If you’re looking to have a more sustainable Christmas this year you’re in the right place! Whether you already have all your decorations up and all your presents wrapped or have yet to start getting into the festive spirit, we’re sure to have something for you to think about here.
Who’s excited for the holiday season? We definitely are. Even though we know it’s going be very different this year, we are feeling rather festive and are determined to end this year on a sustainable Christmas high!
One of the things we’re conscious of every Christmas, but especially so after the set backs of 2020, is the amount of extra waste we all generate at this time of year. Apparently we produce an extra 30% of waste during the festive period! So we’ve had a think and asked our ambassadors for input to produce these tips for a more sustainable Christmas.
Things to think about for a more sustainable Christmas …
1. Be mindful with your decorations
Not sure about you, but as soon as that first decoration goes up we start to feel festive! There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to making decorations more sustainable though, as people have lots of different preferences and traditions. Here are a few things to think about:
- Use natural materials and the nature around you to make your own decorations. Dried fruit (oranges are our favourite) make for lovely fragrant decorations that can be easily composted once your done. Green foliage cuttings are also easy to collect and look stunning.
- Don’t change your decorating theme every year, instead reuse decorations for as long as you possibly can.
- Save as much electricity as you can. Try not to have lights on all the time (maybe use a timer) and use LED ones if you can as they are more energy efficient.
- Avoid glitter in all things and don’t buy mass produced crackers (these often have plastic toys inside that end up straight in the bin!). There are lots of alternatives here.
- The type of tree you get is obviously a key question. In terms of sustainability, keep in mind you’ll need to use your plastic tree at least 10 times for it to be more sustainable than a real tree. If you do go for a real tree, think about where it comes from and what you’re going to do with it after Christmas is over. There is also a rent a tree option that we’ve seen in London that we really hope will take off!
2. Think about where and how you shop
Shop local and look for sustainable, eco small businesses whenever you can. Supporting small businesses is especially important this year if we want to see them survive the difficulties 2020 has thrown at us.
As well as keeping this in mind when shopping for presents, it’s also applicable when you do your Christmas food shopping.
3. Food, food, food!
This seems to be the mantra at this time of year. We know that everyone has their own traditions and we don’t want to step on any toes here, but a few things we can all think about:
- Don’t go crazy with the amount of food and treats you buy! We all love to indulge during the festive season, but try to plan out meals and be sure to use any leftovers. We happen to love bubble and squeak on Boxing Day which uses up lots of the yummy leftovers.
- This might be a good time to avoid the crowds at the big supermarkets and check out your local butchers, farmers markets, deli or bakers, basically any smaller / independent shops (either online or in store) to see what they have to offer for your festive feasts.
- Try to incorporate plant based dishes / alternatives and include some meat free days – your waistline and gut may also thank you for this!
4. Use what you have or ensure your wrapping & cards are recyclable / reusable
Whether you’re super creative and skilled when it comes time to wrapping up everyones gifts or if you leave it to the very last minute, putting a bit of extra thought into the materials you use can make all the difference:
- Why not use old Christmas cards to make tags for presents? This is a super easy way to use what’s at hand and you can get all ages involved in cutting out the designs.
- Reuse old paper bags or magazines / newspapers as wrapping paper.
- Collect cute tins or boxes you can reuse over and over again!
- Add flourishes with natural objects, dried oranges, pine cones or foliage look great!
- Use an alternative to sellotape, which is plastic and can’t be recycled. You could go for an eco tape alternative or tie your presents up with a bow or string instead.
- Remember to be delicate when unwrapping all your presents so you can reuse the paper in the future.
- Finally, ensure any wrapping paper you do buy can be recycled, brown paper is a good option and looks timeless. The guidelines are obviously different everywhere, but the scrunch test is good for testing glitter free paper – If you scrunch it up and it stays scrunched then it should be recyclable.
5. Avoid the generic / fad gift trap!
You’re running out of time to find that perfect gift for a loved one, so are just about to buy a generic gift that you’re not sure they’ll like.
STOP, why not help them make memories or do something they love rather than buying them a physical gift. You could gift them an experience, tickets to a concert (for when that’s a thing again), a membership / subscription or make a donation to something they are passionate about (plant some trees or corals, sponsor their favourite animal, donate to their charity of choice etc.).
Please feel free to let us know your tips for a more sustainable Christmas …
Finally, no matter what you end up doing this festive season, we hope you get to spend it with loved ones as much as you can!
From everyone here in the Ocean Mimic team, we wish you a very Merry Fishmas!!