Showing love to your family with love to the environment through gifts

Just recently, we had three deaths in the family. It was a sad situation, however, after understanding that cultural habits of diet and lifestyle potentially contributed, I felt strongly about looking at my own good health and wanting to improve it even more. I also felt that I needed to be an example of how one could have a high quality of life without compromise or sacrificing.

With three deaths came two births with one on the way. With my humanitarian work, it’s rare that I am in Australia and close to my family members, but it seemed that my path was chosen and that some home time was on the cards. I have been blessed to get to hold these babies and witness the happiness and love of the parents in welcoming another addition.

With my gifts, I was not going to go overboard with toys, clothes and nappies. What I hoped would be appreciated would be products that were natural and gentle for the baby, environmentally friendly and with minimal packaging. In Australia, it is nice to know that these products exist and was prepared to pay any price to help give the babies a healthy start.

In regards to diet, I feel that this is not really my place to give an opinion at present, but my family knows that my transition to veganism is important to me and that it’s not as difficult as they may initially have thought. I may be able to help people consider their eating habits which may be introduced to the child when the time draws near, but there are other things that I can do which would provide as a good example.

I have listed below some ideas that you may want to try, should you feel compelled to also be influential in helping others be aware of the detrimental effects their actions may play on the environment and how they can make choices to minimise them. The first thing is to be well-informed yourself, which is easy to do with very accessible information able to be received from Google on your mobile.

  • Buy products that are Australian-made to lessen the carbon emission of purchasing items from overseas. Even better, buy locally from your area to support small businesses
  • Find products that are organic and have natural ingredients to encourage the idea of lessening the exposure of chemicals and toxins that is not really necessary for cleaning and hygiene
  • If you feel chocolates and desserts are necessary as gifts, there are plenty of options now that are free from animal products and carry certification that the product has been from fair trade
  • Clothes given do not have to be synthetic when you have fabrics like bamboo and cotton available. Likewise, beware of where they are made so that you are not promoting unfair labour
  • A lovely gift can come straight out of your kitchen. A main dish or treat would be appreciated and something raw and plant based would show how delicious meals without meat can be
  • Wrapping your presents can be exciting for who wraps it just as much as the receiver when you can experiment with recyclable items and cards that are embedded with seeds to be grown
  • Toys that are educational and made of recyclable items or natural wood would benefit the child so much better than the plastic, gender-generalisations that are made from overseas
  • Mother and father and even the pets that are welcoming baby may also love to be pampered with a gift. Food treats or body treatments that are organic and natural would be an excellent option

This list provides a good start and if you are curious as to know why I am in favour of local, organic, natural, plant-based, vegan, recyclable and environmentally friendly options, it is because there is enough information out there to prove that children are exposed to chemicals and toxins whilst still in the womb. When you understand the consequences of this, why would I be any other way but proactive in helping give my loved ones a holistic start in life.