Updated: Feb 1, 2019
It's that time of year again! Now if you're like me you'll barely have started your Christmas shopping yet, but maybe your super organised and are all done. Either way I'm going to give you a few tips that you can hopefully use this year, if not next, to help you be more environmentally conscious over the festive period!
So lets start with presents the area that most people are keen to make a start on/have already finished...
When buying gifts there's a few things you can change that make the gift not just better for the environment but more meaningful and heartfelt! To start with why not give them a day out or a some of your time as a present, this is very valuable as time is one of the few things you cant get back. If not try something homemade? If you're not very crafty or don't have the time to take them out then the next best solution is to buy sustainable. To the right is a great little pyramid created by Just Little Changes, these guys have a great environmental page with products and tips that can be found by clicking here or you can find them on facebook!
When it comes to wrapping your presents you need to be very careful. As pretty as all the wrapping paper can be the majority of it is not recyclable and contains things like glitter that is very harmful to the environment. What I would suggest is using brown paper instead. If you are going to buy wrapping paper, ensure it is recyclable, there are some. To wrap the present try not using tape at all, try folding the paper to hold it together then using string to tie it up. alternatively you can use eco-friendly tape, you can find this on amazon, I have not yet tried any myself so I can't unfortunately give suggestions but just read reviews and ask questions. Things to look out for: is it made from 100% recyclable materials? some are just 60%; is it solvent free; is the product itself recyclable?
Otherwise, you can reuse gift bags you've been given, even wrapping paper if you unwrap carefully! and if you're looking to make your present a little prettier reuse bows and ribbon or try gifting brown paper packages tied up with string? For addressing these presents you can just write on the paper itself. Alternatively, try making your own tags by cutting up this years Christmas cards and using them on next years presents? In the mean time buy gift tags that allow you to donate to charity and make sure they're made from sustainable paper! Just look out for the little FSC logo. You can do similar for handing out your own Christmas cards, try making some, and if you don't have time to make them all or any at all then buy sustainably made one that give to charity.
My favourite part about Christmas is when you get to decorate! This year when you go out to buy you tree make sure its been sustainably farmed, or do one up and buy a potted one that you can keep year round in the garden and decorate at Christmas! As for the decorations themselves make sure you reuse them each year, don't go for the cheap ones that you know you'll have to throw out in a year or two, get the ones that will last! Try and go for the ones with least plastic as well. Even better, go out and forage for your decorations, but make sure you don't steal too much, particularly berries as the birds will need them this time of year!!
Christmas is the time where we all indulge a little. but try and only cook what you need, or make sure you use the leftovers! Make turkey and cranberry sandwiches. make a broth with left over vegetables and potatoes. Eat a second roast the next day. When you get sick of eating Christmas food freeze it and eat it in the new year. Anything that can't be eaten compost or put in your food waste. Always ensure you buy a free range turkey or goose or whatever you're eating for you Christmas dinner. With your vegetables go organic where you can. Why not try making your own roast potatoes or Yorkshire puddings! All these things add up and make your dinner more environmentally friendly, and they're all generally a bit healthier for you and your family too!
I hope you've enjoyed this article, I may add bits to it over the festive period if I see fit. While you're being conscious about the environment over Christmas (well...hopefully) don't forget to enjoy! Merry Christmas!