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Ten Easy Ways To Be A Little More Eco-Friendly This Christmas

Issy, known to her young family, and her Instagram followers as Mummy Scrummie is a Hampshire-based mum of two and brand rep for Catkin Toys. Every Sunday, Issy will be writing a guest blog feature, covering the parenting topics and issues that interest you! Have a topic you'd like to hear more about? Get in touch!

Ten Easy Steps to a Greener Christmas

While you're here, why not grab a copy of Mummy Scrummie's Christmas organisational planning sheets to help get organised this Christmas! It includes planning sheets for: your Christmas menu, Christmas gifts and even the Christmas big shop! Best yet, it is completely FREE! Grab a copy here.

I try to live a pretty eco-friendly lifestyle, but I think sometimes, people see the words “eco-friendly” and panic.

I’ll say right off the bat that I don’t live in a yurt, I don’t knit my own knickers and I don’t have a pet goat/lawnmower, so if you’re reading this in the hope that I’m going to teach you how to weave a festive outfit with nothing but a crochet hook and your cat’s moulted fur, as much as I think that’s admirable, I’m not your gal! I’m just your average mum-of-two living my life in a suburban English town, trying to embrace a more sustainable way of living: making eco-friendly swaps where I can, and trying to think a bit ‘greener’.

While many of us try to steer clear of using palm oil, and vigilantly recycle our cardboard on a daily basis, come December, few of us follow through with our sustainable sensibilities when it comes to getting ready for Christmas.

According to a study undertaken by the University of Manchester, in the festive period alone we use 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging for gifts and we consume 80% more food than during the rest of the year (whilst still managing to throw away a whopping £1billion worth of food!) We send enough Christmas cards that, if laid out side-by-side they could wrap around the circumference of the world 500 times over and, as a nation, we waste £4billion on buying unwanted gifts.

So is there a way to have a greener Christmas without being a total Scrooge? Of course there is, and better still, it’s not even hard, you can be more green this Christmas by following my Ten Easy Steps to a Greener Christmas.

Step One: DIY Gift Tags

Re-use the Christmas cards you receive this year as next year’s gift tags. This is such a simple idea, but such a good one. It’s something my Mum used to do and I still do every year, with both Christmas and birthday cards.

All you have to do is cut the front panel of the card away from the section with the written message on. Pop the written portion of the card in the recycling bin and keep the front piece.

Choose what part of the card you think would make a nice gift tag. Depending on the design of the card, you can often get multiple gift tags from one card: sometimes I’ll just snip out a small section, perhaps a dainty “Merry Christmas” in a lovely font (this works well for small, boxed presents); or if there’s a main illustration or photo in the centre of the card, I’ll cut the whole lot out. If there's no particular part that would work better than another, I’ll just cut it into four square pieces and go for a more abstract look.

Then all you have to do is hole-punch your tag and thread a small length of ribbon or twine through. Easy peasy!

My Two Scrummie Top Tips for Gift Tags:

1. Using paper-edger scissors that cut a crinkly or scalloped edge smartens up the finish of your cutting. (I have a jumbo assortment from Hobbycraft).

2. Help others to make DIY gift tags next year by only writing on the right-hand side of your Christmas cards!

Step Two: Buy What You’ll Eat

When it comes to doing your Christmas food shop; take a shopping list with you and stick to it! No matter how enticingly packaged it is, if a turkey-flavoured Terry’s Chocolate Orange isn’t on your list (is this even a thing?) don’t go throwing one into your trolley just because you feel like it. Mr Scrummie and I tend to sit down together in the week before Christmas and come up with a meal plan; this way we buy only what we know we will need and what will actually get used.

Further to this, it’s worth highlighting that buying something just “because it’s traditional” is completely daft if no one in your house actually likes it or will eat it!

If you do end up buying more than you need, download a food waste app, like Olio, and give it away to someone in your local area who can make use of it.

Step Three: That’s A Wrap