Winter has certainly been making itself known, there’s no ignoring the nip in the air or the sparkling illumination of Christmas lights! We all seem to be getting ready for the 25th of December in one way or another… This time of year brings a whole host of things to look forward to, whether it’s arguing over the best Christmas song and the best Christmas film, school nativity productions and carolling, or simply the overall excitement of a day of fun, food and presents.
You might not be thinking too much about our wild animal friends at this time of year, or how to spread festive cheer and protect endangered species at the same time. Luckily, we’ve done the thinking for you so grab a glass of mulled wine or hot chocolate and take a look at our list of five festive ways to celebrate Christmas with nature in mind.
- Traditionally we’re used to roast turkey for our Christmas dinner here in the UK, but animal agriculture leads to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. It harms our planet and its creatures in a huge way. Luckily, there are now tonnes of vegan and vegetarian options in every supermarket and delicious recipes on every corner of the internet. All over the world people are realising the benefits of introducing meat-free options into their diet and it couldn’t be easier to find a super tasty Christmas dinner alternative. Swapping turkey for tofu… or a plant-based wellington, is an easy way to help out the animal kingdom and you might just discover a new family favourite.
- Some of the magic of Christmas comes from finally getting to discover what’s inside the tightly wrapped presents under the tree, or watching your friends and family tear their gifts open. Some wrapping paper is made from materials that can’t be recycled but don’t fear as there are environmentally-friendly ways to keep presents a surprise until the big day. Some stores now offer gift wrapping that is made from recycled and recyclable paper so we can make sure that Christmas doesn’t create more waste than it needs to! You might want to get creative with brown paper, it’s easy to make traditional brown paper wrapping look festive with ribbons or string that you can use again and again. When you write your list to Father Christmas this year why not ask if your gifts can be wrapped in one of these eco-friendly ways?
- That’s the outside of the presents sorted but what about the presents themselves? Put a smile on somebody else’s face this year and make yours a little brighter knowing that you did something good for the planet at the same time. Head over to the Extincts shop to see our full range of cosy clothing made with organic cotton and printed in a renewable energy factory. Our t-shirts, hoodies and vests come in a range of sizes, prints and colours. For something one of a kind, get creative with our custom t-shirt designing tool!
- Christmas shopping is infamously difficult when it comes to the people that have it all already, even more so when you pledge to choose the most environmentally friendly options. This year instead of settling for another pair of socks to sit at the bottom of the drawer until next year, give a gift with meaning. At Extincts 70% of all profits go to conservation charities like IUCN, OAUK, WWF and RSPB and these are all fantastic charities to support. Making a charitable donation in the name of your friend or family member, is a simple way to spread feelgood festive cheer in a way that makes a difference.
- Christmas time is typically a time for winding down and enjoying moments of peace, away from the chaos of school or work. It’s important to relax and enjoy quality time with your nearest and dearest but you might also want to use this precious time to learn more about conservation. Your mind is important in the fight to protect the planet and all of our animal friends. Have the best of both worlds by combining down-time with learning. The Extincts game is an interactive and most importantly, FUN way to discover more about endangered animals and their habitats. Build your digital collection to discover more about an animal on the brink of extinction. The more you learn the more you’ll be able to share with your friends after the Christmas holidays!
By Ella Pitt
Ella is a Brixton based vegan creative passionate about writing, politics, the environment and combining all three.