7 Tips For A More Eco-Friendly Christmas
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Let’s make it the most sustainable yet – a new green tradition. At a time when shopping can induce near hysteria and over-consumption is high, there are many ways we can help to reduce potential waste without diminishing the spirit of the season.
Here are 7 tips for making this year a more eco-friendly Christmas:
- Find a tree that’s all real, no plastic! From unique miniature trees to authentic fir trees, choose one that can be replanted after Christmas, or recycled into chippings for your garden path, or chopped and stacked in your garden as a wonderful natural habitat for birds and bugs. Another great option is to turn one of your own houseplants into a stunning festive tree by simply adding some low energy LED fairy lights!
- Presents should never cost the earth – find eco-friendly suppliers to shop online, buy second-hand upcycled goods, and choose sustainable items. Opt for a timeless gift for little ones, like wooden toys. A houseplant or succulent will last forever and bring joy many times over. Or gift a pre-paid experience like a day trip or a massage, or a babysitting voucher.
- Get creative with gift wrapping - no more plastic or expensive options. For an elegant and understated gift, plain brown paper or hessian is always a favourite choice which can be hand painted or spruced up with natural decorations and even homemade cookies! A beautiful scarf or tea towel also makes for ingenious gift wrap. If you get the daily paper, use it with red or gold ribbon and add dried orange slices, rosemary sprigs and cinnamon sticks for a fragrant surprise. Avoid glitter as it contains harmful micro plastics.
- Make your own edible tree decorations and forage for pine cones and other beautiful ideas the great outdoors has to offer for your own interesting wreaths and special decorative touches. Use candles and solar powered lights.
- Recycle and reuse everything. Used Christmas cracker tubes make original lantern bunting and any paper that holds a scrunch can be recycled.
- Every year, the paper waste on Christmas cards amounts to millions of tons of waste, which produces high levels of methane and carbon dioxide as it rots on the landfills, causing global warming. So be sure to recycle or make your own cards. Using plantable seed cards is another brilliant idea - did you know each Stumped item comes with a plantable card?
- Cut down on food waste – buy loose handpicked food items or look for lighter packaging options. Freeze leftovers or transform them into new meals as a family challenge. Best of all, share them with the elderly or soup kitchens. Remember to eat green and choose locally produced foods that are in season – the hot South African Christmas calls for delicious fresh summer salads and a picnic in the park or at the beach.
This festive season, as many of us enjoy a well-deserved break with our loved ones, let’s choose to cut back on excess and extravagance and take the time to re-evaluate our lifestyles, simplify, and be better friends of our beautiful planet.
Merry Christmas to you and yours!