Birthdays and Christmas are well rubbish now we are trying to avoid new stuff. There’s just nothing I can get for anyone else so I just don’t bother and if anyone dares to get me something I chuck it back in their face. That’s if I’m in a good mood. If I’m feeling a bit grumpy I smash it on the floor and jump on the pieces while raging at them and screaming “why do you hate the environment? Are you totally evil?”
It’s a bit of a downer on the day if I’m honest but you’ve got to be firm about things.
Only kidding! I blooming love birfdays. Presents are the best! And don’t even get me started on cake. But over the past year I’ve started trying to really think about what I ask my family to treat me with with and I’ve tried, where possible, to buy or make more considered gifts for other people.
I’m definitely not perfect and until I’ve got my own house in order then I’d never dream of imposing rules on my friends and family about what they can purchase or not for me. Admittedly last year I did (politely) ask my sister to buy a more expensive used copy of a book when the new copy of it was on offer and much cheaper on amazon. (Thanks so much Frankie. You are a sister in a million)
My mum and dad were slightly luckier when it transpired that the number one item on the top of Chris’ birthday list was sat in their garden shed getting dusty. It took a bit of persuasion to convince my mum that what Chris really wanted, what he really really wanted, was a bit grimy a bit broken and, best of all, totally free!
Sometimes you (or your sisters) pay more for your convictions and other times you get ’em for free. Sorry Frankie.
One way and another this has been a week of gifts. Most of them have been fairly “good” in an Eco way and all of them bloody brilliant in a pleasure way.
For my birthday Chris got me a pair of ethical knickers in shocking pink – apparently he hadn’t even read my earlier post. He just knows me too well. He also got me a fab Gillette DE razor. I’ve been using my granddad’s old razor since I started this blog with mixed success and I’m hoping a good old ladies Gillette might solve some of the issues. Breaking news just in – I used both for my party yesterday and first impressions are pretty freaking good. (A proper knicker review is in the pipeline I promise).
My mum, dad and brother got me tickets to the 39 steps and Chris took me out for a meal beforehand. The evening was totally perfect and something we would rarely have bothered with before this waste awareness started. Even better I got Chris tickets for the curious incident of the dog in the night time for his special day a few months ago and since I was a cheapskate I could only afford tickets for Friday this week so we ended up hitting the west end twice in 5 days. The experience was better than any “thing” bought and wrapped could ever have been.
My sister got me a secondhand book about recycling found furniture. Double score there- well done Frankie. My mate Vicky made me a gorgeous cake while another friend Den gave me a beautiful purse and glass stone which she proudly told me she “found lying about the house”. Prefect, she clears some clutter and I gain a pretty purse ideal for keeping hairpins in at work. Add in some pink pepper and citrus chocolate from Rich and Emily and I felt properly spoilt.
I also got a gorgeous mug from my sister in law. It’s the sort of thing I would never have allowed myself to buy new but it is made by a small producer and is beautiful so it’s a real guilty pleasure.
Looking back at the week it’s really interesting to see how our habits have changed. Although we do still buy each other things and try to find them secondhand we’re more likely to go out and have fun. Which is great. Plus because 2nd hand is (usually – sorry Frankie) cheaper we usually have a bit more money to spend on having fun when we go out.
I’ve got one more pressie lined up. Tickets to a show by Adam Buxton from Chris. It’s another night out that we would probably have talked about but never got round to going to. All this zero waste is making us very cultured.
So there you go. Zero waste/ethical birthday presents are totally crappy and dull. How on earth do we live with the hardship of nights out, cake and frilly knickers?