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Guide To A More Sustainable Christmas

Guide to a more sustainable Christmas

It’s a challenge in the run up to Christmas to make good choices about what presents to buy, where to buy them and things we should try to avoid. So here is the Bibico step-by-step guide to a more sustainable Christmas with some really useful tips and advice to ensure Christmas is a time to celebrate with the satisfying knowledge that you’ve done your bit to make a real difference...

Recyclable Gift Wrapping – this is a really easy change to make and all it takes is a bit of canny shopping. There are lots of types of fully recyclable gift wraps including simple brown paper and of course ribbons or string that can simply be untied and reused.  Try to use as little sticky tape as possible (remove this before recycling) and if you can avoid it, even better! 

Recyclable Gift Wrapping

Have a look at these: www.re-wrapped.co.uk

Decorating your home – Reuse decorations you already have and avoid buying anything mass produced or plastic if you can.  Try using natural materials like foraged twigs and branches, sprigs of ivy, holly boughs with beautiful red berries, reusable ribbons (this has been the way of decorating homes for Christmas since Georgian times) and if you are going to use lights, use the kind with LED bulbs which are more energy efficient. Candles also create a wonderful Christmassy feel. 

sustainable christmas decorations

Why not try one of the beautifully fragranced Bees Wax candles from the Great British Bee Company on sale in our Bath shop…

Christmas trees: artificial v natural - If you already have an artificial tree it makes sense to use it but buying a new one is not a great choice. The manufacture of artificial trees does have a significant carbon footprint and it has been estimated you’d have to use a tree for 100 years to cancel this out.  Natural trees are sustainable in that new trees are planted, but it’s estimated that seven million trees enter landfill every year! Did you know it is possible to hire real trees in pots which can be used year after year as they are replanted after Christmas?

Here’s a great example of how it works: www.loveachristmastree.co.uk

 sustainable christmas tree artificial v natural

Shop for gifts sustainably – by making a deliberate shift to buying ethical, sustainable gifts we can all play our part in changing our habits and also introduce our friends and family to ideas they may not have come across. Try to connect with ethical brands or small-scale artisan makers that you like the look of and get organised with your Christmas shopping early so you don’t make last minute impulse buys that you later regret.  Buying less and buying better is a useful way to think. One beautiful ethical gift is often more meaningful than multiple mass-produced ones.  Here are some great ideas from our gift collection to get you started:

sustainable christmas gifts

Give a charitable gift - many charities have ready-made gift ranges to buy in store and gift donation suggestions which can make a real difference to the most disadvantaged groups around the world. This lends a real significance to any gift, and can be especially useful for those people who are tricky to buy for.

charitable gifts for christmas

Here’s a wonderful example from a local charity: www.sendacow.org

Homemade, second hand or vintage? It’s really lovely when the autumn evenings are cold and dark to spend a bit of time doing something creative.  Handstitched lavender bags, Christmas puddings, needle-felted decorations… whatever you feel like having a go at. Even if you have never tried to make something before, there are so many online guides and tutorials you can use to pick up new skills and find inspiration. 

homemade christmas gifts

Easy lavender bag tutorial > See it here

Less is more – this seems to be at the centre of it all. Do you need to send hundreds of Christmas cards? Could you send just a few to the people you’re unlikely to see over Christmas? How many presents do we all need? Every small change makes a huge difference and it’s also really satisfying.  You’ll probably find you’re a lot better off in January too!

And finally… how about trying a Christmas Market or Fair? What could be nicer than browsing Christmassy stalls with a glass of mulled wine, whilst picking up a few special gifts? Many artisan makers sell their wares this way and offer unique gifts made on a small scale with real love and care. Bibico will be at the Bath Christmas Market (28th Nov-15th Dec) this year. We’ll have a beautiful selection of ethical, fairtrade jumpers, gloves and scarves to keep you cosy this winter and to cherish for winters to come.

Bath Christmas Market

For all the details click here

 

How To Wash A Wool Jumper & Look After It

how to wash a wool jumper and look after it

Many people get put off buying wool jumpers because they are hard to clean and look after. It’s a great shame as wool is such a wonderful fabric. Unlike synthetic fabrics wool is breathable, very warm and once it has eventually been worn out (which usually takes a long time) it is 100% biodegradable so it’s good for the environment too.

To show you that it is not that difficult to wash and care for your wool jumper we have put a little guide together to show you how to do it:

1.Don’t wash it! (or at least not very often)

The great thing about wool jumpers is that you don’t have to wash them as often as knitwear made from synthetic fibres. Wool does not stain easily and does not easily absorb aromas, making it ideal for multiple wears, therefore making it ideal for outdoor use. So if your jumper isn’t physically dirty and has no distinctive odours, there is no rush to wash it!

machine washing wool jumpers

2. Hand wash or machine wash

Always check the wash care label but if in doubt hand wash your wool jumpers. Most new washing machines have a wool hand wash cycle which is quite effective but for delicate wool jumpers especially hand knitted jumpers or jumpers made from mohair we would recommend hand wash only.

how to hand wash a wool jumper

3. How to hand wash your wool jumper

a. Soak your wool jumper in cold water a few hours before washing it. This will allow the wool fibres to become saturated and stop them from shrinking.

b. Use a detergent that is made for hand washing wool garments - these detergents prevent bobbling occuring and preserve the fibres. We recommend using Ecocover Delicate.

c. Add the correct amount of detergent and gently wash without rubbing the fibres together too much.

d. Finally rinse the jumper in cold or luke warm water in order to remove the soap.

4. How to dry your wool jumper

a. Never twist or wring wool jumpers or they will lose their shape.

b. Squeeze and press out all the water you can.

c. For non-delicate wool garments you can use a very low spin cycle in the washing machine (again check your wash care label) however for very delicate garments such as mohair or cashmere it is recommended to air dry.

d. Lie the jumper flat so it does not lose shape. Lying it on top of a towel will soak up additional moisture.

How to care for your wool jumper

folded wool sweaters

1. Fold them, don’t hang them

Never fold or hang a wool or cashmere jumper as they will lose their shape. Always fold them when storing them.

remove bobbles from knitwear with a bobble buster

2. Bobble buster

Bobbling is the result of two pieces of fabric rubbing together and can also occur with washing.

Make sure you remove the bobbles regularly. Invest in an electronic bobble remover. They are cheap and will make your jumper look new again. You can buy one from Lakeland here

brush your knitwear

3. Brush them

Remove hairs and excess lint with a soft clothes brush. You can buy one here.

comb your knitwear to get rid of bobbles

4. Comb them

For fine knitwear or cashmere you can use a cashmere comb to remove any excess bobbles. Buy can buy one here

cedar balls to keep moths away from your knitwear

5. Keep the moths away

Store your jumpers with cedar balls to ensure your knitwear is not attacked by moths. If you find moths holes in your knitwear put your jumpers in the freezer for 48 hours and then wash. This should kill the moth eggs. You can buy some here

6. Keep them dry

Before you store away your jumpers for the summer make sure they are bone dry to stop any mold or mildew occuring.

 

Health Benefits Of Indoor Plants

health benefits of indoor plants

Indoor plants don’t just make great decoration, they also have many benefits to your health. The majority of people spend most of their time inside either at work or at home. Indoor plants can help to reduce the amount of indoor polluted air, contaminated by volatile organic compounds (VOCs), that occur in an enclosed environment. VOCs can cause headaches, nausea and sore or itchy eyes, impacting your health, mood and productivity. Plants absorb the pollutants and emit oxygen, refreshing the air we breathe. The NASA Clean Air study (1989) found that plants remove up to 87% of VOCs every 24 hours .

Studies at the Agricultural University of Norway found that the presence of indoor plants decreased the incidence of dry skin, colds and sore throats. Indoor plants have also been found to improve concentration and productivity levels (Nieuwenhuis et al., 2014; Raanaas et al., 2011) and to reduce stress (Dijkstraa et al., 2008).

So which plants should you choose for a healthy, happy environment?

For the bedroom

best plants for your bedroom

Try Orchids and Succulents as they take in CO2 and release oxygen a night time, refreshing the air as you sleep. Jasmine is also recommended for the bedroom as it has been shown to reduce anxiety levels, leading to a greater quality of sleep.

For the kitchen

bamboo plant for the kitchen

The Bamboo Palm is part of the NASA’s list of the best plants that serve as air air-purifiers, particularly good at cleansing the air of benzene which can be released during use of gas, so perfect for the kitchen.

For the bathroom

snake plant for the bathroom

A Peace Lily plant adds an elegant touch to your bathroom and helps to remove any mould from the air, reducing the likelihood of damp forming. Mother-in-law’s tongue (or snake plant) is another great addition to the bathroom, one of the best for filtering formaldehyde, common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. (Image courtesy of Modernica)

For the laundry room

good indoor plants for the laundry

The Gerbera daisy is great for removing trichloroethylene, which may come home with your dry cleaning, and benzene, that comes with inks. But it does need a lot of light- 6 hours a day is recommended.

 For anywhere

benefits of plants in your home

Chinese evergreen is known as one of the easiest houseplants, thriving in low light and humid air, it helps to filter out a variety of pollutants and toxins from the air.