Updated: Nov 18, 2020
We are here, not only to tempt you with a selection of gorgeous gifts, but to help you host an eco-friendly Christmas and talk about how you can support other local and small businesses.
The festive season is a period of excess consumption, according to the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, each year, us Brits use enough wrapping paper to gift wrap the island of Guernsey and enough card packaging to cover Big Ben nearly 260,000 times!
With this in mind, we’ve been working on some useful tips to start your Christmas with an eco-bang!
Avoid Wasting Food
You could buy your food loose, exactly the amount you need, preferably from a market vendor or grocer, you don’t have a plastic wrap, nor do you waste the remaining food! Inevitably there’ll be leftovers, so use food wraps or glass containers to keep them fresh in the fridge for another day and get creative with leftovers, Christmas dinner toastie anyone?! When shopping, don’t forget your
reusable bags too, some stores hand out
paper bags instead of plastic carriers but those
aren’t great for the environment either!
There are lots of options for your Christmas tree, a real tree is 100% recyclable, grown for the festive season, so you’re not disturbing any natural habitats, and after use, you could chop and dry it for firewood, or have it mulched for landscaping. If you buy a tree from a local farmer, you will be supporting the rural economy, and reducing the carbon miles a European tree would travel to get here.
You could rent or buy a living tree, great for air quality, it’ll smell amazing and then you either send it back to be replanted, or you could plant it in your own garden and then you have your very own outdoor Christmas tree for years to come! If you
don’t fancy a tree, why not transform a sturdy houseplant with a set of fairy lights?!
Your Christmas Jumper
One of the best (or worst) examples of fast fashion!!
Research from campaign website Hubbub discovered that we are set to buy 12 million Christmas jumpers this year, despite there already being 65 million hidden away in our wardrobes from earlier years, and two out of five jumpers are only worn once over the festive period. Kids grow, but what’s the betting you know someone whose child could make use of their outgrown festive sweater?!! Have you got a friend you could do a swap with?!
Clare and I are coordinating a Christmas Jumper Virtual sale using Jumblebee, to raise money for our children's Primary School. This is so great because the kids get a "new" piece of knitwear for the festive season (and for the school "Christmas Jumper Day," of course), so the kids are happy, the school benefits and it's low impact on parent's wallets and the planet!
You could also try the Charity shops, there’ll be loads in stock at this time of year and you’re likely to find ready-made’s or even some classic sweaters just waiting for that personalized customization! You could also try sites like Depop and Beyond Retro for some unique finds!
Make a switch to eco-friendly wrapping paper; shiny paper, paper that’s covered in glitter, plastic ribbons and sticky tape can’t be recycled, but there are plenty of lovely options! You can use kraft paper which looks gorgeous with a piece of twine tied around it and some freshly cut pine leaves from your tree to decorate, and you could use last year’s Christmas cards, as gift tags. Perhaps you have keen artists in the family who could decorate the paper for you with some eco-friendly inks and paints! We have in stock some lovely gift wrap which is compostable and includes wild seed paper gift tags and look out for our lovely paper tape too! Another lovely option would be to use fabric and ribbon - reusable again and again!
On a similar theme, let’s talk greetings cards! Last year our family sent emails to friends and family, we talked about our year and our thoughts about the year ahead, we included a photo of the kids and people loved that more personal touch! There are also lots of companies online where you can design and send E-cards to loved ones.
If you would like to send something physical there are lots of options for eco-friendly cards, made from 100% recycled materials, compostable and recyclable. Head across to our shop to have a look at our delightful compostable Christmas cards, which include a wildflower seed insert!
Staying on the nature theme, an indoor plant or a tree or plant for outside would make a lovely gift and if looked after well, will last for years to come! Check out the amazing Spekboom Project, a husband and wife team working together to tackle climate change.
Handmade gifts are wonderful too, you could use rhubarb from your garden to brew gin, some homemade fudge, gingerbread cookies, or chocolate truffles would be a hit too!
Why not reuse last year’s decs, or swap with friends or family if you fancy a fresh new look?! Try paper crackers, there are even options for fabric ones, which you can refill year after year! Your table decorations could consist of mistletoe, wrapped around candle sticks, and pinecones nestled in pine branches and a gorgeous home-made wreath looks seasonal and welcoming on any front door!
Being mindful about where you’re buying from is also a great way to be more eco-friendly, some companies can seem more expensive, but look at their ethos, ethics, the quality of the materials they use, etc, you may be paying more, but you can bet these products will last a lot longer and will have a higher resale value should you wish
to part with them in the future.
Small and Local Businesses
“When you support a small business, you’re supporting someone’s dream.”
Shopping from a small business in your local area can help to keep the local economy healthy, it also provides a more personalized shopping experience, all whilst supporting someone’s dream! Non-essential shops such as market stalls, cafes, pubs, beauticians, fitness studios, gyms and many more may be closed for the next few weeks, but there are ways you can still support them, through buying gift vouchers, shopping with them online, continuing memberships and taking online classes, ordering take out from your usual hangouts and much much more!
At Original Way, Clare and I are here to support you, your friends and family, in your quest to move to a more sustainable way of living, we still have a long way to go ourselves, but we are making small impactful steps to change and you can too! Our online store stocks some gorgeous eco-friendly, sustainable, reusable and safe products, that you can browse from the comfort of your own home and watch our for more information on our ECO BOX, subscription service. We can ship to any UK address too, but please bear in mind with the current situation your delivery may take a little longer than normal!
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