Christmas is just around the corner and we're pretty exited because there seems to be a growing desire for alternative vision of what its all about, less consumption and more care, the fact is that for too long Christmas has had a massive impact on the environment. So, here are some ideas for reducing your ecological footprint this season.
Environmentally Friendly Christmas Gifts
It’s all too easy to leave it to the last minute and dash to the shops in a frantic search for presents. But there's still time to give this whole thing a bit of thought. You could make something, find something vintage or second-hand, maybe you have a skill to share or want to give to charity on someone else's behalf.
But if all that simply won’t wash with some friends or family there are many things you can buy that won’t cost the earth. Gifts that are eco-friendly and sustainable. If you’re looking for something unique & plastic free that will last a lifetime then check out our Christmas collection.
We’ve been featured by Paypal UK’s “give better”campaign this Christmas . They chose brands for their sustainable production or support for good causes. Check out our fellow brands here. If you're seeking more inspiration there are lots of great gift guides this season highlighting unique and eco friendly gift ideas. Elephant Box even got a mention on This Mornings green gift guide with Alice Beer!
Wrap it up - All Eco Friendly Like
In the UK alone, we use 227,000 tonnes of wrapping paper every year, make the switch from the shiny unrecylable wrap and sellotape to uncoated paper and string, that way it can go straight in the recycle bin. Even better, why not try wrapping your gifts in scarves or fabric that can be repurposed each year. Check out this blog on the ancient art of Furoshiki gift wrapping to make your gifts look extremely special!
The Holly & the Ivy - Nature's Decorations
Yes, bringing the faithful box of vintage tinsel and ancient relics from school Christmas crafts is the greenest way to go! But if your decorations need a bit of spicing up then check out Plastic Freedoms range here.
Bringing a tree into the house is a centuries old Pagan and Christian tradition but it comes with an enormous cost in today's modern world . In the UK we cut down and then throw away 8 million trees. But, if you love a tree, and let’s face it, most of us do, Friends of the Earth have some great tips on how to make sure your purchase is as green as possible ( no pun intended)! If you buy one with roots you can dig it up each year, failing that, you can even rent a tree at some garden centres now.
Eat Drink and be Merry - But With Less Food Waste
Food waste at home accounts for 50% of all food waste in the UK . And at Christmas we go into overdrive! We throw out a third of food we buy over Christmas, thats 230,000 tonnes of food thrown away this festive period, including 9,300 tonnes of Brussels sprouts!
Plan ahead and use your leftovers - We’re all guilty of overdoing it at this time of year, but a little prior meal planning can help cut down on food waste. Also check out the food sharing app - Olio. A simple and fun way to share food in your neighbourhood.
If all this seems like more to add in to your frantic schedule think again. All of these changes we need to make come from a place of care, care for the planet, and for workers around the world, so why not include care for yourself! If you don’t want to send cards, you have an extremely valid reason for not doing so. If you don’t want to decorate your house in this years trend, don’t! Just get the box down from the attic and make do. If the idea of sorting out handmade chutney or truffles fills you with dread, don’t worry, there's plenty of ways you can give presents this year without spending a fortune on meaningless stuff destined for landfill. Check out our shop, and the many green gift guides to be found online.
Our 5 Top Tips for an Environmentally Friendly Christmas
1.Think about gifts - don’t panic!
2. Plan meals in advance
3. Wrap gifts in fabric or uncoated paper
4. Decorate your house with handmade and natural decorations
5.Think about what Christmas means to you. No need to play by the rules of excess and obligation if you don’t want. After all the planet needs change…!
5 Fascinating Christmas Traditions from Around the World
Before you go…we’ve rounded up 5 fascinating Christmas traditions from around the world .
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- Caracas, Venezuela. The roads are shut so that people can roller-skate to church!
- Iceland has 13 tricksy ‘Yule Lads’ with names like Kertasníkir (candle-stealer) or Hurðaskellir (door-slammer) who visit the house on the 13 nights leading up to Christmas day and leave gifts in the children’s shoes that have been left out waiting on the window sill.
- In Norway all the household brooms are hidden, as witches are abroad during this time of year and could easily steal yours.
- In Ukraine spiders webs are used to decorate the tree;
- And if you think Christmas starts way too early here, the Philippines celebrate from September to January. That’s some dedication!