Ah, Christmas. It’s in the air; the sparkly baubles have been placed around the entrance to the high street stores. Mariah Carey is playing on repeat. It’s time to go Christmas shopping! According to The Bank of England, the average UK household spends £500 more in December than in other months, with £2000 being the regular monthly spend during the rest of the year. So, before you start snapping up those Black Friday deals or BOGOFs, think about where your money is actually going and the impact of your purchase. Sansaar has compiled a list of five ways to ensure that your Christmas will be an eco-friendly one.
1. Choose eco-friendly gifts
This year, why not choose environmentally friendly gifts? Sansaar recommends visiting a Christmas Market to support your local businesses. Gifts sold within these markets usually have a small supply chain and stallholders tend to source their materials locally. Such markets include The Zero Waste Christmas Market in East London and Healey’s Christmas Market in Cornwall. When buying a gift, think also about the supply chain behind the production of the gift; the conditions of the workers in the factory, for example, or it’s carbon footprint. For a festive gift without the carbon footprint, check out Sansaar favourite Jasmine and Ylang Ylang candle made locally by Handmade in Harpenden.
2. Source a sustainable Christmas Tree
Did you know that 95% of the Christmas Trees sold in the UK are locally grown? This means a low carbon footprint and a small supply-chain. To ensure that your tree is sustainable (and hasn’t travelled miles just to land on your local petrol station forecourt) Sansaar recommends that you visit the British Christmas Tree Growers Association website. Here you can search for suppliers who only grow Christmas Trees sustainably and take local wildlife into account when harvesting. If possible, buy a tree with its roots still intact. You will be able to replant and reuse for more future Christmases. The Royal Horticultural Society has fantastic advice on buying a containerised tree whilst stores such as Homebase supply instructions on replanting your Christmas tree. Get that Christmas Tree smell without compromising nature.
3. Go plastic-free at your Christmas party
We know that hosting a Christmas party can be at times stressful, but that’s no excuse for last-minute shopping in the single-use cutlery aisle. Choose your knives and forks wisely by buying those made from recycled or sustainable materials as opposed to plastic, such as Sanaar’s stylish Bamboo Cutlery Set. This set also provides a great conversation starter if the chat falls flat.
4. Use cruelty-free make-up for your big night out
What’s worse than caked-on makeup? Caked-on makeup full of harsh ingredients, that’s what! You may be unaware of the harmful components of the makeup you put onto your skin. These can include preservatives such as parabens which are thought to disrupt hormone function. Yuck. Not only can some makeup brands be harmful to your skin, they can also be harmful to animals, specifically during the testing stages. Be kinder to your skin and to the animals by reading the ingredients list of the cosmetics and learning about the company’s testing methods. This lipstick by Benecos in Very Berry ticks all the boxes when it comes to buying ethically, and its deepest shade of red is perfect for the party season.
5. Ditch the wrapping paper
Did you know that wrapping paper with a foil coating cannot be recycled? Neither can paper with glitter, dye, or leftover bits of sticky tape stuck to it. Each year, Brits throw away around 226,800 miles of wrapping paper. Not only does this put a strain on our aforementioned landfills, it also puts a strain on our refuse services. Instead of buying wrapping paper, how about using old newspapers tied up with string? No sticky tape needed. For something different, try these eco-friendly recycled saris made by I Was A Sari.
So, there you have it. A couple of tips to help you on your way to an eco-friendlier Christmas. Get organised now. Create reminders in your diary to visit your local Christmas market; write down your Christmas present list and stick to it; tell your relatives to buy sustainably in return. By planning ahead, you can enjoy an eco-friendly Christmas.