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Christmas. When this word pops up, our minds are immediately flooded with images of gifts, freshly baked pastries, and opulent decorations. Indeed, many things are associated with the season of gifting.
But not all of them are sustainable. Many activities we do on Christmas generate tons of waste, many of which are non-biodegradable. Our gifts, snacks, and decor can accumulate carbon footprint as many raw materials are flown in from distant corners of the world.
We know that being sustainable during Christmas is not easy. You already have a lot on your plate, trying to juggle the gifting and decorating along with the already draining vicissitudes of everyday life. That’s why we are here to share our tips on some manageable ways you can be more sustainable this Christmas.
1. Sustainable Decor
With the festivities in full swing, you are probably in the midst of adorning your home with Christmas decor. You’re also probably eyeing new mistletoes, stars, fairy lights, and Christmas balls. But these items are often laced with plastics that take hundreds of millions of years to decompose, and they occupy copious amounts of space in our landfills. Purchasing them yearly creates demand for plastics, which produces even more plastics that will line our landfills.
A way to reduce plastic generation this Christmas is to simply reuse your decor from last year. If you have already thrown them away during your spring cleaning, just tell yourself to reuse them from this year on! Another good practice is to choose the ones made with environmentally friendly materials.
Alternatively, if you wish to have some fun with the little ones this Christmas, you can reuse materials and create some easy-to-make Christmas decor together!
My personal favourite is Christmas origami. Have magazines lying around your house? Shiny, sturdy and colourful, magazine pages are great materials for this sustainable Christmas decor. While there are many types of Christmas origami available, I chose this easy-to-make Christmas star because it only requires paper (and string, if you want to string many of them together).
(Source: Homemade Gifts Made Easy)
You can find videos on how to make these Christmas stars here.
2. Use Reusables in your Baking
Christmas is the season of baking. Just think about all the gingerbread men, cookies, brownies and cupcakes you’ll be baking and eating! But baking is not always the best for the environment: the disposable baking paper you use is often lined with plastic, and the containers you use to store your bakes are often disposable too.
Need a hand in reducing plastic waste this Christmas season? Our products are here to help.
- Paco Silicone Baking Mat: This heat-resistant silicone mat wears many hats. It replaces your baking paper, and can also be used as a board when kneading and shaping your pastries.
- Lejos Silicone Collapsible Lunch Box 2.0: This handy tool is microwave safe, freezer safe, and dishwasher safe, so you can both freeze your snacks and place your freshly-baked pastries in them. The best part? Instead of occupying precious space in your pantry, it can be collapsed down to just 3cm when not in use. Say goodbye to your plastic takeaway box this Christmas.
3. Sustainable Gifting
We want to present the best gifts to our loved ones. This Christmas, why not give Mother Nature a gift by gifting sustainably?
Our first tip: going local. In our small island country Singapore, many of our gifts hail from far-flung places around the globe. The trajectory of travel for imported goods, especially for perishable goods which have to go through air travel, can generate lots of carbon footprint. Shopping locally not only supports our Small and Medium Enterprises during this trying time, but can also drastically reduce the effect of your gifting choices on climate change.
A second way to make gifting more sustainable is to reduce disposable packaging. We get it- some wrapping papers and gift bags we see in the shopping malls are really cute and aesthetic. But many of them contain plastics too: see the sheen on its surface? That’s plastic.
Want to make a switch to more sustainable forms of gift packaging this Christmas? Check out our Oliver Park EDC Classic. This reusable bag is not just good enough to be a gift itself; it can also be used as a gift packaging to house your presents!
We would love to hear about your sustainability tips for Christmas. Let us know in the comments below!