My ONE Christmas gift suggestion

About a month ago, I toyed with the idea of coming up with a Christmas gift guide. But I decided against it because (1) I didn’t think I was qualified to do one as I no longer shop as much as I used to (booooo…) and don’t really have a good idea of what is out there; (2) with my obsessive compulsive tendencies, it would take me forever to come up with one (I’d have to find the best pictures, get the right shopping info, etc.) and (3) I don’t want my friends and family finding out what I’m getting them beforehand.

But although I scrapped the idea of a gift guide, I am still making one Christmas gift suggestion: reusable shopping bags.

I’ve written about how I feel about plastic bags already, and there’s nothing like the shopping-crazy Christmas season to remind me of how important it is to reduce our plastic (plastic everything, not just bags) consumption. Every other shopper is laden with multiple bags (both paper & plastic), most of them filled with a tiny, tiny item that could’ve fit inside a handbag or another shopping bag they already have. And that makes me sad and furious at the same time.

So, partly for the environment and partly to lessen the risk of you being approached by me to berate you for your wasteful use of plastic bags, please do consider giving reusable shopping bags away for Christmas.

Beansprout bags would be my first choice for reusable bags. They’re from a local company (buy local!), relatively affordable and their bags are produced by a small community in Taytay, Rizal whose main source of income are these bags. Their extensive line of reusable bags also includes shoe bags and canvas totes with part of the proceeds from the latter going to Greenpeace Philippines. How’s that for a really green gift?

If you’re not in the Philippines, though, or if none of Beansprout’s prints tickle your fancy, then your next bet would be Envirosax. They were the first brand of reusable bags I’ve heard of and while they’re on the pricey side (relative to the Beansprouts), they are quite durable: apparently one can carry up to 44lbs or 20kgs. I haven’t put that claim to the test, but I’ll take their word for it. They come in adorable designs, too, and my particular favorite is the Sesame Street line. How could you possibly resort to flimsy, nondescript plastic bags if you can schlep your stuff in one of these?

But if you’d rather give your loved ones something more special, but still with the same environment-friendly idea, then you can always opt for the Jill Sander Market Totw. For about $140, you get to fashionably lug your groceries around in this bright orange acetate bag.

Incredulity aside though, it doesn’t matter if you choose to give away the ₱100 reusable bags they sell at the stall in the mall or the even more expensive silk-twill version of the Jil Sander one above. The point is that we should all do our part to reduce our plastic consumption and try to have others do the same. So give the gift of green this Christmas, and the earth and future generations will thank you for it.

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