It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most wasteful time of the year. The amount we choose to either recycle or discard has a huge impact on our environment.
However, with all the buzz and excitement of the festive period, it is unlikely that most of us will even have time to think about how much waste we are producing.
Here are some small changes you can consider this year to help celebrate a more mindful, sustainable and environmentally conscious Christmas.
The average UK household will get through four rolls of wrapping paper each year. Did you know that most gift wrapping paper is coated in plastic, which means it can’t be recycled?
Instead, try wrapping presents in newspaper or parcel paper with ribbons and twine, which can still can look just as festive. After all, if brown paper packaging tied up with string is good enough for the Sound of Music, then it’s good enough for us!
You could also take inspiration from the Japanese tradition of Furoshiki, and wrap gifts in reusable, patterned fabric.
Instead of buying new decorations each year to spruce up your tree, why not try making your own?
This is a great activity to involve children and could be the start of a wonderful new family tradition. The decorations would also make great presents for loved ones.
For an eco-friendly theme, you could upcycle items around your home or use items found in nature like pinecones. For something more fragrant, try incorporating dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks
Gift an Experience
Each year, the average UK adult will spend around £330 buying Christmas presents, however, approximately £42 million of unwanted Christmas presents in the UK end up in landfills.
So, to combat any potential waste, why not gift someone an experience. Theatre or concert tickets or even a membership to an art gallery or The National Trust can make thoughtful gifts that also give a loved one something to look forward to after the festive period has ended.
Gift Something Edible
If you had your heart set on gifting something physical, you could consider gifting something edible.
Jars of chutney, loose-leaf tea or flavoured alcohol bought from local businesses make thoughtful, delicious and eco-friendly presents.
For something homemade, you could gift chocolate truffles and festive biscuits in a reusable, decorative tin, or, if you are feeling particularly ambitious, why not try making your own gingerbread house?
To see how Brighterkind homes are celebrating the festive season, click here to view our 2021 Christmas magazine