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8 Ways to Have a More Sustainable Christmas

The festive season is a funny one. Filled with parties, music and tasty treats, we can’t help but look forward to it every year. But sometimes all the excessive buying can leave us feeling a little hollow. If you’re anything like us, you might suffer from post-Christmas consumption guilt. But don’t worry, there’s hope yet! We don’t have to fill our bins with plastic packaging, foiled wrapping paper, and unwanted presents. 

At The Collective, we're always striving to be more sustainable, thinking about ways to cut back on waste and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle; from the sharing economy of our spaces to events championing sustainable brands. Here are our top tips for a greener holiday season.

1. Buy experiences not things...

Consider taking your loved ones out to dinner, buying them tickets to a gig, an exhibition or festival. You could give them a course they’ve always wanted to do, a gallery membership, or a subscription to the New Scientist, The Guardian, or Netflix

2. Gift consumables that won’t go to waste...

If you must give something tangible, try wine, spirits or edible treats that can be shared. You can also make pickles, preserves or even skincare products; then pop them in reusable jars to give as presents. Check out our faves Wabî for homemade skincare workshops.

3. Buy second hand...

Take a pledge with your family to only buy from vintage or charity shops. Or, if you must buy new, simply exchange lists so you don’t buy (or receive!) any unwanted extras. 

4. Make your own decorations...

Try your hand at making wreaths, cards and decorations with paper, natural materials, foraged leaves and berries. Don’t forget to avoid plastic and glitter in your crafting, as these are often the least environmentally friendly materials. 

5. Cut down on meat...

Look into veggie and vegan options for some or all of the festive days. If you are eating meat, try to buy local and organic. 

6. Do you need a tree?

Huge numbers of trees end up in landfill every year, so think about what kind you’ll get if any. Try renting a tree, sourcing a sustainable one or buying one in a pot that you can plant up or donate afterwards. When you’re done with it, make sure it gets recycled by your local council.  

7. Cut back on wrapping paper...

Lots of wrapping paper isn't recyclable. Use brown paper, newspaper or fabric to wrap things. And tie presents up with reusable string or ribbon rather than tape and plastic bows.

8. Shop & travel efficiently...

Buy foods that are light on packaging. Get as much veg as possible from the greengrocers rather than a supermarket; and try to buy local and in bulk. Cycle, take public transport or car-pool to get to parties and events.