In the centre is a group of women around a worktop making sustainable Christmas wreaths out of natural products and foliage.
Tuesday, 12 December 2023

Green Seasons Greetings

Deck the halls and raid the malls, tis the season that is known for over-consumption and over-spending. But with 62% of Brits thinking Christmas is over-commercialised, is it time for a change in our approach to the festive season?  

We think so! This Christmas why not try to shift your focus from the heavy marketing campaigns and instead create a more sustainable Christmas filled with experiences and memories. We have developed a list of creative ideas and fun activities that you can do over the festive period to ensure that this is the best Christmas yet without costing the earth.  

Christmas decorations  

Nothing makes you feel cosier than being curled up on a sofa with a mug of hot chocolate surrounded by Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, a lot of decorations in shops today are filled with un-recyclable plastic and are not made to last. So instead, why not try some home-made decorations this year! Invite some friends over for a ‘mince pie and mulled wine’ evening filled with crafts.  

First up are these cute origami stars. These are perfect tree decorations or can be strung together to make a garland, we absolutely love the look of the ones made with music sheets from the charity shop!  

Next let’s make the most of our natural environment and get creative! Organise a festive family walk to find natural materials for home-made decorations. The best hunting ground for wintry materials are gardens, woods, hedgerows, verges and field edges. Look for evergreen foliage, twigs, branches, berries, seed heads, colours and textures.  Weave together bendy branches or twigs like hazel, willow and ivy to make a wreath and add ribbon, dried fruit and red berried holly to bring a pop of colour! You can create eye-catching displays using bare twigs and Christmas lights. Hanging oak or other medium-sized tree branches to the ceiling is a great alternative to a Christmas tree and vases of twigs, sprigs of foliage or pinecones strewn down the centre of the table around tea lights looks amazing.   

Look online for tutorials on sustainable wreath making, garland making and tree decoration making, the options are endless! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.  

Wrapping  

Unfortunately, most conventional wrapping paper isn’t recyclable and even wrapping paper that is labelled as recyclable often isn’t recycled as it is too difficult for crews to tell the difference between the two when sorting.  

Alternative options that are most likely to be recycled are brown paper or reusing newspapers or magazines to wrap your presents. Try to use as little tape as possible and paper tape is better than plastic.  

If you fancy something more colourful, cloth wrapping or gift boxes are a great reusable option that create circular gift-giving as the recipient can use them to wrap presents next year. Furoshiki – the Japanese art of cloth wrapping is a fun and sustainable way to wrap your gifts this year. Click here for a tutorial.  

Activities and Events  

Chatting amongst the team, the things we cherish most are time with our families, yearly traditions and community. Focusing on these values make it easy to have a sustainable and waste-minimal Christmas filled with fun activities, making time for friends and family and supporting community events. This holiday season, take the time to hang out with friends, spend time with family and make new memories. In our counties, we have a fabulous network of community groups who are running many events from wreath making to swap events. Follow the CAG Devon and CAG Somerset pages to be kept UpToDate on the latest events in your area.  

We would love to hear your plans and tips for a Sustainable Christmas, please reach out to us on our socials!  

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A picture of a community allotment. wooden planters are in neat rows with small paths between them. Within the planters are different green leafy plants of varying heights. In some planters are canes growing peas. All plants appear to be seasonal summer vegetables. To the back right of the image are some sheds and the community allotment continues right through the image