The festive season is here! Twinkling lights, decorations all around, and magic in the air!
It is the time of year when we as parents pause and take in the excitement on our little one’s faces as they decorate the tree and write their letters to Father Christmas. However, as any parent knows, those letters can get very lengthy!
As much as the Festive period is known as a time of giving, it is also known as a time for extreme waste. Each year approximately £700 million are spent on unwanted presents in the United Kingdom alone. In addition to this shocking statistic, £42 million of those unwanted Christmas presents are thrown away, ultimately ending up in landfills.
At Pip and Henry, it is our goal to encourage sustainable practices within the family, educate our little ones, and provide quality products with a low ecological footprint.
It is because of this that we have put together a step-by-step guide to a sustainable Christmas Season!
What Steps Can Be Taken to Enjoy a More Sustainable Christmas Season?
The festive period is about so much more than just Christmas day alone. It is about the days leading up to Christmas. We are talking about the fact that in every shop you walk into, there is Christmas music playing. We are talking about frosty nights tucked up under a blanket with our little ones watching Christmas movies. Not to mention the amazing display of decorations in every home, office, and street!
The days leading up to Christmas should be filled with magic and excitement, and here are a few ways to do that sustainably.
1. Reuse, Recycle or Make your own Christmas Tree.
Every year around 8 million Christmas Trees are thrown away each year. Approximately 6 million of those trees end up in landfills. Here are some ways we can reduce our carbon footprint and make more sustainable choices when choosing a tree.
- Grow your own. If you have the garden space this could be a great family activity whereby you grow your own tree and reuse it each year. Each year will become more and more exciting for the family as the tree would be bigger each time it is used. This is a perfect opportunity to educate our children on the importance of planting trees and the impact it makes on our environment.
- Recycle your Christmas tree when you are finished using it. If you have a real tree and are not looking at planting it after Christmas there is always the option of recycling. Most councils do this for you by turning the tree into wood chippings, thus reducing their carbon footprint by 80% compared to throwing it in a landfill.
- If you already have an artificial tree or are looking at buying one, make sure to buy one which will last a good few years. As plastic trees can ultimately only end up in landfills it is important to reuse them each year, thus limiting single-use plastics.
- Make your own. If you do not have the garden space to grow a tree there are many DIY alternatives that can make for a great creative family project.
2. Recycled/ DIY Christmas Decorations.
Most Christmas decorations are made from materials such as plastic and tinsel, all of which cannot be recycled. It is because of this that we recommend having a family crafts day where by Christmas decorations are made using materials found around the house/ garden. Examples of these could be cardboard from toilet rolls, pinecones or even twigs.
3. Making your own wrapping paper and cards.
Another great DIY/ Crafts project to do with the kids would be to make your own wrapping paper and cards. Most cards and wrapping come with either foil or glitter embellishments which can’t be recycled. Instead, get some recycled brown paper, magazine, and newspaper cut-outs, and let your little one’s creative juices flow.
4. Making your own Christmas Crackers.
Surveys have shown that 99% of people in the UK throw away the gift inside their Christmas crackers along with the wrapping. We have found yet another use for those cardboard toilet rolls this year. They are the perfect cylinder shape to make your homemade crackers. Remember to fill them with reusable gifts or better yet some home-baked goods.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the festive season and still do your bit to help the environment. Ultimately steps to a more sustainable future start at home by doing everyday activities. Whether it be planting trees, an afternoon of crafts, or reading a storybook. The goal is a better future for our Children.
For more sustainable initiatives, products, and tips visit our website.