Okay, October is done. Which means….12 drummers drumroll purlease…! that we can officially start prepping for the festive season. So if you, lovely reader, are looking at ways to reduce your environmental impact, this article is for you. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite ideas and clever companies that are paving the way to a more sustainable Christmas.
There are a few fantastic options for your festive foliage this year. So, rather than letting your tree be one of the seven million that end up in UK landfill every year, how about considering a fully potted. rentable option that can be replanted in January, ready for another year’s growth until next Christmas. Bonus: Some rent-a-tree companies will even drop it off at your door, or let you go to a hub to pick your own.
This is one of our fave ways to reduce your festive carbon footprint, and the tree netting is even biodegradable so can be popped straight into your food waste bin. Christmas on the Hill has lots of lovely options as does London Christmas Tree Rental. (You need to be quick off the mark as they book up and sell out fast!)
A very merry veggie Christmas Dinner
Reduce your impact on the environment by cutting out (or cutting down) on your meat consumption this Christmas. We promise these tried and tested veggie/vegan options will leave you satisfyingly stuffed.
You may have seen Gaz Oakley cooking up a storm on his Instagram or seen his recipes starring in the vegan range at your local Wagamama. Gaz, aka the Avant-Garde Vegan, is one of our favourite plant based chefs with a whole host of Christmassy recipes in his Christmas recipe book (many also available online). The Christmas Stuffed Squash, pictured above, is a mouth watering show stopper. Not only is this dish a worthy colourful Christmas Day centre piece (and let’s face it, a much better looker than your usual dried out turkey), it also brings an incredible depth of flavour. Ohhh and pretty simple to pre-prep and roast, buying you more bucks fizz time with your Christmas dinner guests on the big day! Plus, goes great with his lush plant based gravy (’cause Christmas isn’t Christmas without gravy).
Romy London is another excellent plant based chef, Instagram fave and Netflix Crazy Delicious competitor. Her blog is a treasure trove of all things vegan and tasty. If you are looking for traditional Christmas fayre without the animal products, why not try this vegan ginger bread recipe?
Waste Less and Shop Local
Previously featured in Christmas Date ideas, we thought this event was so great we’d remind you again. Head on down to the Zero Waste Christmas Market to shop for all your zero waste Christmas goodies. Expect some of the best independent and sustainable businesses all under one roof. Stock up on gifts whilst getting the festive feels with some mulled wine, entertainment and yummy vegan food. Register for the event on Eventbrite here.
Locally Sourced Ingredients & Farmers Markets
Have you considered a visit to your local farmers market to shop for your Christmas dinner? These lovely community places are great all year round for locally sourced, often organic ingredients. The benefits? Shorten the supply chain whilst supporting local business and reducing plastic packaging. London Farmer Markets has a list of events and locations, alternatively check out your local greengrocer instead.
Buy British & Sustainably Sourced
On the 19th November Billi London are hosting a Zero-Waste Cocktail Workshop at their unique pop-up boutique. This exciting collaboration is with food and experience designer Maud de Rohan Willner from Salty Studio. Their joint mission and ultimate goal are to raise awareness about sustainable and conscious living in a relaxed and creative way. This cocktail evening promises to be welcoming and friendly, with space for you to learn things you’ve never tried before. As a result, participants can look forward to making zero-waste cocktails and zero-waste infusions that you’ll be able to take home with you! Tickets available now on Eventbrite.
Even better, if you haven’t seen or heard of Billi London before, they are the only certified retailer of 100% biodegradable tights, leggings and socks. A great example of a London based, small businesses championing sustainability.
Are you interested in British wine? Great news if so, as you can now search WineGB’s website to find and support your local growers and vineyards. Buying locally helps reduce food mile emissions whilst finding some excellent British booze to please your nearest and dearest this holiday season.
One more wine shout out from us. #Bagnum is a magnum in a bag, made by French Based vineyard, Le Grappin. The packaging keeps our wine fresh and quaffable for weeks, saving both the environment (up to 80% lower carbon emissions than glass packaged wines) and your wallet.
Time to toast…with Toast… no actually. Toast Ale is an award-winning, B-Corp craft brewery, brewed with surplus fresh bread rather than malted barley. Did you know that 44% of bread baked in the UK is never eaten?! Not only do they make great beer but they also donate some of their profits to charity. Better yet, these charities are all sustainability focused, with many working towards fixing the food system.
Toast partner with breweries, using their space and equipment to produce their beers, currently brewing from Hepworth Brewery, Sussex. This innovative approach reduces their land footprint and uses slack in the system. You can find Toast in many Co-Op Supermarkets, local wine and beer shops, pubs in and around London and online.
Are you looking for a gift that gives back this year? Below we’ve found some heartwarming, altruistic alternatives to gifting that gives someone else a much needed helping hand.
The Choose Love shop is the world’s first to sell real products for refugees and displaced communities and is back open in Carnaby Street this winter. Yay! We recommend you check out this wonderful charity in person or online. You can also tag them on your socials and spread the word to support positive change.
Oxfam Unwrapped charity gift cards are changing lives around the world. Each inspired gift card delivers life-saving supplies to those who need it the most. You can dedicate these gifts to your loved ones and friends with a personalised message. Better still, you choose the project – ranging from poverty busting pigs, super goats, safe water…and even the option of gifting a pile of poo! All ‘presents’ purchased will bring hope and support to thousands of people around the globe.
Second Hand Shopping
Online Charity Shopping
If you are looking for sustainable presents, then buying second hard is an excellent way to cut down on waste. Two of our favourites are Oxfam Online and Emmaus (through eBay), with huge ranges including many collectible items. All proceeds go back to the charity which is a triple win for you, the charity and the gift recipient.
Sustainable wrapping & cards
Fabric reusable or Fairtrade wrapping
Lots of people are surprised to learn that most wrapping paper is not recyclable. The good news is lots of new products are entering this market which can hugely reduce the volume of waste going to landfill.
Firstly, Oxfam are stocking a range of beautiful, Fair Trade, handmade gift wrap. Produced by Get Paper Industries, they feature gorgeous designs including red robins and woodlands. Get Paper Industries are a WFTO organisation that support artisans in Nepal who use waste materials to create handmade paper products.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a beautiful fabric wrap, one of our fave companies this year is Wearth, check out their sustainable stock here.
Grow your own cards
How about go one step further and pick Christmas cards that will give gardens a new lease of life after Christmas? These cards from Eco Friendly Cards and The Seed Card Company are both biodegradable and laced with flower seeds. Handmade from 100% recycled paper and seeds, after the holiday season the whole card can be planted and with just a little love grow into beautiful flowers. How cool is that?
Ho Ho Ho… here is to a more environmentally friendly Christmas.
Nonchalant x x