I’ll be honest, I haven’t been as pro-active as I would have liked about living a more sustainable lifestyle. Partly it’s just felt like extra work, in an already overpacked day. Partly, in truth, it’s also laziness.
This last year we have had two under three at home, and it has felt hard enough keeping on top of life as is, without making any big changes. But, we are increasingly trying to make a conscious effort.
My only goal is to be better this year, than we were last year. And whilst we are far away from perfect, we are improving.
Christmas, whilst being a magical time (especially with our two small people now too) is also a time of excess in so many ways. Excessive food and drink, excessive spending, unfortunately not excessive sleeping… but we can’t win them all I suppose.
And so we’ve made an effort in our Christmas preparations and shopping, to make some better choices than we did last year. We’ve still bought more on Amazon than I would have preferred, and not had a chance to shop as locally as I would have liked, but here are a few ways that we have made a conscious effort.
Christmas Cards. I have never been a big card giver anyway, but even more so now. Instead, we contributed to our Ecologi rainforest the amount we would have spent on cards to plant extra trees, you can see how our rainforest is doing here:
Wrapping Paper. This has been on my hit list for a while. I saved the brown paper we received in packages, I’ve bought stamps and paints to decorate it at home, very mumsy arts and crafts plans for me and the kids. The reality is, this never happens, and I end up panic buying whatever I can get my hands on.
This year, I accepted my homemade paper was never going to be, and instead invested in some recyclable, plastic free, UK made wrapping paper here:
The kids’ toys. I am increasingly becoming conscious of our consumption habits, and how we contribute to the demand that fuels the supply, and therefore production, of plastics in particular. We have bought much of our children’s presents second hand (and in practically perfect condition), and wooden toys rather than plastic where possible. Facebook Markets is a personal favourite for second hand shopping. Not only is it re-homing products that were already in circulation, it’s saved us a fortune. More wine for mummy…
Recycled Gold. I watched a documentary recently on gold production. The opening line was ‘have you ever thought about where your gold comes from?’ and the honest answer was, no. I really hadn’t. (The documentary if you’re interested, is on Netflix, ‘Dirty Money’ episode titled ‘Dirty Gold’). It’s fairly harrowing, and so when shopping for gold products this Christmas, we very deliberately bought jewellery made from recycled gold rather than new.
Are these changes going to solve the climate crisis? Absolutely not. But I’m a huge believer in that if we all just try a bit, we’re doing a bit, which is surely better than doing nothing.
What have been your eco-Christmas wins?