A Wildlife Christmas
Preaching to the Choir
I’ve been looking for ways to help wildlife this Christmas.
There are a million and one articles out there about how to have a more sustainable Christmas.
We all know that we should be reducing plastic and consumption in general and gifting experiences instead of stuff.
Many of us have made the switch to LED Christmas lights and started shopping locally to reduce our carbon emissions.
Some of us are thinking carefully about our meat consumption and how we can reduce our mark on the planet by eating more plant-based food this Christmas. Perhaps you are buying local, seasonal produce to reduce your food miles.
We’ve heard it a thousand times and we know the drill.
A Positive Difference
However, it seems to me that all of these amazing, worthwhile steps, are designed to reduce your impact on the planet.
So I thought I’d come at it from a different angle- how can I actually help wildlife this Christmas?
It’s more important than ever to protect nature…why not see Christmas as an opportunity to do just that?
Is it possible to make a positive difference to the world this year?
Idea’s for a Wildlife-Friendly Christmas
Idea #1- Seed Paper Cards
Firstly, I have tried to minimise the number of cards I send at Christmas time. Every card has a carbon cost to producing and delivering it.
However, for my nearest and dearest who do receive cards from me (lucky them), this year I have come across these seed paper cards!
Since I first spotted them I have kept seeing them everywhere (probably not a coincidence- thanks targeted advertising), but I still think they are a lovely idea!
Instead of ending up in recycling, my cards can go into the ground, get some of that carbon swiftly back into the carbon cycle and produce beautiful wildflowers in the gardens of my friends and family.
Great for them, and great for wildlife! I hope bees and butterflies enjoy their own little gift come the spring.
Idea #2- Charity Gifts
Again, I’m trying to reduce the number of gifts I give these days.
I’m in the fortunate position to be able to buy or save for most things that I want for myself, so for the past few years I’ve gone giftless with various family members.
We may not be buried under a giant stack of presents, but for those I’m seeing on the day, it’s nice to exchange a couple of bits.
This year I’m making a conscious effort to purchase some of my gifts through charities. I bought this jumper for myself a few weeks ago from the Wildlife Trusts courtesy of Teemill. One of my loved one could find themselves with something similar under the tree this year.
I’m also slightly obsessed with Big Wild Thought. Purchasing through them means part of my payment becomes a donation to a wildlife charity.
Both of these companies take steps to make sure their products are more sustainable, including the use of organic cotton in the products among other things.
Plus, I know the recipients will definitely enjoy and make use of their gift whilst knowing that they helped out wildlife this Christmas.
Idea #3- Recycled Wrapping Paper
Those gifts will be wrapped in recycled wrapping paper.
Habitat destruction is one of the biggest threats to wildlife. This way, no extra trees are being cut down to support my wrapping.
Yes, it was more expensive than you’ll get at high street stores. I realise that I am lucky to be able to afford this. But it also works as another motivator: fewer gifts = less paper required!
If you want to go even further than me, I’ve also spotted fabric gift wrap which could be used year after year!
Idea #4- Having Myself a Glitter-Free Christmas
I hold my hands up: I have glitter covered decorations in my house.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I understood that glitter can have a horrendous impact on the environment. It was then I vowed that my Christmas’ would be glitter-free from there on out.
I still reuse what I’ve got- throwing them out would have the same impact now as in a few years time. My Christmas tree will be adorned with glitter-covered baubles once again this year.
However, I no longer buy new glittery decorations, paper or anything else.
Idea #5- New Year’s Resolutions
I had a conversation this year with a Muslim friend about giving to charity. It seems I had completely forgotten my RE lessons in school where we covered the five pillars of Islam, and in particular, Zakah- the practice of giving a certain amount of your income to charity.
It occurred to me that I am lucky enough to be in the position to be able to give more to charities than the odd donation here and there to Children in Need or the poppy appeal when they roll around.
I have therefore decided to make it my New Year’s resolution to give a monthly donation to wildlife charities in 2021.
Why not leave me a comment with your suggestions of charities I might support?
And One More Thing…
The fake vs. real Christmas tree argument rolls on. And on. And on…
I don’t know the answer to which is better.
One thing I do know now, however, is that it is possible to RENT A CHRISTMAS TREE!
You pay a farm to give you a tree, then care for it over the Christmas period. They’ll then take it back to the farm, replant it and keep it alive for next year.
I had no idea that was even possible, and I think it’s brilliant!
I’ve tacked this on as a bonus idea because unfortunately I found out too late to jump on the idea this year, but I think it’s an amazing scheme and I’m definitely hoping to try it next year.
Watch this space for a Christmas 2021 update!
I’m going to see if my tree is of use to a local zoo this year. I’ve heard they sometimes find them useful.
One Wild Thing
Ultimately, we all know that the best thing we can possibly do for wildlife at Christmas is to cut back on…well, everything. Give fewer gifts. Travel less. Eat less.
But this year, more than ever, I think we all need a bit of a celebration, and we don’t have to go completely without.
I’m no eco-warrior and know that there are a million things I could be doing better.
But lots of people doing lots of little things together can have a big impact.
Consider one thing you could do differently this year, whether taken from this article or not, and do that one thing.
You won’t change the world…but you’ll be doing one little bit to make it better and help wildlife this Christmas.