Christmas is traditionally known as the time of year where we all spend lots of money buying food and gifts for our friends and family, decorating our homes and places of work with all things sparkly. At this time the ladies at Mrs Green’s Eco Store are aware many of you are rethinking your lifestyle choices and the impact they have on the planet, so have put together a few tips to make your Christmas just as exciting, but with a little less of a footprint.
When it comes to Christmas trees there is always a debate over which is better real or artificial. Our advice would be, if you have a perfectly good artificial tree, use this for as long as you can, never buy new just for the sake of it. If you prefer a real tree always look out for FSC Certification as this will confirm your tree has been sourced sustainably. You can also rent a real Christmas tree which will be replanted to be used again and again in years to come, have a look online for this service. Once Christmas is over lookout for Christmas tree recycling schemes, where your tree can be recycled and used to make other things.
When decorating your tree, try to use decorations you may already have, or if you want to buy new, check in second-hand, vintage and charity shops, or buy decorations made from natural products, including wood or fabric. If you have children, you can have a go at making your own decorations, up-cycling existing one’s or stringing popcorn, be careful though as we did this one year then left the house and our family dog had a good old feast.
Giving and receiving gifts at Christmas makes people so happy, however, buying lots of things which may never be used and could just end up in landfill doesn’t. Try to think more consciously and sustainably when looking for Christmas gifts.
There are many alternatives to buying a physical present for someone which are just as thoughtful and gratefully received. You can book an experience for them, or tickets to a festival or concert. Send them a meal delivery or a voucher to their favourite restaurant. Gift vouchers can also be purchased from Hair and Beauty salons to treat someone to a make over or pampering treatment. You could also set yourselves a challenge where you agree an amount you will spend on each other, but stipulate the item purchased must be second-hand, you will be amazed at what you can find.
Christmas wrapping is all part of the excitement in the build-up to Christmas, get prepared and put on the Christmas tunes to help you enjoy the experience.
Our top tip would be, try to use up any wrapping paper, tags, ribbons etc that you may already have. If you need to source items to wrap your gifts, consider recycled brown paper, this looks traditional and can be reused and recycled.
In addition, you can write the recipient’s name and message directly onto the paper, eliminating the need for any gift tag. Or you could make gift tags from seeded paper which can be planted after Christmas.
If you have lots of old fabric at home, try using this, there are lots of technique ideas to be found online. Avoid plastic ribbon and bows, and excessive glittery decoration that cannot be recycled.
We all love to meet up and celebrate together over the Christmas period, if you are planning a gathering and will be catering for a few
people, try to avoid using plastic plates, cups and utensils or plastic food packaging, there are lots of alternatives available, that can be reused or recycled. Try coconut bowls for snacks etc, silicone food covers to replace cling film, or silicone food bags for leftovers, these are all available at mrsgreensecostore.com.
Aluminium foil and trays are extremely useful when cooking a Christmas turkey or roast, please ensure you recycle these correctly, wipe off any food residue from the trays and scrunch the foil into a ball, the bigger the ball the easier it is to recycle.
We hope we have given you a few ideas about how to be a little more sustainable over the Christmas period. The most important thing is to enjoy the time spent with family and friends. Here at Mrs Green’s Eco Store we would like to wish you a stress free run up to the festive period. Ho, Ho, Ho!!
Vicky & Karen