How To Have A Sustainable Christmas

Monday, December 07, 2020

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 Christmas is a time for giving, but why not give back to the planet too? There are so many things that we do at Christmas that damages the environment, including increased amounts of food waste and plastic wrapping paper. Here are some little ways that you can make you Christmas more eco-friendly. It's not hard to implement a few of these changes, so why not make this Christmas your most sustainable one yet!

Purchase Eco-conscious Wrapping Supplies

Sellotape and wrapping paper can't be recycled. However, there are eco-friendly alternatives to save you from adding to the landfill. Naturally Wrapt is a small business on a mission to reduce wrapping waste. All of their products are eco-friendly and plastic-free. Whether you're looking for twine, paper or tape, there's something on the NW store for your wrapping needs. Eco-friendly wrapping supplies tend to be around the same price as plastic alternatives, so there's no reason why you can't make the swap. 

If you're going to cut out the plastic wrapping supplies, make sure you don't forget things like tape and gift tags. Make sure your gift tags are sustainable sources, or you could make your own! Upcycle old Christmas cards and cut them into gift tags. That way, you have Christmas themed tags and haven't spent a penny on them!

If you'd like to hear about more eco-friendly wrapping ideas, Blogmas day 3 covers some sustainable ideas for you to try!

Ditch The Plastic Christmas Tree

A plastic tree may seem like the eco-friendly choice as you can use it over and over again. After a while, your plastic tree will degrade, or you'll probably throw it away. Either way, plastic is being used to make your artificial Christmas tree. It's better to purchase a sustainably sourced real-life Christmas tree this year. It may be a little more expensive, and you'll have to clean up the needles, but it's better for the environment. Plus, you'll have a real Christmas tree! It's a worthy purchase, and you'll be helping small Christmas tree farmers who have a very seasonal income stream. It's a win-win purchase!

Send Recycled or Plantable Cards

If you're sending cards this year, make sure they're recycled, recyclable or even compostable! There is a growing number of plantable cards. Some will grow into gorgeous plants, while others can just be composted. If your friends and family aren't a fan of gardening, you could always get a recyclable or recycled card. These cards can be put in the recycle bin and are usually ethically sourced. Make sure you do your research before you purchase them. If you don't want physical cards, EcardForest creates digital cards which you can send to your loved ones. They're affordable, cute and you'll always be able to read the messages. 

If you want to take it a step further, you can always upcycle your old cards. By sticking some card over old writing, you can reuse your old Christmas cards. You can also make your own, or collage together pictures from old cards. Whichever you choose, make sure you use eco-friendly glue or tape to put your cards together. That way, they can be recycled after. Please don't use glitter or confetti unless it's sustainable. 

Be Mindful Over Your Food Waste

Every year, the UK throws away 74 million mince pies, 4 million Christmas dinners and around 60 million vegetables at Christmas alone. That's a staggeringly high amount of food waste. You may be thinking about why this isn't sustainable. Let me explain. Some food is grown in the UK, while others are imported. Either way, the food is transported all over the country so we can have our meals. Driving isn't great for the environment, and the further it travels, the worse it is. It also takes a lot of water and resources to grow and keep crops in good shape. If we just throw it away, our precious resources were wasted for nothing.

This year, only buy the things you need. Where possible, use the food you already have in your cupboards. You'd be surprised how many tins and packets you have laying around. You could also donate food you won't be using to local food banks who really need it around Christmas time. If you have leftovers, try to make a delicious meal rather than throwing them in the bin. Each of these ways will help you to reduce your food waste. It's crazy the amount of food we throw away at Christmas alone!

Give Ethical & Zero Waste Gifts

Why not spread some sustainable joy this year by gifting eco-friendly presents to your friends and family. There are so many eco-friendly brands out there, so you won't have to compromise on your gift. Just because it's not branded, doesn't mean it won't be quality. I recently did an eco-friendly gift guide, so you don't have to look far for a good gift idea. Whether you're wanting blankets or beauty items, my gift guide covers it all!

You could even have a go at DIY gift ideas or re-gifting items you don't want anymore. Make sure it's of good quality and hasn't been used. You don't want to be gifting half-used body products. There are so many eco-friendly DIYs you could try including homemade body products, hand-sewn accessories or baked treats! Doing a DIY gift is a sentimental way to show someone you care. It can also save you a lot of money. 

These are just a few easy ways for you to be a little more ethical this Christmas. They aren't big changes but will make a massive impact on the environment. I know I'll be trying hard to shop sustainable and only buy the things I really need. Don't forget to give back to the community, as well. Donating old toiletries, toys and clothing will keep them out of the landfill for a bit longer. What eco-friendly things will you be doing this year? I'd love to know how you're aiming to help the environment this Christmas!

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