It looks like Xmas won’t be cancelled this year, and I think we’re all in need of a little Covid-safe celebration!
But as social media will tell you, celebrating Christmas comes at a cost to the planet.
Around 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be thrown away and not recycled in the UK this Yule - which is more than the weight of 3.3 million Emperor penguins.
Unnecessary packaging is just one of many wasteful Christmas crimes. Astonishingly, in 2011 the Telegraph reported that in Britain alone we use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper over the festive period (that's enough to go around the world nine times!). Furthermore, 8 million artificial trees (or 12,000 tonnes) will go straight to landfill.
We’d like to encourage a more mindful festive-time.
We know you’re trying not to be naughty so we’ve collated three nice ways to spend a more sustainable Noel.
Image via: Winterwares
You’ve thoughtfully bought a few gifts for close loved ones that you know they will love and cherish for years to come. But how to wrap sustainably?
Why not wrapping with fabric and trying the Japanese art of Furoshiki. Wrapping with fabric, whether that be vintage scarves, square cloth, or even small blankets creates a beautiful and tactile way to wrap without the waste of excessive paper that can often not be recycled.
Once you have your set of wrapping scarves and fabrics you can use them for a lifetime to wrap gifts for family and friends, or include it as a part of the present so they might also adopt your sustainable ways!
First question, do you even need a tree at all? Not having a tree doesn’t have to mean forgoing Christmas decorations altogether. What do you already have that can make your space feel festive? Can you friendly all-year-round Yucca houseplant be jazzed up instead of a traditional tree?
If a classic tree is a must-have for you then by far the most sustainable and ethical way is to have a living tree (unless you already have an artificial tree, in which case, use that for its whole life!).
Your living tree will live in your garden or allotment all year round, you’ll need to care for it, otherwise, it’ll become a lot less sustainable, but the idea is to pot it up for December, and replant come 12th Night.
Just imagine all those living branches fragrancing your home!
Image via: Jojotastic
So you either need some decorations for your living tree, the Yucca, or your Christmas dinner table…
Pop your boots and scarf on and get out in nature! Whilst foraging typically refers to seeking out food, why not look out for some decorative branches, pine cones, and holly to naturally festive-up your home.
A lichen-covered twig decorated with some curling ivy* and pine cones and be just a ticket for a beautiful centrepiece. (*Please do be careful if you have children or pets. Some berries and leaves can be poisonous so research what you’re bringing into your home).
Foraging for decorations can be time well spent mindfully reconnecting with nature and giving a bit of time and headspace for yourself too.
We hope you’ve picked up a new idea or two! Do tag us in your sustainable Christmas solutions on social media, we’d love to continue the conversation.