Christmas Survival Guide
December 11, 2010
Christmas is traditionally the time for celebration and gift giving. Unfortunately it also means waste, waste, waste.
So how can you make sure that your bin is not overflowing with packaging and wrapping when the festivities are over?
1. Buy gifts that are needed.
Stop before you buy that cute looking snowman with the glitter base and festive musical song. It might be fun but only for one day of the year before it’s put away in the loft and forgotten about. Plus it’s probably made from plastic and shipped from overseas.
2. Food can be a great gift.
But again make sure that it is sustainable and package free. Hampers may look impressive but think about how much they’ll appreciate a handmade gift of homemade jams, chutneys or sweets. Get creative and use natural packaging like moss and reusable bowls or baskets that can be used to house plants.
3. Green gifts.
Holly bears the crown from Trees for Cities
Speaking of plants, why not give a gift that is not just for Christmas. Fruit trees, herbs and vegetables are thoughtful and most importantly green. You can also make someone else’s Christmas by donating a tree.
4. Charity starts at home.
If you really cannot think of a present for the person who has everything then why not be generous and give to charity. You can help make someone else’s life better. Have a look at Present Aid, NSPCC, Cancer Research or Trees for Cities for inspiration.
5. Eat only what you need.
Buy an organic Farmaround food bag
It’s very easy to get carried away with the Christmas food shop but remember that the shops are only closed for one day. Start planning now and ask friends and family if they are coming over. Buy enough food for a couple of days and shop locally for organic food and drink, farmers markets are great for Christmas food. Steer clear of unnecessary packing and think about what meals can be made with left over’s. Think soups and hearty stews or vegetables that can be mashed and all frozen for another day.
6. Compost and recycle
Send food waste to the bottom of the garden, and give some worms a Christmas treat. And make sure that any packaging you do get is reused or placed in your recycling bin. Find out what else can be recycled by checking out RecycleNow.
7. Recycle gifts.
Children get the most presents and end up with huge amounts of toys and games. Charity shops have great ranges of unwanted toys and most children will not know the difference. Or perhaps you’re still hanging on to some from your childhood? Pass them down to someone who will play with them and love them all over again.
8. Wrapping & Cards.
Buy a box of Santa Christmas greetings cards
Buy recycled paper and cards or get creative with old wrapping (we saw you carefully removing the sticky tape last year!) or try wrapping in homemade paper or using cloth (tea towels are great wrapped with string or ribbon). Get the kids painting disused cardboard boxes for a cute and personal touch. Get knitting and make stockings, hats or scarves that can be wrapped around several presents
9. Make them last!
If you do buy a present make sure it will last and be reused again and again. Think heirlooms and choose organic, Fairtrade, FSC or sustainable items that do not exploit others. Help make everyone’s Christmas a happy one.