Enjoying the festive season doesn’t have to cost the earth. From the gifts you buy your loved ones to the decorations on your tree, there are so many ways to make your Christmas celebrations more sustainable this year.
Following this year’s COP26 conference, we’ve all seen that we need to do more to protect our planet and this starts at home. If, like us, you are looking for ways to reduce your footprint, we’ve put together a conscious guide for a greener Christmas. With these simple, small changes we can make a big difference in the fight against climate change and preserve our planet so that others can enjoy Christmas in the generations to come.
Quality not quantity
A study has found that half of UK adults have received unwanted gifts at Christmas which adds up to a lot of waste. With the cost of living crisis and soaring energy prices affecting our spending power, a less is more approach to Christmas gifting could help more than just your wallet.
At KAEA, our belief has always been to take only what we need from the earth and to think about the impact of those choices on the planet’s biodiversity. Going that extra mile and choosing gifts that help support the environment can be a meaningful way to treat your loved ones this Christmas. A thoughtful, considered gift is much more likely to be loved so going for quality over quantity doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Our skincare collection has been purposely created with just four products, helping to reduce the amount of waste in your bathroom cabinet. Formulated with bio-active New Zealand botanicals chosen for their natural affinity to the skin, our skincare works synergistically for the most effective skin benefits. Why not treat a loved one to the rescuer, our essential SOS balm, perfect for cold winter days to treat dry, chapped skin and leave it supple and soft.
The real deal on trees
According to the Carbon Trust when it comes to Christmas trees, natural is always best. Artificial trees are made from a combination of materials that cannot be recycled, so with around 90% of us putting up a tree to celebrate the festive period, a real cut tree has a significantly lower carbon footprint than an artificial tree, particularly if it has been responsibly grown and sourced locally. Extra points if you dispose of your tree responsibly. Some local authorities have special collections or organise drop-off points for trees to be recycled or turned into chippings for parks.
If you are planning on buying a real tree this year you can reduce the environmental impact by investing in a potted tree that is still growing. These can be grown in your garden for the rest of the year and will help absorb carbon from the atmosphere. If you don’t have a garden, consider renting a potted tree for Christmas instead. These can be returned after the festive season has come to an end.
Shoppers in the UK use an incredible 227,000 miles of wrapping paper for their Christmas gifts each year, according to packaging company GWP Group. Put another way, that’s three and a half black bin bags of packaging per household.
Much of the wrapping paper we use is not recyclable so avoid any paper that is laminated or made with plastic, foil or glitter. This goes for Christmas cards and crackers too. The simplest way to check this is with the scrunch test: if your paper stays scrunched it can be recycled. Look out for Sellotape too as it can’t be recycled either.
To make your wrapping more sustainable, choose designs that are made from FSC-certified paper or opt for recycled brown paper which you can then decorate with your own ribbons or prints. Or consider investing in reusable cloth wraps that can be used for years to come. The Japanese technique of Furoshiki is the art of using cloth to wrap objects beautifully and features tutorials that are easy to find online.
Whether you are opting for Turkey or something a little less traditional this Christmas, make your festive shopping basket more sustainable by buying locally produced, seasonal produce. Eating seasonally not only reduces the amount of energy needed to grow foods out of season, it cuts the air miles required to ship food to the UK. What’s more, if your Christmas meal is locally produced, it helps to support UK farmers, ethical small scale producers and your local community.
Reduce clothing waste by renting
Christmas parties are a time to dazzle in the fashion stakes but outfits often only get worn once before being thrown out. Renting your Christmas party outfit is a great way to find a dress that’s also kind to your bank account and the environment. And with many rental boutiques offering designer dresses, you may end up with the ‘It’ dress of the season for a fraction of the cost of buying it.