How to shop sustainably this Christmas
Keep it local, buy less and buy better: in this blog post, we’ll help make it easy! Read on to discover sustainable Christmas gifts from British brands, how to make your own natural Christmas decorations and reduce plastic packaging waste. With just a few simple changes, you can feel good and enjoy a more eco-friendly Christmas this year.
Resist the pressure to have the biggest Christmas ever
Let’s be honest, Christmas 2020 was a bit of a damp squib for most of us! Consequently, you might be feeling the pressure to make Christmas 2021 “the biggest Christmas ever”. Before you do, take time to think about what really makes the festive celebrations special for your family. If it feels right for you, resist those brands trying to persuade you that buying more is the answer. Quality time together and meaningful Christmas experiences will probably make for a less stressful and more memorable day.
Pledge to shop local this Christmas
Supporting local makers and food producers at Christmas time is more sustainable… and more fun too! Almost three in five people say they prefer to buy from someone they know, and 60% trust recommendations made by local shopkeepers. Local retailers not only offer a more personal shopping experience, supporting them enables you cut down on food miles and helps your community bounce back after a tough year. Furthermore, with worries around supply chains and deliveries on goods from overseas, British-made gifts and locally-grown foods are likely to be delivered more reliably.
Farmer's markets are the best way to buy locally-grown food directly from the producer. You can find your local farm shops and markets using this directory.
A cosy wool blanket is a gift everyone will love, whether they're on the sofa watching a Christmas movie or snuggled in bed opening their stocking!
Give British-made Christmas gifts with a story
One of the nicest things about shopping locally for Christmas presents is that they have a story behind them. The British Blanket Company is a family-run business selling British-made wool blankets, so we know our story is really important to our customers in the UK, and around the world. By buying gifts from British brands, you can be sure of high quality, ethical employment standards and a low carbon footprint. Just check that the products you choose are genuinely manufactured in Britain (not just designed and branded here) to ensure your support makes a real difference to British companies. To help you tell the story, we include information about our British woollen mills, the quality of our natural wool and the ethics of our family business with every cosy blanket we sell.
Choose sustainable Christmas presents
It’s easier than you might think to give eco-friendly Christmas gifts. One of the simplest ways to ‘buy less and buy better’ is to encourage your family and friends to make a Christmas list, so every gift is wanted and cherished. For the gifts themselves, look for products made from natural materials which are better for the environment, or assemble a Christmas hamper filled with local food and drink (Box Local in Bristol will even do it for you). Finally, consider giving experiences rather than presents this Christmas: a theatre ticket, voucher for afternoon tea or a place on a weekend workshop are all thoughtful experience gifts that can be tailored to the recipient’s interests.
Christmas is the perfect time to connect with your inner crafter, whether that's making a simple garland from foraged foliage or decorating brown paper gift wrap
Deck the halls with natural Christmas decorations
Shop-bought Christmas decorations are too often made from plastic, whether that’s tinsel, glitter or baubles. By choosing alternatives made from natural materials, or even making homemade decorations yourself, you can reduce the impact on the environment. Personally, I think there’s nothing nicer than traditional Christmas decorations like evergreen wreaths, pinecones, and dried oranges. They smell so much better than artificial and can be composted once Twelfth Night comes around. Most councils will collect real Christmas trees with the kerbside recycling too, turning them into mulch for public flower beds.
Reduce Christmas packaging and food waste
This is yet another advantage of buying local food this Christmas. Meat bought from the butcher and veg from the greengrocer is less likely to come in excessive plastic packaging. By popping to local shops throughout the festive season you can also reduce food waste by only buying what you need. If you do end up with too much food, try these tasty recipes for Christmas leftovers. Finally, choose recyclable gift wrap and Christmas cards (those with foil or glitter can’t be recycled) or even better, make your own eco-friendly gift wrap by decorating brown paper with stamps or stencils.
Looking for more ideas?
The British Blanket Company newsletter is delivered directly to your inbox and a great source of Christmas gift ideas from fellow British makers, hand-picked decoration ideas and shopping tips from our team. Plus, our newsletter subscribers are always the first to know about new blanket collections and special discount offers. Sign up to our newsletter here now!