The shops are already playing Christmas music, and adverts push us to buy lots of presents to have a happy time. However, taking a more eco friendly approach can save money as well as helping the planet.
- Make Decorations. There’s no need to buy plastic ornaments that will end up in landfill. Use holly and pine cones; make your own wreath from recycled rags or festive hedgerow cuttings; and create star-light lanterns by punching holes in tin cans. Use old tights or pegs to make a fairy or angel for the tree. You can make edible decorations too, from gingerbread to peppermint cream candy canes. Package chocolate truffles in muslin tied with sparkly ribbons to decorate the tree too.
- Give Experiences. Rather than giving gifts that may well end up in landfill, give experiences. Foraging workshops, crafting classes, visiting botanical gardens or walking alpaca are just a few of the fun ways to spend time with people you love.
- Opt For Eco Gifts. If you want to give a physical gift, opt for something eco friendly. I love giving gardening kits – The Crop Club has a great range made from recycled and ethical materials, including garden starter packs and Magic Dust to help the bees. I also give crafting packs made from recycled materials. The Art Tiffin sells great eco-friendly art gift boxes too.
- Buy Charitable Gifts. from planting a tree to sponsoring a stretch of the canal, adopting a dormouse to buying products that help fund charities, there are plenty of ways to support charities with ethical objectives. If you opt for a membership to a charity, it can offer you the chance to connect with nature year round, whether through magazine subscriptions or invitations to member events.
- Agree to No Gifts. Don’t feel pressured into spending money you don’t have. Agree that you won’t exchange gifts with friends and loved ones. Alternatively, only swap free gifts, such as a mix tape or playlist on an old USB stick, something home-made or a book you’ve read and loved. You could exchange home-made edible gifts too – or give vouchers for babysitting or cooking.
- Consider Food Waste. Don’t feel obliged to fill your fridge with food you’ll never eat. Freeze food to avoid waste, and consider how much you really need when shopping. Think about leftovers, and how you can use them. If you do have leftovers you can’t use, share them using an app such as Olio to avoid food waste.