New Brewery Arts in Cirencester is passionate about sustainability – and this year it’s encouraging Christmas shoppers in Gloucestershire to invest in fewer, higher quality gifts to reduce the environmental impact of the festive season.
With thoughtless Christmas presents often ending up being discarded, and packaging and wrapping paper being difficult or impossible to recycle, there is an increase in waste of all kinds around Christmas – not to mention the environmental and ethical impact of cheap, mass market gifts.
So, New Brewery Arts has some helpful suggestions to make Christmas gifts more sustainable – and more thoughtful too.
Make your own Christmas gifts
Christmas is a great reason to get creative together – whether that’s with your kids or with your friends – and handmade gifts, cards, decorations and even wrapping paper make for more thoughtful and sustainable options.
Get inspired on Pinterest and try out some Christmas crafts at home, or head to one of New Brewery Arts range of craft workshops to try.
Find alternatives to plastic decorations at Christmas
Avoid buying an artificial Christmas tree if you can and, instead, opt for a responsibly sourced real Christmas tree. Even better if its potted so you can replant it for next year.
And when you’re decorating, go for glass, clay, wood, felt or macrame decorations that you can reuse year after year. Invest in beautiful, high-quality decorations that are ready to hang, or try your hand with a craft kit complete with everything you need to make your own.
Shop more ethically this Christmas
It seems like a no-brainer but buying less is a really easy way to reduce waste at Christmas. Investing in fewer, more thoughtful items means gifts are more likely to be cherished – so they’ll last longer too.
Buying ethically sourced items from local, independent sellers not only helps support local businesses, artists and makers, it also gives craftspeople recognition for their unique skills, which in turn has a positive impact on real people in your community – rather than just increasing profits for big faceless brands. Shopping local helps reduce pollution from shipping and deliveries too.
Some more handy ways to reduce waste are remembering to bring your own bag when out Christmas shopping; opting for experience gifts such as craft workshops, days out and restaurant vouchers, which require little to no packaging; and buying pre-loved / second-hand wherever you can.
Use recyclable wrapping paper at Christmas
Most types of tape and gift wrap can’t be recycled, so using recyclable materials to wrap your gifts can have a positive environmental impact.
Wrap your presents in brown kraft paper and tie them with lovely ribbons or wrap them in a scarf or fabric that can be worn or repurposed – try using the beautiful Japanese technique of Furoshiki to wrap your presents in squares of fabric.
New Brewery Arts wants to help Christmas shoppers made good choices, as well as providing the means to put these ideas into action.
So, as well as offering regular workshops to create everything from silver jewellery to leather satchels, for those who aren’t crafty but like the handmade touch, New Brewery Arts offers a wide range of handcrafted gifts made in the UK both online and at its shop.
The shop also takes over the entire gallery from Friday 5 November until Friday 24 December 2021 for A Crafted Christmas, with sustainable gifts aplenty available to buy right up until Christmas Eve.
Choosing ethical, sustainable gifts is a great way to show you care not just at Christmas – but into the future too.