HAVE A HOLLY, JOLLY, SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS

Everyone has different Christmas traditions they stand by, and if you're like me you believe your traditions are the only right way to do it; I had a flatmate who ate "just whatever, cereal or something" for Christmas breakfast when it's clearly supposed to be coffee and croissants, and another friend who's never watched the queens speech. While, unfortunately many of our holiday traditions aren't the most eco-friendly, fortunately there are easy switches we can make.

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Choose your gifts carefully

I get it. I am one of the first to shun the busy high street in favour of staying home with a mince pie and having all my Christmas shopping delivered to me. However consider the carbon footprint attached to having 15 different packages delivered to your door, instead of a trip into town on the bus. And this is before we consider the other practices we're encouraging by giving money to the big corporations. Shop local where you can, and if you truly can't face the Christmas wrestling matches just to get in through the doors of the shop, have a look online past Amazon and Asos. Buy a Stay Wild Swim product, a Guppybag or Cora Ball, these new products are designed to filter out the harmful micro-plastics in our washing machine cycles, or get crafty and start knitting! Your gift will feel more personal and the environment will thank you. 

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Choose your wrapping paper carefully

This is a tricky one because you can't control what wrapping paper you receive, and you also can't control what happens to the wrapping paper your gifts are wrapped in. But did you known the gorgeous shiny and glittery paper that makes our instagram tree's look so good can't be recycled? The good news is there's a lot of stylish paper out there that either can be recycled, or is made from recycled materials itself. Paperchase and Hobbycraft are your friends here. Shop around and you'll be sure to find something with style, or go 2002-retro-kitsch and wrap your presents in old newspaper! While we're on the subject; Christmas cards. Maybe it's a generation thing but I never saw the point of Christmas cards, you're saying 'I care about you, but not a presents worth'. Unless you're spilling your feelings out to a long-lost lover they tend to be a generic 'wishing you well'. They all get binned come January and to me always seemed like a colossal waste. Luckily they seem to be dying out with the invention of social media. Many are even opting to skip sending cards out and spend what they normally would on a charity of their choice. That's a trend I can get behind. 

Look into your Christmas dinner

I feel like I'm going to get some hate for this from herbivores and omnivores alike. But I was a vegetarian for 5 years, and I don't regret anything... Except the five Christmas dinners I missed out on. I made one back the year I went back to eating meat because my sister had tonsolitis and was too ill to eat Christmas dinner, so I stepped up and had hers and mine. Christmas dinner is almost sacred so I'm not telling you how to eat yours, I would like to offer some tips though: 

Get a free-range or organic turkey; this is fairly easy with the rise of sustainability demand; shop in-season veg, pay attention to the packaging your dinner ingredients come in, especially veg seems to be packed in a crazy amount of plastic, buy loose where you can (and this is also and excuse to buy the big bottle of gin) try to buy local produce, and reduce food waste by utilising leftovers wherever you can.

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Embrace your dad's penny-pinching ways

Anyone else's dad spend all of December turning lights off and turning the heating down while telling you to put an extra jumper on? Or what about that aunt that used to carefully peel the paper off gifts so she could iron and re-use it? The older generation got a lot right in this area, did you know turning down your thermostat down one degree could save you up to Β£100 a year on your heating bill? To conserve energy and reduce carbon footprint embrace your elders way (within reason!) And save yourself some cash in the process. Win-win!  

There are a so many more small changes you can make at Christmas time. I always find it difficult as December is the busiest month, and we all have a million different things to do, I haven't done half my shopping and have two parties to go to this Saturday alone. All you can do is try your best, and I promise I'll try mine too. 

This blog was written by Stay Wild family member Kirsteen Macleod. β€˜Growing up on the small Scottish Isle of Lewis I was taught from a young age to respect the ocean. Now living beside the beach in Portobello, Edinburgh the sea is still a massive part of my life. I believe the ocean has always protected me, now I try and return the favour. You can follow my attempts on instagram @Kirstags

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