Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, whatever you celebrate; it’s supposed to be the best time of the year right? A time for family, laughs, gifts and a lovely holiday.
In reality, however, sometimes Xmas isn’t the cinematic TV special you’d hoped for. Christmas can be stressful. You can be stuck cooking or with annoying relatives who make you crave a return to blissful, boring, ordinary life. With that depressing dose of reality in mind, Moon wants to help you do the right thing without adding any more pressure. This eco-stuff should be fun after all!
Being a first-time mum, I want our first Christmas to be special but I’m also conscious about the amount of waste which we produce. Everyone has looked on in dismay as they’ve forced more and more gift wrapping into the bin. I’m trying to get better at that and I’m sure you are too.
I’ve thought about how I could reduce our Xmas waste, without falling short of being festive. Here’s how to make a start in your own home without killing the Christmas spirit.
The Christmas Tree
Who doesn’t love the pine scent of a real Christmas tree?
It might be the best thing about Christmas. Okay, sorry the correct answer is family, maybe...
What I love about using a real tree rather than a plastic one is there are sustainable ways to dispose of it after use. You can:
Contact your local council to arrange a pick up. They will dispose of it correctly, potentially using it for mulch or repurposing the wood.
Replant the tree and use it again for the following year. This is what I plan on doing with a small tree we've bought. I’m no green thumb, but I have my mother on speed dial to get some advice on planting and keeping the tree alive.
Use it in your garden as a decorative soil topper to extend the festive feeling. This is pending you have a mulcher of course.
If a real Christmas tree isn't your thing and you are considering using a plastic one, then no problem. But perhaps, if you can afford it, buy a decent one that will last a lifetime. You could even pick up a second-hand tree. Check out Facebook Marketplace for inspiration.
Etsy is also great to get some ideas on alternative Xmas trees. Particularly ones made just out of wood.
This will make your lounge look unique and also gain you social points, I'm only half-joking here. Alternative trees look amazing!
You could even troll Pinterest to learn how to make your very own wooden tree from branches you pick up during your morning stroll. Get the kids involved to make some paper mache beads from leftover magazines and tie them with string to decorate the tree.
Speaking of Christmas decorations….
Yuletide decorations can be very special, especially if personalised and handmade. Just like a pudding, bringing out those yearly decorations can make you feel nice and gooey inside.
By the same token, avoiding plastic baubles and tinsel can make your display a little more unique and a little more eco-friendly.
Homemade decorations are the best and add your personality to the festive season. Pinterest and Instagram have many inspirational ideas, so get scrolling. You can incorporate ‘decoration’ hunting into your walks. Don’t forget to ask for permission if you’re going to do some pruning from someone’s garden. Most people are actually really receptive if you just ask. Plus you can avoid getting an ear-full in public!
Avoid plastic decorations and opt for wood or materials which you can store and use over again. For me, I love pulling out Nanna’s knitted Christmas nativity set each year. It makes such a unique family heirloom.
If you're not crafty or just plain busy; check out Etsy for Christmas decorations and get some bespoke ones from a small business. The quality of the materials is much better than something cheap from the supermarket.
Now let's talk gift wrapping:
Reuse any gift wrapping or paper packaging (probably from all those online orders you made during lockdown) to decorate Christmas presents. Brown paper looks particularly fun and you can also get creative and add some twine or draw decorations. Even better if you have children to help out, plus it keeps them busy.
Opt for eco-gifts (insert Moon Bottle plug here) which come in eco-friendly packaging.
Rather than buying a physical gift, create an experience for a loved one. Take them out for a day of fun-filled adventure and take plenty of photos to capture the memories. We often remember experiences rather than gifts we may never use, so this is a particular favourite of mine.
Send an e-card or video message rather than a card. Especially useful if you have family on the other side of the world.
I hope these tips give you some inspiration. I'm trying to end this difficult year on a high and hopefully, you can do the same.