Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year – unfortunately it’s also one of the most wasteful. It’s no surprise that in amongst the overwhelm of tinsel, wrapping paper and plastic cups and toys, that we can find ourselves thinking there must be a better way. With a few simple swaps you can enjoy a more mindful and conscious holiday season, which is great for both you, the planet, and your wallet!\nDitch the disposables\nIt may seem easy to reach for disposable cups \u0026amp; plates for your holiday events, but these single use items are super costly to the planet and your wallet. Ditch the disposables and use your regular cups \u0026amp; plates. Don’t have enough to cater? Ask around friends \u0026amp; family to see if you can borrow what you need or take a trip to your local charity shop and pick up some pretty serving sets for a couple of dollars, and when you’re done, simply donate them back to the store!\n\nDecorate with nature\nAvoid the plastic decorations and opt to bring elements of the outdoors into your home – not only does it add a beautiful and real seasonal touch, but it will make your space feel and smell amazing! Try creating your own decorations with dried orange slices or making table center-pieces out of recycled glass jars \u0026amp; twigs of rosemary and cinnamon sticks. And if you must have a tree, opt for a real tree over a plastic one. Real trees help to remove carbon from the air while they are growing, and are a 100% biodegradable, renewable resource, unlike their plastic counterparts.\nMake your own wrapping\nAdd a special touch by creating your own unique and waste-free wrapping – Try wrapping gifts with a scarf or enclosing in a glass jar, reusing old newspaper, tote bag or even a tea towel!\n\nGift consumables \u0026amp; experiences\nWhen it comes to gifts that create the most joy with the least amount of negative impact, opt for consumables \u0026amp; experiences over gadgets and material objects. Nothing feels more special than receiving a batch of home-made cookies or a home-made jar of hummus or pickles, or surprise someone with a pottery or gardening workshop they’ve always wanted to try. You can also help to give someone in need a better chance at life, by giving the gift of charity. This year Ethique has teamed up with Oxfam and Trade Aid, to create premium gift options for gifts that truly make a difference.\nDo your Christmas shopping at the local farmers market\nThere are countless reasons to support your local food growers - Not only is the food seasonal so it’s fresher and tastes better, it’s also much better for the environment as it’s usually produced in a much more sustainable way, has to travel far shorter lengths to get to your plate, and is usually much easier to pick up package-free. Plus, you can feel good about supporting small suppliers whilst nourishing your body with real, wholesome foods (even with all those homemade Christmas fruit pies!). While we’re at it, be mindful of how much food you’re buying so that you’re not sending loads of it to waste after Christmas day!\nSustainable swaps\nHave a friend or family member who isn’t as conscious or aware of plastic waste? Consider gifting an easy zero-waste swap that they can use to replace their current everyday items, such as a reusable stainless-steel water bottle, coffee cup, or our very own Ethique Hair Sampler Pack. Simple swaps are a great way of introducing friends and loved ones to the low waste lifestyle, and as a bonus you’re also supporting companies that have sustainability and low waste as their values, therefore allowing them to create more positive impact – it’s a win-win!