How to create an eco-friendly Christmas that doesn’t cost the earth

Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. If it’s something you celebrate it’s a time to get dressed up, bring out the best china, and spend time with loved ones. But how do you create the magic and sparkle for your home decor and Christmas table, without it costing the earth both financially and environmentally?

My mum is very creative, and a lot of my Christmas memories are of things she’d made. The beauty of hand-made decorations is everyone can get involved in making them and so they create a family tradition. It’s something we try to carry on, with often differing levels of success!

Christmas is one day of the year when we go overboard and buy presents galore, over-eat, and revel in the twinkling lights. This year will be very different for many of us due to the cost-of-living crisis. And also, the environmental crisis that has dominated our headlines in recent months. The efforts we’ve put in place are starting to make a difference but there’s still so much more we can do.

Creating your own Christmas decorations, table dressings, and wrapping doesn’t have to be expensive. Or difficult. Reusing last year’s gift bags and boxes is a good place to start when it comes to wrapping. As is creating paper decorations that can be recycled once they’re past their best. Or using foliage that’s fallen off trees and bushes to create wonderful table centrepieces.

Christmas table
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Christmas crackers

Christmas crackers are a key part of most tables and first became a British tradition in the mid-1800s. They were developed by Tom Smith, the early ones were inspired by the French bonbon sweets with a riddle added in. Tom’s sons added a paper crown and modern crackers include a gift too which can cost anything from a few pence to over a thousand pounds.

Shop-bought crackers are one-minute wonders. Once they’re pulled, the joke read out, the hat either torn or put on and the gift cast aside, they’re destined for the bin. Whilst some of the contents can be recycled, it’s estimated that over 40 million end up in the bin each year.

So, what’s the alternative?

Reusable fabric crackers are an eco-friendly, zero-waste alternative to the traditional Christmas cracker. They create beautiful table decorations and can be filled with environmentally friendly alternatives to the plastic gifts the cheap shop-bought ones usually contain.

Our eco-friendly Christmas crackers

We create most of our crackers from end-of-line fabrics that would otherwise end up in a landfill, so no two are the same. They make a beautiful addition to your Christmas table that doesn’t cost the earth, either literally or figuratively in terms of money. One set of Christmas crackers will last a lifetime if they’re well looked after. They can become a family tradition that’s passed down the family.

You can dress them up as much as you want using odd bits of ribbon, or off-cuts of sparkly fabric. Or keep them plain and simple and tie them with string. You can get the kids to write the jokes and add a thoughtful little gift like a homemade sweet or a lottery ticket. The possibilities are endless.

The crackers come flat and include the fabric outer and ribbon to tie the end. You just need to add a gift and a cardboard tube. Jokes and hats can be added too. They just need to be popped into a short tube and the fabric rolled around them. We use toilet roll tubes to make sure they’re as eco-friendly as possible.

They don’t leave any mess and can be used as many times as you want to over the Christmas period. And then you just carefully pack them away with the rest of the decorations, to be used again next year.

If you’d like to start a zero-waste Christmas tradition, have a look at our full range of reusable fabric crackers, wrapping, stockings, and kitchen roll.

Christmas table
Reusable crackers and wrapping

Head over to our blog to read more about small changes we can make that are kinder to our planet.

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