Now that Halloween is behind us, Christmas will be coming in hard and fast as the sales begin and the decorations go up. It is easy to get distracted by the glitter and mulled wine…at least it is for me. But we also know that living a sustainable life doesn’t just pause for Christmas. Trying to think about gifts for the family and decorations for the house is hard enough, let alone trying to stay as ethical and eco-friendly as possible!
But there is no need to stress, we have selected our top picks for winter, be it socks to keep you warm, wrapping paper that’s recyclable or just generally nice presents you can feel good about purchasing. This is your one-stop-shop for an ethical Christmas!
Can Christmas Paper Be Recycled?
Most Christmas paper is unfortunately not recyclable and it is difficult to keep up with the ones that are. Many of the materials that go into making some wrapping paper result in it not always being accepted for recycling.
- Wrapping paper is often dyed, laminated and/or contains non-paper additives such as gold and silver coloured shapes, glitter, plastics etc which cannot be recycled
- Some wrapping paper is very thin and contains few good quality fibres for recycling
- A lot of wrapping paper has sticky tape attached to it which makes it very difficult to recycle.
Many retailers won’t specify if the paper they sell can be recycled which is why we found it important to offer a sustainable alternative. Our Lokta gift wrap paper is a wildcrafted handmade artisan paper from Nepal.
Lokta is a shrub that grows in the foot hills of the Himalayas at altitudes in excess of 6500ft and is abundant in supply. Harvesting this sustainable plant helps preserve the fragile ecosystem in Nepal and gives regular fairly paid work to the people of the many mountain villages.
All our colourful giftwrap is handmade by Get Paper Industries (GPI), an incredible, socially aware cooperative in Nepal. They have won many awards for the charity work they do in the local area, which includes supporting people affected by HIV and Aids and establishing schools to support the education of underprivileged children.
Due to being handmade with all-natural materials, this paper is 100% recyclable. You can wrap your gifts knowing that any abundance of presents is going to reduce the impact on the environment. Just make sure to remove any tape attached to the paper once it has been ripped off in a frenzy!
What About Recycled Cards You Say?
Most cards are paper-based so can be recycled, but why not try something even more sustainable? Elephant dung is one of the most sustainable alternatives to your average paper. It also looks and feels fantastic. We have two different styles of Elephant Dung cards. There is our White Elephant dung range which is embellished with a gold elephant as well as our Eco Maximus range that comes in a range of beautiful handpainted colours and designs.
The paper used in the cards are all made from 75% elephant dung and 25% recycled paper – yes really! Each card comes with a matching envelope, also made from elephant dung. All the cards are Fair Trade and made by artists at the Maximus Elephant Conservation Trust in Sri Lanka.
Maximus has its workshop in the grounds of the Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF), a wonderful small charity that cares for sick, old and disabled elephants. The foundation is also working hard to resolve the conflict between elephants and local communities, a critical concern as the elephants’ natural habitat decreases and they turn to eat farmers’ crops. Maximus does a fantastic job in taking care of the elephants so it adds even more value to the card you would be gifting to someone.
Why not get it personalised? We actually offer personalisation for the white Elephant Dung greeting cards so you can make it extra special, in case it wasn’t already.
Our Round-Up Of All The Best Items To Have A Sustainable Christmas!
Avoid the chill this winter with our woollen hats in a huge variety of different animals! You can pick out yours or your loved ones favourite and represent them all winter long.
These socks are beautifully handcrafted with 100% high-quality wool, so you know they will keep your toes warm while you kick up your feet on boxing day. These funky woollen socks are handmade in Nepal by carefully selected ethical organisations. Check out the rest of the range here.
Want to stay as eco-friendly as possible this Christmas? Decorate the tree with recycled glass and metal baubles. Coming in many different sizes and styles, these baubles have been decorated with silver paint to give a vintage feel that twinkles in the light. See the rest of the range here.
Looking to have a Scandi Christmas? This handpainted bell is the perfect example of hygge. Add to the front door or by the fireplace so you can hear when Santa comes to visit. These bells are made from recycled metal by Noah’s Ark. They are a fantastic Fair Trade organisation and work with some very talented producer groups.
These beautifully patterned scarves are made from recycled silk and felt. The felt is made from merino wool which is a very fine and incredibly soft wool. This scarf would do an upstanding job at keeping you warm but is also soft to touch and wouldn’t make you itchy under the collar. Coming in a range of colours to match any outfit.
The perfect decoration to put outside your door with the wreath or indoors to add a warm cosy vibe to any room. These storm lanterns are made from recycled metal and glass making them a great choice for a sustainable home. Put tea lights or fairy lights inside them to add a bit of sparkle.
The perfect gift to loved ones or yourself! These albums can be personalised with whomever’s family name you choose and makes a fantastic way to show the memories from the holidays. Completely handmade, these albums are made from natural leather that is a byproduct from the meat industry as well as recycled unbleached cotton paper pages made from left over rags from the massive garment industry in India.
As mentioned earlier, our Lokta gift wrap paper is a wildcrafted handmade artisan paper from Nepal. The paper comes in a variety of colours, designs and is a great alternative to make sure you are still recycling at Christmas.
Our Elephant Dung Greeting Cards are a fantastic choice for a sustainable Christmas. These beautifully crafted cards are made from 75% elephant dung and 25% recycled paper. Why not go for the personalised option to create a card they’ll want to keep for years to come.
Snuggle up under these wonderful handmade throws and keep toasty whilst watching Christmas films. Coming in 6 different colours and made from recycled cotton gathered from offcuts of the massive garment industry, this blanket is a guilt-free way to keep warm in the cold winter nights.
We hope that our curated list helps you stay sustainable this winter and helps with Christmas gifts for loved ones that will make everyone feel good. Still not sold? Check out our site here for all Fair Trade ethical gifts and homeware products to celebrate the season sustainably.
All of our items are Fair Trade, sustainable and help our artisans and producers continue their fantastic work. Please feel free to check out our Producer page on our site to find out a little more about the wonderful people behind all our products.
Want to know more about us? Have a look at our Ethics and Story. If you have a burning question then you are more then welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org where our team will respond as soon as possible. Or leave a comment below and let us know what you think!