Go Green This Holiday Season
‘Tis the season to be jolly! The holiday season begins and the Christmas count down is on. For many this is the time of year that they have been looking forward to the most – an excuse to eat, drink and be merry. A guilt free excuse to shop, to take a little time of for yourself, to see friends and share with family.
The stockings, decorations and for many, the tree, comes down from the loft. Ask yourself, how green is your Christmas going to be this year? Are you having a sustainable Christmas?
Try as we might, we make an effort to be as eco-friendly as possible but, we could all try a little harder.
Did you know that each year over the Christmas period, us humans across the globe, produce around an additional 3 millions tonnes of waste – yes I said additional. If we want our planet to survive then we need to make a conscious effort to do our part. This is why we thought that we would share with you some of our top tips for a sustainable Christmas.
There is nothing better than being able to buy presents for people. Seeing them all wrapped under the tree with the stockings full to the brim brings us a feeling of happiness. How many of these gifts will actually be used?! How many gifts are thrown tin the bin or to the back of a cupboard after a mere few days? We tend to buy so many little nik naks for people but, instead of buying lots of little gifts, how about just one gift that you know will be loved and appreciated.
Gifts that are practical or perhaps gifts of food and drink – they always seem to go down well in my house!!
Buying local and from small family run companies is a great help also when it comes to reducing the carbon foot print. Buying handmade or even making something yourself is even better. If you can, try to stay away from presents that will require batteries as they contain lots of chemicals that are harmful to the environment. If batteries are unavoidable however, go with rechargeable.
We have some great eco-friendly gifts right here.
Do you even need to buy a gift? Could you buy an experience instead? A trip to the spa or a tour of their favourite stadium. Cinema tickets or sponsoring an animal – there are so many great gifts out there to choose from.
You really can have a more sustainable Christmas by giving fewer gifts. Will not only help the environment but your pocket too!
The majority or wrapping paper that is in circulation at the moment in non recyclable. This is because it usually contains some kind of plastic, glitter or foil. As pretty as it is, unfortunately it just isn’t very eco friendly and ends up in landfill. This year try 100% paper wrap – simple brown paper tied with some twine makes for beautiful wrap. Try adding a sprig of pine or something fragrant for added effect. Even newspaper looks great!
Instead of buying gifts bags for bottles, either reuse those that have been gifted to you or, if you have a little time why not knit or crochet a gift bottle holder. Just type into Google and there are lots of options for you.
You can even use pieces of spare material which can then double up as a scarf – 2 in one pressies. Now that’s what I am talking about……
Use your imagination and put some thought into it. Remember, it really is the thought that counts. x
Mmmm chocolate. Yummy advent calendars are just one of the many things that I love about this time of year (*drool*) – not that I need an excuse to eat chocolate. If choccie isn’t your thing then there are lots of different types out there – cheese, pork scratchings and recently I have even seen some for makeup and jewellery. As great as they are, they are not sustainable as not all of the elements are recyclable..
This is why we have decided to make our own and you can too. It is easy peasy! Buy a wooden advent calendar or choose another reusable material and make your own. We have several little chocolatiers near us and they are just perfect. Take your own tub to put them in and choose the chocolates you like, pop them in your calendar and voila think of the packaging you have saved – sustainable Christmas here we come…
Who doesn’t love pulling on a cracker at the table. Pull, pop, and surprise. A crown, a gift and a joke – sounds fab right?! It is classic Xmas but, what’s gonna happen to all the little bits that are thrown into the bin. You don’t have to go without though as you can buy sustainable ones with plenty of great options to choose from. Or, you can get creative and make your own. If you do decide to make your own you can make them that extra bit special by adding more personalised gifts inside. Make sure to leave in the cheesy joke though. Here’s one of my faves
Why was the snowman looking through the carrots? He was picking his nose..
God I love a real tree. The smell of that pine or fir is just wonderful not to mention well, having a massive tree in your house is just amazing! There are lots of Christmas tree farms around which is great as more trees are being grown each year however, what happens when Christmas is over? Some trees get left to rot in the garden, some are burnt and some are recycled. I can’t help but think there must be a better way – a way that we can all be happy and the trees get to live.
Oh wait, there is!!! Genius idea really, many of the tree farms are now offering a rental service. Yup rental – they deliver a live tree to you which you water and decorate as usual. You look after it and once the season is over, they come and collect and they then re-plant. Such an amazing idea and so very eco-friendly.
Lots of us have plastic trees which well, as we have them we may as well still enjoy them. The can look almost real and come in a variety of sizes. This would be a non sustainable Christmas but sometimes unavoidable. I know people that have had their tree in the family for 20 or so years. Great for the home but not for the environment. Imagine how long they would sit in landfill for……
Another thing about this time of year that we love. Cards plopping through the door onto your mat. Guessing who they have come from by the writing or the post mark (they don’t seem to have them as much these days) and sitting down with a nice cuppa and writing a list of who you need to do cards for. I love the feeling of satisfaction when they are all done and I have a pile to be posted and passed out. Often they have such pretty scenes on them – some with foil and some with glitter – none of which can be recycled 🙁
Each year I toy with the idea of sending out email Christmas cards to people but for me, personally, I find it a very impersonal thing to do. Amazing for the environment though. Imagine the difference it would make if even just a small percentage of us did this. To be honest I cannot see this happening which is why I have been on the hunt for fully recyclable cards – they do exist folks. They are a little more expensive than normal cards and will be until everyone is doing them but oh so worth it.
Trying to cut out cards completely – tell your friends and family that instead of cards this year you will be making a donation to charity. Helping the environment and a good cause. Who can complain at that?! Sustainable Christmas, yes pelase!
We are known as quite a wasteful nation when it comes to food. What doesn’t get eaten get thrown away – not just at Christmas but year round. Why not get creative and use your leftovers to make another meal. Every year what is left of our festive dinners gets made into what I call Christmas Dinner Soup. Throw everything (yes even the Yorkshire puddings if there are any left) in a pan with some stock, simmer just to warm and left the flavours infuse. Then all you need to do is blend until nice and smooth. There you have a wonderfully hearty soup which can last you for days.
Bubble and squeak and Spanish Omelettes made with leftovers are also amazing.
Food waste is one of my biggest bugbears and so I always plan ahead and buy only what we need. If there are leftovers, I make things like more soups and quiche. I tend to make it up as I go along but I don’t mind as we have such a small amount of food waste.
Oh The Pressure
There is so much pressure on the human race at the moment to cut down on almost everything to help save the planet. To be honest it can be a little over whelming. You don’t need to do everything all at once, just try and take it a little at a time. If you can pick just one thing to do this Christmas, no matter how small then please do it. It does help!
So many of us think “what can I do just as one person? Does what I do really make a difference?” The answer is most definitely YES! Even just consciously trying to use less plastic makes a massive difference.
We hope that you have found our tips for a sustainable Christmas useful.
Peace, Love & Light xx