TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY, JOYFUL + JUBILANT...AND THIS YEAR WE ARE SEEKING AS MUCH FRIVOLITY AS WE CAN GET, BECAUSE 2020 HAS BEEN ONE HELL OF A RIDE. HOWEVER, IN AMONGST THE MERRIMENT THAT COMES WITH CELEBRATING THIS TIME OF YEAR, WE OFTEN FORGET THAT XMAS + ALL THAT COMES WITH IT, IS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR OF WASTE.
In fact, waste goes up by a massive 30 percent during December - an alarming statistic + one that many of us are guilty of ignoring. In the quest for the perfect gift, the perfect tree + the perfect festive event - how can we commit to being more eco conscious at such a decadent time of the year? Here are our tips on how to make the festive season more eco-friendly + sustainable in 2020:
OH XMAS TREE, OH XMAS TREE:
There is a lot of debate over whether or not a real Xmas tree is actually eco-friendly. On the one hand, a real tree is....well, a tree, so it does all the things that fabulous trees do - taking up CO2 from the air + giving us earthlings oxygen. They're biodegradable, they smell delicious, cats love to climb them (OK that's not ideal for humans...but we're here for the fur bebes too) + of course, by purchasing from a Xmas tree farm, you’re most likely supporting a small, local business.
On the other hand, the majority of Xmas trees are sprayed with a number of pesticides (unless it's an organic farm), the cost can be prohibitive, particularly given it's essentially a 'single use' purchase + they can be somewhat messy with the needles. This doesn't mean you should rush out to your nearest department store to pick up a plastic alternative - there are a number of sustainable options to your standard yuletide tree, that could be considered.
Festivus In a Pot: As more + more of us become proud plant parents it's no surprise this trend is gaining momentum for the festive period. Consider buying a potted tree that you can decorate in December + then let flourish in your garden for the rest of the year. If traditional isn't your thing, pick up a succulent or a tropical palm for a touch of festive quirk. Personally, I love the idea of a potted rosemary tree. Not only do they look great, but their leaves can be used as a tasty addition to your meals all year round.
Pretty Sticks: If a living plant seems like too much commitment, try decorating a large branch or three. Any large sticks will do, and the branchier the better - more baubles for all! There are a few options here - suspend them from your ceiling (a couple of screw-in hooks + some fishing line will do the trick), place them in a weighty vessel on your table as a centrepiece, or if you're going for something smaller, line up a bunch of empty glass jars in a row + have a decorated branch in each one. Odd numbers always look better than even - 1, 3, 5, 7 ...depending on the surface area you've got to work with.
Image via Homecrux Pinterest + blog
Image via Vogue pinterest + blog
IT'S TIME TO WRAP.
Re-Use: So you've chosen your eco conscious Xmas tree - good for you. Next is what goes underneath it. Gift wrap is one of the leading causes of waste each festive season - apparently it's in the vicinity of 150,000 km of wrapping paper thrown in the bin each year in Australia. If you do happen to be gifted something in traditional wrapping paper, try opening it carefully so you can re-use it.
Go Local: When choosing gift wrap yourself, consider supporting a business that creates sustainably produced paper products. One of our top choices is Inky Co. They create fully recyclable paper using solar power + the range is fun, bright + sure to make a statement.
Wrap + Protect: Of course for the ultimate eco solution try Furoshiki - the ancient Japanese art of wrapping precious items in cloth. You can purchase cloth specifically designed for Furoshiki + watch tutorials to learn how to fold your gifts into beautiful, origami inspired shapes. You can also use various remnants of fabric (if you've got any left after your 2020 mask making workshops) which will give a unique twist to both the look of your festivus extravaganza + some fun to those opening the presents. It's the modern take for the more crafty among us - use eco friendly fabrics like recycled cotton, bamboo or hemp. Not only are they a beautiful gifting solution, they're also a gift within themselves.
THE FINAL TOUCHES
We all have Christmas ornaments we hold dear to our heart. Be they nostalgic, kitch or have a strong whiff of tacky - these mementos are part of what makes the season feel so special. But if you do find yourself in the market for some new baubles, why not try making your own?
Get Fruity: We love the dried citrus trend for Christmas tree ornaments + gift decorations this year. They're easy to make, cost effective + they smell amazing. Plus they can easily be composted at the end of the season. We were inspired by this step by step guide from Claire K Creations.
Ribbons + scrap fabric: Cut fabric into strips or use ribbons as they come, and tie bows all over your tree. Think of it as an homage to Louisa May Alcott's Little Women ...and if that doesn't work, go with prairie chic / cottagecore.
Origami: Embrace your inner artist, with newspaper that's ready for the rubbish (versus buying new paper...which defeats the purpose of going eco). Add a splash of paint, and then get folding into the whatever animal theme you can dream up. We're fans of this paper dinosaur bedecked tree. Jump on here to learn how to make your own collection of T-Rex's.
Note to self: Think of this one as Festivus therapy. Grab some paper (yes, newspaper can work again, you'll just need a bold marker to ensure what you write stands out) - and write words or phrases that sum up what this year has meant to you. Do it with friends or family, so everyone can get their catharsis happening. Make it a craft session - use water based glue, bio-glitter + whatever other ephemera you've got hanging around, to make these little offerings into decorative motifs for your tree. Once you take the tree down, the words + the feelings...and the whole freakin' year - goes with it, and you'll be rewarded with a feeling of starting fresh for 2021. Voila.
Image via pnpflowersinc pinterest + blog
THE SANS BEAST FESTIVUS APPROACH
We LOVE wrapping gifts + know how easy it is to get carried away with all the options available. For the treasures you buy from us this festive season, we'll be following our usual process, but with the addition of some specially designed paper. We've gone with a newspaper theme, imagining our Creature blog as a broadsheet. NoIssue continue to be our supplier of choice for paper wrap - it's created using FSC certified wood pulp + is printed with soy based ink for optimum biodegradability.
John continues to be the prime packer in our warehouse. He checks your purchase from top to bottom, keeps it safe in an undyed, recycled cotton Sans Beast dust bag, wraps it in the tissue paper, hand writes a postcard (printed by local business Print Together), and then packages the lot in a recycled + recyclable brown cardboard box, before sealing it with water activated paper tape.
In conclusion + at the risk of getting all Love Actually on you...let's not forget that as lovely as Xmas gifts + festive treats are, the most precious part of this time of year is spending time with those you hold dear. And this year more than ever, we hope you're wrapped in a whole lot of love. Be safe, take care + be kind to yourself.
Also, don't forget to check out our complete collection of Sans Beast Cruelty Free Christmas suggestions on Pinterest.