by Geraldine Grandidier, founder of Tidy Books.
How green is your Christmas?
I’m loving the fact that there are so many eco-friendly Christmas options this year. From handmade cards to plastic-free crackers and green gifts, it seems there’s a real focus on enjoying the festive season while looking after our planet. Just Google ‘green Christmas’ and you’ll find lots of eco-friendly ideas and inspiration.
It’s definitely a step in the right direction – but my biggest bugbear at this time of year is the sheer volume of Christmas presents people buy for their children. I was astounded to read that the average kid gets 16 presents. Sixteen! In France, where I grew up, it’s the custom for children to receive one main present and maybe a couple of small ones as gifts from Santa Claus – and that’s it.
As for the seasonal frenzy of buying 3 for 2 offers – well, it just didn’t happen in France. There was no temptation or pressure to buy stuff I didn’t want or need, so when I moved to England I was shocked to see the amount of stuff people bought. And knowing that so much of it ends up in landfill – 10% of unwanted Christmas presents, according to a 2017 report – really upsets me.
I’ve always been a ‘less is more’ kind of person. It’s the way I shop and it’s what drives Tidy Books. From the very start, I wanted sustainability to be at the heart of the business so all our products are made with durable, sustainable wood. We’re not a mass produced, cheap ’n’ cheerful kind of company and I’m proud of that.
And yes, it does mean our products cost a little bit more. But that’s the beauty of our children’s book cases and storage solutions – you won’t have to pay out for new ones any time soon because a decade later they’ll still be going strong (and the simple, chic design means they won’t look dated in the home, either!).
I love it that customers buy into our ‘less is more’ ethos. They get how meaningful it is to buy their child one main gift – and for that gift to last long enough to be passed down to younger siblings and to stay in their family for years. When it comes to buying Christmas presents for their kids, they’re not looking for 3-for 2 offers or BOGOF deals to stuff into Christmas stockings… then take to the tip when the novelty has worn off. Like us, they’re in it for the long haul!
Tidy Books is exclusive to Nest in South Africa.
Click here to view the full Tidy Books range: https://www.nestdesigns.co.za/products/tidy-books/
Geraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile. She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids. Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.