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The 12 Days of (Conscious) Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas is a magical period spent celebrating the holiday season with our loved ones, enjoying a few mince pies and counting down to Christmas Day. But you know what would make it even better? Sprinkling some sustainability into your routine! The lead-up to the 25th gives us the perfect opportunity to make some changes in preparation for the coming year, and what better gift to give Planet Earth this holiday season than a conscious Christmas? In the run up to the big day, it’s time to call on 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 Conscious 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
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 the recycling, but it’s never guaranteed. Instead, choose biodegradable over binable for your wrapping this season! Every year, 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away in the UK alone – that’s enough to stretch to the moon. So what can we use instead? Brown paper is your bestie; not only does it bring a classic vibe to your Christmas tree, but it’s 100% natural and compostable, so we can spread sustainability AND cheer this year with some environmentally green wrapping paper.

If you want to take it 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 cupboard for Christmas next year, 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 up that figure this year?

Get your loved ones on the sustainability train (or turn them into fiils fanatics…!) and choose 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 buying 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 refillable fiils kit
  • A reusable stainless steel water bottle
  • A net or cotton tote bag for shopping

Looking for a less traditional gift? Plant a tree with The National Trust, a perfect present for the planet, plus 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’s 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 that keep it simple and sustainable, like fiils!

As for food, over the Christmas period 125,000 tonnes of plastic food wrapping is discarded, 3000 coming from turkey packaging – that the equivalent of 30 blue whales. When sourcing your parsnips and potatoes, grab some paper bagged produce from the local grocer, and biodegradable wrapped meat for your classic Christmas dinner.

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 one, meaning you can eat green and tuck into delicious food.

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 in the post, 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! And revamp this year by turning old cards into postcards, and buying plastic free, recycled Christmas cards.

A Christmas break for the climate
Heading off on holiday for Christmas, or visiting loved ones? Whether you’re hitting the road or the skies, slip a fiils travel set and vegan wash bag in your suitcase to put a dent in the yearly 980.8 tonnes of plastic waste produced by miniatures. Another thing before you go – offset those travel emissions by planting a tree or two! In 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 replenishing and refilling… 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 and go for a small, potted eco-friendly Christmas tree! They live for years and once they outgrow you, replant your forest friend in the garden.

LED over incandescent
If every household in the UK swapped 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 give that traditional twinkle. So we’re adding a green glow to our tree with eco lights.

Deck the halls with sustainability
Investing in sustainable Christmas decorations make a world of difference, literally. Buy into bronze, wood and especially glass decorations, a material that can be recycled indefinitely, using 40% less energy to process. Choose a wreath for the world by avoiding plastic options and switching to fabric – they can be made at home and pulled out of the eco Christmas cupboard for years to come!

Heading outside, solar powered decorations bring joy to the Earth (and your neighbours) with a lowered energy intake that both your bank account and the ozone layer will love.

Shop big or go home
We mean that in a conscious sense… As consumers, our Christmas shopping brings multiple journeys and a string of online deliveries, more trips and more emissions. In 2020, e-commerce spending increased by 56% over Christmas, and 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 face sustainable brands.

Cracker down on plastic
We heard you’re topping off your Xmas table… How about a climate friendly cracker? If you lined the crackers thrown away each year, end to end, you 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 are a few ideas:

  • A bamboo toothbrush
  • Tree-planting seeds
  • Lip balm in a metal tin
  • Vouchers for sustainable brands

Looking to get a head start on your conscious Christmas? Head to the fiils shop for gifts that are good for the globe and the perfect present to fiil that space under the tree.

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