A More Sustainable Christmas

1. Buy less, choose well

This was a phrase coined by Vivienne Westwood in reference to the fashion industry’s fast pace and wastefulness, and we can apply it to all areas of our lives. Christmas is often a time of excess that can lead to wastefulness. We all like to buy gifts for our loved ones, to see their faces light up, and watch the joy that it can bring on this much anticipated day.

Buying gifts is certainly not a problem in itself, but for a more sustainable Christmas we need to be thoughtful of what we are buying. Look out for Fairtrade labels, organic products (Soil Association, or GOTS certification on organic cotton clothing) and sustainably made wooden toys (look out for the FSC certificate). At Babipur all the hard work has been done for you, only products which meet the highest ethical and sustainable standards are stocked, so you can guarantee you are choosing well.

2. Go local

When it comes to Christmas dinner it pays to shop local, for every £1 spent locally, 63p stays within the local economy. Head to you local butcher, greengrocers, health food shop, zerowaste shop, farm shop or farmers market. You will find produce comes with a lot less packaging, or even better, take your own bags (Turtle Bags) and containers.

Look for organic, free range, outdoor reared and grass fed and cut down those food miles. Look at getting a one off veg box delivery for Christmas to save that dreaded supermarket shop, and ring your local butcher to order your meat (if applicable) for collection nearer the big day. Our local high streets and farm shops rely on our custom over the festive period to keep them afloat the rest of the year – as the saying goes ‘use them or loose them’.

3. Repurpose, reuse and recycle

When it comes to gift wrapping, simple is definitely better. Choose plain brown paper and decorate it yourself (or get the kids to do it) with some festive prints, raffia or coloured string. A lot of standard wrapping paper can’t be recycled due to glitter or shiny finishes.

Another increasingly popular way to wrap is furoshiki using cotton or scarves to wrap presents – these can then be reused year after year. A rummage round in the charity shops is a good place to find scarves for this purpose.

I never buy tags, instead I save previous years cards and cut tags out of them.

4. DIY

To cut right down on food packaging, doing it yourself is best. Things like mince pies, sausage rolls and vol au vents are all relatively easy to make and can all be made ahead of time and frozen. Being aware of how many you are catering for as well will be vital in cutting down on food waste (if you meal plan already, this same principle can be applied over the Christmas period).

I like to buy a couple of new decorations each year to replace any that get broken. I will be looking specifically at plastic free and Fair Trade decorations, and making some ourselves. Popcorn garlands, salt dough, and paper chains are great for keeping the kids entertained and are biodegradable and plastic free.

With a few simple simple changes, and a bit planning we can all look forward to a more sustainable festive holiday that will benefit our families, communities and the environment.

Thanks so much to Hannah for sharing her top tips on having a more sustainable Christmas x

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