Have yourself a very eco-Christmas!
No-one loves Christmas more than me. Seriously. From singing carols to signing cards and festive movies to family feasts, I love it all. I really do. In fact, if there could be a Mrs Claus, I’d like to think yours truly would be a shoe-in. That’s how much me and Christmas are a match made in heaven.
That said, I strongly believe that now more than ever we need to try and keep an eye on what we buy one another. At a time when the environment is struggling under so many threats – from plastic to pollution – it’s the thought that goes into a gift that truly counts. This year, alongside my nearest and dearest, Mother Nature is going top of my Christmas list.
Explore the Etsy Good Store
So what to do? Well earlier this month, I was delighted to be invited to take part in the Etsy Good Store. A pop-up shop dedicated to mindful shopping from artisan traders, it promotes the huge array of ethical gifts available on Etsy. Even if you’re just stuck for ideas, it’s well worth a look. From an octopus crochet kit to palm oil-free beauty baubles, it’s all here and more besides…
Little Beau Sheep gets the Etsy seal of approval
I was thrilled to little bits to see that Little Beau Sheep felted soaps were on the Etsy list. Besides helping to cut the need for plastic bottles in the bathroom, these lanolin-packed sheepish soaps are completely biodegradable (and deliver an invigorating scrub along the way).
Also making the grade were the ever-popular Little Beau Sheep laundry balls. These little lovelies do away with the need for dryer sheets and fabric softeners. By adding them to your tumble dryer load, you can infuse fabric with super softening lanolin and reduce static as you go. Dab on a drop or two of essential oils and you can even enjoy your favourite scent on your favourite shirt.
Like everything at Little Beau Sheep, my two Etsy envoys are hand-made here in Yorkshire using pure British wool and plastic-free packaging. Which means you can give a gift at Christmas that really doesn’t cost the earth.
5 top tips on sustainable gifting
My fellow guests on the panel were also full of top tips for a sustainable Christmas. Ethical living journalist Lucy Siegle and eco-blogger and TV presenter Kate Arnell were on hand to dispense some words of wisdom for those wanting to give without taking. Here we go…
- Don’t be afraid to ask: instead of taking a risk and buying a gift that may be unwanted and unused, why not ask what someone wants for Christmas? Even better, if you’re crafty you could ask if there’s something you can make, just for them. Everyone loves a gift that’s unique and you get the satisfaction of knowing you’ve got them exactly what they wanted. For more gift ideas that are zero on waste and high on taste, take a look at Kate’s blog.
- Deck the halls with (reusable) trimmings: there’s something comforting about using the same decorations each year, especially when there’s a story behind them. For instance – and don’t laugh – I made my girls an advent calendar out of their old baby socks. Each one is filled with daily festive treats and its arrival marks the official start of Christmas in the Little Beau Sheep household! We’ve also got a Christmas Eve box that comes complete with goodies and special pyjamas that encourage an early night, just in case Santa’s ahead of schedule.
- It’s a wrap: did you know that lots of wrapping paper we buy is so coated in plastic or glitter, its actually unrecyclable? When you think about how much we get through at Christmas, that’s a lot of landfill. So instead, why not go for gift bags, which can be used again and again? Or if wrapping’s your thing, take a look at these reusable alternatives. Cool cotton Scandi-style – what’s not to love?
- Good from the get-go: if you’re like me, you’ll love a gift you can put into use almost immediately. I’m all for the here and now over delayed gratification. It’s especially true if the person who’s given it to you has put a little extra thought into things. In that respect, these reusable face cleansing pads are spot on, if you pardon the expression.
- Put the good back into consumer goods: The pop-up shop may no longer be there but you can still find the full collection here. Now, I’m going to come clean here. Santa, if you’re reading the Little Beau Sheep blog by any chance – or indeed any of your helpers are taking five on their break – then I think this is festive, fab and fun. Subtle, moi?
On that cheeky note, may I take this opportunity to wish everyone who’s shopped, browsed or just dropped by a very happy Christmas and truly peaceful New Year.