Tips For An Eco-Friendly Christmas
It's easy to get caught up in the hype of advertising, Christmas shopping, Black Friday, and all the rest, but when we want to live a more Earth-friendly life, it pays to slow down and consider our shopping habits. And when better than during what is possibly the biggest shopping season of the year?
To help you out (and as a reminder to myself, if I'm being absolutely honest) here are a few tips for sustainable gifting and ethical shopping to see you through to Christmas and beyond...
Choose quality over quantity
Avoid buying poorly-made gifts that will end up broken, thrown away, or unused. Instead, make every gift count by really thinking about what would bring your recipient joy on opening your gift to them. Choose items which offer value, purpose, and meaning.
Here I'm talking about gifts, but choosing quality over quantity is a great tip the have in mind when shopping for anything and everything, always.
Choose natural over synthetic
You might think I'm speaking about skincare products here, and to an extent I am. But this tip goes way beyond that. I remember when my eldest nephew was very small I made a choice to only buy him natural products - wooden toys, natural fibre clothing, etc. and I've noticed that I make this choice in many other areas of my life, too - skincare products I use (obvs), clothes I wear, food I eat, home furnishings, the list goes on.
Shop small and local
Give small and independent businesses a bit of love - it's true what they say: when you buy from a small business, a real person does a little happy dance! Aside from the huge sense of support small business owners gain from every purchase, you'll also likely end up with a gift you wouldn't find anywhere else.
Switch to eco wrapping
Choosing the gift is one thing, but how will you wrap it? Shiny wrapping paper can't be recycled, so I suggest using matt papers or fabrics - wrapping a gift using a beautiful scarf instantly doubles the gift you're giving and makes it look great, too!
Many High Street shops are now offering beautiful wrapping papers made from recycled material, which can then be composted or recycled after use. And there are many other papers you can use, too - brown packing paper that comes with many online orders (ours are packed with tissue paper which could be reused as wrapping paper), newspaper, magazine pages... you're limited only by your imagination.
Grow your own Christmas tree
Ok so growing your own Christmas tree from seed might take a while... but in the meantime you can purchase a potted Christmas tree which can bring you festive joy for years to come. Simply bring it inside for the season, and when Christmas is over, put the tree out in your garden, on your patio or balcony to continue growing until next year.
Make your own decorations
The simple beauty of a paper chain is a thing to behold, and fun to make, too. And you don't have to stop there because there are all sorts of decorations you can make with a few simple craft materials and a bit of imagination. And if you're stuck for inspiration, a quick online search will provide lots of tutorials.
Give the gift of choice
When you just have no idea what t give as a gift (we've all been there), it's perfectly acceptable to give a Gift Voucher because, instead of giving a gift that will likely end-up being given away, with a gift voucher you offer the gift of choice - the recipient can choose something for themselves that they perhaps wouldn't choose otherwise.