my top 5 tips for having a greener kinder Christmas
As we head into the season of festivities of eating, drinking and buying and wrapping and giving, I thought it would be a good time to chat about some really easy ways to have a more environmentally friendly and kinder Christmas, without sacrificing style or substance. I’m as guilty as the next person in years past for going for the quick and easy options with the minimum of fuss as I rushed around working the 9-5 as well as trying to create the magic of Christmas for our daughter. Now she’s a little older (an extremely environmentally conscious and knowledgeable), I felt I should help her in protecting the world she will inherit from us.
1. Food. It goes without saying that making your own mince pies and other festive treats is always going to be better than buying over-packaged supermarket versions. Plus it’s great fun to do with the kids (an they’ll eat them even if you are a little more circumspect!).
2. Drink. Back in the Autumn anything that I foraged that didn’t go in the dye pot went into some Christmas booze – we’ll be enjoying elderberry wine, blackberry brandy and sloe gin in a couple of weeks, with some laid down for next year too (if I can hide it from the rest of the family that is!).
3. Gifts. Recently in my Nurture & Bloom Facebook Group for creatives one of our members posted about having an entirely handmade Christmas. I adore this idea and hope to manage much of this myself, although haven’t quite committed to the full deal this year. Cutting out all those air miles and packaging and often immediately disposable gifts (such a waste) can only be a good thing. If you’re not handy with making luckily there are so many incredible independent makers out there making exquisitely beautiful things. There’s also lots of great ideas in Oh Wonder Calligraphy’s new book like this hand lettered wrapping paper.
4. Wrapping. Much Christmas wrapping paper cannot be recycled due to the additives or coatings. So this season why not recycle bits of fabric and use those instead, or (handily!) I have put together some rather lovely antique fabric and recycled silk sari ribbon gift wrapping sets. Not only will they look chic and unique, but they can be reused time and time again. I even frame some of my smaller antique fabric pieces for decorating my walls. So the wrapping becomes a gift too. I also have a great many lovely plant dyed ribbons on fairtrade, eco-friendly bamboo silk.
5. Giving. Of course there’s always the option of booking experiences and days out too rather than physical gifts. Memories with loved ones is surely what Christmas epitomises, so a gift of your time would now doubt mean just as much to your family and friends. Many charities also offer the opportunity to purchase specific gifts via donations for their causes which you then pass on as a card/voucher.
Image : Georgina Harrison Photography
Stationery by Laura E Patrick