With so much talk about how we can be more sustainable, we thought we’d put together a guide to help you make more eco-conscious choices this festive season. From using less plastic to reducing food wastage there’s lots of simple things you can do!
We receive so many gifts during the Christmas period and let’s face it, we don’t need it all! When buying, try to stick to gifts that you know won’t have a huge impact on the environment. Swap out that plastic bottle of bubble bath for a soap bar, or that candle wrapped in copious amounts of plastic for a reusable flask. Take notes of those little hints your loved ones give you throughout the year and get them something they really need or want. Remember, quality over quantity is always a good mantra for present buying.
The cards we send and receive aren’t so friendly to our planet. Stop sending them all together and donate to charity, let your loved ones know what you’ve done on their behalf. If you feel you really need to send them, opt for e-cards or only buy them for a select few. Another idea is to save up the cards you receive this year and DIY next year’s. Get crafting and cut out the best bits, stick them onto recycled card for personalised designs.
Elaborate gift wrap looks lovely but creates so much waste. Recycling wrapping paper can be a pain, especially if it’s laminated or covered in glitter and tape. Choose wrap which is recycled, or you know is definitely recyclable. This type can be a little more expensive but if you keep the quantity of presents to a minimum, it shouldn’t make a huge dent in your budget. Store any gift bags and re-use them next year, there’s no need to throw them away when they’re still in perfect condition.
If you’re stuck for gift ideas, browse our hampers which are full of the best from local suppliers.
The Food and Drink
Arguably, the best part about the festive period is all the food and drink! Take note of where it comes from, are the suppliers ethical? At Over Farm we care about the origins of our stock and the values our suppliers uphold.
For instance, Gloucester Brewery provide us with delicious craft beers. The business is partnered with Tree App and they have planted 429 trees to date! Two Farmers supply our crisps, and all their packaging is biodegradable. Made from sustainable cellulose and plant-based inks the bags break down into water, carbon dioxide and biomass that can be made into soil.
Be mindful of the amount of food you buy this Christmas, think realistically to avoid unnecessary waste. If you do have any leftovers, there’s of course things you can do with them. Read our Christmas Leftover Recipes for inspiration.
There’s a common misconception that bringing out the same artificial tree year on year is better for the environment when in fact a real one is actually much kinder!
The Christmas trees we sell at Over Farm are planted as a crop, and not cut from a natural woodland or forest. Every tree that is cut from our land will be replanted with another for you to enjoy in another 8-12 years. Whilst growing, our trees use up carbon dioxide and release oxygen to benefit us all. Christmas tree plantations provide a great cover for wildlife and birds, who often nest in them.
Unlike artificial trees real Christmas trees are recyclable. We’re taking part in Treecycle 2022! Once you’re done with your tree bring it to Over Farm and put it in the designated bin to be collected by Tewkesbury Borough Council and turned into compost. Please only put real trees in the bin and remove all decorations. This easy method of disposal is great for the environment, just drop your tree off as you’re passing.
Make the right choice for the environment this year and buy a real Christmas tree from Over Farm. We have a large selection available in the roundhouse or use our convenient click and collect or delivery service. For more information about our trees, take a read of the Ultimate Guide to Real Christmas Trees.
Jumpers, Crackers and Advent Calendars
It can be tempting to buy a new Christmas jumper every year, but have you ever considered the environmental impact? 95% of Christmas jumpers contain acrylic which will pollute the earth when disposed of. Instead of buying brand new, swap with a friend or buy second-hand.
Crackers are typically full of plastic toys that end up in the bin right after Christmas Dinner is over. This year try putting them together yourself. Make the outside from rectangle sheets of fabric and tie each end with a pretty ribbon, that way you can reuse the same packaging next year. Fill them with small sustainable gifts you know your guests will actually use.
Advent calendars are typically made from cardboard and plastic which has to be recycled or go to landfill after the countdown. Buy a reusable advent calendar that can be filled year upon year. Giving children pieces of a Lego set each day will keep them entertained and can be played with again and again. If you can’t go without your daily sweet treat, buy from a local chocolate supplier and distribute behind each of the doors yourself.
We hope we have given you some simple, easy changes you can make this Christmas to reduce your festive environmental impact. Whether it’s making your Christmas Eve buffet more eco-friendly with Two Farmers crisps or picking a real tree this year, it’s small changes that will make all the difference!