Throughout December we’ll be sharing facts, tips and some fun ideas to help us think about enjoying a more sustainable Christmas.

Here’s just a few of them. 

Christmas doesn’t need to cost the earth.
We’ve all been there, receiving gifts we don’t really want or need. Buy less, shop local, buy experiences or presents that last all year. Or even a bit of re-gifting, it’s the perfect way to reduce impact on the environment.

Christmas Cards.
Every year, we throw away 1.5 billion cards! Crazy right?
If you’re a fan of the tradition keep an eye out for the FCS mark, which means the paper has been sourced responsibly and avoid glitter which can’t be recycled or why not consider using on online service meaning you can send personalised cards without the impact on the environment. or 

Fake vs Real?
It’s an ongoing debate, which is best when it comes to Christmas trees?
Some top tips:
If you go for a fake one, it’s estimated you will need to use it 10 times to negate the carbon emissions in making it (most are used only 4 times!) A real one takes 10 – 12 years to grow, in that time it has been a home to insects and birds, has absorbed co2 – however make sure it is recycled or composted. For more tips take a look at this great article from the Soil Association

Christmas food, too good to waste?
The equivalent of 4.2 million Christmas dinner will be scraped into the bin at Christmas. Goodtoknow have written a great post on the top 10 most wasted Christmas foods and how we can use them. Christmas pudding crumble… Mince pie ice cream! Yummy!

All that glitters …
Did you know that glitter on cards and in wrapping paper usually makes it very hard to recycle? Meaning it usually ends up in landfill. Glitter is made from microplastics which often end up in the ocean, traces of which are found in fish.
Marks & Speners officially removed glitter from its Christmas cards and paper this year and other large retailers are doing the same. It’s good to know that biodegradable alternatives are being tested, so we may get some sparkle back into Christmas.

Wrapping paper
Did you know… Consumers in the UK will use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year – over 83km2 of this will end up in our bins.
(The Telegraph)

So what are the alternatives? There are so many great ways to wrap presents that avoid using masses of new often shiny and sparkly paper that can’t be recycled. Look out for paper that can be fully recycled, use brown paper and make your own (I had a go at this with my 4 year old!), use last year’s paper or use cloth or scraps of material. 
printing christmas paper

Gifts for kids that aren’t just stuff!

Giving the gift of time, an experience, a subscription that will last all year is just one way we can beat the mound of ‘stuff’ growing! As a mum of a four-year-old this article resonated with me, once again some great tips from Jen Gale of Sustainable(ish) on some alternative ideas to the usual kids presents.

Buy local
Whether we’re talking about Christmas food or presents, buying local not only supports local businesses but also has less impact on the environment. Where our festive food comes from or where gifts are made all has an impact on the planet.

A great alternative to buying gifts. Filled with love and super eco-friendly. Here’s a great post on DIY presents, some really lovely ideas and why not get the kids involved! Here's some great ideas from Little Green Dot.

Edible decorations
Need just a few more decorations, there’s no need to buy more, why not make some edible decorations for the tree?
I know … I’m not sure how long they would last in my house either, but making them would be great fun and they look amazing!
Some really great ideas from Goodtoknow, from popcorn garlands, stained glass biscuits, glitter cherries and choco-mallow rudolphs! Check the recipes out here.

Christmas Party oufits
Research from Hubbub shows we'll spend on average £73.90 per person on party wear for the festive period, and one in five people admit they won’t wear the same outfit to more than one party or event!
This is just another example of the environmental and financial impact of fast or throwaway fashion. Consumers are bombarded with advertising for Christmas party wear, but why not consider second-hand clothing, swapping and even renting outfits rather than only buying brand new.

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