12 Steps to a greener Christmas with Nourish
Here’s our twelve steps to a Greener Christmas. But why are we trying to make Christmas greener in the first place? As you know if you’re a Nourish enthusiast, we’ve been working hard to make our business greener. From kitchen waste to packaging we’re working towards it, one step at a tim. We want to become a greener, more sustainable food business. Did you know that recent Data Monitor figures show that the food business is one of the most wasteful? This bothered us so we’ve acted and with Christmas on the way we decided to tackle that too.
Christmas can be a tricky one to navigate if you’re trying to become greener. All that glitter and plastic is not a good combination if you want to have a greener footprint. We know that everyone is short on time at this end of the year. So, we’ve pulled together some simple ideas to help you on your way to celebrating Christmas in a more sustainable way.
It’s a wrap
Walk into many shops at this time of the year and you’ll be assaulted by the glittery and metallic wrapping papers. They look eye catching but sadly they are not recyclable. Same goes for the thinner easier to scrunch up papers. The less it scrunches up the more likely it is that it’s recyclable. We love the look and feel of brown Kraft paper as an alternative. We have great fun stamping these with anything from potatoes that we carve into shapes for the kids, to using our gorgeous English Stamp Company stamps that we’ve had for years. We’ll also be using some colourful twine from the gorgeous Twoolwho make all of their plastic free twine from wool from rare breed sheep (money raised goes back into preserving this rare breed sheep)
Did you know that around 1.5 billion Christmas cards are binned in the UK each year? We love the proliferation of ways that you can send a digital card these days. You can put in as much effort as you want to, design one with a simple pic of your tribe on it or create a dancing group of elves! Designing our own online card is our choice this year and we’ll be hopping onto Smilebox or Canva to create ours. Cards are a hard one as there will be older relatives and those overseas who you might still want to send a physical card to. Have you seen Hannah Marchant’s beautiful compostable alternatives with seeds sprinkled into biodegradable paper?
Deck the halls
There’s nothing quite like the joy that comes from decorating your house with family heirlooms, which makes them super sustainable too! If you fancy adding to your collection like us, then buying new pieces from sustainable sources such as Protect the Planet or Nkuku will help you start your own collection of heirloom decorations. We’ve also grabbed a pile of felt from our local craft shop and been creating some lovely little pieces with the kids. Take a look at Shelterness for some inspiration?
What do we mean by greener gifting? We’ve been looking for ethically made, green alternatives to some of our fave gifts. We love a planner, what better gift for the organised and not so organised person in your family. Ponderlily are our go-to using eco-friendly, ethically sourced materials. We also love the gift of scent and the wonderful soy wax candles in their simple, yet beautiful packaging from Parkminster, are always a winner. Our faves are Noel and Bonfire, a cracking combo! Wrapped up already for the stressed member of the family is the recently discovered Universal Soul with their 100% natural 3 in 1 Soul Mist. Containing 100% natural oils this is great as a room, pillow or meditation spray. Or how about the gift of wildflowers in a tin? Check out the amazing tins by Seedballs, their mission is to fill the world with wildflowers, starting with your garden! Or maybe recycle a wonderful find that you know someone will love (we’re still getting brownie points for the amazing set of lettuce leaf plates we bought from our local charity shop for Auntie Sarah last year!).
We buy 7 million trees per year in the UK, that’s a huge number! If you’re buying a tree this year you could try an alternative plastic free version that you can use year after year. We love this one from Bombus. Or if you do buy a real tree then buy as locally as possible and make sure that you either drop it to your local dump to be added to the green waste or check out the recycle now website for places it can be dropped off to be chipped and used again.
Food with a little bit of a conscience isn’t hard to find if you look in the right places. Like us here at Nourish many food businesses are looking to become more sustainable and ethical. Choose food companies who use compostable/recyclable packaging and buy fair trade ingredients from sustainable sources. Our top tips are to try the Broma raw cacao sauce for a Christmassy treat on your pud. Or a spoonful or two of the yummy cacao nut butter full of organic ingredients from our chums at Jakes Boost. Or how about buying your raw ingredients from Amisa, who take care that ingredients are organic and well sourced? We can’t get through the festive chaos without the odd warm drink here and there to sustain us and we always reach for Noble with its wonderful, nutritious ingredients.
All is calm all is bright
We love a little sparkle and shine as much as the next person and so we’ll be making sure that our candles are hand poured by happy small businesses and are made from Soy wax. Some of our all-time favourites are the scent sensations from Parkminster, which happens to be in our neck of the woods. Our ‘usual’ scents are bonfire, noel and tomato leaf depending on the time of the year. New kid on the block Universal Soul also has a positive energy candle to complement their room spray, that we’re coveting for our stocking this year, hint, hint.
For those who don’t drink it can feel a bit of a let-down when the choice of drinks is uninspiring and uninteresting. Never fear we’ve been trying out some of the best alcohol-free drinks on the market and seeking out those who take care over their products. If you fancy a bittersweet citrus twist that will make a zingy alternative to bucks’ fizz on the big day then check out super ethically made Everleaf. With Founder Paul’s background in conservation biology and bartending you couldn’t find many better people to make you a drink! We also discovered Sea Arch for when you don’t want to or can’t drink and the idea of a G&T appeals, it’s packed full of amazing botanicals and made on our nearest stretch of coast in the UK.
Conventional crackers can be a plastic fantastic zone, full of single use ‘goodies’ that end up in the bin. Why not have a go at making your own and filling them with meaningful gifts? Check out these gorgeous ones from Kate Sproston Design made from natural linen and dying to be filled with some NEW Mint Matcha Macaroons.
Clean up Christmas
Cleaning up doesn’t have to involve a barrage of environmentally damaging kit, it can be fragrant and planet friendly instead. Locally made Kinn products are some of our favourites, they smell every bit as good as their packaging. The neroli laundry wash and sweet orange kitchen cleaner are the best choice for scent sensation. Try Boobalou for their plastic free washing up kit and gather your tribe for a good old-fashioned washing up session after the big event!
Go Plastic Free
Why not take the opportunity of gifting to convert some of your friends and family to a more fantastic, less plastic, way of life. Buy them a few pieces of essential plastic free living kit? Lunchboxes from our friends at Elephant Box, Coffee cups from Global Wake Up Cup, Shampoo bars from those clever people at Friendly Soap or maybe a tote bag for life from the lovely Holly’s Wholesome Kitchen!
Getting dressed up for Christmas day is often a chance to sprinkle some sparkle but remember that those sequins are made from PVC and there are no biodegradable substitutes. The reality is that ethical clothes shopping is more expensive than mass produced alternatives, but if you can embrace the less is more and buy once and buy well attitude then investment dressing may be the way forward. We love Know The Origin for simple bits that can be worn every day and because they trace every piece from seed to shop. For those keep forever, ethically made special pieces we head to People Tree. Once you’ve had enough of a piece for whatever reason, give it a new lease of life by donating it to charity so someone else can enjoy it, you never know, it might become their Christmas outfit too.by