Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without all the gifts and presents. Regardless of whether you love receiving them, giving them, or a bit of both, presents are a much beloved part of the festive period. However, in recent years, we have all become much more aware of the harmful impact that we are having our environment.
Our cars, single use plastic, fast fashion, and now Christmas, have all come under recent fire for the substantially negative impact they are having on the planet. Most families will have their bins packed full of single use plastic, wrapping paper, and discarded decorations following the Christmas period. Greenpeace recently found that as little as 1kg of wrapping paper emits 3.5Kg of CO2 during its production process, taking 1.3kg of coal to power its production.
However, there are plenty of ways in which you can still enjoy beautifully wrapped presents this Christmas, whilst simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint.
Christmas bingo is always a great way to keep the entire family entertained, and since there are versions available which let you play bingo online, which you can play on your phone, tablet or laptop, you don’t need to compromise your carbon footprint to enjoy them.
Wrap Gifts in Pretty Fabrics
A lovely, but sustainable way to wrap your gifts this Christmas is by using pretty pieces of fabric. If you don’t have some already around your home, you can often find pretty off-cuts in charity shops or sewing shops quite inexpensively. These can be reused each year, and can look just as nice, if not nicer, than your typical, paper wrapped present.
Use Recyclable Papers
When it comes to gift wrapping make sure to reuse last year’s gift bags and left-over paper before buying more. If you can, get the kids and the rest of the family to open their presents carefully, so that wrapping paper can be saved and reused the following year.
However, if you do have to buy a new roll this year, then opt for paper that is recyclable. Usually, it’s the super shiny, glossy stuff that can’t be recycled, so try to avoid it where you can. Brown paper and tissue paper is typically recyclable, and still makes for beautiful wrapping.
Use Fabric Ribbons for Extra Touches
If you want your gifts to look especially beautiful, then fabric ribbons will become your new best friend. These can be kept and reused from one year to the next and add a special touch to any present; you should avoid disposable, plastic ribbons and bows. These may be more convenient and easier to decorate with, but they’re terrible for the planet and our wildlife.
Pop Gifts into a Stocking or a Tote Bag
If you are popping small gifts into a stocking anyway, then you probably don’t need to bother with wrapping them. This will save you time, money and help the environment. If you don’t have Christmas stockings already, or if the presents are too large to fit into a stocking, then try out using tote bags.
You can either reuse the tote bags each year, or include them as part of the gift, meaning your recipient hopefully won’t need to buy single use plastic bags anymore!
Consider Buying Fewer Presents This Year
We all love getting new things, especially on Christmas day. However human society is in a “global overshoot,” consuming 30 percent more material than is sustainable from the world’s resources. If you give slightly fewer presents this Christmas, then it will mean that you have fewer to wrap in the first place, and you will be contributing to general consumerism less.
Try to shop locally for gifts if you can, don’t go overboard with the spending, and try to avoid buying those gimmicky gifts that usually end up in the bin not too long after Christmas. They might be a bit of a laugh on the day, but they’re not great for the planet.
Becoming greener over the festive period isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but any steps in the right direction are great, no matter how large and small those steps may be.
Try to reduce the amount of single use plastic you buy alongside your Christmas food shop, wrap your gifts sustainably, and try to keep your festive entertainment as sustainable as possible too.
It may be tempting to buy lots of the gimmicky festive games that are out there on the market, but, whilst they are great fun, we often don’t keep hold of them for very long.
Wrapping sustainably, and being more sustainable this Christmas overall, will not only benefit the environment and your wallet, but will also be sure to inspire some greater festive creativity within you this year.