With just over a month until Christmas, we thought we’d gather some eco-friendly options to help you have a sustainable Christmas. Why? Well, every year we create SO much waste, our waste production in the UK alone goes up by an extra 30% over the Christmas period. Whilst we understand that plastic cannot always be avoided, this blog offers insight into ways you can reduce your Christmas waste simply by reusing or choosing the compostable route. Here are our 5 eco-friendly options from small businesses to help you have a sustainable Christmas-

1. Christmas Cards – To send or not to send? That is the question.

Yes, send. But don’t go crazy. You can send out emails to all your work colleagues, but choose a select few that you know will appreciate a handwritten card. Then be sure to opt for these beautiful and plantable seed cards from Blooming Heck, which offer quality over quantity. They are an eco-friendly and zero waste small business that originally bloomed out of the 2020 lockdown period. The seed paper is personally sourced and is 100% handmade with recycled paper and embedded with botanical seeds. The paper can be planted and you can watch your message turn into beautiful flowers to help bees, pollinators and surrounding nature. Made using recycled envelopes and compostable vegetable starch cellophane bags to protect the products in transit and ensure an earth kind product from start to finish.

2. A tree is for life, not just for Christmas.

Yes, that’s right. How sad is it in January seeing all the abandoned Christmas trees? Whilst many opt for an artificial one, if you want to go one step further (and save plastic) why not try a potted Christmas tree? Lazy Flora has a great selection of potted Christmas trees you can plant in your garden when celebrations are over and bring back in again the following year.

3. Let’s not forget the decorations.

I’d assume that most peoples tree decorations are kept and reused every year partly because of the cost but then also because of tradition. One of the main decorations which I would say is probably less commonly recycled would be tinsel which can take up to 450 years to decompose. Here are two happy alternatives for you to consider.

Gorgeous flowers and garlands handmade by the Felt Studio shop. Perfect for hanging on your tree. Adorning your fireplace or giving your staircase a Christmas makeover. These colourful decorations are made from 100% wool felt.

Another stunning option is these tree decorations from abstract landscape artist, Punam Sanghrajka of Art by Punam. Her jewel-toned skies on the wood slice ornaments are an affordable way to collect a piece of original art (either for yourself or as a gift) at Christmas. Three lovely decorations with the option to personalise them too. So beautiful, you’ll not want to take them down when the festive season is finally over.

4. Reusable gift wrap for the win. 

Seeing the amount of paper and packaging waste created for the moment of opening is soul-destroying. It’s not just the waste that’s left behind but the energy that went into creating it, all gone in a flash. Avoid that guilty feeling on Christmas night, buy opting for reusable gift wrap. Here are two fantastic options for you- 

From Pri-Pri we have gift wraps made from reusable cloth packaging (known as Furoshiki) that is a beautiful but also eco-friendly way to give gifts. These are hand-sewn by underprivileged women in India who have been upskilled in tailoring. With these being made from pre-loved sari offcuts, each one is unique and available in two sizes.

Wrap Kind offer wraps and gift bags that are handmade by local seamstresses. Using fabric that comes from the fashion industries deadstock, which saves it all from landfills. Each wrap comes with a Christmas gift tag (that’s compostable), Christmas ribbon and a plain ribbon, that the recipient can easily thread through the eyelets, so the wrap can be used all year round. We recommend you pop the festive ribbon in with your decorations when you pack up, so it can be used again next year.

5. What is Christmas without… an Advent Calendar? 

Advent calendars are an exciting way for children to get in the Christmas spirit. If you’re looking for a single-use plastic alternative this year invest in this reusable Advent kit, from The Conscious Party Box. Made from kraft cards and paper these beautiful eco-friendly boxes and bags allow you to choose your goodies to celebrate the festive season. They can be wrapped and hung using the ribbon and twine or arranged on a surface so perfect whatever your space and the best bit……you can pack them away and use them again next year! With each box bought, a donation goes to Ocean Generation.

Now that we’ve planted the seed for a sustainable Christmas, all that’s left to do is check out our three-part Christmas blog special for all your gift inspiration needs. What’s your favourite thing about Christmas? Let us know in the comments below.

Podengo are not affiliated in any way with the above businesses. Nor, do we receive any affiliated fees if you decide to book or use the services of the above businesses. We are simply providing a spotlight for fellow small businesses. If you would like us to feature your business in our blog, please contact hayley@gopodengo.com

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