This year, go back to basics with a sustainable Christmas and let the magic of the festive season take centre stage. With just a few simple changes, you can celebrate the holiday season whilst giving something back to our planet.
Decorate with care
There’s good news for those of us who love the smell of pine needles. Live Christmas trees act as a renewable energy resource and are usually grown locally, making these more ethical than the artificial option. Buy your tree from a small business where it been organically grown, and decorate with durable ornaments made from metal or fabric. For a traditional, twinkling Christmas, choose LED lights that use up to 95% less energy than traditional options. Always leave lights on a timer and switch them off when you go to bed.
Food glorious food
There are four key words to remember when it comes to Christmas dinner: local, seasonal, organic and free-range. These are great foodie habits to adopt during the rest of the year but simply staying true to these values over the seasonal period will make sure your celebrations are sustainable. Support local business by purchasing fruit, veg and sweet treats from farmer’s markets and choose an organic, ethically produced turkey. On the day itself, homemade mulled wine, eggnog or hot chocolate will go down a treat and save lots of wasteful packaging from canned drinks.
Think about the gifts
Far too many Christmas gifts are just novelty items that nobody really needs or wants. Break away from tradition and buy gifts from companies who are committed to practising sustainable business.
Alohas Sandals are a wonderful example of this – our sandals have a lifespan three times longer than regular flip-flops with a section of profits going to support NGOs. This offers the perfect way to give a gift that tells a story and the owner will really treasure.
Bloomingdale’s Medium Brown Bag is proof that quirky wrapping is just as fashionable as traditional. Think of the trees this Christmas and forgo wrapping paper for a more sustainable choice. Make a brown (recycled) paper package for a cute, unique presentation and tie it up with string or ribbon instead of tape. Newspaper makes for quirky, vintage-style wrapping, or use fabric wrap made from natural, renewable materials such as silk or organic cotton for an elegant aesthetic. For the kids, make a treasure hunt and hide their presents around the house. Wrapping will be the last thing on their mind!
Recycle, recycle, recycle
At Christmastime, millions of tonnes of extra rubbish are thrown out in households across the world. When you do your Christmas shopping, take fabric bags or ‘Bags for Life’ available at all major supermarkets. At the Christmas table, use china plates, drinking glasses and fabric napkins instead of paper ones.
When January 5th rolls around, take your Christmas tree to a chipping service where the chips can be used as mulch for community gardens, or your own green space. You can also compost the food leftovers along with any raw food waste, keeping the sustainable promise to the very end.