Have Yourself A Very Sustainable Christmas
7 minutes read
We can all agree that, at some point in our lives, we have gone above and beyond our efforts at Christmas. There’s something about the festive season that pushes us to do everything in excess: eating, drinking, gifting and wasting. Environmentalists call Christmas the world’s greatest annual environmental disaster.
The waste generated during Christmas goes an extra 30% compared to the rest of the year. Due to the growing and alarming environmental concerns, it’s no surprise that many of us are considering having a sustainable Christmas.
Here are four ways to have a merrier and more eco-friendly Christmas this year.
1. Rent, Re-Use, Replant or Recycle Your Christmas Tree
Did you know that around eight million Christmas trees are said to be discarded annually in the UK alone? If you’re thinking of getting that fresh Norway spruce tree, think twice.
Reuters reported that an alternative option is renting a tree; it looks like more and more Brits are looking into it. A few companies offer this service, including Christmas On The Hill and Rental Claus. It works by delivering your chosen tree in a pot, and they’ll pick it up after Christmas to allow the tree to continue growing.
If you are opting to buy a faux Christmas tree, make sure you intend to re-use it for many years to come. Unfortunately, most artificial Christmas trees are made of a mix of metal and plastic, so they can’t be recycled.
The best way to go around this is by purchasing from a brand that cares for the people and the planet. Fairy Trees UK uses recyclable materials to make their trees. If you have the time, trawl your local charity shops, and you’ll be surprised to find a delightful selection of second-hand Christmas trees.
On the flip side, if you want to discard your old artificial Christmas tree, you can always donate. In addition, unwanted trees in good condition may be accepted by local charity stores, so make sure to check before dropping them off.
Another sustainable option is to buy a small potted Christmas tree from your local market, garden centres or plant nurseries. Buying a potted tree with roots lets you grow it outside your garden, giving it a new life.
You could also add bird feeders to provide shelter for wildlife. Another option is to re-pot the pine tree like any other house plant and place it outside to thrive. Then, use it again year after year. This reduces its environmental impact and costs you less.
If you have house plants at home, wrap the leaves of a large plant with golden LED string lights for some added warmth.
If you’ve already bought your tree, no worries. You can do things to stop it from ending up in landfills.
Fact: According to Gov.UK, if Christmas trees are not reused or recycled, trees can end up in landfill, which is costly to both the environment and taxpayers (us), with the cost of landfilling 8 million trees worth around £22 million!
So go the extra mile. The UK government advises either of the three options:
- Drop your tree off at a recycling centre where it can be turned into chippings for paths or turned into soil.
- Check with your local council to see if there’s a special collection service.
- Look for an organisation or charity that offers a ‘treecyling’ service where it could be used to build effective flood barriers in communities around the UK.
2. Eco-Friendly Christmas Decorations
The best way to make eco-friendly Christmas decorations is to go plastic free. How about ‘edible’ ornaments? Surely, tidying up these decorations won’t be a chore. Biscuiteers Christmas Decorations Luxe Biscuits Tin, £48
features 12 gingerbread baubles, each hand-iced with a decadent vibrant peacock-inspired design. The biscuits have a month’s shelf life guaranteeing their tastiness even after being on display for days. Pop the accompanying ribbons through the baubles, tie and slip them onto a branch. If you’re feeling like baking, here is a selection of decoration recipes.
Alternatively, go for a Christmas bauble that doubles as a gift. Clarins has a selection of Christmas baubles starting at £10.
3. Eco-friendly Christmas Presents
Giving gifts, in general, can be tricky, and it even increases anxiety due to expectations for some people.
Every year, UK citizens spend £700 million on unwanted gifts. Worse still, a small percentage of those will be thrown away – they won’t even be regifted, sold or given to charity. Only 1% will remain in use six months after the festivities have ended.
This 2022, change your gifting strategy and ask your family and friends what they genuinely want for Christmas. Ask for their Christmas wishlist and you can go from there.
Gift an experience
A great option to give is an experience. Companies like Red Letter Days UK offer vineyard and wine tasting tours, overnight glamping escape, zip lining and more in destinations across the UK. All the retreat packages are valid for 12 months.
It can even be a relaxing day at the spa. Clarins offers 14 luxurious body and facial treatments, and let’s face it – those will never go to waste. You can explore more here.
Movie, theatre, or dinner vouchers are good options. On a practical note, you can even give Amazon or supermarket gift certificates. For the skincare or beauty savvy? Then a Clarins-E Gift Card is a great choice.
Purchasing a tree under your recipient’s name
What can be more sustainable than giving someone a gift by purchasing a tree in their name? This one is perfect for those passionate about fighting against the effects of deforestation and climate change.
You can choose from a selection of trees from a Mango tree in Malawi, a towering Baobab in Madagascar, or a Coffee tree in Ecuador. All the trees are geolocated and photographed when planted, and the recipient can follow the project’s story. Explore Treedom here.
Shop from sustainable and eco-friendly brands
Refillable perfumes like the universally loved Eau Dynamisante, £38, make a perfect sustainable gift choice. In addition, the gift sets at the Clarins Christmas boutique come with a limited edition red pouch made from recyclable materials.
If you’re looking for a sustainable gift set from the collection, we suggest going for the Clarins Aroma Ritual Collection, £44. 95% of the ingredients are from natural origins and the packaging is designed with a sustainable approach. The set includes Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate, Tonic Moisturising Balm, and Tonic Scented Candle housed in a lovely beauty pouch.
“We also have a strong partnership with Terracycle where Clarin’s consumers can drop their non-recyclable bottles and containers. Customers can also hand over empty beauty products from brands across the industry.
Terracycle will then pick up the products collected from Clarins counters. From the collection of the products, a donation is made towards another charity called Greenfingers, “Jason Roberts, Clarins Training Manager, explains.
FYI: Greenfingers is a national charity dedicated to creating magical and inspiring gardens for life-limited children and their families who spend time in hospices across the UK.
Also, if you purchase any product from Clarins, you’re automatically eligible for a free-of-charge Christmas gift wrapping service at all Clarins counters. In addition, all Clarin’s gift wrapping, and packaging are sourced from sustainably managed forests, so rest assured you’re not contributing to further harming the planet.
Check sustainable Christmas presents ideas here.
4. Sustainable Christmas ideas
Christmas OOTD: Wear what you already have
The best way to reduce our environmental impact is simple: don’t buy anything new. You can easily apply this when trying to figure out your holiday OOTD. But, of course, you can always make up for it with your Holiday glam look. Check Christmas Make-Up: The Looks For Day & Night This Holiday Season.
Christmas Dinner: Don’t shop as if you are under siege
It is estimated that Brits cook 80% more food during Christmas than the rest of the year. As a result, food waste usually amounts to 42 million Christmas dishes. We can change that by not overbuying. Instead, create a Christmas meal plan, have a budget and stick to it.
Make Christmas dinner a luxury affair, and bring your fancy linens, plates, cutleries, wine glasses and goblets. This way, you make no room for single-used cups or plates.
Next read: 6 Beauty Daily Staffers Share The Beauty Product They’d Want To Give & Receive This Christmas