The 12 Days of (Conscious) Christmas
What are the 12 Days of Christmas? Other than a time to celebrate the holiday season with our loved ones, enjoy a few mince pies and count down to Christmas Day, the lead up to the 25th gives us a great opportunity to make some changes in preparation for the coming year. And what better gift to give Planet Earth this festive season than a conscious Christmas?
What does 12 Days of Christmas mean to you? We’re dreaming of a green, environmentally clean Christmas this year and in the run up to the big day, it’s a time to call on all of our eco elves to fiil the season with sustainability. Looking for a helping hand? We’ve got you – for the 12 Days of Christmas, we’re delivering more than just your presents this year. Here is our 12 Days of Christmas list, including small swaps to make over the Xmas period, so you can wish your loved ones a Merry Conscious Christmas.
Rethink your wrapping
First off, can you recycle wrapping paper? Scrunch and see… The easiest way to tell is to scrunch your paper; if it stays in a ball, it’s most likely safe to pop in with the recycling, but it’s never guaranteed. Instead, opt for biodegradable over bin-able for your wrapping this season!
Every year, 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away in the UK alone – it’s estimated that we dispose of enough to stretch to the moon! So what can we use instead? Brown paper will be your bestie, not only does it bring a classic Christmas vibe under your tree, it’s 100% natural and compostable, so we can spread Christmas cheer and sustainability this year with environmentally green wrapping paper.
If you want to take one carbon-footprint-reducing step further in the quest for eco-friendly wrapping paper, scrap the paper altogether and opt for fabric, a reusable option that can be folded and put back in the drawer for next Christmas… And the next… and the next.
Ethical gifts to go green
Last Christmas 43% of people in the UK opted for sustainable gifts, a little win we love to see, but how can we get this figure up this year?
Get your loved ones on the sustainable train (or turn them into fiils fanatics…) and buy with brands actively giving back to the planet. Slip an ethical gift under their tree this season and even plant one at the same time by shopping with a brand using Ecosia. Two gifts for the price of one? Yes please!
Switch up on single-use plastic and opt for refillable, reusable and eco-friendly Christmas presents. We’ve included a few ideas below to make things a little easier:
• A reusable stainless steel bottle
• A net or tote bag for shopping
Looking for a less traditional gift? Plant a tree with The National Trust, a present for the planet and it’s packaging free.
Pack up on packaging
Packaging, the forgotten underdog of Christmas, lining our food, presents and making up 40% of the world’s plastic. Of course, reducing packaging waste isn’t just for December, but during the holidays our consumption increases by 8.2%, so it is extra important to be an eco-activist and opt for Mother Nature’s best friend – zero waste.
When it comes to gifting, forget fancy inserts and bubble wrapped boxes. Shop brands keeping it simple and sustainable; at fiils, we say no to frills.
On to food… Over the Christmas period, 125,000 tonnes of plastic food wrapping is discarded; 3,000 tonnes coming from turkey packaging, the equivalent of 30 blue whales. when sourcing your parsnips and potatoes, grab some paper-bagged produce from your local grocer, and biodegradable-wrapped meat for your Christmas dinner – or opt for an alternative for your festive feast…
Veganuary begins in December
If you’re already planning your table trimmings, it’s good to know that a vegan Christmas dinner produces 50% less carbon emissions than a traditional turkey dinner, meaning you can eat green and tuck into a delicious dinner.
Whichever meal you opt for, get your food storage containers at the ready! Every year across the world, approximately 1.6 billion tonnes of food goes to waste. Freezing just 1kg of leftovers reduces your CO2 by 2.5kg, and who doesn’t want to cook up a cure for Christmas nostalgia going into January?
Sustainable Season’s Greetings
We all love receiving a little heartfelt message through the mail, and this year we can deliver some Christmas cheer to Mother Nature by reaching out to our tech-savvy relatives with an eco e-card, saving 140g of CO2 per card! 1 billion Christmas cards are thrown away annually. Revamp old cards into postcards and by plastic free, recycled Christmas cards this year.
A Christmas break for the climate
Heading off on holiday for Christmas or visiting your loved ones? Whether you’re hitting the road or the skies, slip a fiils travel set and vegan wash bag into your suitcase to put a dent in the yearly 980.8 tonnes of plastic waste produced by miniatures.
Before you go, offset those travel emissions by planting a tree or two! In just one year, a mature tree absorbs more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. At fiils, we plant one with every order, so you can rock around more than one tree this Christmas.
The planet-loving potted tree
We’re all about refill and reuse, but for Christmas we’re taking evergreen literally and switching to repot and reuse! Did you know that plastic trees produce 40kg of carbon emissions? More than double the 16kg released by a real decomposing one. Close the loop this Christmas – go for a small, potted, eco-friendly Christmas tree. They live for years, and once they’ve outgrown your living room, replant your forest friend in the garden!
LED over incandescent
If every household in the UK swapped out their string incandescent lights for the LED equivalent, we could save more than 29,000 tonnes of CO2 over just the 12 Days of Christmas. LEDs produce 80% less energy and still provide that traditional twinkle. We’re adding a green-friendly glow to our tree with eco lights, but what about the rest of our home?
Deck the halls with sustainability
Investing in sustainable Christmas decorations makes a world of a difference, literally. Buy into bronze, wood and especially glass decorations, a material that believe it or not, can be recycled infinitely, using 40% less energy in the process. Choose a wreath for the world by avoiding plastic options and switching to fabric; they can be made at home and pulled out if the eco Christmas closet for years to come. Heading outside, solar powered decorations bring joy to the Earth and your neighbours, with a lowered energy intake that your bank account and the ozone layer will love.
Shop big or go home
We mean that in a conscious sense, of course. As consumers, our Christmas shopping brings multiple journeys and a string of online deliveries. More trips = more emissions. In 2020, e-commerce spending increased by 56% over the Christmas period; with an average of 181g of CO2 per drop off, that’s a lot of carbon! In the run up to Christmas, reduce your journeys by buying all of the essentials in one big shop and ordering your gifts in bulk from two or three of your fave sustainable brands.
Cracker down on plastic
We heard you’re topping off your Xmas table, how about a climate-friendly cracker? If you lined up the crackers thrown away each year, end to end, we would have the equivalent of 1,220 Mount Everests stacked on top of each other.
Purchase recyclable options, or get creative and make your own Christmas crackers! Choose a natural, compostable casing, tie with twine and slip in a small sustainable gift – here’s a few ideas:
• A bamboo toothbrush
• Tree planting seeds
• Lip balm in a metal tin
• Vouchers for sustainable brands
Top off a conscious Christmas with twine
Twine, ribbon’s sustainable sister, is biodegradable, recyclable, compostable and the perfect addition to your new-found brown paper wrapping. Now, go tie up your sustainable season in a neat little bow.
Looking to get a head start on your conscious Christmas? Head over to fiils for gifts that are good for the globe and the perfect present to fiil that space under the tree.