christmas candles
bokeh lights

Christmas is just around the corner, like, literally knocking on the door; the songs are on the radio, the mince pies in the stores and the festive candles are burning. I don't know how that is, considering Christmas 2018 was mere weeks ago (right?) but I'm ready to embrace the ugly jumpers and cheesy Netflix movies with my whole damn heart. Christmas just makes everything brighter! So with that thought, I wanted to share a few easy ways to make your Christmas a bit more sustainable and environmentally friendly. We are still in the depths of a climate crisis guys.
The real vs faux Christmas tree is one I've not really touched on. We have a faux tree that's been going for years, simply because pine needles aren't great when you have a cat; but environmentally speaking real trees are better (no plastic, obviously), however, only if you dispose of/recycle them correctly. I know our local reservoir collect them after Christmas to use as defence barriers around the edges, so definitely check these things out!
Oh and the one that goes without saying really, less dead animals on your plate is always gonna help!

1. Rethink Christmas Cards

They're kind of a tradition, but do you need to send that many? Will they all be appreciated? It is 2019 after all and everyone's digital. But for those you do want to send, make sure they're recyclable and not covered in glitter. You can even get compostable cards too and some that you plant to grow! And if you receive cards that aren't recyclable nor compostable, get creative and make nice decorations out of them!

christmas wrapping

2. Choose The Right Wrapping
Yes, all the different wrapping paper everywhere is very pretty, but almost all of it is covered in foil/glitter/waxy covering making it unrecyclable. And think how much of it we all get through! For the past 4 years I've opted for brown craft paper with reusable accessories; ribbons, bows, etc. It all looks very nice and neat and coordinated. Craft stores might have rolls of other coloured paper to use but I've also seen others use newspaper, or you can use knot wraps with reusable fabric squares/scarves. Bonus: you don't need any tape and the scarf works as an extra additional gift! Whatever you do just don't wrap gifts in cellophane!!

3. Get Baking
When it comes to Christmas there's so many sweet treats EVERYWHERE, the majority of which are in single-use plastic packaging and it's horrific when you think about it all. So here's the time to get creative in the kitchen! Make your own gingerbread men/reindeers/house; bake a Christmas cake; make some chocolate covered treats! You can make exactly what you want, the exact amount you need, cut down on both packaging and food waste and have fun!

christmas lights

4. Think Twice About Your Decorations
Did you know if every UK household swapped a string of incandescent lights for its LED equivalent, we could save more than £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2, just over the 12 days of Christmas? LEDs are the environmentally-friendly choice for lighting up your Christmas tree each year. They use up to 80% less energy so will save you pennies too! Outdoor lights look pretty, but you don't need to go overboard and if you can use solar-powered lights outside that's the best way to do it! 
As for other decorations, simply invest in ornaments that will last, don't buy tinsel (it's ugly anyway, so I don't know why you would) and avoid anything with glitter because the chances of it being eco-glitter are, let's face it, very slim.

5. Buy Local 
We should all know by now about the air miles in food and how unsustainable a lot of it is; so get to your local market/greengrocers/farm shop and buy fresh homegrown produce for the big meal! This is something we should all be doing all-year round, but I think is especially important at Christmas to support local and smaller businesses. The same goes for gifts; buy local, support small businesses and save on a whole host of unnecessary packaging.

make your own christmas crackers

6. Make Your Own Christmas Crackers!
Crackers are a staple at Christmas, I get it, but they're filled with plastic tat that nobody wants and are more often than not, made of glitter/plastic-coated card that can not be recycled; so make your own! It's super easy; buy some cracker snaps, use a stencil to cut the card out and get creative - you even get to make up your own jokes to go inside them.
If you're a bit unsure, I've got an IGTV going up next week showing how I make mine, so keep your eyes peeled.

7. Reduce Food Waste
Christmas dinner is all about over indulgence but it doesn't have to go too far. If you're doing the cooking this year then make sure there's a reasonable amount of food and not a ridiculous amount. Food waste generates on average 8% of global greenhouse gases, which to put into perspective, if it were a country, would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, surpassed only by USA and China! So we really don't need to overface our plates this year. But remember to use a compost bin if there is any waste!

advent pockets

8. Make Your Own Advent Calendar
Don't get me started on how much I hate the beauty advent calendar trend; a load of miniature plastic bottles for products you don't even know if you like? No thank you! I guess thinking about it, the classic chocolate advent calendars we all have aren't that great either with the plastic trays, are they? We have pocket advent calendars which we've reused and filled with sweets and treats for the past 5+ years. There's so many cute little wooden drawer ones you can buy now too, fill them with your favourite treats and there's much less waste!

9. Reconsider Your Outfit
Christmas jumpers are an essential we all love to hate, the gaudier the better! But we all need to remember that they can be worn for more than one year and if you want/need a different one, charity shops and vintage stores always have plenty on offer. There's no need to be constantly buying brand new for 1-2 wears only! And when it comes to Christmas party outfits, are the non-recyclable PVC and sequin numbers really necessary unless you know you have multiple events/occasions for you to get plenty wear out of them?

10. Don't Buy Stocking Filler Tat!
There's always those people who you exchange gifts with but you never know what to get each other and end up with a random gift set (usually bath stuff!) so put a stop to that this year. What's the point in secret santa with people you don't really know? Opt out and simply suggest they donate to your charity of choice or sponsor an animal in your name instead. Save the planet one gift at a time!

santa ornaments

Share your tips for a sustainable Christmas in the comments!

Loves. Emma.