Tips for a Conscious Christmas
ECO EM’S BLOG
ECO EMS TIPS FOR A CONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS
I’ve been sharing my ideas for an eco-friendlier Christmas for over 4 years now. However, this year I really want to spread the message of how to have a conscious Christmas. I’ll be incorporating all my useful top tips below as well as going into more detail on how you can spread the festive cheer.
WHAT IS A CONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS?
Over the years Christmas has become more and more commercialised, with long lists of Christmas presents from the kids, expectations from the family for a cracking Boxing Day spread, social media posts of piles of Christmas presents in front of the tree and ultimately it just turns into a competition of who can keep up with one another. This really isn’t the point of Christmas.
A conscious Christmas is being present with your loved ones, buying a thoughtful gift rather than 10, sharing the Christmas spirit with those less fortunate, being mindful of what food you’re preparing, sharing food and festivities with family, friends, and neighbours. Less about the presents more about your presence.
WAYS TO BE MORE CONSCIOUS?
If you’ve been following me for some time, you’ll know how many events I attend. It’s a great way to support local businesses and find unique one-of-a-kind gifts. Yes, we have Amazon, but they don’t need your money like your local cake maker, crafter or aromatherapist does. Many small businesses are having to shut their doors, and these are the people who need your support the most this time of year. If you can buy your presents this year from small businesses please do, you can show your support by liking, sharing, and commenting on their Christmas range on social media if you can’t attend one of the Christmas markets.
You may decide to gift this year to all your family and friends. However, a lot of people are feeling the pinch, this year you could suggest secret Santa with your family and friends, rather than buying a gift for everyone. You could also talk to people about reducing the number of presents you buy or suggest a night out/day trip or experience rather than gifting things you don’t need.
Waste less this year by creating a reusable or recyclable advent calendar. Many of the chocolate advent calendars don’t get recycled and create a lot of waste. You can create your own like the one in the picture or buy a wooden one which you can use again year after year.
Every year the UK throws away 227,000 miles of wrapping paper. You can use brown paper which is more likely to be recycled or reusable gift bags. There’s also the traditional method of furoshiki, where you take a cloth or coloured piece of fabric and wrap the present to be reused again once opened.
Spending time with my loved ones over Christmas is the highlight of my week. I get to cherish the moments with my niece and nephew as well as spending time with family and friends. We’ve started new traditions such as Quizmas where we get together each year rather than sending presents to one another.
Every year there’s always the panic buying of whether we’ve bought enough. The shops never stay closed for long, remember it is one day and being excessive usually leads to waste. Don’t throw food away if it’s unopened donate it to your local food bank. If you’ve made too much think of elderly neighbours, create new recipes with leftovers and where possible plan so you know how much to buy rather than getting carried away.
Each year I collect a reverse advent calendar for my local food bank, I volunteer with my local litter picking group and I offer raffle prizes to charities. I’ve also been collecting stamps and milk bottle tops this year to send to different charities. Everyone’s busy but being appreciative of your circumstance and helping those within your community goes a long way.
Rather than decorate the house with plastic and one offs. Try to pick items that can be reused year after year, such as a wooden Christmas tree, reusable crackers, tree decorations and a door wreath. If they can’t be reused next year, pick items that are made from compostable material such as paper or a natural wreath.
Some people love to send and receive cards. I have opted to donate the money I used to spend on Christmas cards and send thoughtful messages or emails rather than clutter the mantelpiece.
Your presence is your present. And that’s true often people want nothing more than to be able to spend quality time with you around the Christmas season. Be mindful of the time you spend with your loved ones, don’t sit on your phone and be absent when you’re there. This is a great time of year to have a social media detox or just leave your phone somewhere safe.
I hope you make the most of your Christmas, these are only a handful of ideas. If you have anything, you’re looking to swap for example a vegan friendly Christmas Dinner, gift ideas or low waste gift wrap, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Pop me a message and I can share my past experiences with you.
Next week I’ll be sharing some of my favourite local businesses to help you gift green with my Christmas Gift Guide.
Thank you for reading this weeks blog, Eco Ems Tips for a Conscious Christmas.
Peace and love
Eco Em xx