I LOVE Christmas! Overindulgence and too much of practically everything. It can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and get carried away. We're all aware that Christmas is not a sustainable time of year. What can you do about it though?

Presents

It’s easy to get sucked in to the hype and just BUY ANYTHING so friends and family have something to open on the day. But do they actually need it? Is it plastic, on top of plastic, on top of plastic? Here's a better idea.

  • Experience gifts - think days out, learning news skills and spending time together
  • Make your own - infused gins, knitted items, biscuits… get creative!
  • Buy independent - get unique gifts from local traders!
  • Zero Waste gifts - make a gift box to get someone going on their journey. Check out elsaanukkas gift guide or head to our shop for inspiration.
  • Gifts to help them reduce packaging, like a bread maker.

Wrapping

Did you know that most wrapping paper isn't recyclable? Yup. Apparently around 200 million sheets of wrapping paper will be thrown away each year. Try to avoid adding to landfill and give these a bash:

  • Wrapping from newspaper or scrap paper - they can look lovely with some sprigs and dried fruit added
  • Furoshiki - Japanese art of cotton wraps. Invest in some reusable cotton wrapping. They could be vintage scarves or scraps from fabric shops. Check out Furoshiki Giftwrap for knotting instructions
  • Use paper tape. Did you know that there's an alternative to plastic cello tape? Pick some up from ingreens.

Christmas Trees

We plant our tree in the garden each year, meaning we don't need a new one cut down just for us.

A fake tree can be a good idea if you look after it and use it again each year. If you're looking to buy one this year why not try eBay, Freecycle and Gumtree? Second hand is always best, synthetic trees can use an enormous amount of energy to produce.

Food

Why not try reducing your meat consumption this year? Not necessarily on Christmas day but perhaps when friends are round. You’ll find loads of recipes on BBC Good Food.

Before throwing any leftovers in the bin, do some research and see if you can use it in another recipe. Here's some leftover recipes to try.

You could also try saving on plastic packaging by making your own baked goods, or taking a tub down to your local butcher.

All in all a more sustainable Christmas is a more chilled out, happy one. Take some pressure off yourself this year and do things differently.