Our 10 Step Guide to a More Sustainable Christmas
We love Christmas - it's all about spending time with your loved ones, cooking and eating delicious food, presents... Unfortunately it's also the most wasteful time of the year but we can all try to make it more eco-friendly without skimping on the festive magic. So here are 10 (simple) ways to make your 2022 Christmas more sustainable and guilt-free:
1. Recycling Christmas cards
For those who still receive a lot of physical Christmas cards every year, there are lots of creative ways to recycle them. You can cut them up to make unique gift tags or create new, collage-like Christmas cards for next year. You could also cut them into bookmarks, paper chains, Christmas tree decorations or jigsaw puzzles - so many options and much more enjoyable than just recycling them with the rest of your paper. Any cards with glitter can't be recycled so definitely try to reuse them - standard glitter particles are made from micro-plastics that can be extremely harmful to the the environment.
2. Shop locally
Give your smaller, local shops and markets some love this Christmas. It's great to support independent businesses, especially after the tough years they've had and you are more likely to find a unique gift that you couldn't get anywhere else. The same goes for food shopping, try to buy your fruit, veg and meat from local supermarkets and farmers. Another idea could be to buy a voucher from one of your local restaurants or cafes - it's a great, waste-free Christmas gift and you would be helping out your community.
3. Rethink your gift wrapping
Instead of using regular wrapping paper to wrap your gifts, you could opt for fabric wrapping. It can be used over and over again and it won't tear like paper - it looks fancy too! A few other alternatives to wrapping paper are news papers and magazines, think outside the box and your friends and family will love it!
4. Gift an experience
A gift doesn't always have to be physical. Why not gift your music lover friend (e-)tickets to see her favourite band? Or buy a voucher for your dad's favourite restaurant. It can sometimes be difficult to think of which gifts to buy for people, but you can't go wrong with an experience. It will save you a lot of time and effort trying to look around the shops and it can be very thoughtful and personal. Plus - no waste!!
5. Bring your own bags
Just a little reminder to bring you own eco-friendly bags when doing your Christmas shopping to reduce plastic waste.
6. Plan your shopping
Last minute panic shopping often ends up in unsuitable purchases, which leads to more waste. Try to be organised and plan ahead what you need to buy for Christmas day - make a list and stick to it. Try and get it all done in one shop to avoid repeat journeys and the temptation of buying any unnecessary extras.
7. Reduce your food waste
Planning ahead will help reduce your food waste and try buying foods with as little packaging as possible. If you do end up with a lot more than you had in mind, there are a few things you can do. Compost any unusable leftover food to reduce harmful methane. If you have too many leftovers, try freezing them or donate some to your local food bank or an elderly neighbour. There are many delicious online recipes for Christmas leftovers too.
8. Rent a Christmas tree
Real trees are more sustainable than artificial ones. You would have to use your fake tree for 20 years for it to be greener. That being said, 7 million real trees will be dumped in January rather than recycled. So why not go a little bit further this year and rent a real Christmas tree from a British Farm? They will deliver it to your door for you to decorate and take care of during the festive period. Then they will pick it up in January and replant it.(WHAT?!) If you do end up buying a tree, ensure it's been grown as locally as possible. And after Christmas, find our your nearest recycling drop-off point so your tree can be recycled into chippings for local parks and woodland areas.
9. Buy pre-loved gifts
A huge amount of unwanted Christmas gifts are thrown into landfill each year. Two ways we can help with this excessive waste are to buy pre-loved gifts and sell any unwanted gifts so someone else can enjoy them. Charity shops are filled with Christmas jumpers and other clothing and toys so there are plenty of options. It costs a lot less than shopping brand new, less material ends up in landfill, no additional resources are used to produce the items and it's a way to prolong the life of beautiful gifts and outfits. It's an exciting way to find a unique, guilt-free gift for a special person, you never know what you might find!
10. Make your own Christmas decorations or go second-hand
Try to reuse your Christmas decorations every year - unless they are broken or damaged there is no reason to get rid of them. Besides hanging them on your tree, you can use baubles as table decoration or hang them off your door handles. If you do need new decorations, check out charity shops first, which have a great selection every year. If you're in a DIY kind of mood, try making your own Christmas decorations - you can find many ideas on Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok. Knit your own stocking or make your own tree decorations. Or go to your local forest and look for natural decorations like pinecones or holly (if fallen to the ground of course.)
And take a look at our organic products - the perfect sustainable, gender neutral Christmas