How you spend your money reflects your true values, it proves the way in which you want to live in the future. With Christmas just around the corner, it's easy to turn a blind eye to what we care about in order to get things ticked off the list. We all know the efforts we need to be making to tackle climate change but do we actually know how?
Small changes can make a big difference if we all work to stick together.
Let’s make this Christmas our most sustainable yet, we have come up with a list of ways to swap out your typical Christmas to a more sustainable one, and you don’t have to compromise on your typical family traditions.
Here’s 12 Tiny Changes That Will Have A Huge Impact This Christmas
Stop before you shop
Encourage checking up on yourself and question whether the present you’re buying is needed. Get prepared early this year and start thinking about what your friends and family love and need. Write a list of everyone you buy for along with what they love and make sure to get a present related to this. Make sure you’re supporting the right businesses, do their products have tons of extra packaging? At Wǒ, we believe in being perfectly imperfect; we don’t use extra varnishes or glossy packaging for a cleaner recycling process.
Real tree vs artificial
If you’re buying a plastic tree, make sure you’re going to reuse it for at least 10 years, otherwise it would be better to buy a real one from a sustainable forest. Take it a step further and rent a Christmas tree, you can care for your tree over the Christmas period and then return it for replanting, ready for the next year. If you live near London, here’s a great tree rental service you can get involved with!
Use recycled or FSC certified wrapping paper
Avoid glittered and foil backed paper which is hard to recycle. Don’t add unnecessary gift wrapping like bows, ribbons or use too much tape.
Reusable advent calendars
Advent calendars use so much packaging with the advent calendar itself and all the tiny products inside packaged individually in special Christmas wrapping. Overconsumption to a T! This year, we have our very own conscious advent calendar using what we already have! Our origami organiser will be transformed with inserts to hold all of our products. After Christmas, you can use it to store your products in a neat and tidy box that’ll fit right in on your shelf. Save yourself over 20% when purchased as an advent calendar!
A step in the right direction, get new items in a more sustainable and responsible way. You never know what you could find, know someone who loves reading? Maybe a charity shop is the best place to look. Purchasing pre-loved items is a great way to elongate the product cycle and to slow the constant need for brand new items.
Donate to charity
Donate your time, money or items to a charity to help support them around the Christmas period. Provide help to those that need it in a time that is so tough for many. Here’s a great service, My Climate, to give an environmentally friendly gift this year.
Gift an experience
We all have that friend who already has everything, don’t just shop mindlessly for the sake of it. Get them an experience which is more thoughtful and personal, this way, you can even get involved and spend more quality time with your loved ones! Give the gift of great memories that can be cherished forever.
Lots of Christmas marketed food products come in specially fancy packaging, try to buy food with no or little packaging to reduce waste. Got Christmas dinner leftovers? Use up your turkey, potatoes, vegetables and much more. Our post-Christmas faves include bubble and squeak, curry, soup, pasta. Often these christmas ingredients will elevate your average dinners. Alternatively, you could just buy less!
This will help save energy that may have been used to grow out of season foods or ones that have to be shipped to the UK. Two small avocados in a packet has a CO2 footprint of 846.36 grams (almost twice the amount of a kilo of bananas). Go the extra mile and buy fresh produce from farmers markets to ensure you’re eating foods that are in season.
Make DIY Christmas crackers
Have a bit of fun and see if you can make your own crackers and fill them with eco-friendly presents. A lot of the ones we buy from supermarkets have plastic toys inside which usually end up getting thrown away.
Invest in a reusable tablecloth or runner, these look much nicer, more luxurious and can cost anywhere between £3-£30 depending on what you like. Just chuck it in the wash or wipe it clean each year to save you buying single-use plastic ones.
Switch up your Christmas lights
For indoors, LED lights use up to 90% less energy than traditional ones. And for outdoors, use solar-powered ones and put them on a timer. This one will save you a few pennies as well, something much needed this year!
Share The Love
Make the most of being able to chat face to face with your friends and family this year and spread the word. Let’s make an eco-conscious Christmas the new normal. It’s time we were all proud to be sustainable to encourage the behaviour.
Author - Lily Scales