Written by Lauren Smith - 1st December 2021
How To Have A Sustainable Christmas
According to Zero Waste Week, the UK alone is estimated to throw away 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging, 4 million dinners and around 1 million unwanted gifts this Christmas. These staggering figures along with this year’s focus on the climate crisis, has inspired us to look at our lifestyles and how we can make a difference over the festive season. So we’ve pulled together our top tips for having a sustainable Christmas - covering all categories from food waste to eco-friendly decorations and Christmas shopping – we hope that they inspire you to make some small changes this year!
Eco-Friendly Christmas Decorations
We find that the best Christmas decorations are the ones that emerge year after year, the family heirlooms or the ones you made at school 20 years ago! But if you’re looking to add to your collection and have a greener festive season, our top tips are a great place to start.
Re-Use Your Gift Wrap
According to recycling advisors at WRAP, the amount of wrapping paper thrown away at Christmas in the UK could stretch all the way to the moon! We could all help reduce this by keeping any wrapping paper, gift tags, cards or ribbons we like for next year – you could cut them into gift tags or use them to make paper chains and Christmas crackers.
Make Your Own Natural Christmas Decorations
Why not try dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks and pine cones to decorate your Christmas tree or wreath? Not only do they look festive but they will make your house smell amazing too! If you love baking, you could even make your own edible Christmas tree ornaments – we love this Christmas Biscuit recipe from Olive magazine
Invest In A Reusable Advent Calendar
It's a great alternative to the supermarket varieties and what’s better is you can fill it with your or your families favourite sweets and snacks! A re-usable advent calendar can be used year after year and feels that little bit more special.
Switch To LED Christmas Lights
They use up to 80% less energy and look just as good! They come in a variety of styles, shapes and colours and as they always remain cool, they can be safely used on garlands and wreaths.
Switch Up Your Christmas Table Decor
It’s the most anticipated meal of the year and there is something so special and welcoming about a festively decorated table. This year, why not take the opportunity to get a little creative and add more natural elements to your table settings? Here are some easy ways to create a stunning sustainable Christmas table.
Eco – Friendly Christmas Crackers
Get crafty and make your own crackers using brown paper or left-over gift wrap. There are some amazing tutorials online – we love this one by Simple Things Magazine . Make them extra special with a personalised gift and you could even have a go at writing your own cracker jokes!
Avoid using single-use table cloths and napkins and opt for material versions instead. They have a much longer life cycle and make the Christmas table look extra fancy!
Cut Back On Your Food Waste
For many it’s the highlight of the day but did you know around seven million tons of food is binned every Christmas in the UK? We find this figure staggering especially as so many go without at this time of year. Some left-overs can be unavoidable but here are some simple ways to reduce your food waste and support others in need this festive season.
Donate To Your Local Food Bank
The Trussell Trust is a UK based organisation that supports a network of food banks providing emergency food and support for people living in poverty. Their website is full of information including a link to finding your local food bank or collection point. Remember you can donate non-food items, such as toiletries, as well.
Make A List And Check It Twice
Before heading out on the annual Christmas food shop, make a detailed list of all the things you need and stick to it. It can be tempting to stock up the freezer "just in case" or with 2 for 1 offers but it's good to take a moment and think about what we actually need and what our families can realistically get through over the festive period.
Transform Your Christmas Leftovers
There are so many amazing recipes online to help you create delicious dishes with your leftovers. One of our social venture partners Rubies in the Rubble shared this Nut Roast recipe that would use up leftover veggies and nuts.
Bonus tip – food sharing apps such as Olio make it simple to share food with your neighbours.
Mindful Christmas Shopping
Over the last few years in particular, we've noticed an increased awareness from consumers surrounding sustainability practices and the overall impact of their purchases. Below you will find our top tips to help you complete your Christmas shopping in a more sustainable and mindful way.
Shop Social Enterprise
Not only will you find unique gifts that you wouldn’t get anywhere else, but by shopping with social enterprises you’re supporting purpose led businesses that support good causes. Social enterprises exist in almost every business sector but it can be challenging to spot them! That's why Social Enterprise Scotland launched their gift directory, to make it even easier to find a social enterprise business in the sector you're looking for.
Why not suggest a Secret Santa amongst your friends and family – it reduces waste and allows you to invest a little more money on one more considered gift. Check out our Secret Santa Gift box available now through our shop.
Choose Sustainable Christmas gifts
Make your Christmas even more meaningful with a sustainable gift box. Each one of our gift boxes and hampers is packed full of products that support social and environmental causes. Our packaging is 100% sustainable too so you can be sure it's kind to the planet as well as humans!
Shop our gift collection here or you can read more about our carbon neutral shipping here.
Looking for a Christmas gift that has a positive social impact?
Create your own bespoke gift box with our Build Your Own Gift option or discover our Ultimate Sustainable Christmas Gift Guide full of inspiration from gifts for her, gifts for families, Secret Santa and more.