As we usher in the season of generosity and warmth, it's important that we extend our spirit of giving to our planet as well. Our actions, big or small, can have a significant impact on the environment. This blog post are just a few ways I try to make Christmas little more sustainable.
There's a unique charm that comes with a truly one-of-a-kind gift, especially when it's crafted with love and care. Imagine a homemade hamper brimming with eco-friendly treasures—beauty products, home decor pieces, or gourmet food items. If a hamper doesn't quite capture your vision, unleash your creativity with some homemade art, or sew something special for your loved ones.
Alternatively, consider gifting an experience rather than a physical object. From kayaking adventure vouchers to a brewing experience, there's bound to be something perfect for those dear to you. After all, memories made from such experiences are gifts that keep on giving!
There's something truly magical about the holiday season, especially when it comes to admiring the beautifully decorated houses adorned with twinkling lights. But did you know that making a simple switch from incandescent lights to their LED counterparts could help us save over £11 million and reduce carbon emissions by 29,000 tonnes, just during the 12 days of Christmas? That's because LED lights are not just eco-friendly, but they also consume up to 80% less energy than traditional ones. Take it a step further by opting for solar-powered lights and setting them on a timer for your outdoor decorations. It's a win-win situation—you'll be making significant environmental savings and reducing your energy bills at the same time!
And the sustainability doesn't stop at lights. Almost every traditional decoration in your home can be made from more sustainable materials. At Lisa Valentine Home, we're proud to offer a wide array of sustainable decorations—from Fairtrade baubles with beautiful ribbon ties from Nkuku to shimmering garlands, you'll find plenty of sustainable options that make the most of gorgeous materials such as brass, glass, and wood. Let's make this holiday season not only merry and bright but also kind to our planet!
Plastic free gifting
While many of us have been using the same rolls of gift wrap for years, it's easy to overlook that they often contain non-recyclable elements like foil, glitter, or plastic. To determine whether your wrapping paper is recyclable, try the simple 'scrunch test'. Just scrunch up the paper in your hand and let it go. If it stays scrunched, it's recyclable. However, if it springs back to its original shape, it likely contains non-recyclable components.
Nowadays, there's an abundance of recycled gift wrap options available that are just as aesthetically pleasing as their conventional counterparts. But if you're someone who can't resist a bit of sparkle, consider plant-based, vegan glitter from brands like Eco Glitter Fun. Their eco-friendly glitter comes in glass bottles, and all their packaging is made from recycled cardboard, shredded newspaper, and paper packing tape. It's a small change that can make your holidays more sustainable!
While many of us have mastered the art of repurposing leftovers throughout the year, the holiday season often sees a surge in food waste. One solution is to simply buy less, though this can be challenging when hosting guests. A smarter alternative might be to use food waste apps like Olio, which connects you with locals who could benefit from your surplus food. Just list what you have, snap a photo, and share your location with other app users. Other apps like Abel & Cole and Riverford offer tools that provide recipe suggestions to help you utilise your leftovers creatively. And for any unavoidable food waste, remember to use your composter and green waste bin for scraps.
The holiday cooking bonanza also presents an excellent opportunity to support local, small-scale producers. Start with your turkey and other meats: sourcing from local producers reduces food miles, minimises packaging, and ensures you're not contributing to intensive farming practices. This way, you can enjoy a festive feast that's not just delicious, but also kinder to our planet!
Oh Christmas tree, Oh christmas tree
Did you know that real Christmas trees are significantly more sustainable than their artificial counterparts?
According to one study, you'd have to use an artificial tree for 20 years before it becomes the greener choice. However, the sad reality is that about seven million real trees end up in landfills each January instead of being recycled. But there's a way to make your holidays even more eco-friendly—rent a real tree! British farm Love a Christmas Tree offers delightful Nordmann Firs for those in the Leicestershire area or London Christmas Tree Rental is great for those based in London. You can then enjoy the festive tradition of decorating and caring for the tree, and when the season ends, they'll pick it up and replant it. If you can't find a tree rental near you, head down to your nearest Christmas tree farm or gardening centre and see if they have potted versions you can keep and dress up for the festive season year after year.