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Sustainable Christmas Guide

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

Looking for more than cheap made in China tinsel dressed trees and wrapping paper filled bins this Christmas? Be inspired by our friendlier holiday tips.

Oh Christmas Tree, oh #christmastree !

Of course, we will always advise you to buy a natural Christmas tree... only if you can trace its origin back to locally grown. Choose them in pots, or those that you can replant later. Why not an artificial fir? In a survey conducted by Ellipsos, through analysing their respective life cycles, it was found that the natural fir releases 3.1 kg of CO2 compared to 8.1 kg of CO2 (from production, usually in China, to transport etc) for the artificial fir. And surely a tree you can meet again with every year is something special? And if you can’t find local, why not trade the fir for a local tree? You‘ll be sure to surprise your guests. As for decorations, look for natural seasonal features or splurge on some beautiful glass ornaments to collect over the years. Skip the tinsel... and make an edible garland by threading popcorn!


Christmas decoration & traditions...#recycled

Pinterest is a treasure cave of ideas for recycling and creating a magical decor. Not only unique and personalised, the DIY Christmas decoration further enhances the magic of this special time of year and reminds us that happiness and simple things are what make a home. Top of the charts is the homemade #adventcalendar, perfect for everyone and a great family activity too. Almost unavoidable, even outright undeniable Christmas object, it is obviously out of the question to do without it but that doesn’t mean you need to buy the heavily packaged boxes of unethical cheap chocolates - replace them altogether with your preferred sweets or gift, and avoid individually wrapped candies. Come time to feast, when setting up the table, use pine cones dipped in old wax candle ends to repurpose those you can no longer use, and berries lightly covered in icing sugar for delicious centre pieces you can nibble on, among orange peels - much more noticeable, fragrant and tasty than plastic confetti! And ditch the paper serviettes, obviously.

Festive Menu: more Green, less Mean

You might be tempted to eat organic but need we remind you that as great as it is for your health, if it took a plane to land that sweet potato on your plate, it packs a punch in carbon footprint. Instead, ask yourself where this salmon was raised. Very, very far from home? Mmmmh, bad sign. Not sure about yourself? Choose seafood, which should be purchased from the producer if possible. Healthy and much more environmentally friendly (if you buy right). As for vegetables, remember to favour seasonal ones, their ecological impact is a whopping 5 times less than their imported relatives. On the meat side... the debate is great. And it's raging. Some people will not consider doing without the famous stuffed turkey for anything in the world, and here in Asia meat is a real staple for Chinese and Korean cuisines. However, the vegetarian Christmas menu can be just as gourmet! Don't feel guilty, do the best you can for yourself and your family. If you choose to serve meat (with a high carbon footprint), reduce the sail on other high consumption sources, buy local, grass fed (soy is produced mostly for livestock these days!) and importantly no more than a serving for each. As for the stormy case of the foie-gras.... Organic farming does not yet recognize organic foie gras (hard to imagine how force-feeding could ever be ethical really), but some french scientists nI doubt desperate to solve the problem have developed a feeding method that guarantees the same result without barbaric force feeding, so there may soon be an organic foie-gras soon, if not ethical. Better still, indulge in "faux-gras". Almost the same taste, less guilt.

Ethical & Sustainable Christmas gifts

Make your own gifts or buy made locally or second hand (no packaging!). Create your DIY gifts as a very nice scarf, a kit to make chocolate chip muffins or marmalade jars... If you are not very good with your hands (it happens to the best of us), bet everything on intangible gifts. No not just impersonal gift vouchers, but experiences such as a sensual massage, a dinner for two, a night in an exceptional hotel, a family or friend outing to laser game, an escape room or a horseback ride... For gifts for children, consider boycotting toys that require batteries. Choose handcrafted good quality toys that will last over time, that can be fixed and shared!

bye-bye futile!

If there’s one thing you can absolutely do without this Christmas it’s #wrappingpaper. Sure it’s pretty, but no one will reproach you for reusing paper bags, or pre loved boxes. Some home made gifts are so pretty they don’t even require to be wrapped: why not tie a ribbon around the homemade #christmascookie kit jar? Use fabric scarves and napkins using the #Furoshiki techniques for small gifts, as has been doing #Lush for many years. These knot wraps make for double the gifts.

Get unconventional and see just how much you can do for a gentler Christmas. And that’s a wrap!

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