For some, the thought of Christmas is a tough time of year, the pressure from family and acquiring presents, moreover, for some, they will be alone this Christmas including myself. However, I will try and make the best of it, maybe I'll get away for a while, perhaps this will help me.
Although the holidays bring out the best in most of us each year, they also bring with it ton’s of extra rubbish, millions of chopped-down trees and megawatts of flashing lights. You can do your part this festive season by making small changes.
Allow the focus of this festive season to be about sharing time with family and friends and not about being disappointed because you can’t find the perfect gifts within budget.
Visit your local nursery and hunt for a real Christmas tree. The great thing about this is that you can plant the tree afterwards helping you off-set some of your festive carbon footprint as well as adding to a special memory of your Christmas.
To decorate your ‘green’ tree, why not get the whole family involved in the fun of creating beautiful tasty biscuit decorations to hang from your tree.
Used CD’s and DVD’s are great for window decorations; apply some paint, beads and ribbon and turn them into ornaments.
Use natural elements like pinecones, which you can decorate; add glue, ribbon and other crafty elements to create angels or some earthly garland. Be sure to compost your leftovers at the end of the holiday.
String sweets, popcorn and liquorice all-sorts onto cotton and hang on windows and trees.
Turn last years’ holiday cards into recycled cards for this year or redecorate, add crafty elements and hang as decorations.
Convert plastic containers and glass into snowmen and angels.
Recycle holiday wrapping paper & decorations:
Save on buying gift-wrap by re-using gift-wrap you have saved from previous occasions or think out of the box and get creative by using materials such as old pillowcases or t-shirts, which you can paint.
According to the Recyclers Handbook, half of the paper consumed each year is used to wrap and decorate consumer products. The annual trash from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals over 4 million tons. If everyone wrapped just three gifts in reused paper or fabric gift bags, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 soccer stadiums.
Store-bought Christmas cards are rich, elegant and expensive. They also consume a huge amount of natural resources for a throw-away item. It is estimated that in the US alone the amount of cards sold during the holiday season would fill a football field 10 stories high, and requires the harvesting of nearly 300,000 trees. Homemade cards may not be as professional, but they are more personal and just as appreciated. Making the cards is also a fun activity for the family.
Dried fruit snacks are healthy and great looking gifts. Creativity is endless for the way you choose to present this. To make: pour various dried fruit and nuts into a bowl and mix. Then pour into nice looking jars or old interesting containers. An alternative is to use different kinds of colourful sweets.
Grow your own flowers or plants to give as gifts, you can decorate the pots and personalise them for those special people.
If you would like to order a sustainable gift box from us here head over to our shop.
Enjoy the countdown:
Make your very own advent calendar and turn your junk into treasure for the countdown to the festive season.
Take a scrap piece of wood; paint it with a coat of white paint. Age it slightly by using some sandpaper to give it that shabby-chic look. Mark off a grid of 4 rows of 6 dots, and evenly space them; mark the dots with a pencil. Then hammer a nail onto each dot, leaving enough sticking out to hang things on.
Gather different numbers from 1 to 24 and do the same with miscellaneous items you find lying around the house (buttons, stars, keys, game pieces), tie a string to each item. Place on the board and each day you remove one item of the represented day.
You will be left with huge amounts of rubbish to dispose of, both on Christmas day and even more so on New Years day. Be sure to recycle your rubbish. If you haven’t got a home recycling centre now is a great time to sort one out. Get yourself four different bins; glass, plastic, paper and metal and sort your trash.
While you are at it make a small change and use refuse bags that are made from 100% recycled materials especially those with more than 70% from post-consumer waste. (Try Tuffy’s heavy duty refuse bags).