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Have Yourself an Ethical Little Christmas

Looking for some last minute gift ideas that will make your loved ones AND the planet happy? Or looking to find out how you can have a more regenerative Christmas? Then this blog is for you!

"We don't have to engage in grand heroic actions to participate in change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." - Howard Zinn

Did you know that the waste generated at Christmas goes up by 30% compared to the waste created during the rest of the year? Of all the purchases made for Christmas in the UK, only 1% will remain in use 6 months after the festivities have ended.

The waste generated during the festive period is therefore a huge contributor to climate change. For example, the carbon impact of Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day account for 5.5 percent of the UK’s total annual carbon footprint!

So, how do we turn ourselves into responsible, ethical consumers and enjoy a regenerative Christmas period?

Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping

Each year, people in the UK throw away enough wrapping paper to circle the globe 9 times! 😳 (Soil Association, 2023). Therefore, one way that you can start thinking more sustainably around Christmas is by thinking about how you wrap presents.

  1. Use gift bags instead of wrapping paper Gift bags can be a great alternative to wrapping paper because you can fit more gifts in one bag and they can then be re-purposed and re-used next year (and maybe the year after that!)

  2. Try wrapping with what you already have in the house Have a look around your house and see what could already function as wrapping paper. For example, try using newspapers or magazines.

  3. Fabric gift-wrapping Using fabric is a great regenerative alternative to paper. You can use old fabrics you have at home such as nice napkins or tablecloths, check the local charity shops for nice festive fabrics, or there are now plenty of online options for buying or renting wrapping fabric. Check out Wrag Wrap

  4. Brown paper packages tied up with string If you would still like to use paper to wrap your presents try opting for brown paper and use string to tie up your presents or biodegradable paper tape.

Regenerative Gifts

Opting for regenerative gifts is a win-win - it's better for People, Place and the Planet. When you buy from businesses that prioritise ethics and ecological responsibility, your gift giving helps cultivate positive change.

Shifting spending is where change stems from. As more people catch on to how regenerative purchasing fuels progress, it can transform norms. Businesses respond to buyers choosing goods better aligned with planetary boundaries and human decency.

Here are our top 5 regenerative gifts of this year:

  1. Take a course and learn new skills Give the gift of learning new regenerative skills. For example, if you have a green thumb in your life or someone who is interested in reducing food waste, the Compost Club offers workshops and courses that focus on soil regeneration. Find out more here.

  2. Try a new sustainable beauty brand There are so many amazing new, pioneering brands on the market that are offering regenerative alternatives toiletry and beauty products we use and throw away every day. One of our favourites at the moment is Life Supplies who are challenging "throw-away" culture by providing a subscription service for our bathroom essentials that you simply refill. Products are vegan, natural, and cruelty free. Our Co-Founder Darren is particularly fond of the Maverick toothpaste! Find out more here.

  3. A subscription to a zero-waste food service Try help kickstart a new zero waste! You can get your loved one a trial subscription to an ethical online food delivery service, such as HelloFresh or Abel & Cole Club Zero. HelloFresh is a recipe box service, where you can choose from a variety of options delivery between three-to-five recipes a week for two-to-four people. You'll only receive the exact amount of each ingredient you need, so there's no food wastage. Check it out here. For £10 you could gift an Abel & Cole Club Zero membership, which brings your favourite pantry staples right to your door in fully reusable packaging. Check it out here.

  4. An Indoor Garden Do you have friends or family that live in an apartment or don't have an outdoor garden? Then get them an indoor garden! When you indoor garden, you're saving on gas and carbon emissions associated with transportation and getting some fresh food. Find out more here.

  5. Eco-friendly gadgets Buying regeneratively does not mean you can't buy cool gadgets and electrical gifts. One of our favourite innovative options is a solar-powered phone charger. Not only is this better for the planet, but it is also a great gift for friends & family that are avid travellers or campers! Find out more here.

Looking for more ideas? Check out our previous blog post where we talked about some more of our favourite ethical brands!

Eat Sustainably and Reduce Food Waste

Another great way to have a more ethical festive season is to think about what we are eating and how to reduce waste.

Did you know that approximately 66% of people admit to buying too much Christmas food that ends up in the bin?

Here are a few ways to help reduce your footprint this Christmas:

  1. Eat Seasonally Luckily, a great deal of our Christmas staple veg is seasonal here in the UK, including potatoes, sprouts, leaks, parsnips, and so on! By eating seasonally and locally you are helping to reduce food miles and lowering the carbon footprint of what you eat which can have a huge positive impact on the environment.

  2. Shop local Shopping locally supports People and Place. When we shop locally we support our local communities and economy. Try going to a local zero waste store or checking out a farmer's market that sells organic produce.

  3. Use your leftovers Don't throw away your leftover food. There are plenty of ways that you can help to reduce your food waste. For example, there are loads of great festive recipes on the internet to put your leftover food to good use. You could also compost some of your leftovers too!

We hope that this was useful and that you have a very happy and healthy Christmas & New Year. From, The Human Hive Team ❤️

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