We’re all doing our bit throughout the year to lessen our impact on the environment but, if you’re anything like us, quite often all the rules go out the window at Christmas. We’ve put together a list of 12 little things we could all do towards a greener Christmas this year. We’d love to hear your suggestions, hacks, tips and tricks! DM us or tag us on Instagram.
1. WRAP SMART
Watch out for glitter and shiny bits when you’re choosing wrapping paper as this often makes it non-recyclable. Rather than forking out for paper that’ll just end up in the bin, try fabric wrapping by upcycling some old clothes, vintage scarves, or linens. It can be used again and again! If you do opt for paper, go for brown paper that you can decorate. Use sprigs of eucalyptus or mistletoe instead of plastic bows and ribbons! Remember to beware Sellotape! Remove it before recycling or wrap with brown tape.
2. SAY NO TO SINGLE USE
Why not challenge yourself to buy only plastic-free stocking fillers? If your stocking is anything like ours, it’ll be filled with the contents of a bathroom cabinet. Replace a toothbrush with a bamboo number or swap out a bottle of shampoo for a shampoo bar. Toiletries aside, keep an eye out for plastic-free toys and sweets that avoid plastic wrapping. Get creative and your gifts will have so much more meaning.
3. SUPPORT SMALL
We would say this, of course, but wherever you can, try to support your local independent shops, crafters and makers when gift buying. That’s all.
4. GIFT EXPERIENCES
Don’t know what to get the person who has everything or simply don’t want to buy stuff? Treat ‘em to vouchers for your favourite restaurant, a spa day or their favourite coffee (ahem). Or get the creative cogs whirring with a craft session or cookery lesson.
5. KEEP IT HOMEMADE
Nothing gets you into the Christmas spirit like a day spent making gifts with a festive coffee in hand and a Hallmark movie. Used Little’s jars come in so handy for this purpose, too. Gift a jar filled with infused gin, re-pot some succulents or store homemade baked goods. Jazz up your jars with foliage or glass paint and you’re on to a winner!
6. BAGS FOR LIFE
A super simple one we can all do – take your tote bags shopping with you to avoid loading up with plastic bags that’ll end up in landfill.
7. CHOOSE YOUR TREE WISELY
The key to a sustainable tree seems to be sourcing it locally to save on miles your tree has travelled and disposing of it carefully in January (wah!). If you’re lucky to have outdoor space, opt for a potted tree. It can live in your garden for the other 11 months of the year, looking fabulous and providing a home for wildlife. If you’re getting an artificial tree, be mindful that you need to use it 10 times to negate its carbon footprint. Read more, here.
8. GO CRACKERS
Source some eco-friendly crackers for the table this year. Like, who has a use for a fake moustache, golf tee or a miniature screwdriver set anyway? There are loads of options out there – from plastic-free or fabric options to crackers you fill yourself – how about a coffee pod in each? Genius!
9. DECORATE DIFFERENTLY
Rather than filling your house with plastic decorations that’ll last a year or two, go natural or homemade. Source bits and bobs from outside like eucalyptus, pinecones and mistletoe for handmade wreaths and baubles that’ll look amazing and smell delicious. We love some of the ideas, over here.
10. HIRE YOUR LOOK
’Tis the season to be merry, which means Christmas parties galore! Nothing beats a good Christmas jumper or an all-sequinned-everything outfit but, rather than buying something you’ll wear once, hire the outfit of your dreams from an app like By Rotation. Alternatively, keep it vintage or have a good rummage for gems in your local charity shop.
11. EAT WITH THE SEASONS
Around Christmas hearty veggies like butternut squash, cabbage, carrots and the beloved Brussels sprouts are in season, so hero them in your Christmas feast over out-of-season veg that just won’t taste as good. Dessert you say? You can’t go wrong with an apple crumble and custard, can you? *drools*.
12. CURB FOOD WASTE
Cook what you need or get creative with your leftovers. There are so many recipes out there and, let’s face it, the joy of a leftover ham sandwich with cold roast potatoes on Boxing Day is unparalleled isn’t it? Bubble and squeak or turkey soup anyone?
Merry Christmas, everyone!