Are you feeling conflicted about loving all the Christmas magic but loving the planet too? Well don’t be, because we’re here to tell you that if you plan ahead and make some planet friendly swaps, you shouldn’t need to choose between the two! Christmas is a time for fun, family, friends, magic, happiness and so many other wonderful things. But it’s also become a time of huge waste which is having a hugely negative impact on our planet. The UK alone gets through enough wrapping paper to circumnavigate the globe – NINE times! Add 6 million rolls of plastic sellotape, 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging going to landfill and countless plastic ribbons and bows and mountains of food waste the enormity of the festive season’s impact starts to sink in. It’s such an important time of year for sustainability, if we all make the extra effort to be more environmentally conscious this Christmas our children will thank us in years to come. So here’s our roundup of how to have a more sustainable Christmas, without compromising on fun.
Sustainable Christmas arts and craft ideas
Making your own decorations can be fun and plastic-free too. Get crafty with natural materials, leftover paper and jute string. And if you’re craving a bit of glitter for your festive creations choose edible glitter (not only is it biodegradable, it’s also safer if it gets into little mouths too). Here are some of our favourite ideas:
Painting and decorating wood slices will be a hit with the kids and can look lovely on the tree or around your house.
We also love the gorgeous pinecone owls below which can be made using small bits of felt and some foraged pine cones. Or try your hand at some simple festive origami with any leftover / waste paper you have around the house and make angels or snowflakes.
It’s also a great idea to make your own Christmas crackers too, or alternatively there are now lots of plastic-free Christmas crackers available to buy, which is a huge improvement from a few years ago when they were very hard to find.
Sustainable wrapping paper
Wrapping paper is one of the huge (and largely unnecessary) wasted resources at Christmas. Here’s our favourite hack: packages and deliveries often get padded out with brown paper…. so save this paper for your wrapping! It might be a bit creased but just smooth it down a bit, wrap your gifts and top if off with a pretty decoration. It really can look lovely while also giving a beautiful, rustic, sustainable feel too. If you’re not sold on that idea, buy a roll of recycled craft paper instead and give it a Christmas feel with some festive, natural decorations. Try these dried orange slices, the kids will love making them. And swap out sellotape for biodegradable brown packing tape – it looks nicer with the brown paper anyway. If you prefer more traditional wrapping paper check out Happy Wrap for sustainable patterned wrapping paper options.
Avoid paper or cards with glitter – not only are the glittery toxic microplastics awful for the planet, they’ll also get all over your house and ultimately inside your babies and kids.
It’s a good idea to cut back on Christmas cards too – if you can’t bring yourselves to cut them out entirely then why not make them (or get the kids to!) or look for plastic-free packaging options and cards made from recycled materials. You can even go one step further towards a planet-loving Christmas with some plantable seeded Christmas cards like these.
Choosing a sustainable Christmas tree
Have you thought of using a living, potted tree which you can put out in the garden to use another year? Or alternatively living trees are available to rent as well! If you’re using a potted tree remember to bring it inside slowly – if you shock it from cold outside straight to your heated sitting room it’s likely to die. So try putting in a shed for a few days, and then the coldest place in your house for another few days, to help it acclimatise to the heat inside.
If you’re not sold on the potted tree idea, look for the Forest Stewadship Council (FSC) certification, or a Grown In Britain tree. These are grown in more responsible ways and use less pesticides.
Artificial Christmas trees are usually made from hugely harmful PVC which is not just a danger for the planet but contains a lot of chemicals too, so for health and sustainability reasons it’s better to avoid these and opt for a sustainably sourced natural option instead.
Plastic-free Christmas Present Ideas
A good checklist to remember when shopping for sustainable Christmas presents is:
- Do they really need it / will it be used?
- Is the present plastic-free (or as plastic-free as possible)?
- Is the packaging environmentally friendly and plastic-free?
- Will it last a long time and not fall apart or break?
If it’s a yes to all of the above then it’s likely you’re on the right track for sustainable present buying. At Pure Earth Collection we offer a range of plastic-free Christmas presents for the whole family, from plastic-free toys, organic dressing gowns and sustainable snoods you’ll find something for everyone at our non-toxic and sustainable shop. And keep your eyes peeled for our Eco Christmas Market (coming soon!) which will be our round up of our top eco Christmas gifts from our favourite sustainable brands.
Treat little ones to something they’ll love playing with and engage all their senses with a range of sustainable toys.
Stay festive and cosy with our organic robes. Fabrics you and your little ones will love lounging around in on cold winter mornings