“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” — Norman Vincent Peale
Small changes can make a significant difference in lowering our environmental footprint, and this is especially the case over the festive season when the potential for overconsumption and considerable waste is high.
Do you realise that many of our festive go-to decorations are made from environmentally damaging materials such as glitter, foil, and plastic? Awareness around this issue has grown in recent years resulting in numerous businesses, including M&S, banning glitter from wrapping paper and cards.
However, fear not, it’s not all doom and gloom! With a tad of creativity, there are some truly beautiful and recyclable décor options available. We have put together a whole host of decorative tips and tricks to ensure you can still enjoy some festive sparkle in your home!
Real Christmas trees are far more eco-friendly than artificial alternatives. However, each year several million trees are dumped in January. For the most sustainable solution, why not try:
There’s not much that’s more visually appealing than a big pile of presents under the Christmas tree. However, wrapping paper contains many non-recyclable materials such as glitter, plastic, and foil.
Reusing last year’s paper is, of course, a good option, but if you didn’t keep any, choose recyclable paper or patterned fabrics and colourful string. Cutting up last year’s Christmas cards is a fun and attractive way to create gift tags too.
Crackers are a must on any festive dining table and are sure to spread immediate joy and excitement. This year, why not replace single-use crackers with reusable ones. There is a considerable variety in the shops now made out of linen or foldable card, or you can make your own and add personalised gifts and trinkets. You could even try writing the jokes too!
When we think of Christmas décor, we visualise boughs of fir, hanging mistletoe, and streams of holly and ivy. These were the decorative items of choice long before glitter got involved!
Foraging for natural branches and hanging them with simple glass ornaments will add a bit of rustic sparkle. Fill large dishes with pinecones and items with natural, evocative scents such as cinnamon, eucalyptus, peppercorns, and cloves. Dried slices of orange also make beautiful tree decorations and can also be added to table arrangements or wreaths.
Nothing is quite as welcoming at Christmas as a beautiful wreath on the front door of your home, and most shops and Christmas tree farms now stock fresh wreaths made from natural, seasonal foliage and adornments. They are usually much bolder and brighter than the plastic alternatives and come with the added bonus that they won’t harm birds and wildlife when hung up outside. Or better still, have a go at making your own out of any leftover foraged items you collected for your natural decor.
Both adults and children enjoy the anticipation of an advent calendar and the countdown to Christmas day. There are many reusable options now, so why not invest in a reusable wooden calendar this year that will provide joy for years to come. You can fill it with truffles, marzipan fruits, sugared almonds, and a variety of little gifts. You could even treat your dog or cat to one too!
When positioned in a prominent place, it’s guaranteed to add some festive cheer.
LED lights use up to 80% less energy than the traditional incandescent fairy lights, and yet they are every bit as pretty and sparkly. Reports show that we could save more than 29,000 tonnes of CO2 and £11m if UK households made this switch over the 12 days of Christmas!
Even better, set your lights on a timer to not only make environmental savings but reduce your energy bills too.
Shopping locally for your Christmas decorations from artisan craftspeople and independent makers dramatically reduces carbon footprint, and these items are often made of wood, paper, sustainable fabrics, and glass. Making your own candles, threading biscuits with string, and creating dried and fresh foliage arrangements also adds a touch of personality and creativity.
I’m sure we all remember those family heirlooms that would be unpacked year after year and lovingly placed on the tree. These unique pieces evoke memories and add a touch of magic to Christmas. This year we encourage you to invest in pieces that will help protect the environment, inspire creativity, and become precious heirlooms that can be passed down through generations to come.
However, do not forget that Christmas is not just about the decor. This is a precious time of year where we have the chance to spend treasured time with loved ones, create new memories, and share the things that are most important to us.
The team at Parrys all wish you a very merry festive season.
“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.” – Agnes M. Pahro