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!
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
For all the details click here