You know that Christmassy feeling? Where everything just feels warm and cosy and just that little bit extra sparkly? That and sharing it with my loved ones are my favourite parts of Christmas. And for me that’s the bit that I never want to lose no matter what changes we make. And I really do believe it’s possible to keep all of your favourite bits of Christmas and make it more planet friendly.
One UK waste company estimates that we produce around 30% more waste during the festive period and send over 100million bags of rubbish to landfill. Imagine seeing 100 million bags of rubbish piled up…when I try it gives me a headache.
I don’t need headache over the festive season so have complied this “more sustainable Christmas that’s just as joyful” guide from our own efforts and ideas from the interweb at large, to help both our family and yours reduce that waste, and up the sustainability without losing any of the magic.
seem like a good place to start.
Chances are you already have plenty from years gone by, and I believe that most people already re-use Christmas decorations year on year at least to some degree. So keep doing that!
If you’re opting for new or just adding some new additions try to avoid glitter. I know, everyone loves glitter, but its plastic, and it generally doesn’t like sticking to what it’s supposed to stick to, and every bit that falls off is a bit more micro plastic in the environment.
The other option is to
Make your own
Obviously if you’re naturally crafty you might be rubbing your hands together at the thought of letting your creativity loose, but you don’t have to be seriously crafty to have a go at making some lovely decorations, and its an activity that you can get the kiddies involved with too. I remember making salt dough decorations with my Mum and Brother one Christmas when I was little and being so proud to see them hanging on the tree.
Here are some ideas for you add that little bit of handmade wow to your home this Christmas
You could use old baulballs for this, or pinecones or some of the dried fruit from below perhaps?
The Christmas Tree is obviously important.
There is much debate as to the most sustainable kind of Christmas tree to have.
But did you know you can now rent a real tree for Christmas? And its pretty simple. Its a potted tree, you choose it, the company delivers it at the beginning of December, they then come and collect it from you again in the new year and replant it on their farm to be rented out again next year.
Why are they controversial? Because they’re made from plastic, and so oil. And will be around for years and years even after you’ve finished with it. So if Artificial trees are your thing then please re-use them for as long as you can, and if you no longer need it then please try to find it a new home that is not landfill.
If you don’t have a tree and are thinking of getting an artificial one then see if you can find a second hand one.
If this is the way you want to go then consider getting a potted one that you can re-use for a few years. (hint, you might want to start slightly smaller than usual!)
See if you’re council will take your tree away after the festive season for recycling – usually it gets made into chippings.
Be aware of the CO2 that a real tree will give off as it rots down though, which is why many people argue for artificial trees. If you can rent a tree or have a potted tree then that seems a good solution.
According to the Greeting Cards Association (who knew right?) in 2017 nearly 100million single Christmas cards were sold. AND (thats already a massive amount) 900 Million cards were sold in boxes. That’s £230 million on boxes of
cards alone! And these figures do not include any cards bought online.
Any cards that contain glitter or embellishment are not recyclable. So if you’re determined to buy Christmas cards then please at least bear this in mind.
A greener way of sending Christmas cards is to send an e-card and I really love Jacquie Lawson cards for this.
And of course you can always stop giving out cards. My grandparents (both in their 90’s) tell me that Christmas cards used to only be sent to loved ones or good friends that you wouldn’t see over Christmas, as a way to let them know that they were in your thoughts even though you couldn’t be together.
I’m not sure when the practice of giving them absolutely everyone we know got started, but perhaps it’s time for a re-think.
If you really do want to give cards, then consider recycled cards. This is what we use for the children to give out to their school friends. There are lots of options available now, so you should be able to find them quite easily.
There are also plantable cards! So instead of them going in the bin the recipient can plant them when finished and something lovely will grow come spring.
Of course you can recycle any cards you receive, but this doesn’t have to mean in your recycling bin, you can keep them to make tags or cards from for next year.
You can also consider doing a card exchange with friends each year. So you just re-send the cards you got from them, re-signed by you. See how long you can keep it going for. Maybe even making a note of the most memorable thing that happened to you in your time together that year, so it becomes a really lovely keepsake at the end.
That’s part one of the guide.
In the next part of the guide we’re looking at Presents, wrapping and food, see you there!