You don’t have to be a Christmas tree hugger to have an eco friendly Christmas. The festive season is generally seen as a time to indulge, enjoy, and forget the diet, not to mention the planet. But if you’re keen to stay green this year, the good news is you aren’t alone.
There's plenty you can do to have a more eco friendly Christmas that is every bit as fun and festive. So here are a few simple and achievable environmentally-friendly tips for guaranteeing yourself a spot on Santa’s nice list this year.
1. Choose An Eco friendly Christmas tree
Probably the most eco friendly way to choose your Christmas tree is to source a good quality second-hand artificial tree that you can use year after year. In terms of being sustainable you'd have to use an artificial tree at least 10 times for it to have a lower carbon footprint than a real tree, so buying a brand new artificial Christmas tree isn't eco friendly.
If you're pine-ing for a real tree – and who can blame you – find yourself an eco friendly Christmas tree option.
Here are some tree-mendous tips for choosing eco friendly Christmas trees...
Find a Christmas tree that is FSC approved. FSC certification is the gold standard for sustainably sourced wood from forests that are ethically managed.
Buy from a local supplier – trees that are grown locally will have travelled less and have a far smaller carbon footprint.
Recycle your tree afterwards – Recycling centres can strip trees down to be turned into bark or other products, so don’t forget to dispose of your tree responsibly. Many councils will collect Christmas trees for recycling. If you're unable to recycle your tree, burning it (outside, ideally) is better for the environment than sending it to landfill.
Rent a tree - We're seeing more and more options for renting potted Christmas trees. Hire a tree for the festive season, then send it back to be replanted and continue growing until next Christmas.
2. Embrace The Foliage For Eco Friendly Christmas decorations
Ditch the glitz in favour of foliage. Glitter may put a smile on your face but when it ends up in the ocean that’s snow laughing matter.
Try to avoid plastic decorations and instead opt for natural materials where possible. If you have holly, ivy or other festive plants in the garden, bring nature into your home. Natural wreaths with dried fruit and fir are not only more environmentally friendly – they also make your home smell great.
Richard 'embracing the foliage' and foraging for materials to make eco-friendly Christmas decorations
To add some colour to your Christmas tree, baked orange slices and cinnamon sticks tied together with colourful ribbon look great and smell even better! Gingerbread biscuit decorations are another great waste-free way to decorate your tree.
Candles can also be a great eco friendly Christmas alternative when it comes to a festive glow. Of course we don’t recommend putting candles on the Christmas tree anymore as they did in Victorian days, but they are superb for table centrepieces or for decorating mantelpieces. Especially something decorative like our red or green eco-friendly Christmas candles.
Our festive Winter Spice candles are fragranced with orange that is slowly spiced with Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Nutmeg and a subtle sense of pine.
3. Master the Art of Eco friendly wrapping paper
There's no doubt unwrapping presents is a pretty important part of the big day. But did you know that an estimated 108 million rolls of wrapping paper will be binned over the Christmas period.
So instead of buying new rolls each year, think about:
- making or purchasing reusable fabric bags (these have the added advantage of making present wrapping a LOT quicker)
- Using Furoshiki cloth to wrap presents
- Using reusable or biodegradable paper
- Saving used wrapping paper to reuse next year (some people even iron it, but perhaps that’s a bit far…)
- Making your own wrapping paper by painting or decorating old paper – magazines, newspapers, old books from a charity shop, etc.
- If you do buy wrapping paper, getting one made of recycled paper, and steering clear of glitter (hopefully your present will dazzle enough on its own!)
4. Crack An Eco Friendly Christmas Cracker
Plastic (and frankly totally useless) cracker toys invariably end up straight in the bin. But Christmas dinner would hardly be Christmas dinner without those side-splitting jokes and wonky paper hats.
Reusable Christmas crackers are a great alternative. These can be refilled and reused year after year, and you can choose more eco-friendly gifts to pop in them (and better jokes).
5. Choose Local Produce for a more Eco Friendly (and Delicious) Christmas Dinner
Thousands of fabulous brewers, bakers and producers around the country sell everything from craft local ales to artisan cheeses to delicious homemade cakes and more. Why not use this time of indulgence to splash out on some local delicacies, instead of food that has travelled for miles to get to your plate.
Try to keep your food waste down by not over ordering, or using excess food for other meals across the week. Yule be saving money that way too.
6.Shop for Eco friendly Christmas gifts
Odds are your Christmas shopping will be more online than usual this year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t shop ethically.
Steer clear of the mass-produced, plastic-wrapped paraphernalia being shipped from across the world and focus on local, ethical, wholesome suppliers. After all, the gift will be twice a special if it’s in support of a good Claus.
The key things to look for are:
- sustainable or organic materials
- no single-use plastic packaging
- made in the UK
- a brand with an ethical ethos
In light of that, may we just take a moment to tell you that all our candles are handmade in Devon from recycled candles that we collect from around the UK. The perfect, luxury, guilt-free gift. Shop our full range of deliciously fragranced candles and festive Christmas candles to find an eco friendly Christmas gift for that special someone.
And Finally, Have a Very Merry Christmas
The comfort of knowing that your celebrations this year will come at less cost to the planet can’t fail to make them all the merrier. So light a candle, sit back with a mince pie from the deli and a bottle of organic craft beer, and enjoy the season.
From all of us at The Recycled Candle Company, have a happy and healthy Christmas whatever you get up to!