Simple Ways to Have Yourself an Eco Friendly Christmas

Christmas is a fabulous time of the year, but it shouldn’t cost the earth. With more focus and pressure to relieve our impact on the environment, the festive period should be no exception! You don’t have to be an eco-warrior to reduce your impact either, there are a few simple ways in which you can do your bit and move one step closer to having a sustainable Christmas. 

Lots of small changes can make one big difference, and significantly reduce your carbon footprint, and it doesn’t mean sacrificing any festive fun either. With this in mind, here’s how to a host a very merry eco-friendly Christmas… 

Buy a real sustainable Christmas tree 

Ditch the plastic trees, whilst you may use them for several years, you’ll still end up with a large amount of plastic and that’s no good for our planet. Instead, look to source an environmentally friendly real Christmas tree. At YCB we recommend Pines and Needles, whose environmental credentials are more than impressive. Their dedication to sustainability is admirable. From sourcing British trees from sustainable forests, to working towards a fleet of electric vans, switching to organically grown trees and encouraging the use of power-saving LED lights. Plus, their Christmas trees are absolutely beautiful! 

Based in London? Head to your nearest Pines and Needles pick-up point to select your Christmas tree!

Select only recyclable wrapping paper 

Many rolls of festive wrapping paper you spot in the shops are actually not able to be recycled. Just think how much paper goes into our bins every year! Do your bit to help the planet and select wrapping paper and accessories that can be recycled. Use brown paper to wrap gifts, and red string to create a lovely authentic decorative touch. Decorate with a little pine tree sprig for an extra festive touch. Avoid any foil and glitter papers, these are pretty bad in terms of eco-friendliness! Reusable gift bags and boxes are also a great idea, and if you do end up purchasing a paper gift bag – leave the tag bare so your recipient can re-gift the bag to someone else. Tins are another great idea, and you can pick up some lovely vintage tins in local charity shops, get creative and look beyond the usual wrapping methods!

Choose long-lasting Christmas decorations 

The same ethos goes for your Christmas decorations too. You’ll still find many plastic decorations in the shops, but try to bypass these and instead look for planet-friendly alternatives. Traditional decorations are beautiful and often made using materials such as recycled wool, wood and cotton which are a much better choice. It’s also best to avoid trends where possible, as you’ll undoubtedly be sick of these decorations a year later, and they will likely end up in the bin. Go for long-lasting, classic decorations that will last a lifetime. Why not get crafty and create some of your own decorations at home? Items such as bunting are fairly easy to make, and you’ll treasure them for years to come! 

Treat your loved ones to eco-friendly gifts

Think about the gifts you’re buying this year and avoid any throwaway novelty presents where possible. Avoid going too overboard and ending up with a house resembling Santa’s grotto. Why not suggest a secret Santa among your friends to reduce consumption? You can spend more money on a gift that’s special rather than 5 or 6 cheaper presents that your friends don’t really need. Another shower gel set? Support small businesses and shop from artisans and sustainable companies instead of the corporate giants. Gifts such as soy candles, zero waste skincare, reusable coffee cups and recycled furnishings will all be well-received. 

Cut down on the meat

It’s no secret that meat is detrimental to our planet, so why not experiment with a vegan Christmas dinner this year? There are now amazing recipes that go further than your tofu. With veganism exploding in the past couple of years, supermarkets are upping their game to offer delicious plant-based alternatives. No more soggy nut roasts! If you’re a bit of a Nigella in the kitchen, try making something yourself. The Bosh team also provide a fantastic selection of festive recipes, or if you’re feeling up for the challenge, create your own vegan masterpiece. Variety is the spice of life after all.

Just don’t forget to pack your reusable tote bags! Here’s to a fabulously festive, eco-friendly Christmas time…

Tilly-Jayne Kidman

Tilly is a graduate in fashion marketing and currently works in social media. She writes for various publications including the Huffington Post as well as her own fashion and lifestyle blog tillyjayne.com. In her spare time she's usually wandering around her home city of Cambridge, making travel plans or finding a new restaurant to try out.

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