Ways to waste less at Christmas

Christmas can be a wonderful time of year, but also unfortunately for most of us, a very wasteful one. From Christmas wrapping and decorations, to the wide selection of delicious food and drink, a lot of it ends up in the bin.

We want to share some ways to help make your Christmas a little greener, more creative and to inspire you to stay mindful of waste during all the festivities.

Get Creative With Your Gift Wrapping

DIY Fabric Wrapping

What you’ll need:

  • Scrap fabric, one metre by one metre is suitable for a medium sized box
  • Boxes to put your gifts in

How to:

  1. Place your gifts inside boxes so you can wrap something with even sides – this will make the wrapping process much easier.
  2. Place your fabric flat on your wrapping surface in a diamond shape, then place your choice of gift box in the middle of the fabric, flat side down.
  3. Start folding the corner of the fabric closest to you, toward the box. Folding the fabric over itself, fold it over the top of the middle of the box.
  4. Do the same on the other side.
  5. With the two ends of fabric on each end of the box, fold them in half lengthways.
  6. Bring each end of fabric to the middle of the box and neatly tie a knot, then a double knot for extra security and you’re finished!

The great thing about using scrap fabric, is that it can be reused again too!

Homemade Christmas Decorations

When the time comes for the Christmas decorations to go up, it’s a very exciting time for the whole family and also very easy to get carried away with buying new decorations each year, especially for your tree. This year, a great way to reduce waste and create some fun activities for yourself and your family, is to make your own decorations with things you have in and around your house already! No need to spend more money on decorations that may end up in the bin next year…

DIY Origami stars

What you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Scrap paper or origami paper, plain or patterned on one side is good
  • Hole punch
  • string/ribbon/twine

How to:

  1. Make a pentagon shape out of your chosen paper. Any size works well. Go bigger or smaller depending on how big you want your final star. Place the pentagon shape blank side up if you are using paper with a one-sided pattern.
  2. First, fold the pentagon in half, right to left so you have a crease down the centre. Open the paper back up and rotate the shape to the next point facing up. Repeat the fold you just made, and open the shape again. Repeat these folds 3 more times. You will have then made 5 folds in total.
  3. With the pentagon shape unfolded, and the top point facing upward, fold the flat bottom side toward the centre of the pentagon. Fold upward until the bottom two corners meet the first two diagonal folds upward from the centre. Make a crease. Open the shape back up and repeat this fold 4 more times so you have 5 folds in total. Unfold your pentagon.
  4. With one of the points facing away from you, fold the lower left side to the middle of the centre vertical crease. Then, fold the flat bottom side upward to meet the horizontal crease. Unfold your shape, and repeat this fold a further 4 times.
  5. Now for the fun part! With your pentagon unfolded again, with two hands, pinch in each flat edge toward the centre of the shape. You will notice that with the creases made, it will naturally come together for you whilst you hold the edges together. Once you have all the points from the edges gathered together, lightly press down and your shape should begin to flatten into a star shape, with each edge folding over one another.
  6. Flip your star shape over and you should see there is a pentagon shape within the star. Fold each corner of the pentagon one by one to the middle. Crease each fold all the way out to the star point at the ends. When you get to the fifth fold, you may have to open your first crease to finish it.
  7. And there you have it! Press down on each crease to make sure your folds are secure. Punch a hole into one of the star point ends, loop your string through and tie a simple knot so you can hang them as ornaments.

DIY Santa Claus Leaves

What you’ll need:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • water for rinsing your brushes
  • medium-large sized dry leaves
  • string/twine

How To:

  1. Make sure your leaves are free of any dust or dirt before applying any paint.
  2. Dispense small portions of your desired colours of paint onto a paper plate or a tupperware lid ready for when you need them.
  3. Take a leaf and place it vertically in front of you with the stem of the leaf at the top. With red paint, paint a red section at the top for the santa hat.
  4. Underneath the red, paint a 0.5cm line of white.
  5. Now to paint Santa’s face, use white for some eyebrows, black for the eyes and nose, and red for the mouth. Of course here, you can use whatever colours you like!
  6. For Santa’s beard, below the mouth, paint the rest of the leaf white, and link the top of the beard around the mouth to make a moustache in white.
  7. Set the leaf aside to completely dry.
  8. One your leaf is completely dry, cut a piece of string or twine to your desired length, and tie it around the base of the stem of the leaf.
  9. At the top of the string or twine, tie in a loop so you can hang your leaves from a tree and get hanging!

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