Christina Hawkes, founder of ethical laundry & household brand Greenscents, has given us her tips for having a more sustainable Christmas this year.
Everyone deserves a fabulous Christmas this year after the suffering and restrictions caused by COVID-19. Making sure we splash out sustainably is more important than ever. Most of us, including all of us at Booja-Booja have come to value our countryside and urban green spaces since the pandemic. Giving back by living in an environmentally friendly way is a great response… and it does not need to cost the earth!
Become a conscious consumer
The best place to start this Christmas is to become a conscious consumer who really researches before they buy. How can we do this? There are so many products on the market it is difficult to pick out the authentic brands. Now that everyone is more comfortable with shopping online, spend some time finding smaller ethical companies with great credentials.
One way is to choose products that are certified by reputable third party organisations. These are often charities and represent particular interest groups such as The Vegan Society, The Soil Association or Cruelty Free International. Look out for their logos on labels.
Christmas can be fun and sustainable
If you want to have a sustainable Christmas it is best to do this discreetly. Asking children and the elderly to admire your ‘no waste’ approach or the rented Christmas tree may not be universally popular! Probably the most important message this Christmas is don’t overbuy. Whether this is food & drink or presents try to make a list and stick to it. This can be easier when we are shopping online. Food waste is a particular issue at Christmas so although we want everyone to have lots of choice – think about leftovers and design menus to include them.
Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad with Almonds and Lemon Dressing from left-overs
Be COVID-19 safe not sorry
COVID has brought into focus the importance of cleanliness and this will continue to be critical in our homes this Christmas. Many people will be hoping to receive house guests and some may be vulnerable so we need to maintain very high standards to keep everyone safe. The way we clean is very important and understanding how to remove germs without damaging our own health or the health of the planet. For full details go to Greenscents A Practical Guide to Coronavirus.
Ventilation is essential for a healthy Christmas at home this year. If you live away from main roads or areas of high air pollution, make sure you change the air in rooms where people congregate such as the kitchen and sitting room. Windows and doors should be opened while guests are elsewhere as often as possible to refresh rooms. If you have a garden or outdoor space consider serving meals in the open air for a change.
Be realistic with the number of visitors and follow the Government rules for creating your own ‘Christmas Bubble’. This year especially, guests will want to feel as though they are on holiday or at least home from home!
Preparing the house for guests
If you have a spare bedroom, remove any clutter and ensure there is enough space and a few plump hangers in the wardrobe. Give the room a good airing by opening windows on a breezy day but check the air pollution level in your area first.
Make sure that bed linen and towels are freshly laundered. All bedding should be washed at 60 degrees or above to remove pathogens and any dust mites. Use an organic laundry liquid for best results and add some organic fabric conditioner as a treat. Unless you know the fragrance preferences of your guests – why not try a non-scented product?
Cleaning surfaces and touch points should be effective and frequent. There is no need to spring clean daily just focus on the key areas of home hygiene. Downstairs cloakrooms should be cleaned regularly using organic cleaning products if possible. While visitors are around change towels daily too and make sure these are washed at 60 degrees or above.
Always choose natural and organic fragrance
Do take care with too much fragrance at Christmas. Potpourri, scented candles, alcohol and spicy food can all create an overpowering atmosphere which can be difficult for those with fragrance sensitivities, children, the elderly and pets too. Decide where you want candles, fresh flowers and table decorations in advance and makes sure that these are placed safely at the right time.
If you do opt for fragrances make sure they are natural and organic. Choose essential oil blends that include bergamot, cinnamon, eucalyptus and citrus that are anti-viral and anti-bacterial as well as suitable for the festive season. Diffusers are a good idea as the level of fragrance can be controlled.
Make sure you prioritise rest and relaxation this Christmas. Have plenty of Hygge moments and treat yourself to a little Booja Booja time too!
To find out more about Greenscents visit their website https://greenscents.co.uk/
Greenscents is offering 15% off the whole range using the code BOOJA15 at checkout.