Santa may be swapping his red suit for green this year. Pinterest have released their annual Christmas trends prediction and, unsurprisingly, sustainable gifts are this year’s big pick.
Childhood memories of packaging piles as tall as the tree may be a thing of the past. With the environment battling with Brexit for front-page space in the nation’s newspapers, families are on the hunt for greener options this festive season.
Sustainable living expert Bella Middleton has been helping people to make environmentally friendly swaps since founding Norfolk Natural Living. She says that when it comes to green gifting, small changes can go a long way.
“Gifting sustainably doesn’t need to mean completely turning your back on packaging (which is lucky if you have children to buy for!). There are some really easy things to look out for which can help with your decision-making.
“For starters, toys in plastic bubble packaging with cardboard backs are becoming easier to avoid. Many toy-makers are developing simpler packaging – and even action figures which come without boxes at all. Although those types of material can usually be recycled, processing all that plastic and paper means huge amounts of unnecessary energy.
“Gift sets are always a festive favourite. They are even easier to keep sustainable. Look for sets in metal tins rather than plastic tubs or card. The tins can be re-used around the home (handy organiser for the junk drawer, anyone?).
“Candles, diffusers and personal cosmetics like natural hand cream are also great gifts for adults. Not only because they usually don’t come with superfluous packaging but also because they are presents that can be enjoyed over a longer period of time.
“A final tip that I always watch out for is wrapping paper. Most people would be surprised to learn just how little wrapping paper can actually be recycled. As a general rule, if it is shiny, has glitter on it or is textured, it can’t be recycled. Plenty of shops now sell fully recyclable wrapping paper – often paper which has already been recycled.”
● Bella Middleton is the founder and Creative Director of Norfolk Natural Living. You can access images of Bella here.
● Norfolk Natural Living created sustainable, handmade cleaning, laundry, skincare and scented products. All of their products are mixed by hand in Norfolk, England. Their website is www.norfolknaturalliving.com.
● Pinterest’s holiday trends report can be found here.