A week ago, the Black Friday happened, and it had a huge impact on our earth. My point is not to talk about this day but rather about the Christmas period in general. We are aware of the negative impact of the Black Friday, but we have the tendency to forget the impact of Christmas shopping, whether it’s for food, trees or gifts. The season of giving is becoming the season of consuming and earth harming. Don’t get me wrong, I love this season and my list of tips for greener Christmas is unperfect. Christmas is the season of waste and this is not yet an article for a zero waste Christmas, but rather for a eco-friendlier one.
- Christmas Tree
The real tiny tree, Tesco, and the fake one, Charity shop.
It is one of the highlights of Christmas, but it is also a tough task. Indeed, choosing the perfect tree between a real and a fake one is always THE question when the 1st of December arrives. Even if real trees seem to be more natural, it has its drawbacks, as these trees are pure product of consumption, we buy them and throw them away. The best solution is to grow your own little Christmas tree, which you can find at your local flower shop, or to not by any tree at all.
Christmas items I found in Charity shops.
Sometimes we forget how bad shopping on oxford street can be. These big brands do not need our pounds, charity shops do. Going to a charity shop is like entering Santa’s grotto, you can find perfect gift that you would never have thought of! In addition, you will make a gift to your bank account as the prices are most of the time reasonable. My personal favourite is the one situated on Roman Road (in front of Poundland) and Lama’s Pyjamas on Bethnal Green road.
Also try to buy from independent shops, or craftspeople, they produced unique gift and every penny you spend will go directly in their pocket. So head over the Etsy Christmas market in Tottenham ( Etsy is a site where people can sell handmade product) it happened only today Saturday the 7th.
3. Wrapping paper
On Christmas day, after the unwrapping of present you can quickly find a mountain of paper floating around the house that you just hide in the bean bag and throw away without even take time to recycled it. To avoid this waste, try to keep every wrapping that can be saved whether it’s the little gift bags or the felt paper you can re-use it all year round. You can also use little metal boxes, sac, or stockings that you can keep from one Christmas to another.
This is just a reminder that Christmas is about enjoying moment with loved ones.
Seven Dials Christmas lights.
We are easily caught into a frenetic need to buy gift, food, décor… But what should be important is to take a step back, reflect on your year and enjoy those last moments of the decade. Try to avoid Oxford street or Westfield shopping centre. Instead, go to cute little Christmas market, such as the south bank one. You can also have a look at the different illuminations display, Carnaby Street or Regent street may be crowded but worth seeing. Or just go for a walk with a friend. You are not obliged to buy gift, deck the hall and serve a sumptuous meal, you can just simply offer moment, and this is nearly painless for mother earth.
That was my small list of things that can make your Christmas merrier and ‘greenier’. There are lot of progress to do and, as I mentioned earlier, Christmas is still a time full of waste. So please keep in my mind that this Christmas, the best gift you can give, is to think about the environment and reduce your consumption of Christmas goods.