Christmas decorations are going up early throughout the country. Well, they are in our house at least! This year, more than ever, we’re ready for some festive cheer to shine light in the darkest of years. After all, we’re missing out on Christmas shopping, visits to Santa, the office party and even hugs with our loved ones.
As a nation, the pandemic has changed our priorities. Usually, Christmas is the time for peak consumption. We barely muster a thought for the mass of plastics and packaging as yet more deliveries arrive. That’s not to mention the amount of food chucked in the bin or the small local retailers for whom Christmas can make or break them.
Let’s make 2020 the year to rethink Christmas. The year we make it more about sustainability, global community and reducing our ever-growing carbon footprint. The year, we focus on giving back, rather than receiving.
Sustainable Christmas Ideas
1. Consider Sustainable Gifts
Naturally Scentered products make a great sustainable gift. Our packaging is carefully designed so that it can be repurposed, reused or recycled. We also use natural materials from a sustainable source or already recycled materials.
2. Eco-friendly Christmas Cards
Apparently, a quarter of us no longer send Christmas cards. But if you still like to keep up this tradition, there are eco-friendly ways. Jacquie Lawson produces animated Christmas cards which can be purchased and emailed from her website. Children love receiving the charming animated videos and it’s also great for families across the world. If you’re like me, you always forget the last posting date!
In terms of paper cards, look for cards with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) mark. This guarantees that the paper has been produced ethically and sustainably. Another fabulous idea, growing in popularity is to send a plantable card (a card that contains seeds).
3. Make Handmade Presents
Hands up if you’re a fan of Kirsty’s Homemade Christmas! There’s something about crafting at Christmas which feels all warm and cosy. Or maybe that’s the glass of mulled wine that normally accompanies any such activities. Either way, it’s a great way to be in control of the ingredients, materials and packaging used for the gift. It also makes it so much more personal and you can keep them relatively low-cost, especially when making in bulk.
There are tons of ideas on the internet for homemade gifts or like me, watch one of the growing numbers of crafting shows, get some ideas and be creative.
4. Make Good Food Choices
It can be easy to over order food at Christmas. Everything looks so appealing and we want to indulge. Apart from being mindful about quantities, make sure you use a composting bin and green bin. Have plenty of freezer space available and some recipes at the ready for leftovers.
You could download Olio. It’s a food waste app which links you up with those in need in your local area. Relatively speaking, it's simple to use. You just upload a photo, list what’s available and share your location.
It’s also great to support your local economy. Try to source your turkey and trimmings from ethical local producers. Small businesses desperately need our custom to survive another year. Keep that in mind when you shop this Christmas.
5. Choose a Sustainable Christmas Tree
Real Christmas trees are more sustainable than artificial ones. If it’s a pain to recycle afterwards, try renting one from Love A Christmas Tree instead. When you’re finished with it, they collect it and replant it. An all-round win-win situation.
Don’t forget that chopped up Christmas trees should go into the green bin. Alternatively, try planting it in your garden or recycling the wood for garden décor, a bug hotel or an open fire.
And why not plant a tree at Christmas? Offset the Christmas tree that’s been cut to take centre stage in the living room and make a real difference.
6. Recycled Wrapping Paper
Wrapping paper is tricky. Check before you buy if it's recyclable. A lot of wrapping paper can’t be recycled due to components like glitter, foil or plastic. If you can, purchase plain wrapping paper. You could always add your own design to it, as long as you use plant based, vegan, biodegradable glitter!
If that doesn’t float your boat, try using fabric squares to wrap gifts. These can be recycled from one year to the next.