HAVE YOURSELF A LOW WASTE CHRISTMAS (PART TWO)

by Liz Watson December 10, 2016

HAVE YOURSELF A LOW WASTE CHRISTMAS (PART TWO)


It’s not too late to get yourself something eco-friendly, reusable and stylish for Christmas

The season is most certainly upon us; yes folks Christmas is just around the corner. No matter if you find that a terrifying prospect, one that sends you scampering for presents and cajoling the family into a Fordian approach to writing and posting Christmas cards, or  if you can sit back and (somewhat smugly) relax - one thing is certain. Christmas can be wasteful.

In fact it can be incredibly wasteful. In part one of this two-part blog post, we looked at how:

You can reduce waste associated with wrapping paper
(Did you know, each Christmas we throw away enough to cover Guernsey?).

How you can have a conversation with your loved ones about giving gifts

Suggestions as to how you can create some truly unique handmade gifts

Why, if you’re not making it yourself, you could buy eco-friendly, reusable and practical presents

(Shameless plug there!)

In this blog we will look at Christmas cards, what’s to be done and how not to cause offence, decorations, and how you can still make your house feel Christmassy without killing the planet,  and just what is to be done about Christmas trees.

So, without further ado - here are our top tips for a low waste Christmas (take two!)

Cards

Christmas cards, I think that there is something wonderful in receiving and sending Christmas cards. Lining them up on your mantelpiece, or hanging them on a line of string from the ceiling and thinking of those you love doing the same - yep, truly captures the spirit of the season.

But, it can’t be ignored that 900 million Christmas cards are sold each year.

 900 million is a truly mind boggling number. Even more mind boggling is that 1.5 billion cards are thrown away each Christmas

Now, some might say that cards come from sustainably farmed trees, and that cards that are  100% recycled or have the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo on them are the best way forward.

Even if the trees are sustainable, 200,000 are felled each year just for making Christmas cards.

These options are certainly better, but are they really the best.

If you feel that you simply must send cards, then be sure to either make them yourself out of whatever you have lying around the house or to buy those that are 100% recycled/FSC certified.

However, if you are open to the idea of not sending cards (and searching around for addresses for weeks before hand) then there are other options.

The e-greetings card industry is massive and companies like Moon Pig are virtually household names.

If you’re of the opinion that these e-cards lack something of the personal touch, then why not try are carefully worded Facebook message or email?

You could outline your personal reasons for not sending a card, being sure not to make it sound judgmental! Include a photo, some news whatever - just share the love and make it eco-friendly.

As for those friends who are not big fans of social media? Well there are always those recycled/homemade cards.

As a Christmas gift to you - check out these 23 ideas for homemade Christmas cards from Buzzfeed.

 

Decorations

 Decorations are an odd one to cover. 

On one hand, it can be a perfectly simple part of Christmas to do in an eco-friendly manner; simply go to the attic, stumble around a bit, find that box of decorations your Gran gave you decades back and sprinkle liberally around the house (while seriously questioning that generation’s taste).

This is, in essence, the heart of low-waste, re-using and repairing what you have.

After all, most Christmas decorations can’t be recycled - yup, even glass baubles.

However, we don’t all have bauble mad Grans (or bauble made any other relations), attics or boxes.

So, what is to be done?

Well, as with most things low-waste the answer is...make your own (you guessed it, didn’t you).

We’re not just going to leave you with that, we’ve compiled some top tips on making your own decorations.

   Baubles
Have a look at this lady, not only does she have wonderful hair - she also makes baubles out of pine cones. What’s not to love?  Just remember, you don’t have to spray paint them - why not use any paint that you might have hanging around the house, or attach lovely bits of material to them?

   Crackers
Who doesn’t like Christmas crackers, well dogs, but aside from our canine friends crackers are normally a popular addition to Christmas.

The Olde English Cracker site have making your own from things you would find around the house absolutely nailed. Take a look at what they suggest.

  Wreaths
Watch this wonderful video on how to make a wreath using just foraged evergreen materials.
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It’s not too late to get yourself something eco-friendly, reusable and stylish for Christmas

 

Christmas trees


Now this could be where caring about the planet crosses over into being perceived as sucking the fun out of things - but gosh darn it, it is important.

Besides, where is the fun in logging and then
throwing away six million (yep six million) trees each Christmas - creating an additional 9,000 tonnes of waste.

Now, there are no easy answers to the most environmentally friendly type of tree to buy (as for synthetic/plastic artificial - forget it).

Friends Of The Earth have some great tips, and recommend that you make sure your tree is UK grown and buy from a retailer registered with the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (if you want your tree to be organic as well check to see that it has been approved by the Soil Association).

Of course, these are still not ideal options. For a truly, long lasting tree that adds an element of style, why not try your hand at building a representation of one out of driftwood, pallets or any other materials you have to hand. 

Whether you decide to try and go low waste or not - have a great Christmas!

GIVE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY, LONG LASTING PRESENTS THIS YEAR: SEE OUR CHRISTMAS RANGE.






Liz Watson
Liz Watson

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