Christmas can conjure up mixed feelings, can’t it? It’s not always a bad thing, of course, but sometimes – between the music, the shopping, the wrapping, cooking, socialising, and more – it can feel like we shift into autopilot, and stay that way until January 2nd, when we all come back to earth with a bump.
One of the downsides of autopilot is that we sometimes find ourselves making less than eco-friendly decisions when it comes to the festive season. To help, we’ve gathered together some of our favourite ways to have a very happy eco-friendly Christmas, slowing down and really savouring what’s around us.
Now, call us a little old-fashioned, but we love simple, elegant wrapping. Parcelling up gifts in brown (recyclable!) paper is one of our favourite ways to wrap presents, tying them with two-coloured butcher’s twine, string, raffia – or even a length of gorgeous ribbon.
If you’re feeling like it could use a little extra something, a spray or two of dried flowers, spruce sprigs, or even a pinecone is such a pretty way to add to the wrapping.
Don’t fancy brown paper? No problem. A vintage silk scarf is a gorgeous way to wrap presents, and is a great little bonus gift, too. Otherwise, paper bags, stamped with your own designs – or gilded doodles with a gold pen – are ideal for people who hate wrapping (or just have awkwardly-shaped gifts).
Alternatively – why not find presents that come in eco-friendly packaging? Our whole eco range arrives in 100% recyclable card, and if we can be forgiven for saying so, is rather lovely.
When it comes to shopping, sourcing things locally wherever you can has a huge impact on your nearby community (not to mention reducing airmiles).
Whether that’s a British maker, or an independent artisan based near your home, buying local where we can really make a difference to the small business out there who take such care over their wares. As the saying goes – every time you buy from a small business, a real person does a happy dance (we certainly do here at Heyland & Whittle HQ).
Isn’t the idea of running out of food at Christmas a nightmare? Absolutely. But wasting any leftovers is far worse – especially given that food waste in landfill is a major contributor to greenhouse gases.
If you can, make two lists – one for your fridge, and one for your freezer. Rather than glazing over every time you open the fridge door or having to rifle through the freezer drawers, a list can make a huge difference to wondering what’s to hand. It’ll also stop you over-buying, too – saving pennies and time.
Brainstorming ideas for leftovers in advance might sound a little loopy, but knowing you can make a luscious creamy pasta with the last morsels of the cheeseboard really takes the guesswork out of what to cook when the pigs in blankets have vanished, and you’re feeling peckish.
Step away from that plastic wreath! Yes, technically a plastic wreath doesn’t perish, but it doesn’t have the same charm as something you’ve crafted by hand. Head out for a brisk woodland walk with friends, and gather up some gorgeous greenery.
When you get home, grab some supplies (yes, mulled wine is definitely a supply) and weave together your very own eco-friendly Christmas garlands for décor that’s truly your own.
Paper chains – once a staple in every household – and popcorn garlands are a lovely way to decorate rooms. Vintage books from charity shops have a lovely aesthetic and can be turned into bunting or snowflakes.
For the very patient and dedicated, thinly slicing and slowly drying oranges and apples, before adding them to your wreath, or hanging them from the tree, is a beautiful, biodegradable bauble alternative – and it makes your home smell delicious.
How will you be slowing down and making the most of this season? How do you make your Christmas more eco-friendly? We’d love to know! Tell us in the comments below.