What does it mean to be eco friendly? Many people would love to be, but have no idea what that really entails. Throughout this blog we will dive into what it means to be eco friendly and discuss some things you can do to have an amazing Christmas whilst being friendly to the planet.
Of course you can!
Christmas is the most wasteful time of the year. While it is a lovely time of year, the UK alone produces 3 million tons of waste in comparison to the rest of the year.
That’s about 100 million black bags being sent to landfill, contributing to pollution and global warming.
If you want to minimise your footprint, here are our tips for a sustainable Christmas.
The 227,000 miles of wrapping paper every year and over 83km2 will end up in our bins.
Instead of using wrapping paper, which I know is usually the easiest and first thing you go to when thinking of wrapping gifts, instead, go for reusing different things like paper packaging
or you could even reuse any wrapping paper you already have and have received.🌳
If you think about it, not many people stop to look at how something is wrapped, they think more about what’s inside. So why don’t you just ask them to be careful not to tear it while unwrapping so that you can use it next Christmas.
It’s all fun and games dressing up your Christmas tree, but how about making your own decorations? There’s many different things you can do to make your Christmas tree look festive, such as drying out orange slices🍊.
An example of a natural decoration is a 🎄wreath, they are beautiful and eco friendly. If you use seasonal and natural foliage, it makes it safe for birds and wildlife.
Another example is investing in or making a reusable advent calendar. These are perfect as you can stock them up with whatever you’d like.
You could make a recycled card banner, using your Christmas cards you just hang them up on some string! It’s that simple.
Another fun and simple example is making snowflakes by folding and cutting paper
, I don’t know about you, but my favourite thing as a child was to make these at Christmas time and hang them up on the tree or up on the walls.
There’s so many different patterns you can do so you can make it unique to you.
There’s so many different things you can make for a loved one or for a friend. There’s things like crocheting✨ and DIY. Homemade presents are as fun to make as they are to give, plus you’ll save a lot of money in the process.
Say you’ve bought someone a couple of gifts, or you’ve made them yourself, you could layer them inside a stackable gift box, where you stack two or three boxes filled with presents, then paint the outside as a tree, snowman, angel or even a reindeer. This adds a personalised touch to your gifts.
Another example is making baubles. There’s plenty of ways you can do this. If you’re bored of your normal old looking baubles, take some glue and some fabric or paper and wrap them up, these are great for displaying every holiday.
You could even make something like a mug or teacup candle, the best part about them is once the candle has run out, it can be cleaned out and used!!
You could even make things that are edible! Like gingerbread men, or cookies.
There’s many different ways you can reuse, such as swapping out plastic straws for metal or bamboo ones, you could use grease proof
packaging to package any food that you buy from the shops, such as cakes or biscuits.
You could even use beeswax fabric coverings to cover lids of food that you would usually use plastic for.
Reusing old packaging for wrapping presents, such as using old paper bags, or you could even use old wrapping paper could reduce the waste that you put on the world massively.
Another thing you can do is carrying a set of bamboo, metal or reusable cutlery and tubs as well as a straw so that when you go out into the world, you won’t have to pick up any plastic single use only cutlery.
You could even recycle or compost any Christmas cards in January or turn them into different decorations ready for next year.
Most of us don’t write Christmas cards anymore, but for those who do there’s a way to send them without costing the planet.
Look for the cards that have certifications of responsible sourcing. This will guarantee that the paper complies with the highest social and environmental standards on the market. So you can be happy knowing that it has been produced sustainably and ethically.
You can also look for plantable cards, they are usually embedded with carrot seeds. This makes them really eco friendly.
We also have board backed envelopes
, which are perfect if you decide to make your own Christmas cards this year.
When it comes to eco friendly Christmas decorations, LED’s are much better than traditional lights because they use up to 80% less energy. While they are usually a little bit higher in price, they save a ton of energy, last twice as long, they are also much safer.
If every UK household swapped a string of incandescent lights for LED’s, we could save more than £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2.
To summarise, these are just some ideas that you can do to have an eco friendly Christmas. If you find it difficult to do most of these, just do one - remember, every little helps.
If you feel like sharing your creations with us, please tag us on Instagram
using the hashtag #simplelifecouk