Christmas is coming, gifts are getting bought!
Christmas: the time of maximum consumerism here in the UK and a time when we need to be extra aware of the effect of our purchases on the planet. Shops are calling to us to buy, buy, buy - luring us in with sparkly lights and glitzy goods, tempting us to think that our homes should be decorated with those bright baubles or scented candles, that our friends and family would love that gift box of bath products, those special biscuits or fancy box of chocolates.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not against all the fun of Christmas - putting up decorations, having special meals, giving and receiving gifts - but I think we need a thoughtful approach to where and what we purchase.
Many businesses depend on selling lots at this time of year and this is particularly the case for small independent shops and makers. Do you know about the Just a Card campaign? This aims to raise the profile of artists, designers, independent shops and small businesses. It encourages people to support and buy from them because every purchase, however small, is vital to their prosperity and survival. Look out for Just a Card Indie Week taking place 25th - 29th December, which will help you to find small businesses to support!
This year, more than ever before, there are lots of small businesses making sustainable or eco-friendly products. These can be great alternatives to the more usual mass-produced products that are bought to decorate our homes or give as gifts during the festive season. Not only do these have less of a detrimental impact on the well-being of our planet through the choice of materials used, but many are made to last longer, so result in less waste.
Here are some of my suggestions:
Plastic-free crackers made from recycled materials from Little Deeds Shop
Decorations made from old books and magazines by AlyCraftBookFolds
Gift wrap and plenty of stocking fillers from Coconut and Cotton
Reusable fabric gift bags from Badger and Bobbins
Christmas cards printed on recycled card and responsibly packaged without plastic by Embers and Ink
Candle holders made from reclaimed wood by Hemwood
Jewellery made from recycled silver by MaxwellHarrison
Art dolls made from upcycled and eco-dyed fabrics by Dolls with Attitudes
And (of course) bags and accessories made from upcycled fabrics by BarMadeBags
Hopefully, this has given you some ideas of how your Christmas shopping can be eco-friendly and also support small businesses. These are only a few of the many artists and creators making sure that their products are sustainable. You can find some more suggestions in my Pinterest board on Eco-friendly gifts.
Lets all aim at making this an eco-conscious festive season and spreading the word about taking care of our planet!