Top Tips To a Sustainable Christmas
Christmas and our traditional ways can have a lot of impact on the environment, our bright fairy lights, the endless wrapping paper, and the feasts of Christmas are a few to mention. There are lots of little changes we can make this Christmas to be kinder to our planet without spoiling any Christmas cheer… number one, don’t decorate your house like Steve Finch or Buddy Hall!
1.Quality over quantity:
We’ve all been there, the last-minute panic buying just before the big day. All too frequently people receive gifts they will never use – now more than ever is the time to put thought into your gifts and ensure you are buying correctly to prevent waste this Christmas. You should make every gift count by buying things with value, purpose and meaning.
Back in 2018 research by Royal Mail found that the number of returned gifts totaled to a whopping £1billion! Although it’s the thought that counts, getting something you don’t need or want is no fun for anyone. Gifting an experience is a great present idea that can help you avoid giving someone a gift they don’t want… and with it comes memories to keep forever!
Another good approach to reduce waste and unneeded gifts is to opt for a single large gift instead – Secret Santa is a great way to achieve this with your family.
When shopping for gifts it’s good to keep conscious of the materials used to make them. Avoid single use plastics, keep an eye out for organic certified labels and ensure wood and paper are created from recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials.
Have a go at some thrift shopping this year and buying second hand – this saves on resources to make new items and you can often find some super unique steels when you shop this way.
If you’ve got a little side skill, put it to use and have a go at handmaking some gifts this Christmas. Creating something sentimental, saving money and helping the environment all comes hand in hand this way… and grandma is bound to love it too!
You may have noticed some of our high street shops doubling up their paper shopping bags as gift wrap, this has come from the likes of Primark who are working to support a more sustainable Christmas.
Why is wrapping paper so bad?
Wrapping paper would definitely sit in the top five things related to Christmas on family fortunes… unfortunately though it is extremely wasteful and often not even recyclable. The product is made from virgin paper (a kind of paper that does not contain any recycled content), which is produced from logged trees in forests and we are very aware of the environmental impact of de-forestation.
Its also important to remember not to try and recycle glittery or foiled paper, as well as paper with sticky tape on as all these items can not be recycled and can ruin the whole load it is mixed with.
In the UK alone, it’s been estimated by WRAP* that the amount of wrapping paper the country throws out at Christmas would stretch to the moon!!
* waste & resource action programme
When shopping look for wrapping paper made of recycled paper, or you could even try your own materials! This can look super effective, find some inspiration below…
According to imperial college research, a massive 1.5 billion Christmas cards are thrown away by UK households each year.
You can up your sustainability efforts this Christmas by sending out E-cards instead, there are many platforms with pre made designs or apps like Canva where you can create your own for free.
Whilst we of course can’t stop your loved ones sending you cards, rather than putting them in the bin you can have a go at creating your own gift tags for next year with all the gorgeous designs!
Turkey sandwiches everyday the week following Christmas… usually the standard procedure! Of course, this is a great way to reduce food waste but we still face a HUGE amount of it every christmas.
Every year in the UK, approximately 7 million tonnes of food is wasted. Just during the Christmas period on average, 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings, and 74 million mince pies get disposed while still edible, causing almost 270,000 tons of food waste in total during this widely celebrated holiday.
Be more conscious when shopping and try to pre plan how much you will realistically need for all your guests, whilst shopping also try and pick out products with UK produce labels to reduce food miles (avoiding food that’s been flown around the world to get here), and sustainability certifications such as RSPO-certified palm oil and MSC-certified seafood.
If you are stuck with left overs and you’re unsure what to do with them then have a browse online. You can research all kinds of recipes for inspiration of ways to use up your left overs! Such as BBC good food.
Following our top tips and with Christmas just around the corner we are sure many of you, like us, still have a lot of shopping to get done! Here are some sustainable and eco-friendly gift ideas for your loved ones this year…
Made from plants, this biodegradable phone case means you can protect your phone in a way that’s good for the planet.
100% leakproof , made from single-use paper cups. Explore their website for more products giving single-use a second chance.
Created using recycled waste glass.
Contemporary crafted, sustainable clothing from natural fabrics with women’s and men’s bamboo, hemp and organic cotton clothing.
Personalized hair, body, and skin care. Cruelty-, sulphate- and paraben-free.
Bottles made with Ocean Plastic, tubes made from post-consumer-recycled plastic and designed for circular recycling.
100% organic spirit, distilled with a unique combination of classic gin botanicals and local Scottish plan.
Every piece is handcrafted with 100% recycled gold vermeil and sterling silver, reducing CO2 emissions by over 60%.
Collective social change can make a significant difference in tackling the climate crisis. Not only that, a more sustainable Christmas can help you spend less money, produce less waste, and promote the issues around climate change and sustainability.
Looking for a fresh chapter in the new year?