Putting the Green Back in Christmas

A Green Christmas

Every year, we all go a little crazy shopping, baking, wrapping, and cooking up a storm. But wouldn’t it be great if at the end of the day we weren’t left exhausted by all the unwanted gifts, endless social events and one too many mince pies?

With a little imagination and care we can reduce the negative environmental impact of the festive season.

This year we’re planning on putting the GREEN back in Christmas to make this the healthiest, cleanest, and most eco-friendly season yet. Here are ten ways that you can start planning for a festive season that does not cost the earth.

1. Sustainable Christmas Cards

Christmas cards can be an enormous waste if you think about it. But the lovely and local growing paper cards are embedded with seeds that will sprout into indigenous flowers or herbs after the paper is planted in the ground and so will keep on giving long after the message in the card has been read. Their production process eliminates all this senseless waste – their products are made in a completely sustainable way, using post-consumer wastepaper, water-based inks and wastewater from surrounding farming activities. The result is a beautiful card or tag that’s fully biodegradable.

Growing Paper Gift Tag Pack - Multi-coloured
4 x gift tags, 8cm x 6cm – 4 x gift tags, 8cm x 6cm – R35

Growing Paper Gift Tag – Bird – 1 gift tag, 8cm x 6cm – R10

Growing Paper Card - Merry Christmas
1 x Growing Paper Card – Merry Christmas with coloured envelope – R22
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2. Real Trees Are Better

Although artificial trees can last to up 6 years they are made from metal and derivatives of PVC, which require large amounts of energy to make, and also create by-products such as lead. Given that they are not naturally biodegradable, they will potentially pollute a landfill site for many years to come once thrown out. Real trees are carbon neutral. They are a naturally renewable resource, and generally feel much nicer in your home. They can be planted in your garden after Christmas, and even used again next year.

3. Organic Beverages

By buying organic wine, you’re essentially voting with your money and supporting organic farming over conventional farming. The more we support the organic industry, the more organic producers will be able to thrive – which is good news for us and for our mother Earth. Plus organically grown wine is MUCH more water wise, is toxin-free, lower in sulphates and higher in antioxidants!

Organic Mixed Wine Case – R435

Laibach The Ladybird White Organic Wine – R93

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4. Reduce Your Meat Consumption

We generally all end up having bigger and longer meals during the festive season and the consumption of meat rises during this time. Be conscious of your meat intake and try and keep some of your meals vegetarian. Cutting down the amount of meals you have with meat may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. Recent studies (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars) go as far as to show that giving up beef will reduce your carbon footprint more than giving up your car.

Artisan Grains Tricolour Cous Cous – R47

Artisan Grains Mediterranean Sundried Tomato Nut Roast – R89

La Bio Idea Organic Wholewheat Pizza Base 2-Pack
La Bio Idea Organic Wholewheat Pizza Base 2-Pack
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 5. Choose Clean Candles

Paraffin candles are made from petroleum residues which hurt you and our planet. Soy, beeswax or natural vegetable-based candles are better because they biodegradeable, are smoke-free, and  don’t emit potentially dangerous toxins into your home.

With Love Pure Beeswax Rolled Dinner Candle Set
With Love Pure Beeswax Rolled Dinner Candle Set – R44

Soylites Aromatherapy Candle in Frosted Glass
Soylites Aromatherapy Candle in Frosted Glass – Cinnamon Citrus – R185

With Love Pure Beeswax Natural T-Delight Candles
With Love Pure Beeswax Natural T-Delight Candles 6 tealights – R84
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6. Power With The Sun

Solar-powered gadgets not only make your own home a greener haven but are much better gifts to share than battery operated options.

Solsave My-Powa Solar Power Bank
Solsave My-Powa Solar Power Bank – R499

Solar Green Colour-Changing Floating Waterproof Solar Ball Light
Solar Green Colour-Changing Floating Waterproof Solar Ball – R169
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7. Shop Handmade, Homemade and Local

Our local crafters are bristling with talent, potential and need your support. Some of our our favourite local ranges that make for really beautiful sustainable gifting are Veldt fabrics; Earth Jewelry, Moko Handmade Wooden Gifts, Mawuwater Aquasacs, Retroganic Sun Chairs, Sexy Bamboo socks and Wake Up & Dream journals and art among many others. Every product we list shows whether it is local or not so that you have the choice.


 Veldt Acacia Forest Pewter & Red on Stone Cushion Cover
Veldt Acacia Forest Pewter & Red on Stone Cushion Cover – R299

 Earth Jewellery Bahay Unity Star
Earth Jewellery Bahay Unity Star – R795

Wake Up and Dream Reclaimed Wooden Block Quote – Every Sunrise – R280
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8. Find Re-usable Wrapping Ideas

Across the planet, Boxing day brings household bins piled high with wrapping paper. In South Africa, 600 million trees across 762,000 hectares are specifically grown for use in pulp and paper manufacture and the industry plants in excess of 260,000 trees every single day. South Africa’s timber plantations, which cater for pulp and paper, furniture and other wood based-products, lock up 900 million tons of carbon dioxide and release life-giving oxygen through the natural process of photosynthesis. Because trees, wood and paper products store carbon as solid matter, paper recycling is one of the simplest ways that we can green our future as we can help keep this carbon out of the atmosphere for longer. This year opt for reusable fabric gift wrapping, boxes and bags and avoid metallic or glossy paper at all costs. And no matter what – if you have paper under your tree, please do ensure it is recycled!

BlankSpace Recycled Wrapping Paper - Christmas
BlankSpace Recycled Wrapping Paper – Christmas – was R25.90 now R19.90

Gift Bags - Hessian
Gift Bags – Hessian – medium – 32cm high x 35cm – R30

Gift Boxes
Gift Box Medium: 15cm x 15cm x 16cm – R15
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 9. Be Battery Wise

The best way to do this is to avoid buying gifts that need batteries, of which sales also skyrocket this time of year.
Batteries contain toxic chemicals, don’t biodegrade and are difficult to recycle. Instead use rechargeable ones or the Greenenergy eco batteries.

Greenergy Rechargeable AAA Batteries – R48

Greenergy Rechargeable AA Batteries – R54
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10. Compost

There’s a lot more food being prepared this year – one positive outcome of this could be amazing life giving green juice for your garden, veggie patch or house plants. Compost all your food peelings or vegetable food waste into rich soil nutrition. We especially love the bokashi systems as they can break down absolutely any form of organic waste and do this without any odour.

Earth Probiotic Starter Kit – R319
Probio Indoor Composter & Bokashi Bran – R499 – Free Delivery
Chef’n EcoCrock Compost Bin – R699 – Free Delivery

 

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11. Don’t Forget Your Reusable Shopping Bags

Canvas shopping bags are an absolute must-have for anybody who’s serious about caring for the Earth. These reusable bags last for years and save so much waste, unlike disposable plastic grocery bags which cause such widespread pollution. Most know this but it is so easy to leave bags at home so get organized this festive season.

Faithful to Nature Branded Canvas Shopper Bag – 30 x 42cm – 1 bag – R133

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