With all the chaos that surrounds Christmas celebrations (well let’s face it, there are more preparations than actual celebrations!), it’s easy to forget the murky footprint that is left on our environment during this ‘jolly’ time of year. It doesn’t take much to prepare for an eco-friendly Christmas – in fact, it will make your life simpler and easier – and on the plus side you’ll be keeping our environment, waterways and animals clean and safe:
1. Gift giving:
Having two little boys myself, I shriek at the thought of being gifted another plastic toy! When I think of all the kids (and adults) around the world, and the sheer number of toys that end up in landfill – I feel a little sick.
I’m going to digress for a second – I have been transitioning to a ‘slow fashion’ wardrobe, investing in items that are classic, breathable and good quality. No need to buy one outfit per event (that eventually ends up in landfill). The same can be said for gifts in general.
Invest in gifts that are:
- Good quality/lasting
- Purposeful/useful (like natural skincare!)
- ‘Needed’ rather than ‘wanted’
- Made of sustainable materials – cotton, linen, hemp, wood
- An experience – checkout Red Balloon or We Teach Me
- The gift of giving – a favourite charity, sponsoring a child or endangered animal
- Handmade – food, knitting, pottery, eco-candles
P.s. Here are our Quick Skincare Gift Ideas for the special people in your life:
Grandma: Olive Hand and Body Cream
Grandpa: Eco-Clear Body Bar
Teenager: Skin Rescue Kit
Teacher: Olive Cleansing Bar
Female friend: Olive Skin Serum
Male friend: Purify Facial Cleanser
Gym friend: Eco-Clear Body Bar
And we have a selection of limited edition Christmas packs here, packaged in lovely calico bags!
2. Eco-friendly Christmas Wrapping
We all had a wakeup call recently informing us that coffee cups are ACTUALLY non-recyclable (thanks to ABC’s War On Waste), but did you know most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable either? The dyes and laminates mean they end up in landfill…..so we really need Santa Claus to look for sustainable wrapping options going forward! Checkout
Here are some eco-friendly (and equally excitable) options:
- Fabric wrap/sacks/bags – these are reusable and usually made of cotton/linen/calico. We love eco-Chici’s ‘guilt-free gift wrap’!
- Newspapers and magazines – re-use what you have lying at home! You can always use a cotton ribbon to spice it up a bit! (and coming from a mum, kids don’t really care if they’re ripping apart newspaper or an expensive department-store embossed wrapping paper, it’s the opening (ripping) action they love!
- Gift wrap made from recycled / post-consumer waste – checkout Biome’s gift wrap spread here.
Consider items that you can keep and reuse each year. For example, I have some beautiful snow globes I take out each Christmas and a few mini Christmas tree ornaments. Every year I pack them up and reuse again!
If you’re a bit of a DIY’er with creativity – use some branches, sticks and leaves for inspiration! Nothing more beautiful than the smell of nature in your home. Pick those flowers – scatter them on tables and it will instantly colour, and fragrance your home! Try Pinterest for some quick inspo!
If you normally use paper plates/paper serviettes for catering (assuming you are unable to use and wash your normal ‘dinner plates’) – check out some compostable options such as sustainable wood and bamboo. They are sold through Biome and Flora & Fauna.
If there are lots of leftovers – portion these out so they get eaten! Everyone can take a lovely ‘doggy bag’ home. Oh, and if there are leftovers suitable for pets, I’m sure they’d be forever grateful!
Don’t forget to compost those scraps and rinse and re-cycle the beer bottles!
5. What to wear
Consider dressing yourself and the family in something that’s already in your wardrobe. ‘Fast fashion’ (the notion that we buy – low-cost clothing to keep up with current fashion trends) is leaving a huge footprint on our environment.
Reuse the good quality clothing you have, and invest in timeless, classic, breathable fashion that is made of sustainable, durable materials. I personally love linen, bamboo and cotton. Also look for items that are dyed with fruit and vegetable pigments instead of chemicals (this might be tricky to find, but keep an eye out!)
Amongst all the chaos – it’s important to cherish the time you have with your friends and family. Indulge in food (in moderation) and relax the mind – well, try to – even if the body is doing lots of running around! Happy eco-friendly Christmas!