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“Why I’m Gifting Sustainably This Holiday Season”

Aveda ambassador Elyse Knowles on her festive approach

By Anna Saunders

There are few things more joyful than watching a small child tear into their Christmas presents. But for Elyse Knowles, that happy moment has become increasingly clouded by realisation that the holiday season involves excessive waste and plastic. 

“I can’t help but fixate on the enormous amount of packaging the toys come in. And it often involves so much plastic! Even though plastic toys are exciting for kids, nowadays there are plenty of eco-alternatives that I swear will give them the same satisfaction,” the Aveda ambassador told PRIMER.

“When I think back to all of my Christmas’s to date, as well as the happy, festive memories – what also jumps into mind is the amount of waste that is produced. “The bins are usually exploding before 9am! Wrapping paper, gift boxes, ribbons … so much waste. While a beautifully wrapped present might look pretty – it’s not doing our planet any favours.”

That’s why Elyse is determined to gift more sustainably this year – and she shared a few of her sustainable gift ideas with PRIMER.

For children:Wooden games, things they can plant in the garden & watch grow. Arts & crafty things that will spark their imagination & creative side. I suppose these days, we all have so much! It’s fun to think outside the box & give someone something a little more unique (and less damaging for the planet).”

Her family: I plan on giving my family the beautiful Aveda Chakra sprays, soaps & shampoo and conditioners gift sets depending on their hair type. My favourite is the Damage Remedy Hair Repair Trio gift pack! These are things I know they’ll use everyday & Aveda always adds a little luxury into life. The products smell beautiful, they make you feel invigorated & best yet … they use NO chemicals and products are cruelty free!! This means no nasties will be absorbed into their skin & airways or down their drains into the ocean. The packaging is also made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials – so not plastic! All of the Aveda gift sets are kind to the earth and that’s the best gift of all.

And the gifts that she loves to receive? I recently celebrated a birthday & received some natural scents, candles & lip balms. All natural, chemical free and packaged in materials such as glass or tin. I really loved that people had thought about everything from the gift to the packaging – it means the world to me!

I always love to fill my home with pottery & ceramics. My Mumma bought me an amazing ceramic mug & tea pot not long ago, that I literally use every single day! I adore drinking my chai from it. It’s a weird little hobby of mine, but I collect beautiful mugs, so this gift from mum was perfect.

For more conscious and considered gift ideas, look out for PRIMER’s ‘Considered Christmas’ gift guide, coming soon…!


BY Anna Saunders

Anna is the co-founder of PRIMER and will also be attempting sustainable gifting this Christmas

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