Finland because of snow and coldness during the winter. So it is funny that snow is one of my favourites this week. But snow once a year on your holiday is lovely, especially when you get this magical scenery that we had this week. But when it will melt or there is too much of it, then it starts to get less than lovely.

December – It’s finally December and I get to cheer my loved ones up with a story advent calendar, which I have made them for the couple last years. They seem to really enjoy it and it makes me want to keep going, even when I am getting stressed with writing it the closer we get to Christmas.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Awaiting Christmas - byLiiL

 

How was your week?

With love,

Lii

 

What Was I Up To in November

Last month, again, was very busy for me work vice, and it looks like December will be as well until Christmas. I still managed to have some time to write about sustainability. I shared the interesting Sustainable news from October, I wrote about the sustainable problems with plastic and Why I don’t shop on Black Friday.

What Was I Upto in November - byLiiL

As Christmas is nearing I shared some Sustainable Christmas gift tips and new soy wax candles. There is definitely more coming soon!

Finally, I shared articles about how to make your life better and my favourite Insta pics from October.

Happy Favourites of the Week - New Things For Winter - byLiiL

What did you do in November? And what are your plans for December?

With love,

Lii

Sustainable Christmas Present Guide 2017

Christmas is the time when people get crazy to get present for their loved ones and generally we spend a lot of money not only on presents but also on food and decorations. This is the perfect time to buy from your local little boutiques and businesses supporting them at this time of the year and you will most likely get gratitude on top of your shopping, unlike from the high street stores.

Last year I shared my Christmas present guide, which you can find here, but this year I wanted to add a bit more to it.

6 Santa's helpers - byLiiL

Bake or Make Food Items – One of the favourite presents that I have given anybody was when I’ve gifted cheesecake that I made. That was dessert sorted! There are so many other things that you can make for your loved ones from homemade granola and jam, bread and so on. Check this Pinterest board for ideas.

Make Presents Yourself – In addition to food, you can make presents that are meaningful and don’t break your budget. My family has loved self-made calendars for the year, photo books, self-made pyjamas and woolly socks. If you are good at something or want to get better, well then this a perfect time to practice while you make presents! Check this Pinterest board for ideas.

Personalised Presents – Many little shop owners make quality items and personalise them to their customer’s needs. I found a great jewellery designer who made personalised necklaces and bracelets on Not On The High Street when I was getting a present for my friends birthday. Etsy is also a great resource to look through if you want personalised anything from jewellery to kitchen items and fashion.

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Potted Plants – I love having plants in my house, I probably get it from my mum, and will always love it if I got potted plants as presents. At the moment I am growing little succulent seedlings that I hope to pot at some point and give as presents to my family.

Delicious Foods – We once got a box of beer for Christmas from a local brewery which the present giver new that we liked. Of course, presents don’t always need to be alcohol any preservatives, superfood packaging, luxurious chocolates, coffee or cheeses could be a great gift. To be more sustainable make sure to buy local produce and be sure you know they are not sensitive to any of the ingredients. Check these out for inspiration: eden project, almighty foods and your local farm or grassroots shops.

Handmade one-of-a-kind items from Artisans – There are a few shops that sell artisan-made items which can be absolutely beautiful and surely nobody else has anything like it! Check Wild Tussah, Ebb and Thread and Nandi Berlin.

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Kits for growing Herbs or other plants – This was something I was really wishing for last year. I really wanted to grow a bonsai tree.

Sustainable Fashion and Homeware – Socks, scarfs, blankets, pyjamas – these are the things most people love to get for Christmas and it is even better if they are sustainably and locally made. Check Honest Rosie, Doo.Bla.Vey, Elborne living, People Tree, Siizu, Matt and Nat, Luva Huva, Primrose and Pixie, Buy Me Once and Gather and See.

Books from Independent Stores – Amazon has taken the world by storm, but in effect, independent stores are losing on sales and good quality writing and books are getting lost in the popular junk books that are on the markets right now. When buying from an independent store chances are you get the service you deserve!

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Experiences – The one thing you can gift is not wrapped in paper and I have a whole other post for these so stay tuned!

 

What kind of gifts do you like to receive or give?

With love,

Lii

8 Articles To Make Your Life Better

How To Upgrade Your Life In 22 Minutes – Neuroscientist research-based way of setting an intention for a better day, each day.

Indecisiveness Is Standing Between You and The Life You Want To Live – A post about making decisions and changes with the end goal in mind.

https://byliil.wordpress.com/

7 Morning Habits For A Better Day – Including the intention for the day, there are 6 other habits that can make it better.

11 Home Remedies To Help Eliminate Acne Scars – Easy to do and understand steps to help eliminate acne scars and take care of your skin. I don’t really have acne scars, but I still found several things interesting and something that I want to try!

Why I Use Fluoride-Free Toothpaste and You Should Too Now It Has Been Classified A Neurotoxin – F toxins writes about fluoride-free toothpaste and why you should leave fluoride off your healthcare routine.

https://byliil.wordpress.com/

An Esthetician Explains: The Correct Order For Applying Your Skincare Products – Finally, we have an answer when we should be applying moisturiser and when the serum!

Dry Skin Brushing – Reduce Toxins and Cellulite In Just 60 Seconds – Wel you won’t reduce it in the first 60 seconds, but f toxins explain how routinely dry brushing it can have positive effects for you.

Things You Have To Stop Telling Yourself – Excellent post describing things that people say to themselves and advice on how to stop saying them.

https://byliil.wordpress.com/

 

Share any articles that you might think would be beneficial for us all in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii

Why I Don’t Shop On Black Friday – The Issue With The Sales Culture

It is the time of the year again when shops are filling with sales signs, people have made lists in anticipation of what is going to be on sale and hoping to find the best bargains for Christmas presents or in clothes and technology. In the USA people are going crazy and hurting themselves when pushing into the shops to be the first one to get the long-awaited bargain and in the UK people are browsing through the Amazon deals finding what they think are treasures. Mostly this is just the start of the stressful time before Christmas and we could argue whether sales and high expectations for Christmas are making the time ‘less wonderful’. I have to agree that every year I do check the Black Friday deals, but somehow none of the sales have so far enticed me enough to buy something, or I am just too late and the deals are already gone.

Lately, been more involved with small businesses I have come to see sales and especially Black Friday as the villain of the retail and quality products. There are numerous articles on why Black Friday is not really benefitting the retail industry, but of course not quite as many as ‘find the best bargains on Black Friday’, unfortunately. Black Friday, however, is not a problem only for retailers but for the consumers and for our environment as well!

Why I Don't Shop On Black Friday - The Issue With The Sales Culture - byLiiL

The Sale Is An Illusion

It is widely known that retailers either raise the prices during a previous month to make their sales look good, or inflate the “original price” on the add or the tag for the product making it look like a bargain. Actually, this tactic is used outside of Black Friday all the time. Have you noticed how prices on your favourite products at Asda jump up and down weekly and sometimes the sale price isn’t actually lower than the products price on a month before?

What is less widely known is that brands manufacture items specifically for Black Friday items with a far poorer quality to make up for the sale tag, especially within the technology sector. It generates additional waste and requires more cheap labour. This phenomenon is also seen in discount retailers such as TK Maxx to which brands manufacture a specific lower quality product.

Of course, there are some genuine discounts during Black Friday as well, however, in the mids of all the other falsified discounts they might be hard to find.

Why I Don't Shop On Black Friday - The Issue With The Sales Culture - byLiiL

Small Business’ Suffer

We can already see that small business’ have trouble competing with big brands pricing. I’ve heard numerous times how small business product prices seem too high for the conventional consumer. So when the big brands lower their prices it provides an uncomfortable pressure for the small brands to lower their prices as well to be able to compete.

Although Black Friday is meant to be only one day many brands and retailers, have extended their sales for a weekend or even a week. Now Amazon made it for the whole month!

Small brands generally don’t make the same profit as big brands from the items sold, as production costs are much higher for locally made items or those made in small batches, so discounting any items will probably end up in them losing on profit altogether.

If small brands do not discount their prices they are likely to miss on any product sales as customers pass them on their way to the sales shelves and racks.

Our culture seems to think it is always appropriate to have a sale. For example, Etsy, which is known to be a marketplace for small brands and which should support them, sends emails before Christmas or sales period advising sellers to discount their items.

 

Why I Don't Shop On Black Friday - The Issue With The Sales Culture - byLiiL

It Is Not Necessarily Better For The Economy

People often have “sales goggles” on when shopping during Black Friday which results in a lot of returns afterwards, where products have either been faulty or suddenly people realise they don’t need the products that they thought they were craving for.

Although big brands might sell a lot during Black Friday and other sales events advertising and returns might not make this event any more profitable than any other day.

In preparation for sales seasons, some brands keep their prices originally higher so that they won’t make a loss during the sales periods, therefore, raising the product prices. Could this be avoided if we didn’t have sales periods and rather have slightly lower priced items all year round?

Why I Don't Shop On Black Friday - The Issue With The Sales Culture - byLiiL

What We Could Do To Support A More Sustainable And Economical Trade

Instead of trying to get the best bargain we could just keep supporting the small brands with their fair prices. This will support the brand and the local economy.

The modern understanding for Black Friday is that it is the start of the shopping period for Christmas and is a completely commercial marketing tactic, so to not be swept in the craziness you could just not shop on those days.

While reading the Ethical Unicorn blog I came upon brand Very Kerry who instead of discounting their items during Black Friday gives a portion of their sales to charity, what a great idea!

 

What do you think about Black Friday and other sales events?

With love,

Lii

Happy Favourites of the Week – New Things For Winter

New trinket – Although I am trying to be more sustainable, I am not really a minimalist. If I really want something and know I will have it for long or for the rest of my life I will get it. I am not one to get rid of homeware items when I get bored of them, but rather cherish each item or pass it along to a next person who can cherish it. That could be the reason for why I don’t shop homeware a lot. Buying new trinkets is actually a thing I don’t really do. But for some time now I have been looking for a Buddha’s head. I finally found one the size and shaper that I liked after searching for it for 3 years. And you know, it really does bring me joy every single time I see it under our beautiful flamingo plant!

Happy Favourites of the Week - New Things For Winter - byLiiL

Murder On The Orient Express – I’ve been waiting for this movie for a long time and now finally it was in the cinemas so we could go and see it, and I loved it. It was beautifully done, Kenneth Branagh was absolutely brilliant and the plot was intriguing. I haven’t seen any of the previous versions of this movie or any other Hercule Poirot movies or read them, but am now really eager to do so!

Cranberry and Orange candle – While getting some Christmas presents I ordered myself a couple of soy wax candles and I absolutely fell in love with the cranberry and orange scent. These candles are made by Rainflower and this one smells like the most comforting tea which is just slightly sweetened. So lovely!!

Happy Favourites of the Week - New Things For Winter - byLiiL

Why I’m Not Buying The New iPhone X – There are many reasons why I wouldn’t buy the new iPhone X, or any other iPhones, but Kirsten Leo takes a sustainable and humanitarian view on why she wouldn’t buy one and explains it excellently! We should all take a second before buying new technology!

Celebrities Read Mean Tweets #11 – This was the first time I saw this Jimmy Kimmel segment and couldn’t stop laughing. It is really funny, although quite rude as well, still, it made my midday much more amusing!

Happy Favourites of the Week - New Things For Winter - byLiiL

New slouchy rollneck jumper – I very rarely buy clothes, so when I do I know I will get a lot of wear out of them. The slouchy rollneck jumper had been on my list for nearly two years and suddenly this week I grabbed it at the store and didn’t let go. It is the softest and the warmest jumper ever and will probably worn way too much in the cold days of this winter!

Doisy & Dam chocolates – These little packs of chocolate, although are tiny are absolutely delicious!

Happy Favourites of the Week - New Things For Winter - byLiiL

 

How was your week? Let me know in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii