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Have an Eco Friendly Xmas

So for those of you who have been following me on Instagram and watch my stories will know that I love all things that are eco-friendly. I've been a cruelty free and vegan makeup artist for nearly 2 years, and am an aspiring vegan. I encourage a plant based diet at home and do our best when we are out and about.

From the beginning of 2019 I have been more and more interested in being eco-friendly and sustainable in our day to day life. After visiting Sri Lanka, I saw how green and lush the country was, and also how mindful the locals were about the resources they used. Since coming home I have tried to make as many positive changes as possible, that still fit in with our lifestyle.

This is my first Xmas where we will be more mindful to be more eco-friendly and sustainable and thought I could share some of them with you.

1) Meet Bernie!

I have a habit of naming things that will stay with us for a while. So Bernie is our new Xmas Tree. I've loved having a fresh Xmas tree every year and we've done this from a young age. Since buying our home together we knew we wanted to carry this tradition on which we did for 3 years. However this year we realised that disposing the tree every year is wasteful. Yes it biodegrades but we've opted for a potted tree this year which we can keep and hopefully will be with us for many years to come! The plan is to plant it in an outdoor pot and leave it outside for the year and bring it in for Xmas every year.

Now if you have a plastic tree, its best to enjoy it till its come to the end of its day rather than just getting rid of it. We bought ours from Aldi for £18.

2. Eco Gifiting

Christmas is the season of gifting, and I love how much joy it brings especially to children. This year we've opted for Secret Santa within the family to cut down on money wastage (which is easily done).

We don't have many children in the family, however avoid buying plastic toys. Wooden ones are easily available and look great too. Plastic toys are mostly made from a single use plastic therefore cannot be recycled and will just end up sitting in the landfill.

Giving to charity is a great idea but how many of us buy from charity rather than buying something new because we can afford it. Charity shops should be used to circulate items as well as make items available at a cheaper rate for those who need it.

Avoid buying clothes for a loved one if you're unsure if it will fit or they will like it or not. So many garments are made from plastic derived products and fast fashion is also a big issue right now. We wear one item of clothing and then replace it with something new and donate to charity. We need to cut the cycle and reduce and refuse.

Many types of wrapping paper cannot be recycled due to the plastic, foil and glitter content and we get through so much on Christmas day. I will be using up stock from last year and switch to brown recycled paper from there on. The plan is to leave it plain and wrap it in twine and decorate with dried Christmas fruits or use vegan ink and a stamp to decorate.

Christmas Cards - I'll be using up what we have and then either buy recycled ones or switch to e-cards instead.

3. Christmas Decorations

I've been using the same decorations now for 4 years and added small amounts every year. I would love to be able to change the colour theme every year but have stopped myself from doing so. With regards to tinsel and glitter, its not recyclable so definitely avoid buying and new stuff but enjoy and use what you already have.

We tend to buy one new Christmas decoration a year to add to our collection and make sure it is a wooden one.

4. Go Vegan & Plastic Free

Last year we managed to have a fully vegetarian Christmas meal along with many vegan aspects as 4 of us are vegan. It went down a treat and those in the family who love meat also enjoyed the vegan dishes.

My aim is to buy minimal plastic packaged food items this year and try and do as much home made food as possible rather than buying everything and popping it in the oven on the day.

I'll be opening up my SodaStream finally which has been patiently waiting whilst we finished off all the sparkling water we had previously bought in plastic bottles. Every year we buy cordials in glass bottles to mix with sparkling water.

With regards to Xmas dinner, its quite easy to make a vegan one.

My specialty every year has been my Vegan Xmas roll (taken from my aunties recipe book and adapted). I kind of wing it with the recipe, but I use Linda McCartney sausages which are vegan. I defrost these, mix in dry chia seeds and roll out the mixture to make a large square. I tend to use 6 boxes to make two rolls. I prepare some garlic mushrooms (cooked and minced), and then grated spiced carrots in another and wait for the mushrooms to cool. Once cool, I spread a layer of the carrots on to the sausage rectangle, followed by the garlic mushrooms and then roll into a swiss roll and either cook it or pop it in the freezer till Xmas day. It saves so much time with prep and tastes great. I can't remember how long I leave it in the oven, but I wait till the outside is crisp.

With regards to dessert, it was difficult last year but I'll be attempting a vegan chocolate cake with chocolate ganache icing (vegan ofcourse), and also my lime cheesecakes. I used to make these when we ate diary and they tasted delicious. I did attempt them with vegan ingredients last year but it wasn't the werent up to my usual standard. I'll be attempting them again this year. but this year I'm going to attempt it replacing the ingredients with vegan ones. I'll let you know how I get on. My vegan trifle on the other hand was a success and tasted great. So easy to make too! The bottom layer is made with vegan jelly crystals and vegan custard doughnuts from coop. Once you make the jelly and before putting it in the fridge to set, cut up the doughnuts into quarters and add them to the jelly. The vegan custard layer is pre-made vegan custard from Alpro. The top layer is coconut cream with icing sugar added to it. Again I wing it with amount. Trick to get the top layer thick is to leave your coconut milk tins in the fridge to cool for a few hours. Once you open the tin only use the solid cream at the top and hand whisk the icing sugar in. I found using an electric whisk added too much friction and the mixture became a liquid cream. One its mixed add this to the vegan trifle and pop back in the fridge till your ready to eat it!

I really hope you have a lovely Xmas and a great start to the new year, and hope you are able to at least implement one change from the list above. Let me know below how you get on!

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