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All I want for Christmas is Less.

As the John Lewis TV Ad readies itself for fanfare and Black Friday and Cyber Monday start to creep back into our consciousness, at SBTRCT we’ve been thinking a lot about how to approach the holiday season this year.


Our ethos Less Is More is at odds with much of what this time of year has come to mean.  

The gift-giving build-up, the obligation, the panic buying and overconsumption has left us feeling guilty, frazzled and stressed whilst the damage we are doing to the environment is alarming.  In 2017, the UK sent 277,000 miles of wrapping paper to landfill alone*.  Then consider the Christmas cards, Christmas trees, food waste, plastic packaging and decorations and it’s easy to see why we need to redouble our efforts to do things differently. 

We thought we’d take some time to outline our top tips for a calmer, more mindful and less wasteful gifting season.

The Tree
Look for Forestry Commission (FSC) or Soil Association accreditations to ensure your tree is responsibly sourced. When the needles start to drop, head to recyclenow to find out about drop-off points in your area so that you can be sure the tree is shredded and used in parks and woodland, or rotted down and recycled as compost.

Mindful Gifting
The act of gift giving is a beautiful one, but even more so when the giver has been mindful with their approach.  Beth Kempton (author of Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year) poses three simple questions when buying a gift. 

Is it mindful? Is it meaningful? Is it memorable?

Wrapping
The guilt of over-consumption can often hit you on the day itself when the bin bags start filling up, so think ahead of time and sort the waste as you go.  To double check your wrapping paper can be recycled, just do the scrunch test!  If it stays scrunched it’s happy days, if not, you’re better off finding an alternative.

Gift Packaging
Think about the gifts you are buying for others, their packaging and their ability to be refilled or reused.  Unfortunately gifts for kids are often the worst offenders, but the beauty world is also a significant perpetrator… we know a good skincare brand that can be the perfect alternative here… ; )

Buy local
It’s even more important this year when local independent businesses will have a harder time than ever. Shopping locally feels good, gets you into the festive mood and supports the businesses that need it most.  

Switch off the lights
Try to reduce the amount of energy you use at this time of year. Switch off the Christmas lights when you’re not home or go to bed and always opt for the LED version if you can.

Defrost the freezer!  
This will make it more energy efficient and ensure there’s plenty of room for all those leftovers. 

We hope you have a magical time!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at SBTRCT.

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 *Source - resource.co - what can you recycle at Christmas?