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It’s starting to look a lot like an eco-friendly Christmas
This is the season to be jolly and after a year like 2020, we all deserve a bit of merriment and cheer. Traditions might change this year, so we were thinking it would be a good opportunity to incorporate new eco-friendly Christmas ideas into the seasonal festivities!
This is the time of year we tend to spend the most money on products that often end up going to waste. Single-use plastics food waste often go hand in hand with themed celebrations like Christmas, so it’s good to remind ourselves to choose wisely and make conscious decisions about our seasonal décor and our gift giving.
Maybe this year, as we take stock of what is most important to us, we can consider lightening the load on our planet’s resources and making this an eco-friendlier Christmas.
Here are just a few ideas. We’d love to hear your suggestions for a greener, more sustainable Christmas celebration too!
Scrap the wrapping paper
We like this one because it encourages a bit of creativity and it can make such a big difference.
Did you know most wrapping paper is NOT recyclable?
Unless your gift wrap specifically says it is eco-friendly, it probably isn’t. Pretty paper is often full of plastic and the plastic ribbons just add to the pile that lands in the trash. Opening gifts is half the fun, but the wrappings go straight into the bin. Ten points if you’re one of those people who opens gifts delicately and saves the paper! Reusing is definitely one way to lessen the load.
Need some ideas to pretty up your gift without using conventional gift wrap?
- Use a pretty fabric and make it part of the gift – like a scarf, or a sarong.
- use natural brown paper and string decorated with a flower or some seasonal greenery.
- reuse gift bags you’ve been given in the past.
Support local businesses
Whether you’re buying gifts for friends or food for your Christmas feast, shop at your local market or pop into family-run stores in your neighbourhood to support businesses that have probably had a tough year this year! Buying fresh, seasonal produce to cook with is a great way to lower your carbon footprint in general, not only at Christmas time. You’re bound to get better tasting, healthier ingredients that don’t come in excessive plastic packaging, and you’re cutting out all those resources that go into transporting out-of-season produce from all over the world.
Gifts from boutique shops are a great idea and you’re more likely to be supporting someone’s handmade products. Items you buy might be one of a kind, high quality, and far more special than something that’s been picked off the shelf at a commercial store. Another excellent way to buy for Christmas is to shop when you travel. Buying trinkets, fabrics, and art from local vendors in the destinations you visit make thoughtful gifts for special people in your life and you are contributing to someone’s livelihood and supporting their art.
Avoid the excess
It’s easy to over-cater for fear of under-catering! And so often we take our ‘host with the most’ game to the next level and make sure there is themed everything, from napkins to tablecloths to plates to candles and cushions. Fair enough if you have your stash of Christmas delights that come out every year and are reused faithfully. But if you’re not a regular host or you’re prone to following annual trends, try and avoid the single-use décor items that won’t last. Buying all your guests a Santa-themed Covid-approved mask is cute, but it’ll just add to the landfill at the end of the day.
Food waste is an incredible waste of resources like water and buying food in excess accumulates waste in the form of plastic packaging. Christmas feasts become something of a competition in this new digital age we’re living in, and while we’re all for a hefty smorgasbord of delights, our eco-friendly impulses know we can celebrate just as well without there being more than enough. Make the most of those leftovers and reinvent dishes in the days following Christmas, so that nothing ends up in the trash. We can highly recommend a “leftovers pie” in case anyone is asking…
Choosing to be eco-conscious over the festive season is a gift you can give to yourself and your loved ones, not to mention your natural environment. There are so many ways to celebrate without adding to the rubbish heap and to end the year on a positive note.
At Wild in Africa, we’ve always worked to minimise our environmental impact through the use of reusable, eco-friendly packaging for our jewellery. Our beaded bracelets themselves are made using sustainably sourced materials that do not exploit natural resources. Plus, when you buy from our charity bracelet range, 50% of what you spend is donated to a non-profit organisation supporting wildlife conservation.
If you are looking to support a business that gives back this Christmas, take a look at our jewellery range and maybe you’ll find the perfect gift that has meaning and a long-lasting impact on conservation.
Written by Chloe Cooper
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SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) is a global non-profit organisation that audits social and environmental performance to ensure improved working conditions throughout the supply chain globally.