How To Have a Sustainable Christmas
With the festive season almost upon us and the excitement building, it’s time to address the other side that is often overlooked and ignored. Tons and tons of avoidable waste! In the UK we produce 30% more rubbish than usual over the festive period. Everything from Christmas trees, to inefficient lighted decorations, to gift wrap, to Christmas cards, all resulting in a huge carbon footprint.
We have come up with a few easy seasonal things you can do to make Christmas a lot less wasteful, more sustainable, and just generally better for the environment.
1. The Tree
There is a lot of debate around real or artificial trees. If you already own an artificial tree, then look after it and keep it as long as possible! If you are buying a new tree, then the best option is to buy a real tree. It’s more eco-friendly, grown in forests which are managed sustainably, and can be recycled and chipped.
The amount of food waste every Christmas is obscene. Instead of binning the dry turkey, the leftover potatoes and the cheese and biscuits after your wonderful Christmas dinner, consider rustling up some leftover recipes. How about a festive turkey tikka masala, a bubble and squeak from your roasties, or a lasagne topped with your leftover farmhouse cheddar?
Christmas is a time of giving, which can mean black bags full of torn up glossy unrecyclable gift wrap. Be more sustainable by using recyclable wrapping paper. Alternatively, use brown paper and twine with a few twigs– it’s both sustainable and beautiful!
Forget posting out tens of Christmas cards, and send an ecard instead. There’s no wasted paper, but still plenty of greetings. Or how about getting crafty with some recycled card, some stencils and some stamps and making your own cards? Alternatively, decide on a charity and donate the money you would usually spend on Christmas cards to a worthy cause instead.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on decor. Go on a forage and create your own Christmas wreath with the fir cones, holly and berries that you find when out on your festive stroll. Get creative with your kids! Use old lids and bottle tops to make sparkly baubles, paper snowflakes and painted pinecones for the Christmas tree.
There's no need to be wasteful this Christmas. With some care and foresight, you can ensure your household minimises waste and ultimately becomes more sustainable.