How to have an Eco-Friendly and Stylish Christmas
Let’s face it, we all want to have fun at Christmas. But have you ever stopped to think just how much unnecessary waste there is at this time of year and how, with a few simple steps, we could all make a big difference and teach our children an important Christmas message at the same time.
The Christmas shopping bonanza is fuelled by an economic system that demands constant growth. It ignores the fact that we are consuming our planet to extinction!
But as we’ve found here at Little Cherry, there are some stylish, simple and effective ways to ring the changes this year…
You can be environmentally friendly and chic! Instead of spending lots of money on artificial decorations, why not let nature decorate your home this year? Involve your kids and get creative and wow your friends and family with your stylish decorations.
Holly, berries and ivy draped over picture frames and mantelpieces or used as a table decoration all work wonderfully. Or why not make your own simple decorations using things from around your home? There are lots of fun ways to get creative, for example making paper snowflakes for your windows or even a Christmas wreath with red and white vintage paper straws. These can also be used to make snowflake gift decorations like the one below…
For most people, the Christmas tree is the focal point of any home at this time of year. Plastic trees are not environmentally friendly and use large amounts of fossil fuels in their production, although if you already have one, it obviously pays (environmentally) to keep using it! Real trees help to remove carbon from the atmosphere while they are growing which is obviously a huge advantage.
Maybe you could even think about growing your own tree for next year? Buy your seeds now, a compost pellet and a terracotta pot and watch it grow! In the meantime, go for a living Christmas tree with its roots intact. After decorating it for this Christmas, you can replant it outdoors or donate it to a plant-a-tree organization. But to make sure that the tree will thrive in your home and for years to come outside, it's important to choose a healthy, properly potted tree. Living Christmas trees are usually more expensive than cut Christmas trees, but they also provide more value and create less waste. Not only will it enhance the landscape and reduce greenhouse gases (by processing carbon dioxide) but it will make the memory of each Christmas last for years to come.
And whatever you do, if you do buy a real freshly cut tree this year, at least remember to recycle it properly afterwards. There are lots of local recycling schemes to enable you to do this in January, just check out your local council website.
Firstly, it’s worth thinking do you have to buy gifts for the whole family just because you always do? Could you buy an “experience” instead? Try cinema tickets, club memberships, gift tokens, sponsor an animal, buy them some rainforest to protect – but don't give them another unwanted gift which they will simply tire of. Children love the idea of helping animals, and through the World Wildlife Fund you can adopt a range of endangered species including orang-utans, pandas and snow leopards, visit www.wwf.org.uk/adoption.
But if you can’t get away from giving a gift, make it home made (there are some great ideas on Pinterest), Fairtrade from shops like www.traidcrafhttp://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk/c-233-fair-trade-gifts-for-every-occasion.aspx or as environmentally friendly as possible. There are lots of companies online like www.ecotopia.co.uk who have a lovely selection of environmentally friendly gifts.