Sorry if I’ve mentioned the ‘C’ word in August, but it takes a little planning if you want to have an environmentally friendly Christmas. I’m all for enjoying the festive season, and we can do it in a way which isn’t harmful for our planet.
Think of all the plastic involved in Christmas – cracker inserts, wrapping paper (there’s a lot of plastic in Christmas wrapping), presents, Christmas cards, glitter… Here are some great ideas to green up your Christmas and have fun at the same time.
I’m quite into crafts, so I enjoy making eco-friendly Christmas presents. In the picture I have some lip balm (using beeswax from our lovely honeybees), lavender hearts (we have plenty of lavender), beeswax tealights, a gift label made by my very talented stepdaughter and a hand knitted cotton washcloth. I also found some recycled kraft cards to make my own Christmas cards with – I printed them with a lino cut I made, so they didn’t take long to do and they cost 10p each including the envelope. There are so many ideas on the internet for fabulous things you can make that are also environmentally friendly. You could even combine some of them in a lovely gift box.
If you don’t like making things yourself, there are plenty of great crafters out there. Why not support a small, eco-friendly business? I’ve had some fabulous Christmas presents from small businesses, including some beautiful hand thrown teapots and mugs. Charity shops are fantastic for one-off presents. Often the quality of goods you can find in them is brilliant. That’s where this fabulous Christmas stocking came from.
My stepmum came up with one of the best ideas ever – a Secret Santa. We have a big family, and we were spending huge amounts of time and money on gifts for each other that, to be honest, often weren’t really wanted. So now, my stepmum co-ordinates our Secret Santa – we each choose a gift around £50 (set whatever price you want) and she sends the gift idea to another member of the family. We only receive one gift (the children get more) and we know it is something we will really use. My husband and I have used our Secret Santas to buy things like yoghurt makers, sourdough bread equipment, dehydrator for preserving fruit and so on.
There are plenty more ideas for a green Christmas – you can buy plastic free crackers (or make your own – there are kits out there too), recycle wrapping paper or buy eco-friendly paper, wooden toys for young children (rather than plastic). And if you think you’ve got enough ‘things’ – some of our family ask for a donation to their favourite eco-charity rather than a gift.