Christmasmovies by the fire, presents under the tree, stockings, elaborated menus, Mariah Carey in your ears... There's no doubt about it, the holiday season is just around the corner. But from the meal to the gifts’ choice, festivities are often synonymous with over-consumption. We would like to avoid turning Christmas into an environmental disaster, and here are 5 ways to reduce your packaging consumption during this time of the year.
1) Think recovery
Before you rush out to buy glittery wrappers, satin ribbons and laminated gift bags, think about all the gifts you've received and what you have done with them in no time. Because, indeed, most wrappings end up in shreds in less than 15 seconds (5 seconds with children opening presents 😉). But being shredded is one thing but most packaging is non-recyclable. Their lifespan is therefore limited. However, their impact on the planet will last for years.
We don’t want to participate in this vicious circle, and have thought about our beloved cardboard boxes. The idea? Giving a second life to existing packaging or paper.
One of the most popular Pinterest’ idea is to turn old newspapers into gift wrapping. Practical and ecological, you can even personalise the gift wrap by choosing a specific topic that corresponds to your loved one's interests. As well as being zero waste, this way of wrapping your gifts is also original and surprising.
2) Adopt the furoshiki
Originating from Japan, furoshiki is a fabric folding and knotting technique that has been used for over 1200 years. Also known as "fabric origami", this is one of the most popular traditions for carrying and wrapping gifts. Used specifically by the Japanese Nobility, it has now conquered the hearts of the West for its aesthetic appeal and durability. Indeed, this technique has many advantages: personalisation, aesthetics, eco-responsibility... The choice of fabric, patterns, colours and even ways of folding allow a wide range of possibilities and a hyper-personalisation of your gift wrapping.Thanks to furoshiki, you can also offer two gifts in one: a beautiful scarf that will first serve as a wrapping and a nice gift inside.
Not convinced yet? There's nothing to stop you going even further in the zero waste approach. Recover old clothes that you don't wear (and/or won't wear anymore) such as shirts, dresses or light tops to transform them into various pieces of fabric and use them as a base for your furoshiki. Considered a true art form, this technique also gives you the opportunity to be super creative and have a lot of fun wrapping your gifts without hurting the planet!
For inspiration and easy-to-reproduce folding methods, check out YouTube and Pinterest.
3) Rethink your shopping list
Today, making a shopping list has become an indispensable habit for some people. It allows you to avoid forgetting the needed products, but also not to dissipate yourself by buying superfluous ingredients that will, most of the time, end up in the bin.
But beyond the shopping list, a New Year's Eve without over-consumption also requires a small shopping kit including: one or more tote bags (reusable cloth bags) and airtight plastic or glass containers. Once you have this kit, all you have to do is go to your nearest bulk shop and buy your groceries as planned while avoiding the use of single-use packaging.
In addition to being zero waste, this alternative reduces your end-of-year carbon footprint by also selecting seasonal fruit and vegetables, local products, meat from sustainable and organic farms, etc. Reducing your New Year’s Eve carbon footprint is not that complicated!
Tip: hang your reusable fabric bags on your front door handle. You'll never forget them again when you leave!
4)Choose eco-responsible packaging
When buying during the holiday season, it is not always easy to refuse gift-wrapping, especially when it is kindly offered by the seller and perfectly executed. No one can blame you for taking the easy way out by accepting a beautiful package that would steal the show from Santa himself. But it is possible feel less guilty:
Today, more and more brands are aware of their ecological impact. And although it is not always easy for them to change their entire production overnight, many are trying everything they can to reduce their environmental impact and take steps in the right direction.
And one of the easiest ways to go green is to rethink packaging from a more sustainable perspective.
From reusable packaging, to natural and organic fibres, or recycled cardboard, compostable containers and biodegradable materials, brands are now spoilt for choice when it comes to making their packaging more planet-friendly alternatives.
At XMP, we offer our clients the opportunity to opt for these eco-responsible packaging options without blowing up their budget. If you are interested, we have developed a special guide to help you make this change!
Conseil :the Eco-responsible Packaging Guide
5) Go for natural decoration
If we previously reviewed your menu from a more eco-responsible point of view, it's because it's also time to get rid of the traditional Christmas habit of shopping around to decorate your table with thousands of lights.
Instead of contributing to over-consumption by buying over-packaged petrochemical baubles, garlands and other decorations, we're focusing on what nature has to offer and opting for a chic and natural table.
This Scandinavian-inspired decoration made of greenery and wood is actually just around the corner from your Sunday walk. With a little dexterity and creativity, you can turn the treasures you find on your walk in the forest into real table decorations. Pine cones, holly branches, fir branches, logs... Sometimes all you have to do is bend down and turn your table into a real art work. And plastic free of course!
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