5 steps to enjoy the most eco-friendly Christmas ever09 December 2019
The silly season is upon us and while the merriment has started - if you’re anything like the rest of us - there is still a long way to go before you are well and truly ready for Christmas! From decking the halls to gifting, - and attending endless Christmas parties - naturally, this is an indulgent time of year, so we are excited - Elf level - to reveal how amongst all the merriment, you can enjoy an eco-friendly Christmas this year!
What with excess wrapping from gifts, plastic food packaging, throwaway presents and the likes, there is always a huge increase in waste and CO2 emissions around Christmastime and it causes the earth a lot of damage. But there are plenty of ways to reduce your own carbon footprint and environmental impact, so check out our 5 steps to an eco-friendly Christmas and make Santa proud.
Pick up a sustainable Christmas tree.
While you can re-use an artificial tree, it will ultimately end up in a landfill, and as PVC is very much non-renewable, it would - according to the Carbon Trust - take around 10 years for the environmental impact of an artificial tree to outdo that of a natural tree’s. Therefore, choosing a real, natural Christmas tree is a surefire sustainable way to bring Christmas into your home! Fragrant and beautiful, it makes the best base for the most stunning Christmas decorations, so if you haven’t already picked yours up, head to your local ASDA or Tesco to find a Norman Fir or another variety at a great price.
Should you be so lucky as to find a live tree with roots and all, be sure to make that investment as you’ll be able to keep it for years by planting it out post-Christmas and letting it thrive in your garden ready for the next year!
Have a go at the easiest DIY Christmas decorations.
When it comes to decorating your tree and home in an eco-conscious way, dabbling in a little DIY and opting for natural Christmas decorations is the way to go. There are loads of alternatives to plastic and PVC – which baubles and tinsel are typically made from – which can create less waste to end up in a landfill and they can be the cheaper option too!
From paper tree ornaments to salt dough Christmas decorations - perfect for kids - the options are endless when it comes to making your own decorations and doing so will definitely put you in the festive spirit. Natural objects that you’re likely to walk past most days in winter can be used as festive additions to your home, think pine cones, snippets of ivy and holly. These will all look beautiful when displayed in a small vase, wrapped with string or even combined in a homemade wreath.
Another simple bauble alternative is drying slices of oranges or another lovely looking citrus fruit to hang up with ribbon or string, while you could even make a paper Christmas tree or garland and the list goes on. This is your chance to really get creative, and if you want to add a touch of sparkle to your decorations - it is Christmas after all - Cass Art has some spray paint and normal acrylic paint options which are also CFC free (better for the environment) and near-odourless (more pleasant for you).
Make your own eco-friendly Christmas crackers.
A pinnacle moment of every household’s Christmas meal is the pulling of the Christmas crackers. Now we’ve all been that person picking up the remnants of cardboard, small plastic gifts and hilarious but awful jokes, and we know that it all goes in the bin, so what if you were to make your own and turn this moment into an even more joyous one?
There are so many eco-friendly - and pocket-friendly - benefits to what is a very easy and satisfying DIY job. Think less plastic, artificial dyes and so on, while the act of reusing regular household waste like loo rolls and offcuts of brown paper or last year’s wrapping paper is the perfect way to embrace the eco-warrior lifestyle. Plus, you’ll be able to include jokes that are actually funny and fill the crackers with sustainable gifts that people will actually want to keep. Need we go on?
There are heaps of easy to follow tutorials online, while all the equipment you need, you will either already have, or you’ll be able to find it for a reasonable price at the likes of Hobby Craft and Amazon.
Give eco-friendly Christmas cards.
You have a few cool options here, and the first is to go digital and send Christmas e-cards which still actually exist - promise - and this will cut any waste and likely the cost of giving physical Christmas cards too. Other bonuses include the zero need for stamps or to make a certain postal date, therefore, giving you extra time and money to spend on merriment, mulled wine and even carolling.
Your next option is to simply make your own Christmas cards because there is no denying the charm of the real thing. Shop Hobby Craft or Cass Art to find paper, paint and reusable stencils that will help you to create the sweetest Christmas cards from the comfort of your own home. Another great activity to keep kids and adults entertained on chilly winter nights, make each Christmas card unique and spread the joy.
If you would still rather purchase the real deal, then choose eco-friendly Christmas cards available from the likes of Etsy where you’ll find many zero waste options. Most of their cards are created on recycled paper and you should be able to find Charity cards also where a small donation will be given to a particular charity with every purchase. There are sweet and stylish options galore, while if you want an even better eco-friendly twist, opt for a Christmas card that your recipient can plant post-Christmas! Remember to check out John Lewis & Partners’ selection of recyclable charity Christmas cards too as they give a generous 25% to its charities. The FSC stamp of sustainability is a must, and of course, be sure to recycle any that you receive!
Explore more eco-friendly Christmas wrapping paper options.
The excitement builds when we spot beautifully wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree, but it’s time to get creative instead of buying reels of wrapping paper, gift bags, tags and all the rest. Each year this amounts to 8,000 tonnes of waste, which equates to around 50,000 trees.
There is fun in innovation and it’s a no-brainer to put what you’ve got to good use. Chop up an old newspaper or a glossy magazine and jazz it up with reusable ribbons or string and you’ll get a gift worthy result. You can find recyclable wrapping paper, and brown paper is a good alternative which is the perfect background for off cuttings of your Christmas tree and other snippets of wintergreen foliage. In no time at all, you will have created the most perfect and traditional looking Christmas parcel.
Less is more, and if you’ve got lots of stocking filler-esque gifts, it makes sense to pop them all in a lovely stocking or a fabric Santa bag that you could and should re-use year on year. A very easy, eco-friendly and cost-effective option. Visit Not On The High Street and Tesco who always have some crackers. We hope we’ve inspired the sustainable Santa in you this year, and to save a bob or two along the way, be sure to check out the latest gift discount codes available with vouchercloud.