Christmas is a time of fun and family, but it also generates a lot of waste! As part of their environmental campaign, children at St. Peter’s School have been thinking about how they can have a more eco-friendly Christmas, and we thought it would be good to share some of the ideas here. Thanks to Jemima Moore from the school for putting them together.
Most wrapping paper can’t be recycled. Ideas for more eco wrapping are…
Brown paper or even newspaper This could be decorated or left plain and tied with string. Brown paper can be recycled.
Gift bags which can be reused.
Fabric wraps which can be reused again. In Japan fabric wrapping is so prevalent that it has become an artform called Furoshiki. Look out for scarves in charity shops. See Wrag a Wrap or Furoshiki Fabric Wrapping for more information.
Swap Plastic ribbon for string or raffia and plastic bows for pine cones. Use old Christmas cards to make tags.
For lots more eco wrapping ideas click here.
If you don’t already have a tree that you reuse each year. Why not hire one?
Yonder Meadow, just outside Exeter, are hiring out live Christmas trees. There will be a tree choosing day at the farm and they will then deliver and collect your tree. For more information click here or phone 07397 858812.
Gift giving has become a large, and sometimes stressful, part of most people’s Christmas. We give stuff as a token of our affections, in the hope of bringing happiness and sometimes just out of duty. Our planet cannot sustain our current Christmas consumerism though, especially when a huge percentage of things we buy just end up in landfill. Research has shown that just 1% of the items we buy remain in use after six months.
Rethink Gift Giving
Secret Santa. Decrease spending, stress and waste by having family members draw names and sticking to a ‘one gift’ rule. This allows each person to get one especially thoughtful and unique gift from someone who had the time to dedicate their effort.
Less is more. We set the expectations of Christmas giving for our children. Instead of quantity, make sure that gifts that are given are cared for and appreciated.
Give second hand items. You can often give something much better quality for the same money and you get to do some great reusing too.
Look out for other areas of waste such as Christmas cards and Christmas crackers. Do you really need them? Could they be home made from reused items?
Recycle what you can including taking unwanted gifts to the charity shop.
For even more ideas about how to have a green Christmas, click here.
Thanks for reading. Have a Happy Eco Christmas!