It’s that time of the year where people dream of a white Christmas… but wouldn’t it be better to make it a greener one instead?
With a little bit of effort and focus on being more sustainable, we can all do our bit to make this a truly wonderful time of the year by giving the best gift possible to our planet.
Our excesses at Christmas are well documented, with tonnes of food and festive packaging ending up in the bin. So, what can we do differently this year?
Here are some practical tips on how to have a more ethical Christmas:
- Instead of purchasing an array of new gifts, consider buying pre-loved, recyclable and eco-friendly presents
- Shopping local will go a long way to reducing your carbon footprint
- Buy recyclable wrapping paper and paper tape or even newspaper for a vintage effect
- Use twine/ribbon to wrap presents rather than plastic cellotape
- Check wrapping paper labels to make sure you aren’t buying plastic coated ones and do the ‘scrunch test’. If you scrunch your paper and it bounces back, it contains plastic. If it stays scrunched up in a ball you can recycle it.
- Ditch that Glitter! Paper with glitter on cannot be recycled and the same goes for glittery Christmas cards. You can find out more information about why glitter is so damaging to our environment here: Morrisons and Waitrose ditch glitter for Christmas – BBC News
- We all tend to over-indulge at Christmas, but if you only cook what’s needed and allow people to serve themselves it will cut down on waste – and your waistline!
- Make the best use of your leftovers and eat them the next day in a tasty bubble & squeak – or give them to family and friends to take home
- Ask yourself if you really need to have so many varieties of food on the table for Christmas dinner – it’s an extravagance that most people won’t miss
- If you take advantage of BOGOF offers without really needing them, why not donate one to a local foodbank and help people less fortunate
- Do you really need a new outfit for every Christmas get-together you attend? Why not search your wardrobe and wear an item you already own or find a pre-loved outfit instead
- Having a Christmas jumper day at work? Get creative and design your own from an existing garment rather than purchasing a new one
- If your Christmas jumper is past its best, you could always make it into a Christmas cushion cover for next year!
And finally, please recycle as much as you can. If you struggle to reduce what you are consuming, be sure to increase what you are recycling!
- Don’t forget, batteries can also be recycled and we are sure you will get through a lot of these at Christmas time! Take out batteries from musical cards so they can be recycled with your paper. When the batteries finally run out in the noisy new Christmas toys in the house, be sure to drop them off at a recycling point. Most large supermarkets offer a recycling point for batteries – look for it behind the tills on your way out
- Christmas cards and envelopes with embellishments removed can be recycled
- Ensure your Christmas tree doesn’t go to waste by taking advantage of any number of recycling schemes that are advertised in your area, from council drop-off points to charities that are willing to collect and recycle on your behalf