Whether you attend Catholic mass with your extended family or spend it lavishly with your immediate family in the comfort of your own home - there is a way of celebrating the festive season without further contributing to the world’s environmental problems.
While an ‘eco’ Christmas sounds paradoxical, it is actually quite achievable. Here are some tips to help you enjoy a more sustainable Christmas.
Be thoughtful about gift giving
It’s easy to get carried away with buying gifts for every person in your immediate circle, but have you considered that maybe some of the gift recipients on your list are not interested in receiving gifts? Hard to believe, but it shouldn’t be. Many people have all they need and may not need anything. So before you splash out on Christmas shopping, why not ask the intended recipients if they actually want something. If they don’t want anything, you’ll have saved an unwanted gift from possibly being thrown away.
Now if the person has indicated that they would like a gift, press them for some ideas. If they hesitate, tell them that you’d like to buy them something that they’ll want and use, which will reduce waste. Most people when confronted with an individual’s commitment to sustainability are obliging and will be helpful. After all, no one really wants to aid and abet wastefulness!
2. Buy eco-friendly Christmas gifts
Now that you’ve got your Christmas list sorted, the next step is to go shopping. But before you head out the door, do some research and make sure to seek out eco-friendly, natural and sustainable products where possible.
Here are some gift ideas that are stylish, practical and useful:
- For your fashion loving sister/niece:
What about our gorgeous little black dress with plunging neckline and elbow cut-outs made from 100% pure tencel? This dress is classic enough to be worn for many occasions, but edgy enough that it’s never boring when you wear it! One of our favourite sustainable fashion bloggers, EcoCult Editor-in-Chief Alden Wicker, loves it so much she even bought it from one of our stockists in Berlin. Check out how she styled the dress here. Price £100.00. Free shipping to anywhere in the UK.
- For your stylish man friend/dad/brother/partner:
Knowledge Cotton Apparel has some seriously stylish, seriously ethical threads for men. What about this GOTS organic cotton cashmere blend sweater? It comes in a range of colours and sizes and would look perfect on any man, regardless of age. Price £85.00. Available from Brothers We Stand, Free UK shipping.
- For the yogi friend/fitness fanatic:
Cork yoga mats have emerged as the quintessential must have items for the conscious yoga practitioner. Cork is a natural, renewable and biodegradable material so yogi’s can practice their Asana’s without disturbing the earth. Standard cork yoga mat costs £65.00. Ships worldwide.
- For mum/mother-in-law:
What about this gorgeous handcrafted silver bangle from London-based ethical jewellery brand, Wild Fawn Jewellery? This gift will guarantee your place in the good books for a while. Price starts from £72.00. International shipping available.
3. Decorate sensibly, decorate sustainably.
We prefer minimalist styling ourselves but sometimes minimalism takes a backseat to the decorative needs of the season. Whether you’re dressing the Christmas tree, wrapping Christmas gifts or styling your home for lunch (or dinner), make sure to choose eco-friendly decorations and gift wrapping options such as recycled paper, reusable cloth gift wrapping such as jute or make your own eco-friendly baubles made from papier mâché. Avoid single-use disposable plastic and choose recyclable options where possible.
4. Buy local, organically-grown, sustainably farmed food and drink
Our favourite part of Christmas without a doubt is the smorgasbord of food and drinks. We don’t believe in calorie counting and diets and believe that one should eat to his/her heart’s desire. Now if you’re hosting Christmas lunch or dinner this year, what better way to show your family and friends how much you care than by cooking a special meal using ingredients that are locally grown, organically grown or sustainably-farmed? So only will the meal taste better, but you’ll be supporting sustainable agriculture too!
Let’s not forget that there is also a wide range of organic champagne, wine and beer available for those who enjoy a good drop. And you can also make eco-friendly cocktails by sourcing locally produced fruit, organic liqueurs and spirits, Whiz them together and enjoy it guilt-free!
The festive season can trigger unsustainable practices but if you implement the ideas on this list, you’ll enjoy all the perks without the extravagant waste. There really is such a thing as an eco-friendly Christmas, just as we’ve proven at COSSAC that there is such a thing as eco fashion!
Now over to you: What tips will you implement to make you Christmas more sustainable? Or do you have any tips you’d like to share? Sharing is caring so please leave a comment below! x