85% of Brits will be taking active steps to be more eco-friendly this Christmas.
Christmas is a magical time of year – but it’s also a particularly bad time for excess, consumption and waste. We live in a society where being 100% waste free is genuinely impossible, but there are a few tricks to making it a little bit better.
A few top tips to consider this season:
More options for Christmas-tree hire services are now available. Be sure to check out your local garden centres and plant nurseries over the festive season. They’ll often even deliver and collect the tree to save you the hassle, and the tree can carry on growing after it’s returned. Sounds like a good solution to me, just make sure it’s grown sustainably by looking for either the FSC or Soil Association logo.
Catherine Loveless created a wonderful Christmas story around her tree rental collection business called Holly Berry Trees. Take a look at the magic she is sharing with children this year.
Another great find is JinglTree who deliver, collect and recycle trees. They are calling it a Tree-volution!
Decorations! One of the worst culprits at Christmas!
Research suggests that the paper waste over the Christmas period is equivalent to 5-12 million litres of biofuel – enough to power a bus to go to the moon 20 times.
Why not recycle or make your own Christmas decorations? Foraging for pinecones and holly is the perfect excuse to enjoy the great outdoors.
I’ll be using some ideas off of Pinterest https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/201887995773795235/?lp=true
Green gift wrapping.
Wrapping paper is the most unbearable waste of time, money and the planet’s resources. Most wrapping paper contains plastic. Opt for the understated elegance of brown parcel paper tied up with string – adding natural decorations like cinnamon sticks and garden holly.
Resist next day delivery.
Amazon, Yodel and DPD delivering all your panic buys within one-hour time slots is useful. But it’s got a huge carbon footprint, from the diesel-emitting vans to all the cardboard packaging — and if you’ve seen “Sorry We Missed You”, there’s also the extremely dubious ethical issue of zero-hours drivers.
Maybe just don’t get all your stuff delivered? Leave enough time and buy it in person. It’ll get you in Christmas mood, you’ll be supporting local businesses and you can stop for mulled wine when it all gets too much.
Switch to LED lights!
LED Christmas lights are much better for the environment than traditional twinkling incandescent lights, because they use up to 80 per cent less energy. Outside, you can use solar-powered lights, and set them on a timer. This will help save your energy bills too.
Second hand, charity & vintage shops:
The gift that keeps giving.
One man’s trash is another one’s treasured Christmas gift!
Not only does shopping secondhand drastically reduces negative impacts on the world around us but the quality of genuine vintage clothing is way better than modern-day high street garb. One pair of brand new jeans uses over 5000 pints of water in the production line, and you don’t need that kind of guilt playing on your mind when there’s delicious food to be eaten and perfect telly to be watched.
Why not opt for finding your “Secret Santa” presents from charity shops, instead of normal high street stores.
Many charity shops sell brand-new and ethically sourced gifts and products.
Check out the impressive range here
Social value is important to many shoppers, many of whom are becoming more tuned into the key issues facing their community and indeed the world. A growing number of people are using charity shops to reduce their environmental impact. Consumers are more aware of their influence on the environment, particularly following the introduction of the plastic bag levy, plastic straw ban and more recently with insight into the effects of “fast fashion”. As a result of charity retail, 330,000 tonnes of textiles were kept out of landfill in 2017, reducing the UK’s carbon emissions by nearly seven million tonnes.
Cut down on your Christmas waste by donating any leftovers to food banks, and get downloading useful apps like the Olio no waste food app.
Food is the single most important way for people to reduce their environmental impact and the amount of food consumed and wasted at Christmas time is crazy, there should be no need to let go of our good green intentions over a holiday.
Here’s some tips to help make your christmas food shop more sustainable and reduce food waste:
- Consider a meat free Christmas. If that’s going a bit far, buy organic, free range meat and support small scale farming where possible.
- Shop local. Use your local farm shops or markets for in season fruit, veg and meat. It will be fresher, low on mileage and low on packaging.
- Make your leftovers work for you, there are thousands of great recipes online for Christmas leftovers.