It’s that time of year where the days begin by lighting the fire, drinking steaming cups of tea and stomping around in 10 layers or more, just about keeping warm! The advent calendars are up, there is an abundance of fairy lights at every turn and you know it, it’s nearly Christmas!
I love Christmas for being able to spend time with my loved ones and seeing the faces of my family, especially the children wide eyed and full of joy on Christmas Day. As much as I love this time of the year, many feel the pressures of society to make sure that Christmas is the happiest time of the year, even me sometimes! However, I realise that this is an impossible goal!
I have noticed in the more recent years the crazy amount of materialism and waste that goes on over the Christmas period. Frankly, it doesn’t fit in with the lifestyle that I want to live. So that is why this year, I’ve decided that I am going to do Christmas the way that I want to. I will not fit into societies expectations of a materialistic, frilly, perfect image of what some think it should be.
I’ve decided to start a series on how I’ve been making some changes to my life this Christmas to fit with my personal morals. You can follow my journey and check out the other blogs that’ll be appearing over the holiday season!
Thanks for tagging along!
It is no secret that global warming is taking a huge turn for the worst in recent years, with ocean temperatures and levels rising and livestock for human consumption creating more global emissions than all transport put together, it’s an understatement to say we’ve really messed it up!
Some people feel so pressured to fit into this perfect Christmas bubble of having perfectly wrapped presents and the perfect meal made etc etc. In the state the planet is in, it’s time to face our priorities in the direction of being more eco and kind to the world. This is why this Christmas I have taken it into my own hands to rebel against the material system and create a Christmas that fits into my own morals, which is to be as zero waste as possible and to do as little harm to the planet and beings we share it with as possible. I encourage you to do the same if you agree with those basic principles. I have put together a little list for you of a few ways that you can do your bit this Christmas to save the planet and be more eco friendly!
– Re-Usable Bags
I thought I would start with a nice and simple one. More and more plastic is being thrown into the ocean at an alarming rate, and plastic bags are one of the biggest culprits. These plastic bags not only take hundreds of years to biodegrade, but they float in the oceans where animals eat and get caught in them. A few months ago, I read an article in the National Geographic, which spoke about birds who live near the ocean, that were dying because their stomaches were so full of hard chunks of plastic, from bottle caps to sharp scraps. Some of these bits of plastic would’ve been fed to a birds baby thinking it was food.
By making simple changes in our daily lives like using re-usable bags, when we go out Christmas shopping, we can avoid ending up with loads of plastic carrier bags and slow down the supply and demand for them. I own just a few canvas bags, but they are very sturdy and hold all of my shopping. Another plus is that you can wash them, and they just generally look so much better than plastic.
- Paper Waste
A thing that has really started to annoy me a lot at Christmas ini recent years is the amount of wrapping paper waste there is. People buy metres upon metres of bright, sparkly paper, which has the singular purpose of being ripped up and thrown in the bin a month later. It’s so wasteful and it’s something that I do not want to promote anymore if I can help it. Even worse, some wrapping paper cannot even be recycled because it is paper in a plastic film, meaning it is neither paper or plastic. This is a nightmare for the people who sort out the recycling.
How about this year, instead of spending out on new, bright patterned paper, think about ways you can avoid it. Have you get any paper baggies stored you’ve been keeping for presents? Have you got old Christmas cards that you can make into DIY gift boxes, for the smaller gifts? Other ways you could replace wrapping paper is with tin or wooden boxes and material bags, that can be brought at vintage shops, online and charity shops. I find material bags are great for holding pieces of jewellery.
Something that was very useful to me in my recent trip to Japan, was that the shops paid a lot of attention to presentation. Because of this, by the end of my trip, I had an abundance of little Japanese gift baggies, which I’ve used as wrapping paper, saving on wrapping paper waste. Not only did it look super cute, I was also avoiding the trap of using loads of non-recyclable wrapping paper to be thrown into the bin moments after present opening. Luckily, I had also worked out how to politely refuse plastic bags in the shops so I wasn’t over-ridden by plastic.
- Save Lives, Go Vegan
In recent years, more and more studies and scientists are telling people that going vegan is the best thing you can do for the planet. The amount of land cut down to farm all animals is the leading cause of us chopping down the rainforest and animal farming (particularly cattle farming) is the lead cause of global warming. By making the simple change of choosing a plant based diet on Christmas and every day after, you can save literally hundreds of lives every year and save the planet. Not only that, you will get to experiment with gorgeous, succulent dishes, that will ‘wow’ your family. Just go check out the vegan options in your local supermarket or if you are more of the cooking type like myself, go check out my winter recipes or find plenty of others online!
The fact is that billions upon billions of animals get murdered every year for us to eat, and especially at big holidays such as Christmas. Animals like Turkeys are fattened up and killed at less than 6 months old, just so humans can have 10 minutes of pleasure, eating its dead body on Christmas Day. In this day and age, we are so spoilt for choice that there is no longer any excuse to kill animals or kill our planet for our tastebuds. On a day such as Christmas, I would say we should be promoting love and peace rather than pain and violence. Don’t you think so too?
- Get Your DIY Hat On
In my last blog, I spoke about lots of different ways you can get your creative hat on and make some cool stuff such as art and jewellery, for your family and friends. I mentioned earlier about making your own gift boxes out of old xmas cards, which you can check out the instructions for. Home made gifts are great because you get to give people your time and energy, which they will always appreciate. This year, I have wanted to promote my plant based and cruelty free lifestyle by creating things like home made, organic beauty products. You can check out my last blog ‘Have Yourself A Very DIY Christmas’ to find out more.