The best eco-friendly decorations for a sustainable Christmas.
Homemade tree decorations are a great way to cut down on plastic consumption. Christmas is a magical time of year – but it’s also a particularly bad time for excess, consumption and waste. With more of us trying hard to make our lives more sustainable wherever possible, it isn’t surprising that we want to make our festive period more environmentally friendly this year.
New research from American Express Shop Small found that 85% of Brits will be taking active steps to be more eco-friendly this Christmas. One in two Brits say they are more keen to think about the environment this year than they were last year. Over half say this is because they are now more aware of the impact of their choices. One of the worst culprits at Christmas has to be the decorations. Just think about all that plastic. But, there are ways to make your decorations much more sustainable.
Foraging for decorations:
This is not only a great way to cut down on the amount of plastic and packaging you’re buying, it’s also a perfect excuse to get outside and spend time with the family. Look for holly, ivy, chestnuts and pine cones – and get to work with glitter glue and string to make some simple, rustic tree decorations or table settings. Things you find in the great outdoors can also be used to make wreaths or adorable, authentic cake decorations. Making your own wreath is a great family activity.
Edible decorations What could be more sustainable than creating decorations that you can eat when you’re finished with them? You can make gorgeous sugar charms for your tree, or to hang in the window, out of melted boiled sweets. They look utterly festive particularly when fairy lights reflect off their surface. Gingerbread bunting also looks adorable. Simply bake gingerbread men and gingerbread snowmen, add little holes and string them altogether. Just make sure you hang them out of reach of hungry hands.
Keep your wrapping simple:
Sadly, lots of wrapping paper contains plastic. It would be better to go for the understated elegance of brown parcel paper tied up with string – it’s better for the planet, and looks like it’s straight off a festive Pinterest board. Alternatively, try a scarf. Someone somewhere came up with the ingenious idea of using a scarf to wrap a present – and the results are pretty amazing . Lots of wrapping paper actually contains non-recyclable elements. If you want to know if your wrapping paper can be recycled or not, use the scrunch test. Scrunch up the paper and then let it go. If the paper stays scrunched up then it can be recycled but, if it unfolds by its own accord, it probably contains non-recyclable elements.
If crafts aren’t your thing, you can still make a difference by opting to use recycled baubles instead of new ones every year. We dont quite sell baubles yet but we will do next year.
Switch to LED lights
LED Christmas lights are much better for the environment than traditional twinkling incandescent lights, because they use up to 80 per cent less energy. Outside, you can use solar-powered lights, and set them on a timer. This will help save your energy bills too; it’s a double win. LEDs use significantly less energy than traditional lights.
Pick the right candles
Few things are more festive than cuddling up on the sofa with a cinnamon or mulled spice candle burning away in the background. But if you can’t get enough of candle-lit festive ambiance, choose eco-friendly soy or beeswax varieties of candle rather than paraffin.
There are two days left to order a sustainable Christmas box, full of products you can use again next year. Last chance!