Sustainability is at the front of many of our minds this festive season.
To discover the most popular eco-Christmas options, Superdry has analysed Google search data to identify the biggest sustainable Christmas trends of the year.
The festive period is responsible for a huge increase in carbon emissions and waste. Yet by making small eco-friendly swaps to some of our longstanding traditions, we can reduce the impact on the environment.
The interest in eco-friendly Christmases has increased year on year, and in 2021 it’s plantable Christmas cards that have risen in popularity the most. Searches are up by 133% compared to 2020.
Eco-savvy shoppers are also looking for ways to re-use their traditional Christmas items rather than relying on recycling.
Searches for reusable Christmas crackers are up by 127%, reusable advent calendars up by 89% and reusable wrapping paper up by 24%.
Vegan options are also on the menu for Christmas 2021, with searches for vegan Christmas recipes up by 83%.
Two of the top trends are around one of the focal points of Christmas, the tree. Interest in second hand Christmas trees is up 40% and Christmas tree rental has seen a spike in searches by 22%
Plantable Christmas cards
While Christmas cards can’t easily be re-used, and generally get thrown away after December, there is a more sustainable option for those who still wish to send them.
Plantable Christmas cards are usually made from recycled paper, with grass and wildflower seeds embedded into them so that the recipient can plant the card afterwards and watch it grow. Searches are up 133% on last year.
Reusable Christmas crackers
All it takes to convert your standard Christmas cracker to a more eco-friendly option is a reusable cracker shell that you can fill with your own gifts. You can purchase both the outside of the cracker and a set of new “snaps” which you can feed into the cracker each year along with your own gifts, so the whole family can still enjoy the tradition. Less wastage of both the materials and of the small plastic gifts that are usually inside. Interest has surged 127% this year.
Glitter is usually made of microplastics, which leach into our environment and cause harm. Plant-based glitters however are made of compostable, plant-derived materials. They break down safely when they meet soil or the ocean, rather than leaving their mark for long after they’ve been used like regular glitter products do.
Reusable advent calendars
Reusable advent calendars are a brilliant, sustainable option for families who still want to enjoy the countdown to Christmas Day.
Whether yours has gaps to fill with your own gifts, sweets or chocolates each year or contains ornaments to hang each day, this option is filled with far less wastage than the average calendar that uses both paper and plastic. Searches are up 89% on 2020.
From a cheery set of wooden drawers for £5 from The Works to increasingly elaborate ideas up to £120 at Not On The High Street, the range available also includes charity offerings from Sue Ryder, Cancer Research and Inspire.org
Vegan Christmas recipes
Not only does swapping out your turkey help reduce the energy costs involved in cooking the meal, but replacing some of your meat-based Christmas dinner options to a plant-based alternative can be significantly better for the environment, decreasing the harmful effects of animal agriculture on our planet.
Searches for vegan Christmas recipes are up +83% this year. Here’s a gorgeous festive centrepiece to whet your appetite!
If swapping out the traditional turkey just isn’t on the cards this year, buying organic and local can still have significantly positive effects on your overall carbon footprint. Research has shown buying local and organic does slash emissions but additionally you’ll also be supporting more sustainable food options from your local farmers. Searches for “organic turkey” have risen by 50% in 2021.
Second-hand Christmas tree
It can take more than 10 years of usage for the carbon footprint of an artificial tree to balance out that of its natural counterpart. By buying a second-hand artificial Christmas tree you can extend its lifespan, and help ensure that your decorating is as eco-friendly as you can make it. Interest in this green option has gone up 40% this year.
Reusable wrapping paper
Taking it one step further and using reusable wrapping paper instead of recyclable is one of the most eco-friendly options for packaging up your gifts.
Recycling relies on the paper ending up in the right place (it often ends up in landfill instead) and the recycling process can also use up lots of energy and water. Reusable options come in a variety of fabrics and textures, with some even looking just like regular wrapping paper. Searches for reusable wrap have risen 24% since last year.
Christmas tree rental
Artificial trees need a lifespan of around 10 years to balance out their carbon footprint in comparison to real Christmas trees. However, the carbon footprint of real trees increases rapidly too when they end up in landfill.
Christmas tree rentals have become one of the newer, more sustainable ways to decorate your house during the festive period. All you need to do is arrange to have your tree collected/drop it off after Christmas and it’ll be replanted, ready to be used again the following year. More information here.
Instead of giving a gift which will end up in the bin, or at the back of a cupboard for the next few years, people are giving more thought to the gifts they give their loved ones. There’s lots of options out there for eco-friendly stocking fillers, which cause less harm to the environment in the long run and provide your friends and family with presents they’ll be sure to use.
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