Here at Babi Pur Towers, we’re well and truly getting the Christmas tingles, but we got to thinking about the environmental impact of Christmas, as well as the ethical implications for many of the toys and gifts we’ll all be happily giving, and receiving.
We’ve made a pledge – that each Christmas will be more eco-friendly than the last. We believe it’s possible to have a fun, festive and green Christmas! And here are some of our top tips for a brilliant eco Christmas.
For a real taste of a green Christmas, why not have a go at making your own Christmas decorations this year. Colourful, recycled paper chains make great festive garlands and kids can use last year’s cards to make fun tree decorations, along with home-made Christmas gingerbread or chocolate treats. You can make beautiful garlands to hang on the Christmas tree using popcorn and dried cranberries. You’ll need a long piece of cotton with a needle at one end, simply thread the popcorn and cranberries on to the cotton and don’t forget to make extra for eating! This year we’ve been collecting acorns and seeds to make a natural Christmas wreath.
As for the tree, some people would argue that a good artificial one is the best eco-friendly Christmas tree but only if it is re-used for many years. Despite being made of plastic, an artificial Christmas tree is not recyclable or biodegradable but they’re quite often made from recycled plastics.
There’s nothing better than the smell of a real Christmas tree! A real tree is carbon neutral, but it’s worth keeping in mind that most of the seeds for European Pine Tree plantations come from impoverished regions of Georgia where working conditions can be dangerous and very poorly paid. If you’re thinking of getting a real Christmas tree this year why not try to get hold of a Fair Trade tree or purchase it from a sustainable local grower. You will need to dispose of it properly – ask your council for details.
Of course, we think that every gift should be an ethical Christmas present and these days you don’t have to look far to find great fair trade, organic, handmade or recycled gifts. Here at Babi Pur we have a huge range of ethical Christmas presents for babies and children – from handmade sledges to organic hats, there’s something for every little angel.
A recent study found that over £650 million is spent every year on gifts that are unloved or unwanted, which we think is enormously wasteful. To avoid your present ending up gathering dust in the attic or even worse, thrown into landfill, why not consider gift vouchers or even a charitable donation? Oxfam for example, now have a range of ethical Christmas gifts that help families in poor countries – for example £5 will buy a family a share in a farmyard or £9 will buy enough safe water for 10 people. Find out more here
Christmas is time for complete calorie indulgence, but there are small steps we can all take to help make our Christmas dinner a deliciously green one!
About 10 million turkeys are popped into ovens across the country on Christmas day, but of course you can help the eco Christmas cause by buying a free-range and organic one. So much the better if it comes from a local farm to reduce food miles. Fruit and veg can also be organic and local where possible and don’t forget that all that tasty festive chocolate should be fair trade!
And why not bake and make things at home to reduce packaging? The whole family will love getting involved in the kitchen – you can bake mince pies, Christmas cake and even edible gifts for friends and family.
Of course, there’ll be lots of extra waste at Christmas time – the cans, bottles, paper, food and glass should be quite easy to sort out; most local councils now collect all of this recyclable waste, check with yours for details if you’re not sure.
But don’t forget about all the other items that get chucked out at Christmas. Batteries need to be disposed of properly; they can’t go into landfill because they contain toxic waste. You can find battery disposal points at most electrical retailers or supermarkets. An even better eco Christmas solution is to use rechargeable batteries.
If you’ve been the lucky recipient of new electrical equipment such as a laptop, i-pod or mobile phone, then don’t forget that these should be disposed of carefully – they can’t go into landfill either. If they still work, then consider listing them on a “free-cycle” site so that someone else can use them.
Those are just some of Babi Pur’s green Christmas tips. Send us your advice using the comments box below – we love to hear about your eco festivities!
And don’t forget to save some energy! Turn off the TV and head out for a frosty festive winter walk or a play in the park; it’ll make room for another yummy home-made mince pie!