We are very quickly coming to the end of November and Christmas prep is well underway for a lot of us! I have actually made a very good dent in the things I need to do before the big day & i’m feeling really positive about it. The plan is the have the majority of things done by the first half of December so in the run up to Christmas day I can really relax and just enjoy the plans we have made. It is no secret that Christmas is one of the most wasteful & consumer driven holidays EVER and 2019 has been a huge year in terms of raising awareness for being more eco-friendly and I for one LOVE the conversations & tips I have come across; whether it’s on blogs, Pinterest or Instagram I have learnt so much and already made some huge changes with lots more planned for the future. For now though I thought I would share with you, easy ways to have a more sustainable Chistmas.
- GIFT WRAPPING – Brown paper that can be picked up from your local post office is a very popular alternative to your usual wrapping paper. It looks so simple but lovely with ribbons & some foliage! Reusing gift bags/boxes & tissue paper from previous years. Why not buy reusable fabric gift sacks or bags that can be used year after year. If you are buying wrapping paper make sure it is free of foil & glitter as these can’t be recycled – also make sure all sellotape is removed before you put it in your recycling!
- TAKE REUSABLE BAGS CHRISTMAS SHOPPING – One of the easiest swaps we have made & stuck to is using reusable bags when it comes to doing our shopping, whether it is food or general shopping, I always carry a tote bag in my handbag. We do our weekly food shops online & we opt for NO bags at all.
- SOURCE FOOD LOCALLY – We are lucky that in our area we have quite a few farm shops & butchers that offer a incredible range of delicious foods to choose from, but if you are shopping in a supermarket then avoid plastic packaging where you can help it e.g. loose vegetables is easily picked up without needed to put it inside one of those tiny plastic bags. Also our local Morrisons now allows you to bring your own food storage to use at the butchers, fish & delicatessen counters (just make sure it is thoroughly cleaned before you ask).
- OPT FOR LED CHRISTMAS LIGHTS – The lights themselves are absolutely no different in aesthetic ways but make a huge difference to the amount of energy used. LED lights use an average of 75% LESS energy.
- REAL OR FAKE TREE? – Whichever tree you opt for there are ways to make it more eco-friendly! In regards to real tree’s make sure it has FSC-Certification to ensure your tree has been grown sustainably. Disposing of your real tree correctly is also super easy but important; most councils have allocated locations where people can leave their tree after Christmas where they then go on to be shredded & used as mulch on plants in parks or on woodland paths! For fake trees you could always look for one second-hand on Facebook or Gum-Tree, or make sure if you are buying brand new that you opt for a good quality one that will last for years.
- FOOD WASTAGE – It is so easy to overboard at Christmas when it comes to food. I mean, it’s all so bloody good! Especially if you are hosting, you panic buy in the worry that you won’t have enough food for everyone. If you DO have plenty of leftovers then make use of them! We always have leftover turkey, so we opt for turkey sandwiches on boxing day, or why not cook up a delicious turkey curry?! Make use of your freezer or donate to the local foodbank, they would be incredibly grateful for any food you can spare.
- DIY CHRISTMAS CARDS – Since having Teddy we have made our own Christmas cards for family, and not only is it a lovely personal touch but it could also make an incredible difference! Did you know 1.5 BILLION Christmas cards are thrown away by UK households every year?!
- CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS – I am a sucker for a beautiful Christmas decoration, but I have definitely been more concious of opting for wood, metal or fabric ornaments rather than plastic! We aren’t a matchy matchy tree decorations family, instead we collect ones from our travels or a special festive day out.
- GIFTING – If you are struggling what to buy somebody this year, rather than buying bits of shit for the sake of it, why not opt for a experience day or a treat? Whether it’s a spa day for two, or a coffee & a cake date. It’ll be so much more appreciated than a rushed gift.
- CHRISTMAS CRACKERS – It is always a running joke that Christmas crackers are filled with cheesy jokes & tat that you’ll never use. These ones from Selfridges are made from eco-friendly materials and are plastic free, meaning no teeny tiny screwdrivers or spinning tops!
I hope you found this post useful & it’s given you some insight into how easy it really can be to have a more sustainable Christmas.