The Big Sustainable Guide to Christmas Part 1

I have been so excited to share this all with you guys! Christmas is known for a time when we panic buy things other people don't really want and usually overspend! This year I wanted to a big post on how to do Christmas a little more money smart and sustainable. Along with what to buy, below I'm also sharing tips to have greener, more sustainable Christmas from the dinner to decorations. Because it just so much information I want to share with you guys I've split this post into two. Below I'm sharing some top tips on how to make Christmas more sustainable and in Wednesday's post there will be a huge gift guide!

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1. If you do buy a Christmas tree, there is always a big debate over real vs. fake. For me we have always bought a real tree so I could never buy a fake one as it just doesn't seem right to me. However, there a few rules and options to follow when buying your Christmas tree. Firstly make sure that it is sourced close by so it hasn't travelled millions of miles to get here, secondly make sure it is grown ethically and the tree farm you buy from follows the soil Association rules. Alternatively you could purchase a potted Christmas tree like we did last year, so you can have it in the house and decorate during the festive season and move it out to the garden for the rest of the year.

2. When decorating your Christmas tree consider what lights you are using. Using battery powered lights (with rechargeable batteries) or LED lights are a lot more efficient as they use up to 90% less energy than traditional incandescent holiday lights. Andy don't forget to switch them off when they are not needed!

3. Make an effort to reduce food waste by planning meals carefully and shopping from a list. Freeze or give away leftovers or incorporate left-over ingredients into new dishes. We always use any left over turkey to make a turkey curry that will last a few days after Christmas or a turkey pie is also a good choice!

4. Speaking of food, I recently found out that a lot of our food that we have at Christmas travels a long way before it reaches to plates. So when you are planning your Christmas meal, think of all the seasonal vegetables that you could use and head to your local farmers market to pick up all the ingredients. This will not only reduce your carbon footprint but also the food will taste so much better because it's local!

5. Now you've bought all your presents and are just about to start the tedious task of wrapping them. It's crazy how much wrapping paper is not recycled every year and how much of it goes to waste! This year try using some brown or recycled paper and make it your own with festive stamps and foliage along with some string for that cute rustic look. Alternatively, you could make your own or buy a little Christmas sack for each person so that they can be reused every year, which I think is such a cute idea if you buy personalised ones! Not on the High Street do a great selection.

6. My final tip is related to present buying, which I will go into more detail in Wednesday's post. When purchasing presents make sure they are not wrapped in lots of plastic and consider shopping locally and at more independent stores. I think nothings better then a thoughtful gift that is unique and special to the person. It give's me that warm fuzzy feeling inside! Also don't go out and buy 10 billon things for one person who will no doubt end up throwing most of it away. Instead, if you're a big group, potentially do a secret Santa instead where each person puts down a couple of things they need. Or just restrict your family gifting to one present per person. So, for example, there are 7 of us in my family that buy each other presents, we are only allowed to buy each person one present from a list of things they need, that way the person only receives 7 presents in total. I also really like the introduction of the 4 gift idea - 'something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read'. I think this especially great for young kids, but more on this and what to actually buy coming your way soon!