We Wish You A Sustainable Christmas!
December is here which means it’s officially Christmas! One of the most wonderful things about this great holiday season is that it’s totally acceptable to overindulge in pretty much anything, mince pie anyone?
For most of us it’s the busiest time of the year, balancing work with present buying and organising the food and family get-togethers. The idea of having a sustainable Christmas can seem a pretty daunting task when you begin to consider your festive footprint!
Let us help you find you feet with our sustainable Christmas tips and tricks.
Wrapping Paper and Cards
A huge concern at the moment is plastic, and at Christmas this one is a biggie. Packaging is the biggest contributor of plastic waste over Christmas, with many gifts having their own plastic covers as well as the additional plastic wrapping paper we add ourselves.
Many of us are easily swayed by the more glitzy and extravagant wrapping paper we see on the high street but often these options aren’t so great for the environment. The shinier paper and glitter varieties are often not biodegrable and contain elements of non-recyclable plastics.
A great eco-alternative is using brown paper packaging or even old newspaper for a quirky look! Both options are recyclable, just remember to take off any Sellotape. You could always use ribbon to add to the festive feel of your presents but make sure you keep it safe so it can be reused on your presents next year!
Did you know around 1.5 billion Christmas cards are thrown away each year in the UK?
You may only send a handful of cards each year, but if every household sends a handful out the waste generated by cards alone easily stacks up!
They are a Christmas tradition, so we aren’t saying it’s got to stop, but maybe it’s time to look for an alternative way to send cards:
- Send E-cards to friends and family, it’ll save materials and cost but maybe you’ll lose your personal touch.
- Try your hand at home-made cards (avoiding glitter!). This is something your friends and family might keep as a momento – And don’t forget to hand delivery to cut down your festive footprint that little bit more!
- If you’re not tech-savvy or very creative, then shop your cards sustainably. Look for cards that are made from recycled materials and are giving back to good causes.
Whether you’re out finding those last-minute stocking fillers or you’re nipping to the shops for your festive feast make sure you have your reusable bags to hand. We’ve all been caught out at the shops without our bags for life and you have a 10-second decision to make at the checkout as to whether you opt for a bag or try and juggle your way back to the car. A trusty tote that fits in your handbag will help you cut your plastic pollution significantly!
Buy presents that are made to last, and help people start their own sustainable journey. Value quality of quantity this Christmas and invest in a present they will love and use, over a novelty gift you’ll get a laugh out of but bin in a couple weeks.
Have a look for fairly made presents, whether it’s the materials used or hand/home-made. Wherever you can check where your girls came from and do your research. Support the brands that are producing sustainably and looking after the people who are making the clothing, jewellery, accessories, or anything else you’re shopping for this Christmas.
Most importantly, choose to shop small this Christmas and support independent businesses online and on the high street. By doing this you help to revitalise consumerism, decreasing the power and monopoly big name brands and businesses have on the high street.
For many of us we just can’t wait to indulge in all the Christmas foodie treats over the next few weeks, but during December food waste is at it’s highest. Our eyes are just a bit too big for our belly’s and much of what we buy will go to waste.
When you’re planning your Christmas extravaganza have ideas in mind for any potential leftovers, whether it’s as simple as freezing, or making soups and stews.
Much like with your Christmas shopping it’s important you try to shop locally and, again, support independents businesses. First of all, this will lessen your carbon footprint by shopping on your doorstep, but it also goes a long way to help your community. It’s the small businesses and friendly faces on the high street that builds a welcoming vibe to any village. You’ll also find smaller suppliers, like your local butchers, will use much less packaging than something you pick up at a chain store.
Ditch the Disposables
Single-use plastic has no place in your Christmas plans. We get it. It’s easy to put out plastics for your buffet and let people help themselves, but this impact this behaviour has on our planet is phenomenal.
Follow the lead of the plastic ban in pubs across the UK and say no to plastic straw, cups and cutlery this Christmas.
Find out what can and can’t be recycled and figure out where it all goes. Your local council and authorities should be able to help you with information of what can and can’t be recycled so you don’t waste any extra time trying to separate your Christmas remnants.
Above image is figure 1: Photo by Caley Dimmock on Unsplash