While you're gearing up for the most wonderful time of the year, take a moment to think about how, this year, we can all have a more eco-friendly Christmas. The holiday season can be a time of great consumption, and great waste, so it's time to consider what small changes we can make that'll amount to big differences when it comes to a more sustainable Christmas. We've collated our best and most hassle-free tips for a more low-waste, eco-friendly Christmas period - here's 5 steps towards a more sustainable Christmas.
1. Recyclable wrapping paper.
In case you didn't know, the majority of wrapping paper is not recyclable...gasp! This is because most wrapping paper is dyed or laminated, making it not suitable for recycling. This year, try picking up some recycled, and recyclable wrapping paper. Over the last few years we've noticed an increase in the availability of recyclable wrapping paper - you're now able to find it in most large shops, so opt for the eco-friendly option! Just make sure to remove any bits of sticky tape before recycling. Furthermore, you can save large pieces of wrapping paper for next year if you unwrap carefully! Make Christmas day joyful for your friends and family, and for the planet.
Another thing to consider with wrapping paper is glitter. Most glitter is made from plastic, which, when washed down the drain, can be incredibly harmful to marine life. We tend to opt for a glitter-less wrapping paper (less mess on Christmas day!) but you can also choose wrapping paper with bio-glitter, which is a plastic-free, biodegradable option.
Considering how much wrapping paper we use this time of year, it can make a big difference towards a more sustainable Christmas if we make this small change. Go forth and recycle!
2. Re-using Christmas Cards
Did you know, it's estimated that around 1 billion Christmas Cards end up in UK bins by the end of December. Here's a nifty eco-friendly Christmas tip from Laura from the Clothes Doctor Team.
"I never want to throw away used Christmas cards because it seems wasteful, and they're often really cute and festive! What I do is cut out the pictures from the front of Christmas cards, punch a hole and add some ribbon, and use them as labels on my gifts for the next year. It means I never have to buy labels either, so it's resourceful and a good money saver!"
3. Re-think your clothing gifts
Every family has a fashionista or clothing lover amongst them, so clothing is a popular gift at Christmas. However, we all know that buying clothing as a gift can be temperamental - it might not fit, not be the right colour, or your recipient may just not like it! Nightmare! And you're at risk of the clothing simply being thrown away without ever being worn.
You're in luck though, because we've got the perfect sustainable Christmas gift for any clothing lover, without the risk! Try one of our Clothes Doctor clothing care sets, containing a mixture of our supercharged specialist detergents and our essential clothing care tools and accessories. We've got something for every clothing lover personality, from our Knitwear Lover Box to our Suit Care Kit, we've got your family and friends covered - now Grandma can't complain that the cashmere cardigan you got her isn't the right shade of pink.
Give the gift of looking and feeling fabulous this Christmas.
4. Reusable Advent Calendar
One of the biggest culprits for excessive waste around Christmas time - the advent calendar. One way to cut waste and achieve a more eco-friendly Christmas is by investing in (or making) a reusable advent calendar. This could be in the form of a sturdy calendar with drawers that you've made from an old cardboard box, or a fabric calendar with pockets for your chocolates - there's so many ways to go. You don't even have to put chocolates inside; with a reusable advent calendar you can have a daily dose of anything you fancy!
"My Grandma sewed us a fabric advent calendar when I was a child and we've used it for about 30 years now. I just fill it with chocolates each year myself. Obviously you still have some waste from the individual chocolate wrappers, but I always ball-up my aluminium foil to recycle, so I add the wrappers to that, and it's still much less waste than a regular advent calendar."
5. Rent a Christmas Tree
This idea only became apparent to us at Clothes Doctor this year, but it's a fantastic way to achieve a more eco-friendly Christmas. According to Carbon Trust, a single 2-metre Christmas tree emits 16kg of CO2 if it ends up in a landfill. Together, the nearly 7 million trees that are still not recycled in the UK every year can be responsible for up to 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases in landfills.
Newsflash, you can now rent a Christmas tree. Yes, a real tree! You can visit a rental shop near you or go online to chose a tree (an example includes loveachristmastree.co.uk) and you'll be given instructions on how to look after your tree – regular watering and keeping it away from radiators are vital. Pay a deposit, and then you can take your tree home. Once Christmas is over, return the (hopefully) healthy pine to the rental service and your lovely tree can continue growing and live to spread eco-friendly Christmas cheer for another year.
We hope that these ideas have inspired you to work towards a more eco-friendly Christmas, this year and for years to come.
Need more inspiration for plastic-free, sustainable Christmas gifts? Check out last week's blog where we brought you the ultimate sustainable Christmas gift guide.
Make laundry day an absolute pleasure every time, and shop the full range of Clothes Doctor detergents and clothing care tools.