Christmas 2020 might be a slightly different experience, but we can’t deny that it’s still the most wonderful time of the year!
Festivities asides, this is also a time to be more conscious about the amount of waste created. Over half of us in the UK have a admitted to overspending and overindulging, and whilst ‘treating yourself’ is definitely a good thing, we should probably try and tackle the 30% increase in waste that is created at Christmas.
We’re not going to be complete Scrooge’s though, as there are really simple ways to make this season a sustainable one! As we always say, small changes make a big impact.
Christmas Trees…real vs fake
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree, but which is the best option…real or fake? Manufacturing artificial plastic trees consumes a lot of energy, and so does shipping them. Why not check out your local charity shop for a second hand one or investigate your attic to see if you already have one tucked away! We are huge advocates for Reuse and making the most of what we already have.
On the other hand, most real trees are grown and chopped down just for one season - that’s a lot of production, potential waste and material consumption to think about for a single use tree. The UK uses as many as 8 million natural Christmas trees each year and sadly, about 7 million of these are discarded. The other million are mainly used as compost, though many people avoid this on the assumption that the low pH of pine needles (between 3.2 and 3.8) will make the soil acidic, so they end up in landfill releasing 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases according to The Carbon Trust. Look to renting a tree from a local business like Locavore for example where they will replant it in January ready for Reuse the following year. Think about it, you get to enjoy a waste zero real tree, whilst giving back to the environment and supporting wildlife in between festivities!
Waste Zero Gifts
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you will have seen our sustainable festive range by now! We're giving you the gift of sustainability as every product has been designed with the end in mind. From plastic free bundles with our NEW hair bars and bath accessories, sustainable skincare sets and our ever popular DIY lip balm kit...there's a 'green' gift for everyone!
Wrapping Your Gifts
The total of card packaging used over Christmas could cover Big Ben 260,000 times over! If you haven’t already heard, we recently became the 1st beauty business in the world to join forces with Canopy’s Pack4Good initiative - with the aim of eliminating the use of precious forest recourses in single use paper and paper packaging. Read more about this here!
Of course, we still want to keep the festive element of surprise when gifting our presents and decorating the house so here’s a few tips to avoid as much waste this year, with our first one being Reuse! We always Reuse our packaging materials as much as possible when sending out deliveries (notice the shredded board inside your box to protect your products) so try to reuse as much as possible - or opt for recyclable wrapping paper. A lot of wrapping paper is covered in a plastic film so isn’t recyclable at all. You can find out whether your wrapping paper is recyclable with the Scrunch Test. If you scrunch the paper into a ball and it stays, it can be widely recycled whereas if it springs back then it can't be.
It's also the reason why we created our new reusable cotton gift bag and gift tins, so you wouldn't have to worry about wrapping!
Glitter is usually made up of mostly plastic, so it contributes massively to the tons of microplastics being that filter their way into our environment year on year. It also makes materials like wrapping paper and Christmas cards incredibly hard to recycle or reuse. Just opt for biodegradable glitter then!
Well, most biodegradable glitters still contain 8% polyester microplastic. This is why we created our sustainable 0% Plastic Eco-Glitter Balm to ensure Christmas could still have some sparkle, the Beauty Kitchen way! Use it as a highlighter, lip balm, eye shadow, body glitter…the list is endless. Once you've finished, just send the packaging back to us ready to be washed and reused as part of our Return · Refill · Repeat programme.
Instead of going out and buying plastic adorned decorations, it may be nice to take a winter walk outside to source some natural materials (ivy, holly, pine cones, dried oranges, cinnamon sticks etc.) to pop around the house. A great, low cost idea which is perfect for the whole family is to make a natural wreath for your front door out of these materials too! Simply throw into a compost bin after, unlike the glitter covered ones you can buy which generally can't be recycled (but reused if you do have one already!).
A Festive Feast
Arguably the tastiest food of the year, it is surprising that around 4.2 million plates of dinner and 74 million mince pies are thrown away each Christmas in the UK! There are some great ways to be a bit more sustainable this year when it comes to food:
- Try and plan a Christmas shopping list and buy only what you need to save you overspending
- Buy loose and organic items where you can so as not to create more waste with plastic - maybe visit your nearest greengrocers or try out a veg box scheme
- If you do have leftovers try and find some inventive ways to make use of them…refried roasties anyone?
- You could also donate any unopened goodies to your local food bank for those in need like we have this year to The Felix Project in collaboration with The Mindful Chef!
Giving Something Back
It’s always nice to support others around this time of year, whether it’s providing your leftovers to those in need like we mentioned earlier or simply donating your spare change to one of your favourite charities. We donate 2% off all our sales (not profits!) to incredible charity partners including Plastic Soup Foundation, The Seahorse Trust and other sustainable causes. So, when you purchase any of our Beauty Kitchen products, not only are you buying into something truly sustainable but you’re also investing in some great charities!
However different your Christmas is this year and whatever you plan to do, have a lovely one! Remember, sustainable living is for life not just a trend for Christmas. Shop our sustainable festive range here!