Top tips for a sustainable Christmas

Sustainability has been a hot topic of 2020. Christmas is a time when we produce a lot of unnecessary waste, so why not make some changes to make this festive season more eco-friendly? Here are some of our top-tips to get you started!

Wrap presents with brown paper, or ditch it all together!

Recycled brown paper and raffia *GIFT WRAP SERVICE* | Coconut and Cotton
Brown wrapping paper can still look great!

Image credit: Coconut & Cotton

Shiny wrapped presents can look beautiful under the tree, but the foil or glitter designs are made from plastic and can’t be recycled. An eco-friendly alternative is to wrap your gifts in plain brown paper (if you’re feeling creative you can use a felt tip pen to add patterns) or newspaper. Alternatively, ask your loved ones to simply close their eyes then place the gifts into their hands. 

Shop small

LeftLion - Handmade Nottingham 5th birthday celebration at Handmade  Nottingham on 02/11/2019
Support small businesses this Christmas.

Image credit: LeftLion

The lockdowns of this year have negatively impacted independent businesses, with many being forced to close. Buying your gifts from local creatives will support them directly and help to keep them open. Plus, products made by hand are usually of high quality and will be a one of a kind present. A lot of independents are currently selling online, for example, ‘Handmade Nottingham’, a local business that sells products from many artists. IG- @handmadenotts,

Buy hard soap instead of bottled liquids

Oname soap would make the perfect sustainable Christmas present!

Image credit: Oname

Shampoos and body washes are popular gifts at Christmas. Avoid the plastic bottles and buy hard soaps that don’t use excessive packaging, and they may last longer too! An independent business, ‘Oname’, makes their soaps by hand with packaging that’s recyclable as well as beautiful and perfect as a gift. IG- @oname.soaps, 

Donate unwanted items

Samaritan's Purse sacks Christmas shoebox volunteer over her religious  beliefs | Provincial | News | The Guardian
Give a gift to a child in need with Samaritan’s Purse.

Image credit: The Guardian

Declutter your belongings before you receive more gifts on the 25th by donating unwanted (but good condition) items to Christmas box appeal schemes. These include Samaritan’s Purse and FCSI. Alternatively,  donate warm clothes to homeless charities like Shelter, who help to provide the homeless with care and support during the harsh cold of winter. 

Keep Christmas dinner leftovers 

The Turkey Christmas Feast Box, Organic
Don’t let your lovely Christmas dinner go to waste!

Image credit: Abel & Cole

A classic roast dinner is the highlight of Christmas day for many, so why waste the leftovers? Pop any leftover food in a reusable tupperware container and enjoy them a second time for lunch the next day. 

Make your own decorations

Easy DIY Christmas decorations with wooden beads | Christmas crafts
Christmas decorations don’t have to be expensive… make your own!

Image credit: The Crafty Gentleman

This idea is especially fun for students living together in the weeks leading up to Christmas day. With some Christmas music in the background, get creative together and make your own decorations from recyclable materials like tissue paper and eco-friendly glitter- such as bunting, snowflakes, Christmas crackers, wreaths and stockings. Pinterest and Youtube tutorials could also provide more inspiration to get your home looking festive and raise your spirits.  

Written by Helen Barber

Feature image credit: Ceuta Group

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