Every year, the holiday season brings with it a lot of joy and cheer – along with an increase in household waste. With this increase in waste comes an increase in the amount of resources being consumed and the amount of pollution being generated. This year, why not make a change and do your part for the environment by embracing sustainable Christmas ideas. We at incognito strive to be as sustainable as possible and are the only insect repellent to have won the Queen's Award for Sustainable Development. If you are heading off for winter sun this Christmas, at least keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay with something you know is environmentally friendly. Please do also think about off setting your carbon footprint as much as you can.
In the meantime for those of you at home here are some useful tips.
Buy Local & Support Small Businesses One of the best ways to have a sustainable Christmas is to buy local and support small businesses whenever possible. When you shop from local vendors, you’re helping to keep money in your community and supporting the local economy. You can also find unique gifts that you won’t find anywhere else! Many small businesses now also offer online shopping options so you can still get your shopping done even if you can’t make it out to the shops in person.
When shopping online, look for stores that use eco-friendly packaging material such as cardboard boxes and recyclable paper bags instead of plastic. Additionally, buy items that are reusable or can be recycled after use.
Choose Greener Gifts Instead of buying gifts that require lots of energy to produce, consider giving items like plants, hand-made crafts or gift cards to local businesses or charities. Instead of plastic toys that will be broken or thrown away, find durable gifts made from wood or metal. These gifts are more meaningful than something that will just end up in a landfill later on. You can also look for secondhand items that you can give away as presents – these items will not only cost less but also require fewer resources.
If you prefer to give something consumable, look for products made with natural ingredients, such as organic food items or soy candles. Get the kids involved and make home-made gifts for relatives that will be really appreciated and treasured. You can also give experiences instead of material goods; get tickets to a play or concert your recipient would enjoy, or purchase a membership at a nearby museum, garden or heritage site. Perishable gifts like flowers are also great options – just make sure they come from local sources so their carbon footprint is minimised.
Reduce Your Waste as much as possible. This includes avoiding single-use items such as plastic cutlery and plates, disposable cups and straws, and wrapping paper. Instead, opt for reusable items such as cloth napkins, metal straws, mugs, and cloth bags or baskets for wrapping presents, or use brown paper that is easily recycled. You may also want to consider making handmade gifts out of recycled materials like newspapers or fabric scraps; these make great conversation starters! Additionally, you can reduce food waste by meal planning ahead of time so that nothing goes to waste after dinner.
Go Green with your Decorations Opt for reusable decorations. Instead of buying disposable plastic decorations every year, consider investing in some reusable decorations that you can use again and again each holiday season. Not only will this save money in the long run, but it will also reduce your carbon footprint significantly! You can also make great decorations by recycling last year’s items, or upcycling your own plastic items and card – plus it’s fun to do with with kids! For example, consider making your own wreaths from reclaimed wood or fabric scraps; this way your wreath will be one-of-a-kind and totally sustainable! You can also look for vintage decorations – these are often surprisingly affordable options that add charm to any home.
Consider using LED lights they use less energy and last much longer. If you are somewhere warm, you could try solar powered decorations too. Be aware of lights and electricity - yes those twinkly lights look great, but do they need to be on all the time? Consider USB re-chargeable lights too.
Overall, celebrating a sustainable Christmas doesn't mean compromising on fun—it just means being mindful of how we celebrate during this special season! By investing in quality items made with eco-friendly materials, purchasing locally made products when possible and reusing existing decorations whenever possible—we can all do our part towards creating a greener future without sacrificing any of the joy! After all, sustainability should be celebrated all year round.
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