With Christmas now just weeks away, we wanted to remind you that having a sustainable festive season is as important as ever. That’s why Lisa Bronner has pulled together her best tips on how to go all out for Christmas whilst keeping things green. From opting for an eco-tree and decorating it sustainably, to cleaning the kitchen post-Christmas dinner in a planet friendly manner…
Tip one: eat local and cut back on festive food waste!
Most root vegetable winter favourites (potatoes, sprouts, carrots, you name it) are in season, so try to find organic options of these. Remember, with most conventional products tending to hold pesticide residues or wax (to give it a longer shelf life), it’s crucial to wash any produce before consuming. Lisa says: “Before getting started on this year’s Christmas meal, swirl a few drops of your favourite Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap into the skink and give your veggies a squeaky-clean scrub.”
Also, why not experiment with a meat-free Christmas dinner? There are a handful of options available now and they’re just as tasty. Once everyone is full, store leftovers in reusable pots and enjoy for days to come, maybe even weeks if you freeze them!
Tip two: creative gift giving!
Less can be more when it comes to treating someone special, and you don’t need to cut back to be greener with gifts. With over 21 million people receiving at least one unwanted gift every Christmas (some of which are simply thrown away, not even regifted, sold or given to charity*), really feel into whether the gift you’re about to buy someone will be of use to them. Sure to be used up one way or another, our eco-friendly ranges will make any loved one feel special this Christmas, and more importantly, without damaging the earth. Why not curate a box of festive favourite Dr. Bronner’s goodies with some other feel-good items, like some fair-trade chocolate or an encouraging note, and gift a loved one a ‘self-care box’? Cooling and refreshing, our peppermint range will leave people feeling tingly fresh, while the new cherry blossom products are lightly scented with a more romantic floral aroma.
Some other easy swaps to make Christmas gifting eco-friendlier:
- Use recyclable gift paper
- Avoid cello tape and instead use recyclable string
- Save any non-damaged paper and reuse next year!
Tip three: opt for an eco-tree and sustainable decorations!
Great news for traditionalists – a real Christmas tree is more environmentally friendly than a plastic one! Natural Christmas trees produce half of the greenhouse gases compared to their artificially made counterparts. Better yet, they’ll usually then be shredded into chippings and used in local parks or woodland areas. Still, be sure to dispose of real Christmas trees properly at the end of the season (or replant them!). It’s also crucial to make sure it’s responsibly grown. To really put your eco-warrior hat on, you could even rent your tree! Contact your local farm and see if they offer a rental option as this will really lower your carbon footprint.
While a great way to bring festive cheer into the home, it’s important to be aware of the impact that some decorations can have on the planet. This particularly applies to lights. Try to use energy efficient lighting. For example, wrap your tree in LED lights as these last 10 times longer and use 66% less energy! Felt or wooden decorations are a great option as they biodegrade but just remember to try avoiding glitter as its non-recyclable.
Tip four: GIY dryer sachets!
With lots of family and friends coming and going, there will usually be more washing loads and at-home maintenance over the holiday season. Enter: GIY dryer sachets to replace fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Infusing laundry with beautiful scents just without problematic artificial fragrances that risk staining clothes.
Lisa’s directions are as follows:
- If using fabric squares, sew the right sides together of two pieces, leaving a 5cm gap on one side. Turn square right side out and press
- Fill square or sachet with ¼ cup of dried aromatics (e.g. lavender, rose, mint) and sew the opening closed
- To use, toss one sachet in per dryer load and depending on the strength of the aromatics, one sachet could last several loads. Once their sent has diminished, freshen carpets by sprinkling the dried material over the top and vacuuming out
Tip five: green cleaning!
Lisa recommends that the pillar of any sustainable cleaning cabinet is a GIY All-Purpose Housecleaning Spray. Instead of purchasing numerous bulky bottles of cleaning products packed with chemicals, make a swap to just one versatile product this Christmas. This is both a cost-effective and planet friendly solution. With the weekly use of most disinfectants and bleach linked to higher chronic diseases by 22-32%, we need to be cleaning in a healthier manner. This All-Purpose Spray does the same trick as any store-bought solution but instead avoids harmful fumes and fragrances for a more concentrated clean. So not only will this multi-use spray be beneficial for your bank, but it will also be better for your health too!
To create, simply mix the below:
- Grate 35g of bar soap (any scent but choose citrus for a fresh zing!)
- Melt soap in 500ml of boiling water
- Pour into a jug and leave to cool
- Decant into a spray bottle
Fill up a spray bottle with the mixture, swirl gently and get cleaning. It’s really that simple. You can use this cost-effective and eco-friendly spray on just about any surface: kitchen counters, stone, toilets, wood, shower tiles, bathroom counters or even oven and microwave doors. You name it, there’s no cleaning task this spray can’t handle! For more information, check Lisa’s tips here.
Make sure you’re following Dr. Bronner’s UK Instagram channel to see more of Lisa’s tips on there
Dr. Bronner’s is a family business committed to honouring the vision of our founder Dr. E.H. Bronner by making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and by dedicating our profits to helping make a better world. “All-One!”