Six Guilt Free Ways to Enjoy Christmas without Trashing the Planet
Around about now, we are all thoroughly immersed in the whirlwind anticipation of Christmas, thinking of what to buy our loved ones,losing all track of our bank balance and widening our waistbands guilt free.
But as we draw closer to the big day, there’s no doubt for many of us in the voice in the back of our minds reminding us to think about whether we are contributing to this catastrophic mess that is climate change. Is Christmas the way we’re doing it sustainable? We have an internal debate between the ‘oh well it’s Christmas!’ and the ‘I don’t have time to think about how to be green as well as everything else’ to ‘I know what I’m doing is yet more throwaway consumerism and I’m a part of this’
You’d have to be living in some seriously remote place to be oblivious to the crisis going on before our very eyes. The ‘amusing’ novelty presents that were once a gesture of cheeky fun are now throbbing with the inevitable end in the landfill or worse, the ocean. The gluttony and waste combined at this time of year is most certainly not an attractive attribute of humanity that we like to amplify at Christmas.
Images of orangutans fighting bulldozer, pitifully oil drenched seabirds and whales with stomachs filled with bottle tops and flood-ridden or fire ravaged landscapes are in abundance. Our precious world is crying out all the louder and we can’t ignore it any longer, knowing our childrens’ children won’t see the future if we do.
Without bringing a total downer on the whole of Christmas, how can we be positive AND make it special?
The first is to recognise that stuff doesn’t make us happy. Not really, not long term. Let’s be honest, after receiving a gift, how long is it before you’re watching the next thing you want? Or worse, have you opened a present where your immediate thought was to get rid of it?
The second is to have an honest conversation about what you really need and what you can do without. Let’s focus on quality, not quantity! Let’s keep the Christmas loving alive and be sustainable.
Here are some excellent ideas on how to make a start:
- Reuse the same tree every year. For decorations, re-use the ones you’ve got and try making new ones out of the bits in your home! Kids love helping out with this kind of thing and it makes your tree beautifully unique and planet friendly.
- Bring warmth and Christmassy atmosphere into your home using the light from candles. Clean-burning soy wax is the way forward here – and luckily Mary Ann Weeks stocks our classic Aveda Comfort and Light candle! This burns up to 50 hours and smells gorgeous with it’s organic ginger and ginger lily with other pure flower and plant essences aroma. Look out in the new year for Aveda candles to be a permanent feature in our shops!
- Consider using foliage and evergreens for your Christmas home decor. Going old school with mistletoe, holly, ivy and winter flowers and berries is the eco way to make sure you’re being considerate to mother earth.
- Did you know that most modern wrapping paper can’t be recycled thanks to the glitter and shiny paper used? Try instead using plain brown parcel paper – and decorate with love, stamps, sketches, ribbon and bows for a unique and beautiful look. You can recycle it afterwards or put it in the log burner or fire safely.
- Ditch the supermarket plastic hell and shop from your local markets and greengrocers. Supporting local suppliers is such a lovely way to build community and to give back to families and small businesses. If you can’t do that, consider choosing more ethical supermarkets that care like Iceland who have established ethical standards in place.
- We know not everyone wants to go vegetarian, but how about having just one less meat based product on your Christmas spread this year? Maybe just ditch the pate, or the three types of ham? If everyone did just one thing, think how much carbon that could reduce without us really even noticing! Remember, free-range and organic are also much better choices for helping protect the planet too.
So that doesn’t sound too painful! Let’s hope we all have a wonderful and sustainable Christmas that moves toward a happier future for all our beautiful little people to enjoy. Don’t forget to pop by Mary Ann Weeks Aveda Guildford or Walton and grab your limited edition comfort and light candle before they’re gone! You can learn more about why choosing Aveda is the ethical and green choice for skin and hair care products, and if you’re interested in seeing how else you can help protect our planet, have a look at our article: 22 ways to help save the planet!
The Aveda Mission Statement: Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty, but around the world.