Have yourselves a merry little (sustainable) Christmas

Photo Credit: Dana Nestorova, Henry Be and Libby Penner

The festive season is a wonderful time of year and during the darkest days of winter, there is nothing better than planning for a very happy Christmas.  However, this year more than ever, it is important to celebrate with friends and family safely and sustainably. No one wants to spoil the fun, so it is important to make sure your home is welcoming and relaxing.

Christmas is all about giving and sharing and there is no better way than to let the spirit of Hygge fill your home.  Be present with your guests and let technology take second place.  Organise local walks and spend as much time as possible outside. When darkness comes, enjoy board games, baking, music, jigsaws or reading aloud.  Fill your home with the scents of Hygge and candlelight.  Make sure there are opportunities for all ages to take part.

The following tips are intended to help us enjoy a sustainable Christmas without being preachy or boring.  It’s the holiday season and we all want to relax and have fun!

  • Christmas traditions and rituals – this is a time to engage with your family traditions and enjoy them even if they are a bit outdated! If you always eat turkey and Christmas pudding at 1pm then stick with it but if one of your guests is vegan plan to include something special that’s plant based – you might find others want to join in.
  • Find time to eat outdoors – this is a lovely thing to do in a group – either take a picnic to the park or local woods or sit in the garden with mugs of mulled wine or apple juice – it will definitely make everyone feel good.
  • Natural decorations – use your walks to forage for moss, fir cones, seed heads, grasses and evergreen branches. Raid your herb garden or window box and dry orange slices on a low heat in the oven.  Making natural decorations will bring all your guests together and should create a really positive atmosphere – children will love this too!
  • Natural candles – these are so important for Hygge evenings. Choose locally produced candles made with vegan waxes such as soy, coconut oil or rapeseed oil and no petrochemicals.  If you prefer fragranced candles, opt for those that include organic essential oils.   If you are not vegan, local apiary produced beeswax candles are also a sustainable option.  Candles are not without their problems but there are plenty of troubleshooting guides online to help you become a candle burning pro!
  • Laying the table – using cotton or linen placemats and napkins really sets the scene for your Christmas table. Washable natural fabrics are far more sustainable than throwaway options.  Eco-friendly crackers are available now or you can make your own – these can be personalised and are great for children.  Empty match boxes filled with a toy, joke and sweet treat might hit the spot.  Candles create a soft illumination which is very calming but ensure that they are always sited safely. Bring on the natural decorations and your table will have a magical, festive appeal.
  • Ethical gifts – there is still time to indulge in some ethical gifting. Choose small, ethical producers rather than major corporate retailers and create your own curated present collection.  Wrapping should include recycled or compostable paper or try the Japanese ‘Furoshiki’ method of wrapping in beautiful fabrics – offcuts are perfect for this.  Edible presents are fun to make and receive or opt for a zero-waste experience or charity gift.
  • Indoor plants for Christmas – Add some natural colour to your home this Christmas with a range of plants that look their best this season. Poinsettia, orchids, cyclamen and amaryllis are all in flower at this time.  Bulbs like hyacinths make great present too.
  • Diffusers – whether you prefer a reed diffuser, a traditional diffuser powered by candlelight, or a plug-in version make sure that the fragrances you atomise are healthy as well as fragrant. Organic essential oils are the most sustainable, plant based with no toxic chemicals.  For a healthy and aromatic treat this Christmas check out Hygge blend (with 15% discount while stocks last).