When sourcing Christmas decorations, we sometimes forget to consider how sustainable they are. With the festive season in full swing, you may be thinking about the ways you can capture all of that wonderful seasonal joy, and what better way to start than by decorating your home?
We are all aware just how important it is to make more sustainable and eco-friendly decisions, however during the Christmas period it can be difficult to avoid the inevitable waste and over-consumption that's so synonymous with this time of year. In the UK alone, 250,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated each year over the festive period! But, making a few small changes here and there will help to make a big difference.
Here at Purdy & Figg we’re inspired to see how we can go more ‘natural’ this Christmas, so we’ve gathered a few ways to help you make the most of the wonderful Winter bounty.
Bring the Outdoors Inside
One of our favourite ways to bring the festivities into your home is by bringing the outdoors inside. The colder months boast some beautiful festive foliage, most of which can be found a mere stones-throw from your doorstep! Allow yourself to get creative by making a handmade wreath for your door or a garland for your fireplace — you can even hang up some mistletoe! Foraging for your own decorations is one of the most simple and cost-effective ways to make your home feel festive, and its the perfect excuse to get the family all-together for a fun Winter ramble.
TIP: Next time you’re out walking, collect a few pinecones and make DIY Christmas Tree decorations! You can spray paint the tips white for a ‘frosted’ effect, or leave them completely natural.
DIY Festive Wreath
We followed this Natural Christmas Wreath guide from the National Trust:
Collect your seasonal greenery:
- Moss (responsibly collected)
Choose a sustainable base material:
Prepare your Wreath Base
Create a wreath base using sustainable materials such as wire, rattan or willow. We recomend using wire as its easy to attach! Bend into a sturdy hoop shape at your desired size.
Add moss to the base
Add handfuls of moss to your wreath base and secure it in place with florist wire. The moss will help to keep the greenery fresh and provides a base to attach all your natural decorations to.
Attach your greenery bouquets
Using some florist wire, attach your greenery in little bouquets until your wreath looks full and bushy!
Add a few final decorations such as a ribbon, Rosehip berries or pinecones.
Ta-Da! A beautiful handmade wreath that's sure to impress your guests!
DIY Dried Orange Garland
There's nothing like the simplicity of a dried orange garland to make your home feel festive and warm this Christmas. They also make your home smell like citrus and only cost pennies to make.
You will need 4-5 oranges sliced thinly into pieces (roughly 1/8 to 1/4 inches thick). Simply preheat your oven to a medium/high temperature, line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper and bake for approximately 3 hours until dry and crisp. You can blot away moisture with a paper towel to help with the drying process!
After baked, leave to cool and then thread them carefully onto a clear fishing line/wire. We recommend leaving a 1-2 inch gap for a more minimal look!
The Christmas Tree Debate
The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) estimate that around 7 million real trees are bought each year by UK households, alongside who knows how many artificial trees! Many of us may be pondering over what the most sustainable/eco-friendly Christmas tree option is. Do we opt for an artificial tree we can retrieve from the loft each year, or a newly felled tree that ends up tossed out and discarded after Christmas Day?
Although real Christmas trees have a smaller carbon footprint than artificial ones, we still need to be mindful of where we are sourcing them from. Spend some time researching where you can buy local, sustainably grown and eco-friendly trees. The Forestry Commission have Christmas Tree sale centres dotted all around the UK, and you'll also be supporting forestry upkeep and preservation in the process.
Or better still, buy a potted Christmas tree that you can keep all year for next Christmas - if you look after it carefully, it may even see you through 3 or 4 Christmases!
Get Creative with your Wrapping
There is nothing more pleasing to the eye than a mound of perfectly patterned, prettily positioned presents piled up underneath the tree. However, with the amount of wrapping paper that is wasted and thrown out every January, it’s no surprise that so many of us are turning to more sustainable gift wrapping alternatives. Brit’s bin 108 million rolls of wrapping paper each year, with the vast majority of it being non-recyclable, as it will contain plastic from glitter or laminates. It’s vital that we start making the swap to recycled wrapping paper, and there's no reason why your gifts can't look just as pretty! Here are some sustainable alternatives:
Invest in good quality present bags/paper
Start collecting present bags & paper that can be reused after use, there's some great eco-friendly brands on the market!
Brown package paper
It sounds simple, but it can easily be spruced up with a bow, string or foliage & still look pretty under the tree.
Why not get creative and wrap your presents in some nice cloth/material? You can find these easily from a charity shop & can be repurposed for other things.
Forage for decorations
Ribbons & bows look great, but often contain non-recyclable materials that will end up in landfills. Some foliage or pinecones are a great natural alternatives, and look beautiful under the tree!