Christmas has traditionally been the season of indulgence but we can all play a part in helping to ensure that the season of excess does not put a strain on our environment.
How will you be creating an eco-friendly Christmas? Here we reveal how to stay environmentally conscious during the festive period.
1. Choose an eco-friendly Christmas tree
Elaborate Christmas lights and decoration can transform your home into a magical winter wonderland and for many, the beginning of December is a key time to dust-off the decorations and deck the halls. Here we explain how to choose and decorate an eco Christmas tree.
What to look for when buying an eco Christmas tree:
It’s a matter of personal choice whether you choose a fake or a real tree and if you’re trying to curb your carbon footprint, reusing the same fake tree year after year may be the best choice for you.
Take time to choose the right one as, according to The Soil Association, you need to re-use an artificial tree 10 times to negate its carbon footprint .
If it’s simply not Christmas without the scent of a real tree in the house, pine-scented candles and Christmas tree scent sprays can add a festive fragrance.
If you choose to have a real tree, The Soil Association suggests that you keep your carbon footprint low by choosing a UK-grown tree from a local retailer, and by checking that your tree is organic and FSC certifiedi.
After Christmas you can either recycle your tree, or you can try to replant it and, by doing so, create a new home for nature.
2. Gift sustainably
Another way to make a difference for Christmas is by shopping for eco-friendly Christmas gifts.
Gifting consciously needn’t be complex and, to take the stress out of shopping sustainably during the festive season, we’ve created a range of organic beauty gift sets that contain ingredients grown sustainably and responsibly.
If you are looking for a zero-waste Christmas gift or stocking filler, our multipurpose beauty balm is presented in a pot which biodegrades completely after use.
3. Eco Christmas decoration tips
Bringing nature indoors is an easy way to create an interior design that is inviting, seasonal and sustainable and, for an eco-friendly festive style, we recommend swapping glitter and tinsel for natural foliage.
If you have holly branches, berries or ivy growing in your garden you can use these to give your home an eco-friendly rustic Christmas aesthetic, just remember to wear gloves as ivy is known to cause skin irritation. Please only pick what you need as birds and wildlife rely on berries during the winter months.
Love to decorate with Christmas lights but want to curb your energy use? Use candles where you can, safely of course, to enjoy the sparkle of Christmas whilst remaining environmentally conscious.
You can even get solar-powered fairy lights but be aware that the limited hours of daylight at Christmas may curb their sparkle a little.
4. Sending eco-friendly Christmas cards
If you opt to purchase card for your loved ones, the eco-friendliest way to deliver festive cheer is to hand-deliver your Christmas greetings or send an e-card.
Always opt for Christmas cards made from sustainably sourced or recycled paper and avoid choosing glittery Christmas cards. Glitter is notoriously hard to recycle is such a concerning environmental hazard that high-street stores such as Marks & Spencer have announced they will be no longer be offering shoppers the option of sparkly Christmas cards or gift-wrap.
TOP ECO-CHRISTMAS TIP:
- Make your own Christmas cards. Whilst purchasing cards can be a great time-saver, making your own will cut down on packaging and is a fun festive activity for all the family.
5. Wrapping Christmas presents in an eco-friendly way
Bows and ribbons can make your Christmas gifts look glorious, but could you style your Christmas surprises in a more sustainable way?
TOP ECO CHRISTMAS WRAPPING TIP
- Reusable/biodegradable wrapping. Consider wrapping your gifts with reusable wrapping materials and decorate them with a spring of holly instead of using throwaway tags and ribbons.
6. Choosing eco-conscious Christmas crackers
Traditional Christmas crackers can come in handy should you even need a miniature screwdriver or a paper hat but if you’re consciously trying to reduce your use of plastic, it’s worthwhile investing in resuable Christmas crackers.
An eco-friendly way to embellish your Christmas dinner table, reusable Christmas crackers can be used year after year and filled with small but useful zero-waste items.
7. Planning a zero-waste Christmas dinner
Want to help wage war on Christmas food waste? Plan your food needs in advance to reduce the impact on the planet and shop for local, organic produce whenever possible.
It’s natural to succumb to seasonal treats and when you are catering for family and friends its easy to end up with surplus supplies. To avoid food wastage, plan your meals carefully so you are not buying food you and your family won’t eat. If you do have food left over, check out www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for zero-waste recipe inspiration or The Soil Association website for organic recipe ideas.
Join the conversation at @GreenPeopleUK and tell us what steps you will be taking to celebrate an eco-friendly Christmas.
You may also like to take a look at our natural and organic Christmas gift collection.