The Christmas holidays are a time to celebrate with loved ones, food, and gifts. But in an age of over consumption and unsustainable consumerism habits, at this time of year we buy enough food for twelve to feed four, buy into trends that won’t be around by next Christmas, and throw away millions of sheets of wrapping paper per year.
That’s why at Shaku we’ve put together a handy guide so you can enjoy the festive season while having a Christmas which doesn’t cost the earth.
Rent your tree
Fun fact: real Christmas trees are more eco-friendly than fake ones. Yes, you’ll keep your fake Christmas tree for longer, but it will take 20 years for it to be as green as a real fir. That being said, approximately seven million real Christmas trees will be dumped in January so, if you want to earn you green Blue Peter badge, you can go a step further and rent your tree.
How does renting your tree work? After you order your tree, it will be delivered to your door for you to decorate and care for during the holidays. After the festivities are over, you return your tree for it to be replanted. It can be a lot cheaper than buying one too!
Buy Sustainable Presents
Over 21 million Brits will get Christmas presents they don’t want this year so it’s worth investing in a sustainable present you know they’ll keep forever. To find ethical gifts that will remain stylish no matter the trends, take a look at our collection. We run a limited range of every item, faulty pieces are given a new life in hair barrettes or scrunchies, and our bone china candle pots can be reused as luxury containers.Wrap Presents in Fabric
If you want to be inspired by traditional Japanese Furoshiki, present your presents in fabric this year. The fabric can be passed on to be reused again and again, and it avoids the need for sticky tape which breaks down into microplastics and harms the environment. One of our favourite companies, FabRap, is inspired by Indian textiles.
If buying lots of fabric is too much of an expense this year, opt for recyclable wrapping paper. Lots of wrapping paper contains things that can’t be recycled like foil, glitter, or plastic. Test if your paper is recyclable by scrunching it. If it holds, put it in the blue bin.
Reduce Food Waste
Avoid Christmas panic buying. 270,000 tons of food is wasted in the UK during Christmas. Purchase only the amount of food you can reasonably expect to consume. If you find yourself with extra food, you can put it up for grabs on apps like Olio which reduces food waste by giving someone in your local area the opportunity to collect it.
You can also source your Christmas Day lunch from local shops and ethical producers. You’ll use less food miles, reduce packaging, and avoid producers who use intensive farming practices.
Switch on LED Christmas lights
In the UK, we could save more than £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2, just over the Christmas period if we all swapped a string of incandescent lights for a LED equivalent. This is because LED lights use 80% less energy.
Plant Your Christmas Cards
Say goodbye to the cold Winter months by sowing your Christmas cards in the Spring. Or purchase cards with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) mark. Our Christmas cards have been made with Sustainably sourced paper. This guarantees the paper has been produced sustainably and ethically. You can even turn paper items such as cards and crackers into decorations for next Christmas!
Remember What Christmas is About
Most of our Christmas eco sins are committed when we get too wrapped up in the superficial things of the season. Enjoy your time off to spend time with family, friends, and beloved pets. Those who love you won’t mind if their present is wrapped in old newspaper this year.