With the Christmas buzz and constant reminders that it’s just around the corner, we begin to panic buy and spend money on presents and other bits and pieces so we can fit in with the Christmas spirit, what we often forget about whilst we’re doing this though, is that a lot of what we’re buying is plastic and non-ethical. As much as we love Christmas and the spirit surrounding the season and festivities, a lot of us forget to keep things simple – to be conscious of our purchases – and to think about the Earth.
So I’ve been doing my research, I’ve been looking for ways that I can be more ethical this Christmas and obviously, I’m here to share my findings. When I think of Christmas, the first three things which have an impact on the Earth that crop to mind are gifts, decorations and food; so I’ve been exploring ways in which I can be more ethical in these three areas. I don’t typically spend a lot of money on clothes around this time of the year because I’m always so layered up that trends tend to go over my head a bit, so each year I’ve found myself in the same wooly jumper and onesie; although this is a key contributor to the environment, I won’t be touching on fashion in this post.
Think about the gifts you’re buying
One particular brand which I’ve found that I think are very interesting is Lark and Berry – it’s a jewellery store which is aiming to be more sustainable with what they’re selling, I think this is really lovely and any of their pieces would make a great gift for a very special someone in your life, whether it’s your nearest and dearest or whether someone is having a special birthday and everyone is pitching in for a gift that they’ll really appreciate. What is unique about Lark and Berry is that their jewellery is lab created meaning that there’s no mining going on – this is something that we don’t often talk about or even think about when trying to be more sustainable but honestly, if you can buy high quality diamonds that will last for years to come, I don’t see anything off putting about taking this route. I recommend taking a look at their stackable rings, they’re really pretty.
You could donate to a cause
Whether it’s money, gifts or time, donating to a good cause is both fulfilling and great for the planet. Choose a cause which focuses on environmental issues or a cause which focuses on helping those in need – this is also really great after Christmas in case you got any unwanted gifts, you can pass them along to a cause which has a need for them and this way, the gift will get used and it’s not just waste stored away in one of your cupboards.
Don’t go crazy buying food
This is one of the most critical mistakes we all make around this time of year, because of parties and the fact that we’re guaranteed to have family over, we all go a little crazy buying too much food that really, nobody is going to eat. You always get left with a ton of plates that still have enough food to feed a second family, so be smart with your food purchases and even try buying some vegan alternatives to your favourite bits.
Buy your decorations second hand
This year I decided that I didn’t want to go overboard with the Christmas decorations, we’ve only just moved in 2 months ago and I didn’t really think of Christmas with my moving-out plan and since we’ve already established enough times that this time of year isn’t the best for me, I’m not overly massive on decorating. However that doesn’t mean I should spite myself and not decorate, it just means I should be smart about how I decorate, as should you. I actually only bought one set of baubals and then asked my mum if she had any she didn’t want, which she did, and I had them second hand instead. This means that the unused plastic now has a new home, I didn’t spend money buying into it and these decorations will now last me years to come without having a need to throw them out.
and most importantly: recycle!
If your wrapping paper is recyclable, please make sure to recycle it. If you had a lot of cardboard gifts this Christmas, recycle them. If you have compostable bits left over, compost them! This is the best way that we can be ethical this Christmas because it’s so easy, we all have recycling bins given to us so there’s no excuse not to recycle. It’s so easy and it takes literally 5 minutes to put your shoes on and gather the recycling. Get it done!