By Kacie Wedel
We’ve got only a few more days until Christmas, but it’s not too late to make it more intentional! The idea of incorporating a more sustainable approach into your everyday life is something that can be achievable.
For example, a fun way of keeping sustainability in check during the holidays is by finding creative ways to reuse old gift wrap! You could reuse the gift wrap for festive envelopes to send plantable greeting cards to friends. You could also make a fun themed tray liner for when we can one day host holiday parties! The possibilities are endless and as we continue to spend our days in lockdown, we are only becoming more creative.
Did you know that there is “ … an estimated 227,000 miles of wrapping paper and 1bn cards that end up in the bin” ?
To help fight the extent of this waste caused by our Christmas festivities, we can turn the choices we make into a sustainable habit every holiday season.
1. Rent a tree
Renting your Christmas tree has many benefits. Christmas tree sales have grown this year. In attempts of bringing some joy in light of our continued COVID restrictions, many people have already gone and picked their tree. I know I am one of those people, having set my tree up the moment the clock said 1st November. This doesn’t mean it’s too late for you though!
One of the many benefits for renting your tree is that this results in zero waste! Once you’ve finished renting your tree you take it back to the supplier where it can be replanted and cared for until next year. This is also nice because during the year the tree can continue to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Here are a few great local places you can rent your tree this year
Founded in 2018, London Christmas Tree Rental believes in incorporating sustainability into the future of Christmas. They offer the options of delivery and collection, or hub pickup and return. They also offer a detailed guide on how to care for your live tree during your rental so that both you and the tree are your happiest during the holiday season.
Christmas on the Hill is a family run business in North London. They are committed to maintaining the highest quality of their products at a reasonable price. They offer both delivery and local pickup options and have decor such as wreaths, garlands, and a variety of baubles. Their quirky trees will add the perfect touch of character to your home this holiday season!
Created in 2012, Rental Claus began looking for a cost effective, but sustainable, alternative to cut Christmas trees. They present the option of having the same tree each year that you can actually name, or a new one to bring in a different personality to your home each winter. With the opportunity to rent the same tree, it’s as if it becomes part of your family. Whether you choose this or opt for a new one, it’s great to participate in cutting down the waste in our landfills.
“A tree is for life, not just for Christmas”
2. Send a card and plant some seeds
One of my favourite ways of celebrating Christmas in a circular fashion is by sending plantable cards. Buying a plantable card is not only sustainable, but also offers a gift that turns into something beautiful.
They have a variety of paper to choose from and many different designs. They practice circularity by shipping in boxes that have been picked up from either a local store or an item that has been delivered to them. This helps to eliminate waste. Once you have received a seed paper card, all you have to do is plant it! The paper will compost leaving behind only flowers or vegetables. It’s the gift that keeps giving!
3. Dried fruit ornaments
A fun way to practice circularity is to preserve your fruit and turn it into an ornament. This is a great opportunity to get creative and have some fun! By drying orange slices and hanging them around your tree or in other areas in the house, your place will look chic and smell fragrant.
They’re rather easy to make. All you need are some oranges, a sheet pan, cooling rack, a sharp knife for cutting, and some twine. If properly dried, these ornaments will last for a while and then once you have decided to no longer keep them, you can toss them into the compost!
4. Give the gift of giving
Giving back is a fantastic way to be circular. By contributing to a charity this year instead of contributing to waste, you’re helping so many different causes. There are also so many people in need.
There are a variety of ways to contribute to this noble cause. Whether you decide to sponsor a day that’s special to you or to give in the memory of a loved one, The Royal Marsden breaks down how your money is spent and in order to provide the best treatment and care for their patients.
5. Save and reuse any gift wrapping, bows, and boxes
With a growing interest in craft this year, why not use our newfound motivation and put it towards our gift wrap? You could reuse the gift wrap you receive as decor around the house, or be eco friendly when giving and wrap your gift in something such as a vintage silk scarf. You could also take your gift boxes and keep them for storage throughout the year which will also help you declutter! It’s a win-win!
6. Make some memories
Unfortunately, many of us will be spending Christmas this year without our loved ones who have passed before the holidays.
It’s always been important to spend time with our friends and families, but if 2020 has taught us anything it’s that we really need each other now more than ever.
No matter what you choose to do this holiday season, have fun. Check in on your friends and family that might be spending the holidays alone.
Remember the importance of a solid support system, and if you find yourself without one, reach out to someone. Put on some fuzzy socks and warm Christmas pyjamas, hop on a zoom call with your friends, and hit the Christmas markets – virtually.
2020 is finally coming to an end, can I get a hallelujah? Let us remember all that we have been through this last year and be grateful for the new year to come. I hope you have yourself a circular Christmas!