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Making Christmas more eco- friendly

(64 Posts)
crystaltipps Mon 14-Oct-19 05:06:36

Not buying excessive unnecessary gifts which end up in the bin or charity shop
Buying recyclable wrapping paper or gift bags
Using washi tape instead of sellotape
I’ve seen Recyclable crackers with origami animals , so no plastic tat inside.
Any other ideas suggestions for keeping traditions but being more eco aware?

Izabella Mon 14-Oct-19 05:26:02

I shall donate to Guide Dogs. However, there my eco friendly Xmas ends as I shall be flying to NZ. Consciously my last trip to see relatives there for two reasons. One is environmental the other my Alzheimers.

Carol54 Mon 14-Oct-19 09:43:07

I made slip cover out of Christmas fabric for our usual place-mats and bought some fabric napkins. They have lasted for years, No waste and saved loads on buying paper products every year

nettyandmasey Mon 14-Oct-19 09:47:54

I have bought bamboo reusable cups and lunch boxes for my brother, his family and their partners. I sponsor a guide dog for my mum too. My daughters are also happy for toys to be bought secondhand, which I hope helps. I also make cakes , jam and marmalade reusing jars as gifts.

Maremia Mon 14-Oct-19 09:50:32

There is a lovely post doing the rounds on Facebook urging us to use brown paper instead of the non recyclable Christmas version. The picture with the post shows brown paper packages tied up with string (just like the song) and pretty labels, some made with doily paper. Will have a go.

Lilyflower Mon 14-Oct-19 09:52:40

My DH was a publisher and knows that paper is a recyclable product where fast growing trees are cropped like wheat. Avoid plastic if you will but paper will recycle.

The Puritans banned Christmas and look where it got them.

silverlining48 Mon 14-Oct-19 09:56:43

Izabella have a lovely time in NZ. Wishing you a warm and sunny Christmas with your family. Take lots of photos and enjoy the trip. Best wishes. sunshine

LondonGranny Mon 14-Oct-19 10:02:03

My thing is, just buy less tat. In fact buy less altogether, all year round. Wrapping paper that's metallic or glittery won't recycle btw, we had a leaflet from the council last year telling us not to put it in the recycling.
I mostly give food as presents. Home-made chocs, chutney or marmalade. Small children will get money given to their parents, bigger kids just get the cash. I've got presents hopelessly wrong for kids in the past so I find cash is the safest bet. I roll it up and tie it with a bit of ribbon usually, to make it look present-y.

LondonGranny Mon 14-Oct-19 10:09:04

Oh, also I haven't sent Christmas cards for at least 25 years. I donate what I would have spent to Shelter, usually. I do write letters throughout the year to people though.

grandMattie Mon 14-Oct-19 10:11:39

My DS recycles paper and says that ?Xmas paper can be a nightmare. Do check that it tears before recycling. The paper that stretches slightly before tearing is plasticised and gums up the pulper causing no end of blockages etc. He then has to spend a couple of hours knee deep in cold smelly water unjamming it.

Sparklefizz Mon 14-Oct-19 10:18:07

Surely it's better not to buy tat ... nor to have dozens of pairs of shoes and handbags or more "stuff" which you could not use in a month of Sundays.

Lydia30 Mon 14-Oct-19 10:26:45

I've reused Christmas wrapping paper for the past 4 or 5 years. Last year I used one new roll, with 10 grandchildren, plus husband, children, friends I thought that was good going. Any new paper I buy now I always try and make sure it is just 'paper'. So much now contains plastic, glitter or foil and none of this can be recycled. The tip I read last year was if it can be scrunched up in a ball and it stays scrunched up it's probably paper.

Luvinthis Mon 14-Oct-19 10:28:54

All such great ideas and totally support Izabella in NZ plans.
We've reduced cards to a handful, down from over 100 pre-internet. And we have a family agreement to buy small presents preferably recycled for kids only.
What does everyone do about Christmas trees?
Most real trees seem to be shipped in from great distances, and I don't know how many years a plastic tree should be used to make it climate-friendly. But I do think that some bright lights and Christmas cheer goes a long way to making the dark night's of winter bearable.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Mon 14-Oct-19 10:29:01

We have a secret Santa for the adults so we just buy one gift for £10 and therefore not too much tat. Gift tokens for two teenagers.

We still exchange cards and pull crackers though.

Davida1968 Mon 14-Oct-19 10:46:12

As I mentioned on another "Christmas" thread, last year I agreed with friends that we'd not give each other gifts but would donate to charity instead. For close family we give small gifts, usually something edible or from charity shops. (Secondhand gifts encouraged! Lots of excellent books out there!) Larger gifts are given to children, but not to a huge over-spending extent. DH & I do a small stocking for each other (actually these are old rugby socks) with a few small gifts, like Fairtrade chocolate coins. Our Christmas tree is a"living" one, (locally grown), purchased last year, and currently in the garden. (The previous one lasted several years.)

inishowen Mon 14-Oct-19 10:47:23

I would love to tell my family that our presents should come charity shops but they wouldn't go along with it. I'm ditching the crackers from now on as they're filled with plastic tat.

mischief Mon 14-Oct-19 10:49:16

Last Christmas I wrapped all the presents in brown paper having decorated the paper with ink stamps in the shape of polar bears, christmas trees and robins, using red, green and gold ink. I used red and white cotton string and brown card labels with matching patterns. All from recycled paper. It was really successful AND I will be using the same this year.

crystaltipps Mon 14-Oct-19 11:29:26

Our local hospice sells real trees to raise funds , I think they get them from from Scotland plus our council recycles trees to use as mulch in the parks.

crystaltipps Mon 14-Oct-19 11:33:30
This advent calendar donates 50p a day to 24 different charities every window tells you a bit about each one.

CarlyD7 Mon 14-Oct-19 11:36:29

I've kept my Christmas cards from last year to make gift tags this year. Will be using either brown paper (with red or green ribbons - which can be reused) or paper that can be recycled (no plasticised paper or glitter). Last year I bought books on fun green projects (e.g. that kids would love to do); how to make your garden more wildlife friendly; a rather smart bird box (wouldn't have minded it myself) etc. Totally avoided anything single-used plastic. Some of the older children got vouchers which they can use to buy something they really want rather than something that will go straight in the bin. This year I'm going to a cracker making workshop - crackers will be filled with useful things on a theme - like chocolates (think ferraro roche) or smellies (e.g. a tiny soap or bath bomb per cracker) or a gardening theme (packet of seeds or something similar). Am aiming to make my own Christmas tree decorations rather than buying more plastic ones - including sliced, dried oranges and orange pomanders (not sure how this will go!)

LondonGranny Mon 14-Oct-19 11:43:33

Cornflour, salt (a fair bit) and water makes a good stiff dough for cutting with biscuit cutters (remember to make a hole for the string to hang them up). When it dries it can be painted with food colouring or paint. The salt stops them from rotting or mildewing. I have some my son made when he was four and he's now in his thirties! They're on the tree every year smile

Gonegirl Mon 14-Oct-19 11:47:04

That's really good crystaltipps. Gonna get one of those for my 14 year old GS. Sod the chocolate.

sarahellenwhitney Mon 14-Oct-19 11:54:15

To expensive to send parcels inland or overseas, but most important is remembering the environment, as it takes transport be it, road, rail, air or sea.

Theoddbird Mon 14-Oct-19 12:48:30

I have bought a Crisis at Christmas place instead of a present before now and given the receipt in a Christmas card. Recipients loved the thought of someone without benefiting. I use brown paper and ribbon for wrapping presents. Most Christmas wrapping paper cannot be recycled.

newnanny Mon 14-Oct-19 13:19:30

We always buy all Xmas veg straight from farm so no packaging and so fresh. I hand make a Xmas wreath for my parents grave. I always use last years Xmas cards to make this years gift tags. I just use pinking shears and a hole punch and thread with a strand of green twine. I re-use gift bags and use the same Xmas stockings every year. I make Xmas chutney and put into glass jars that are re used each year. I make own Xmas mince pies, Xmas ginger biscuit shapes and cup cakes so less packaging. I tend to give gift vouchers to adults so they choose something they need and not pointless stuff they do not need or want. I try to cut back on drinks in plastic bottles and cans. I do still use wrapping paper for children's gifts though.