Did you know that each household in the UK increases its waste by an average of 30 percent around Christmas time? This includes 300,000 tonnes of cardboard packaging that is thrown out every year. While the holiday celebrations are a time to make merry and be grateful, they are also a time to reflect on what we can do to live more consciously. Here are 10 tips from Artisans & Adventurers on how to have a zero waste Christmas.
1. Buy Pre-loved
Visit a local charity shop to find unique second-hand gifts or wrap up in a cozy jumper from a Christmas clothes swap! When you’ve had enough of that unwanted Christmas jumper, donate it to become someone else’s new favourite outfit. Alternatively, why not turn that old sweatshirt into a new Christmas jumper?
2. Do It Yourself
There are tonnes of great DIY gift ideas out there that you can make with products you already have. Do you enjoy cooking? Cakes, jams and chutneys can make useful and thoughtful presents, and cut down on food waste. Or get creative with a hot cocoa mix in a mason jar or a homemade sugar scrub!
IDEA - Why not add one of our hand carved wooden spoons to your creation? Made from sustainable wild olive wood they will last for years to come and each purchase helps preserve traditional craft in Kenya.
3. Gift Wrapping
Consider using one of Artisans & Adventurers handmade Christmas Stockings or woven baskets rather than using wrapping paper. Otherwise, ditch the plastic wrapped gift paper and make your own. Give your Christmas presents some flair by wrapping your fashionable friend’s present using an old copy of Vogue or reuse an old comics for the kids’ gifts. Finish presents off with some string, recycled tape, or ribbon and reuse it all next year! Newspaper, reusable bags, and recycled shirts are great for rewrapping and can be used to store or post fragile items afterwards.
4. Make It Last
Cut down on paper waste by sending e-cards or making your own from recycled paper. Get a group of friends together or corral the kids, and have a card making party. Even if people don’t keep them, they’re recyclable.
Haven't got time to make your own? Artisans & Adventurers is a big fan of Liz Temperley's sustainable stationary brand, Blank Inside, printed in the U.K using recycled paper and vegetable basked inks, even the plastic sleeve is biodegradable.
5. Be Green
The most eco-friendly way to reduce our carbon footprint is to buy or rent a locally potted Christmas tree. These can be replanted year after year or recycled into wood chippings to prevent waste.
6. Homemade Decor
For a truly home-made feel, get creative with homemade salt-dough decorations and popcorn garlands. Hang dried orange slices and cinnamon with twine for some holiday scented ornaments. Decor that will make the house smell amazing! Reuse them the next year or create your own potpourri when the holidays are over.
Artisans & Adventurers has partnered with an ethical workshop in India to produce some stunning paper decorations made from 100% recycled paper and reusable year after year.
7. Bringing the Outdoors In
Make your own Christmas wreath from foraged foliage or recycled material for a fun home activity with friends. And don’t forget to turn those Christmas lights off when you’re out or in bed!
8. Another Man’s Treasure
Receive a present you don’t like? Return it for an exchange, re-gift it if someone else would love it, or donate it to charity. Nearly 2 our of 3 people receive at least one Christmas gift they don’t want. Don’t let them go to waste!
9. Shop Smart
Plan your meals before you go food shopping. Writing a list will help prevent you from overbuying and spending excess money. Stop the waste! Avoid plastic bags by bringing your own shopping bags or opting for fresh food baskets. Implement new habits this Christmas by seeking out better producers, be it a farmers market, health food shop, or vegetable box option. Before you know it, you’ll be even more connected with the community, which is what the holidays are all about!
10. A Leftovers Feast
Before setting off to visit family for the holidays, bring your friends together for a meal using up everyone’s leftovers. Get creative! Many people don’t consider peeling their vegetables as waste, but a lot of the nutrients are in the skin. Save the skins to make holiday vegetable crisps.
Merry Christmas! x