The festive season is fast approaching. It’ll soon be time for mulled wine, Christmas markets, joyous get-togethers and, of course, shopping! This year, you can enjoy the holidays without harming the planet.
If making a conscious effort to switch to eco-friendly Christmas decorations, gifts, or food seems tiresome, we’ve taken the hard work out of it for you. You might be surprised at just how easy swapping to environmentally friendly alternatives is – and how fun!
First things first: the tree. The attraction of an artificial, click-together tree is understandable. But, it just can’t beat a real tree. Why not make a day of it with the family, and go pick out your own real tree from a farm? The heady scent of fir needles wafting through the house creates an instant festive atmosphere. You can even plant your real tree in the garden, and it’ll be ready and waiting to be trussed up the following year!
Convenience can be all too tempting during the busy Christmas period. But, it can be super satisfying to dress your home in decorative pieces that have a little more of a story attached to them. Particularly when they’re great for stylish interiors and kind to the environment.
It’s hard to get away from plastic during the holidays. Fortunately, you can find eco-friendly Christmas swaps for all your favourite decoration. Switch out the plastic baubles for some beautiful glass spheres filled with festive scenes. Or, get a cosy, Scandi vibe with wrapped twine baubles.
Felt work or crochet are gorgeous crafts, and can be appreciated pride of place on the tree. Have a go at creating some yourself with natural fibres and yarns, or support an independent maker instead.
Recycled paper presents an array of decorative possibilities. An easy eco-friendly swap at Christmas, you can make garlands, paper chains, and thoughtful table setting cards. These activities are the perfect way to pass time, along with some Christmassy music and sparkling drinks!
Some fantastic planet friendly swaps can be made by making your own cards and gifts.
According to Local Gardener, the UK sends around a whopping 1 billion Christmas cards every year. It takes 1 tree to make roughly 3000 cards. That means 300,000 trees chopped down every year, just for Christmas cards alone. Opting for natural, recycled paper means no contribution to deforestation. When buying any paper materials, check for the FSC logo, as this means it has been approved by the Forest Stewardship Council.
There are lots of fun arts and crafts to get stuck into when creating your own greetings cards. You could have a go at printmaking with lino sheets. Just be sure to avoid the easy-cut sheets, or kits, as these contain non-biodegradable materials and excessive packaging.
Handmade gifts always feel more special. You can make them yourself, or leave it to an expert maker. Everyone loves anything that will help them feel warm and cosy at Christmas, so knitting and crochet are great gifting ideas. Hats, scarves, gloves, and socks are perfect entry-level projects that make beautiful Christmas presents.
Another way of swapping out plastic toys for presents, is choosing wooden or natural materials instead. Equally, giving the gift of creative workshops is an exciting way to surprise someone.
Get ready for this – the UK gets through around 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year! But, a lot of wrapping paper cannot be recycled. Anything with glitter or foil has to go into the bin, to end up in landfill.
Create your own printed paper, using natural inks and recycled paper. Try to unwrap presents carefully, folding the wrapping paper away to be used next year.
Food is one of the greatest parts of Christmastime. The staple of Christmas is turkey. This tradition can be traced back as far as Henry VIII, who decided to make this bird the Christmas centrepiece. But, today, the UK eats around 10 millions turkeys just at Christmas. Finding am eco alternative can help bring these numbers down. For every kilogram of beef farmed, around 60 kg of greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere. Swapping beef out for something plant-based will help reduce the harmful impact of beef farming.
Nowadays, there are endless meat alternative companies stocking supermarket shelves. You can find all manner of delicious and indulgent Christmas treats, from puddings to steaks. Making eco-friendly Christmas food swaps has never been easier than it is today.
The rise of dairy alternatives means that baking and whipping up sweet treats can be done with ease. It doesn’t have to just be sorbet for pudding if you’re trying vegan this year. Swap dairy for oat, and delight festive visitors with cakes, puddings, ice creams, you name it!
Give the gift of a gorgeously eco-friendly Christmassy sleep this year, with an all natural Ely mattress.
We take looking after the planet seriously, and know you can have a fabulously merry Christmas by making some of these eco swaps. If you’re interested in giving the gift of the best sleep ever, why not try an Ely mattress 30 nights trial?