Now our Christmas shop has launched, we’ve decided it’s OK to get excited for the festive period. With only eleven weeks to go until our favourite time of year, it’s time to start planning. Festive colour schemes, Christmas dinner tablescapes and that all important question of ‘when is it OK to put up your tree?’ are all running through our minds. But there’s one Christmas consideration that you should put before all of this: how can you have a more sustainable Christmas? Here are our suggestions – feel free to leave your own in the comments below.
Don’t buy completely new decorations each year. Choose decorations that will stand the test of time and pack them away carefully at the beginning of January, taking care to preserve them for years to come. Treat yourself to a few new pieces as needed each year, slowly growing your collection (our stylist remembers her parents allowing her to choose one new bauble each Christmas, leading to a very eclectic tree).
Avoid plastic, glitter and other non-recyclable materials as much as possible. Instead, invest in natural materials like wood, paper and fabric that you can use year after year, but will also be able to recycle if needed. Pay attention to the materials of the decorations you are buying and opt for recycled fabrics where possible. We have sustainable decorations this year, crafted from Katran, a 100% biodegradable material that is handmade by upcycling cotton fabric waste.
Faux wreaths tend to be made from plastic, but if you choose a classic design that you’ll use for years to come, that is better than buying new each year. Our favourite idea is to invest in a wire ring, specialist wreath ring or our beautiful stoneware wreath (coming soon); create your own fresh wreath each year using one of these bases, foraging for foliage to create your own masterpiece. At the end of the season, simply place your foliage into your compost bin. You could also use dried grasses and flowers to create an everlasting wreath.
Be wary of how you wrap your gifts. Avoid materials that can’t be recycled such as foil paper, anything covered in glitter and plastic Sellotape. Instead, use recyclable wrapping paper or create your own design by stencilling onto plain brown paper. Use paper tape or beautiful ribbon that can be reused to secure your parcels and cut out last year’s Christmas cards to use as tags. Alternatively, Furoshiki is a Japanese tradition of using cloth to wrap gifts.
Consider all the waste associated with Christmas and what you could do differently this year. Could you choose a fabric advent calendar (coming soon) that you can reuse each year, adding small gifts, treats or daily festive activities to each pocket? Or perhaps you could replace your usual Christmas crackers with a reusable design that you add your own gifts to. Make sure that you recycle any festive waste, such as placing foliage in a compost bin and recycling wrapping paper.
Christmas trees are one of the biggest forms of waste over the festive period – over seven million of them end up in landfill following the big day. The most environmentally friendly way to bring a tree into your house is an idea that became popular last Christmas. Search for a local grower, farmer or garden centre that offers trees to rent over the festive period. You then return the tree following Christmas, and it is replanted and cared for until next year.
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