Christmas is the most magical time of the year for ALOTTA people!!
The festive period is filled with mulled wine, ice skating, Christmas shopping and cheesy music! Then there is spending quality time with family and friends, sharing gifts and home cooked meals together and making memories that will last a lifetime. But memories arnt the only thing left from the festive period that last a lifetime, so does plastic and other non recyclable product waste equating to around THREE MILLION TONNES every single YEAR! Yes, that’s right, experts reckon that during the festive season alone, we produce an extra 30% of rubbish, that’s around three million tonnes consumed and discarded.
Our mass consumption over the festive period, thanks to everything from excessive food to gifting, is linked to environmental damage of epic proportions – hardly great when we know the state the planet’s in already. Want to do better this year?
Here’s how to have a very merry sustainable Christmas season…
WRAPPING & CARDS
It’s time to do away with not eco friendly wrapping paper, once and for all, and here’s why: Most wrapping paper ends up in a landfill and cannot be recycled! A lot of the paper you might think is recyclable is actually lined with plastic, glitter encrusted paper is especially terrible (which is really quite sad I know!).
The options for eco friendly wrapping paper have really improved over recent years!
WELL I have scoured the internet to find all the best eco-friendly options so we can fill our recycling bins this Christmas, not the landfills!
- Paperchase have a excellent Kraft eco range of wrapping paper with all sorts of fun patterns, colours and classics. All 100% recycled and recyclable!
- Re-Wrapped specialize in the production of high quality ECO Friendly Wrapping Paper and Cards all made in the UK. They only use 100% Recycled Unbleached Materials and Vegan Friendly Vegetable Inks and all their products are biodegradable and compostable and can themselves be Recycled!
- Etsy has such a incredible range of eco-friendly gift wrap, as you could probably imagine. Every taste, theme, colour and pattern you can imagine, all while supporting independent businesses and creatives.
- Peace With The Wild offer a range of eco gift wrap and eco wrapping paper that is made with eco-friendly, recyclable, biodegradable materials. With eco-friendly and reusable alternatives they stock all the eco gift wrap essentials you need to wrap the perfect zero waste, eco gift! Supplied in plastic free packaging that can be recycled or reused.
Some of my favourite finds…
There are plenty of eco friendly ways to up your wrapping paper game! You can use regular parcel paper, paper string and tie a lovely bow, you could even draw or paint on a bow and other patterns if your feeling crafty!!
(I have the drawing skills of a blind T Rex so I will not be putting my family through that!)
Here are a few fun ideas for designing your own gift wrap….
Then you have the options of gift boxes and bags! Now… the best part of these are they are quick, easy and reusable. Instant win!
There are TONNES out there to buy but be sure to check they are eco friendly, again Paperchase have a fab selection but so do websites such as the plastic free shop. Eco friendly everything including recyclable gift bags and boxes to paper ribbon, tissue paper, paper bows and even plastic free tape!!
You can get your hands on all these easily at the same cost as any other brands but they will be a MUCH lower cost to the planet.
Check out the full selection of paper ribbon from paperchase HERE
Another simple way to a more sustainable christmas are plantable cards! The idea is that these are not only beautiful cards, but then come January, you can plant them and beautiful bee friendly, wildflowers will grow!
SAVE THE BEES!
What a FAB idea!! The amount of christmas cards thrown out each year is astounding and while I am aware many people have stopped giving them altogether, plantable cards are a lovely guilt free option for those who still want to do cards.
Having a christmas that’s kinder on the planet shouldn’t mean sacrificing anything on your decorations! In fact here are a whole bunch of sites and ideas to make your more sustainable christmas a reality…
Wooden, fruity and natural…
Wooden decorations, cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices… your home has never smelt so good with all natural christmas decorations. John Lewis and Etsy have fantastic selections of paper baubles, stars and other decorations, in fact Etsy is absolutely chock full of FAB handmade decorations and it is a double win because you support a small business while also doing your part for the planet!
Another great perk of buying handmade is quite often there are personalised options, initials on baubles, names on stockings, you name it!
Or how about trying your hand at making your own? Pictured just above are 11 fun, creative but simple ideas to make your own decorations!
Here are a few fab ideas…
– Felt christmas trees
– DIY paper houses
– Clothes line pegs stars
– Sugar cookies
– Dried fruit
– Printable ornaments
– Wrapped yarn or twine ornaments
– Salt dough or clay ornaments
– Scrap ribbon trees
– Wine cork reindeers (A personal fave of mine!!)
– Peppermint cocoa christmas ornaments
– Photo transfer wooden ornaments
CHRISTMAS TREE & LIGHTS
There has been some debate on this the last few years. And although the carbon footprint of a real tree depends on the method of its disposal, it is invariably lower than that of an artificial tree. … If you want to be environmentally friendly this Christmas, your best option would be to buy a potted tree which can be replanted and re-used year after year. There are even companies who you can actually rent a real tree. If this isn’t a option for you then a real tree that is disposed of properly and burnt, not just left in a landfill, still has a much lower carbon footprint than an artificial tree.
When it comes to lights, believe it or not some options are definitely better than others. If every UK household swapped a string of incandescent lights for its LED equivalent, we could save more than £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2, just over the 12 days of Christmas.
LEDs are much more environmentally-friendly than your regular twinkly iridescent lights because they use up to 80% less energy. So by simply switching to solar-powered lights outdoors, and putting all sets on a timer. You’ll not only make environmental savings but your energy bills will be reduced too!
Now don’t hate me but those cheap advent calendars with chocs in that you love… yeah the planet HATES them! For a few reasons these are not usually environmentally friendly, the inner part is almost always plastic and because they are made so cheaply and in such high numbers, the carbon footprint is absolutely shocking. There are a tonne of fun, unique ways to do your own reusable advent calendars that you can have a lot of fun with!
Growing up one of my happiest Christmas memories was my advent calendar, my wonderful mum made this hand sewn wall calendar with pockets for each day and every morning I would run downstairs to see what was in today’s pocket! It could be a small toy, a little present or chocolate. It was personal and so so special.
FOOD & DRINK
Being more eco friendly at christmas, a notoriously excessive time of year, means also being a more responsible cook. By cutting back, cooking smart and planning ahead, we can all make a difference to the planet and run our homes more efficiently!
Shop at your local greengrocers buying loose fruit and veg and at butchers who source their meats from local farms. They use minimal packaging, most of the produce is locally sourced and your supporting a small business!
All of which is of huge benefit to the environment and the community. PLUS often times the quality is much better than large supermarket chains.
When you do your shopping … there are a few things to be mindful of.
– Crisps and snacks often come in packaging that can’t be recycled. so buy bigger packs rather than individual portions to cut down on how much you need to throw away.
– Remember to take your own reusable shopping bags to the supermarket.
– If you order online try to make sure you get everything in one order, rather than multiple deliveries in separate vehicles.
– Choosing seasonal, locally grown veg cuts out the carbon emissions from flying them in from all over the world.
– The less miles your food has had to travel to your plate, THE BETTER!
– FREE RANGE meat and eggs from local farms are the absolute best way to go.
REMEMBER – Your feeding your family or friends… not a small army!
Try not to buy more than you know you will need! Especially fruit, veg, meat and other perishables. If you know that only 1 person will eat sprouts… do not get 2 bags ‘just incase’. The mentality that ‘Id rather have to much than too little’ is crazy, you have got this far in life you can decide how much will be just enough with enough for leftover (because you’ve got to have leftovers!!).
Just stay conscious of how much your buying compared to how many your feeding.
BEFORE YOU GO THROWING GOOD FOOD AWAY
– Can you use it in another meal?
– Can you freeze it?
– Can you donate it?
Other ways to keep your christmas feast eco friendly are to think about the small things, the crackers, napkins and even the cutlery if your hosting large groups.
Here are some fab eco friendly options…
Christmas is a time of love, sharing and giving, we need to give back to the planet too. We only have one planet and the best we look after it now, the better it will be for future generations. Simple, small changes make a bigger difference than most people realise and by switching your wrapping, crackers, decorations or anything else for something which is kinder on our planet, we can all do our part to ensure the planet survives for many generations to come.
Be sure to check out our Ultimate Gift Guide (coming soon). This will include sustainable gift ideas and small businesses you’ll love!
I ALWAYS love to hear what you love, please do let me know in the comments what your doing to have a more sustainable christmas or email me if you have a small business or suggestions I should include in future blogs!
Have a fantastic festive season, and a very, merry christmas
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Molly @ Transatlantic Notes says
It’s so great to see sustainability being thought about in more and more aspects of our lives. A sustainable Christmas is a great idea seeing as it’s a highly concentrated time for quite a bit of paper and plastic waste, etc. Great ideas!
This is great. Thoughout the year I save gift bags and paper to reuse for birthdays and Christmas.
I really want the origami crackers from Dunelm. Totally paper.
Tea in the Tub
Same! I have gift bags from years back still… I have actually already ordered the crackers! Cant wait to fill them myself. Iv got the wrapping paper on order along with paper bows and paper ribbon. Excited!
You’ve given me SO many great ideas from this post. I’m saving it so I remember throughout the season. Thank you so much for sharing this!
Im so glad to help! Glad to hear that you got inspiration from it 🙂
Robyn Jones says
These are great ideas. The only idea I have heard about with making Christmas more eco-friendly is by shredding the Christmas paper and using it as colorful confetti packaging when shipping gifts throughout the year.
OH my gosh thats a FAB idea! I hadnt heard that before, thank you so much for sharing… now im off to buy a shredder haha 🙂
Christina Henry says
I’m always looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly so these were great
So glad you found them helpful 🙂
Yuki Reads says
This is so smart! Christmas is such a consumption-based holiday so it’s definitely super down to cut down on that and increase your sustainability.
I know right, its such a wasteful time of year. I started focusing on how i could give back a few years ago when I was walking around town and saw all these people with so many bags of gifts… walking right past so many homeless and its just broke my heart. Safe to say my outlook has changed since then.
These are absolutely great suggestions! I had never seen the cards than can be planted after the holiday- what an awesome thing to do! I love it! Thanks for these!
Your so welcome im glad you got lots from it 🙂
Love this blog post! you have include some many great ideas. I’m trying to be more sustainable this year from wrapping presents to the presents themselves. Don’t get me wrong I love spoiling people at Christmas but I think we need to think about the planet too x
Absolutely agree, and I honestly dont think that we would even notice alot of the changes!
Mz. Tee says
These were such awesome ideas!!! I didnt even think about creating my own wrapping paper decorations. Simply drawing a nice bow can make a difference. Also, loved the clay star’s that we can make in the comfort of our own home plus it’s an activity to bring the family together instead of just watching tv or taking a nap. Thanks for such great tips!
Your so welcome, honestly i think that these ideas make alot of christmas that bit more special rather than buying everything already done, make things yourself.
Thanks for reminding us about sustainability in this season. I love the holidays! Planning on food preparation can reduce waste.
Great ideas! Every year I’m appalled by the amount of trash Christmas morning produces. I’m going to look into that wrapping paper. Thanks for sharing!
OMG sameeeee. I have been wrapping my presents for a few years in eco friendly paper but until now it has seemed to only be black, white or brown! I am SO GLAD to see that this year there are so many fun options.
Louise Grace says
This is such a useful post, lots of ideas for an eco friendly Christmas! I particularly love the plantable Christmas cards, such a great ideas, will defo be buying some of them! Thanks for sharing!
So glad you found this useful! Thanks for letting me know 🙂
Kayleigh Zara says
The snowy Christmas tree wrapping paper is the one! I’m off to buy a roll now. Thanks for sharing this x
Ahhh I bought it too! So glad you got inspiration from it and thanks for your lovely comment
Great ideas! I just got the Paperchase wrapping paper (with the little white trees) and it looks so cute!
Thanks so much for your lovely comment, I bought the same wrapping paper!! Xxx
Great post! This has given me lots of ideas for Christmas and for my friends new business. Thanks for sharing!
I am so glad to hear you were inspired! Thank you for your lovely comment
LIONEL PIGUET says
Not only are these great insights! I appreciate the time you took to link every product and recommend the most eco-friendly products 👌
This comment has made my day, thank you so much for your kind words!
Stephanie Mullen says
These are some great ideas! I need to bookmark them! Thanks so much for sharing them. Found you on Twitter. Adorable blog!
Girl thank you so much that means a lot, I checked out your site and it’s beautiful too! Xx
Hahaha! “You’re feeding your family, not a small army” gave me a good laugh! Loved this post. always trying to be more sustainable in my day to day life. 🙂
I was actually looking for a calendar I could decorate myself! The tree-shaped one is amazing!
Natasha Evans says
Oooh there are some great suggestions here! I love that penguin wrapping paper from Paperchase – thank you for sharing!
Tash – A Girl with a View
Brilliant points! Wrapping paper needs to be sustainable.
Mind Beauty Simplicity says
brilliant post, rach! being more eco-friendly is always a good idea! you’ve mentioned great ways to get started on this journey.