It is December and some of us are not ready for Christmas! But maybe that is ok. In the current climate, more of us are starting to think more sustainably and this takes some organising. Mainly because we may need to adjust our habits, or even go back to things that were done before.
I met the wonderful Lyn Lapworth when I spoke at the Nourish Event for Jenny McDonald's book launch on how to organise your kitchen to
save time and money and a lot of what I recommend has sustainability at the heart. We touch upon this in the food section of this blog. We had a discussion on an Instagram live, all about the amazing tips Lyn has for us to make sure we are organising in an eco-friendly way. This is the first of three, and we are going to be talking about the run up to Christmas in this blog.
One thing that is surprisingly not recyclable is wrapping paper! A few years ago, I turned to making my own wrapping and cards. For small presents, I literally use a sheet of white paper and write 'Merry Christmas' in joined up writing over and over again! Whereas for larger presents, brown paper is a great alternative. With your children, you can personalise it with stampers or hand prints to make it extra special. Lyn recommends Furoshiki Wrap, which is a Japanese way to wrap presents in fabric which can be reused. Lyn says to avoid glitter, using hundreds and thousands or sprinkles instead as they are bio-degradable and to avoid Sellotape where possible.
As a nanny, we love making cards for all sorts of occasions. This is a much cheaper option and can be lots of fun. Just like printing the brown paper, you can use stampers to make the process easier, if you want to make lots!
Lyn suggests to perhaps think about donating to a charity instead of giving cards, however; she also says if you do buy cards, make sure they do not have any plastic packaging.
I encourage families that I work with to support their children to choose some toys to give away that are no longer played with or are not age/developmentally appropriate anymore. This helps make space for new toys but also helps them get into the healthy habit of not being too attached to physical belongings. This is something that can be learnt.
Lyn suggests for adults to do a 'Secret Santa' where possible to reduce the amount of presents being bought and to reduce the expense.
Regifting and preloved gifts are acceptable, she says. Added to that, the more we make this normal for our children, the more it will be welcomed in the future. Lyn also says supporting small businesses is a good way forward as the smaller the business, usually the smaller the carbon footprint. Lyn has a great online workshop to support you to gift more sustainably. It is just £40 and can be accessed via her website. The link is below.
When I do a declutter service, I always find food out of date or many duplicates. Lyn says we can be more mindful about sustainability by thinking about how much food you bought last year and whether you actually used it all. It is ok to cook more than you use as long as you plan to use it eg making bubble and squeak with left-overs.
One of the best ways we can be more sustainable is to reduce our meat intake.
If you would like to learn more about Lyn Lapworth and Eco- For- All, click on the links below.