As you will all know, at WiDEYE reducing the amount of waste we produce is at the top of our agenda. Whilst we absolutely love the festive season and all things Christmas, last year, the UK threw away about 227000 miles of wrapping paper, quite staggering!
We know how easy it is to get carried away, wanting to buy a mountain of beautiful wrapping paper, deserts and decorations. so here are a few ideas on how to have a Christmas which doesn't break the bank (too much) or your ethics!
1 - Waste-Free Wrapping
This comes as no surprise but most wrapping paper and packaging does not biodegrade nor is it easily recyclable, so choosing sustainable wrapping is key. You can easily do this a few different ways! Saving gift wrapping you receive overtime or asking friends or family for boxes or packing supplies that they no longer need is a great way to reduce your footprint. Also looking into more eco-friendly options for the paper you are choosing, Plain brown packing paper and twine for the ribbon are easily accessible. Another option is by using old fabric or scarves you may have laying around, this is a wonderful way to wrap! Get creative and personalise it, it may mean a whole lot more!
If you receive a WiDEYE gift box this Christmas and have suitable storage space at home, we'd highly recommend keeping the box and re-using it for any future gifting. We only use high quality materials so they can be used time and time again.
2 - Crafting for Christmas
We all love the festive season for the Christmas tree and beautiful cards but the waste we end up with after the holidays can be a bit overwhelming so instead of chucking it all in the bin, try saving some of the stuff you would usually throw away and up-cycle it for the following year! Additionally this creates an inexpensive and memorable experience that can be shared with your whole family. A great example of this is taking any Christmas cards you've received and turning them it in to a star decoration, so you can up-cycle and also hold that person in your thoughts every year that you hang the star up. Other ideas include making a reusable advent calendar or your own stockings, or you can even decorate and paint your own cards! There are so many fun and creative ways to craft for the holidays.
3 Avoiding single-use gift-giving
Trying to make sure the gifts you are buying aren’t single-use and can be used over and over again, is a great way to cut down on waste as well. In large part this applies to kids toys, these days there a tonne of great options available online that the young ones will love, don't break the bank and are also eco friendly.
The same idea of making something also applies to gift-giving, being able to put love and time into something for someone can be really rewarding. Whether its baked goods, a photo album or a sewing project, it’s really the thought that counts!
4 - Holiday Dinner’s
During the holidays we tend to eat a lot, with eyes bigger than our stomachs for the most part, the festive period tends to lend itself to a lot of leftovers! Whilst there are a few classic leftover recipes which we all know, there are a tonne of different delicious dishes worth checking out. BBC Good Food has a tonne of great Christmas leftover recipes to choose from, including lots of amazing vegan dishes as well.
Whilst not always the cheapest option, keeping it local when buying food over Christmas is great for keeping your carbon footprint down. You might find that by checking out your different options and being a bit tactful with your buying you may actually beat the supermarket prices.
A final comment on food, this year the UK has seen it's biggest surge in the use of food banks in decades. So now more than ever, it's really important to consider donating any unwanted produce. Not only will you be providing someone with much needed nourishment, but that Christmas pudding which will inevitably end up sitting at the back of your cupboard for years to come won't get wasted.
5 - Eco-friendly skincare over Christmas
One of the main issues within the skincare industry is it's contribution to the mountain of single use plastics that get put in to landfill as-well as our oceans each year. Whilst none of our containers are made from plastic, it's worth considering packaging free options all together when buying gifts for your loved ones. You may also want to drop some hints to your friends on some of the packaging free alternatives that you may want to integrate in to your regime!
We hope you found these tips interesting and insightful, the world has a long way go when it comes to tackling waste, however with lots of little steps we will get there eventually!