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Living life with good intention, loving with soul, and consuming with a conscience

Have Yourself a Sustainable Little Christmas



It's just 20 days to go until Christmas Day and who is as excited as me?! As you may know if you are a regular reader or if you follow me anywhere on my social media, I am trying my best to be a little more sustainable and thoughtful this Christmas (check out this post for sustainable gift ideas). Aside from the gifts I have chosen, I've realised there's lots of other little things you can do this Christmas to still keep the festive spirit very much alive but also ensure that you're not costing the planet - so here we go!

Use brown parcel/kraft paper for wrapping your gifts. A really simple switch to make but completely overlooked. I only just found out this year that many wrapping papers are not actually recyclable due to the coatings and treatments they have had (even if they seem like ol' regular paper!). Therefore kraft paper or parcel paper is a fab alternative that keeps your gift wrapping completely eco-friendly. This also gives you the chance to be really creative as you can paint, draw, or stamp your own designs onto the paper or buy some recyclable twine or reuse any ribbons you may have already from previous parcels and do some simple ribbon work around your parcels. Kraft paper is really cheap and you can often get quite a few metres of it in one lot. If you don't fancy using kraft paper, why not try plain and simple newspaper instead and use colourful ink and stamps to make it look festive? You can add brown paper or card gift tags too!

Try fabric wrapping too. So, this is a new one for me, but hear me out. Furoshiki is a Japanese knot wrapping technique and I am obsessed. There's lots of instructional how-to videos on YouTube for this technique and I'm really keen to give it a go this year. Lush are always a brand that have done the scarf wrap really well with their bathbomb gift sets, but I never thought of doing something like that myself. This is a great way to use up any old fabric you may have lying around or if you are inspired by the likes of Lush, you could totally buy a bandana or scarf to try this idea out. This is a particularly good idea for anyone in your life that may use the scarf too as it's technically an extra gift!



Buy things in bulk and spread them out. Something that is a great way to be more eco-friendly but that will also save you some pennies is bulk buying an item then spreading it across many recipients. For example, you could buy a really large bag of bath salts, a large bottle of body lotion or bath oil etc. and a set of smaller jars or bottles (or even get them secondhand in a charity shop!) and spread the product out amongst the smaller containers. This may seem cheeky to some people, but this is a great way to make little stock fillers or an extra small gift to go with other things. You can then decorate the containers however you wish (with twine, ribbon, artwork etc.) and give it a handmade feel. This also gives you a chance to experiment so you could mix together bath salts and bath petals for example and make your own concoctions for others to enjoy.

Make things yourself! In-keeping with what I just mentioned, if you're crafty or a good baker, why not make things?! I probably should have included this in my gift guide but, if you have a natural flare for something, definitely utilise it at Christmas time as not only will it save you some money, but you can also make your gifts more personalise and sentimental to the person you're making the present for. An example of this for me would be the fact that I could make someone an embroidery hoop, some cookies, or a natural face mask. There's tons of things out there you could make whether it's a drawing, painting, a homemade candle, a room spray, a cake, Christmas tree decorations for the next year, jams or marmalade, knitted gloves scarves and hats... the possibilities are endless.


Create your own hamper. Who out there has someone tricky to buy for each year? I know I do but, a great way to get around this is by creating your own personalised hamper for that person. Of course you can buy a variety of hampers and gift sets/boxes, but by creating your own version, you can make sure that every single product included in it is something the receiver likes and will use. You could include food items, drinks, beauty products, jewellery, home decor... there's so many great things you can throw in a hamper! You can also make them very specific to a particular hobby (gardening, favourite movie, sport, music etc.) so you have so many potential avenues to go down. Although the individual gifts may not be necessarily sustainable, you absolutely can try to make the hamper itself purse-friendly and sustainable instead. Scouting out baskets and boxes in charity shops is the best for this and it means you can display the items you've hand-selected for this gift in the best way possible.

Don't just stop there with charity shops. Think decorations, too. If you're on a budget or simply want to source things second-hand so you're not buying into a high street Christmas, charity shops can be goldmines for second-hand Christmas goodies - especially decorations. Things such as garlands, bunting, baubles, and tinsel can be found in charity shops if you check regularly and closely during this time of year - even whole Christmas trees can be found in some of them!

Use what's naturally available and completely free! If you're really struck for cash or you want to really try to be zero waste and eco-friendly, use what nature might be available to you to create a festive home and gifts. You could collect pine cones from the local park and sprigs of Christmas tree if your local flower shop sell them or if you have a real tree in your home. These pine sprigs could be used in your gift wrap decoration or could be added to decor around the home. They can also be plopped into some hot water to create a lovely room fragrance if you have people visiting. If you have time before Christmas, you could also dry out and press some flowers and leaves to use for decoration or even for gifts - placing pressed plants in photo frames can make pretty gifts.



Up-cycle the old to make it the new. Lastly, I wanted to mention another thing that we can overlook and that is upcycling some of our old Christmas decorations to refresh them and give them a new breath of life. Using the same decorations can get boring and they can begin to look tatty and tired, but by giving them a makeover you can save yourself some serious money and minimise your waste as you won't be tempted to throw old decorations out. An easy way to do this is by buying spray paint or glue and glitter and transforming your tree decorations. This year is seeing a grow in the popularity of very garish bright decorations as well as the classic millennial rose gold, so you could always spray old baubles a fresh new colour or even dip lightweight toys you might have (such as small dinosaurs, army men etc.) in glue and glitter to make your tree very Paperchase-chic. You could cover old pillar candles in glitter too to make them more festive looking or add one to a large bowl with some old tinsel or pine cones to give your dining table some Christmas spirit. Another favourite of mine is using old books to create new pieces - Matt made some beautiful flowers from pages of old books and you absolutely could use the same resources to make a garland of stars, snowflakes, or other festive shapes for your fireplace (or use that leftover kraft paper from your gift wrapping to give it some variety!)




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