For all of the magical, twinkly brilliance of the festive season there is also a Santa-sized underbelly that isn’t quite so appetising.

Before you start accusing us of being a bit humbug, stick with us. This story is not about removing the magic of Christmas, it’s about making it real, making it better and making it last.

But first we have to start with some facts that we found astonishing (and not in a magical way)*:

  • Only 1% of gifts given are still being used 6 months later

  • 1 in every 10 Christmas presents end up in landfill every year

  • You could wrap the entire planet 9 times with the amount of wrapping paper we use each Christmas

  • The UK generates the equivalent of 3.3. million emperor penguins in plastic waste each Christmas. This is HEAVY

In the UK alone, waste collection company Biffa estimates that we create around 30% more waste than usual over the Christmas period and the above facts are just the tip of the iceberg.

Bundle Beds was founded on the principle of less stuff and more adventures (aided by more sleep!) and we’ve stuck like barnacles to our commitment to making honestly crafted, practical and sustainable products that enable people to make the most of their time on this planet. Bundle Beds mattresses are guaranteed for 10 years, the filling for our super-soft duvets and pillows is made from recycled plastic bottles and our metal buckles are tested to a tensile strength of 1.5 tonnes to help our beds fill years and years of adventure rather than landfill.

But in the aftermath of COP26, we have been asking ‘Is this enough?’ Yes we are a small business but we still have a voice and there are lots of us. As a collective, we could give our 3 year old a run for his money in decibels. And if COVID has taught us anything positive it is the power of individual action. By washing our hands, wearing masks, getting a vaccine we have saved lives. We can shape the way the universe goes with the smallest of acts.

So here are some of the little things we’ll be doing this year to help to ensure that Christmas doesn’t cost the earth:

  • Secret Santa. Instead of everybody buying for everyone, all of the Bundle Beds families are doing Secret Santa this year. We’ll be buying one thing, for one other person in our family. It will be something they will love, and use and treasure forever. No landfill. No waste. More thoughtful. More meaningful.
  • Trees not cards. Instead of sending cards we’ll be donating the equivalent amount we would have spent on cards and postage to the charities that are closest to our hearts. If cards are your way of connecting this Christmas, why not try one of these genius plantable cards from The Seed Card Company and watch your love grow into wild flowers in the Spring. Buy online eco-friendly, unique plantable greeting cards & stationery 

  • Re-use or rent. We believe Christmas trees should be evergreen so we’ll be re-using or renting this year. Yes – renting your fir is a THING. Plenty of Christmas tree farms now allow you to ‘borrow’ a tree (for a fee) and return it to be replanted for next year. How lovely is that?
  • Reusable wrapping. We’re going to try ditching the paper and replacing it with sustainably made material and ribbon that we can roll out again next year. We haven’t tried it yet and have no idea if it will work but we’ll report back. If paper’s your thing, as long as it stays scrunched up when you roll it into a ball that usually means it is recyclable.
  • Planet-friendly presents. We’re only buying from brands who are treading lightly on the planet so we do our bit to remove the ‘too muchness’ and embrace the ‘just enoughness’ of Christmas. Keep an eye out for our sustainable gift guides here and via our social channels.

As Sophie Tait of @trashplastic put it in her powerful and hopeful blog for @clemmietelford recently

“We are citizens not consumers. Our actions are all the ways we show up in this world. What we think, say, write, feel, do, support, buy…are all votes for the kind of future we want”.**

These small but significant steps, as well as committing to only make products that are good for the planet are how we are showing up, now and not just for Christmas. How are you showing up this year? Together, let’s make the list above long enough to wrap itself around the world nine times. That’s more gorgeous than any wrapping paper.

If you're looking for some inspiration for Christmas Presents, then take a look at our blog about Christmas Camping Gifts or perhaps some Christmas PJs that the kids will wear all year round.

*Source: 12 NOT SO FUN FESTIVE FACTS – Sustainable(ish)

By the way we highly recommend you have a read of this entire blog from Jen Gale and her amazing social enterprise Sustainable(ish)

 ** Source: CLIMATE CHANGE: (STILL) THE MOTHER OF ALL PROBLEMS – Mother of all Lists 

And read this one too. All of it. It is hopeful and helpful and humanity-affirming