Five tips you need for a more Conscious Christmas
It's the most wonderful time of the year! But it can also be the most wasteful. From your Turkey to your Tree, here are five things to consider that will help you have a more sustainable Christmas this year.
The giving and receiving of gifts is one of the most special parts of Christmas, but it can also make it the season of mass production and over consumption.
Much as we'd love you to FILL your loved one's stockings with Tabitha Eve goodies, the first question to ask yourself is whether your gift will actually be used/loved by the recipient. If not, don't buy it!
We so often feel obliged to buy for people we don't really know, but often an eco-friendly Christmas card with a genuinely thoughtful note will be much more gratefully received.
For your close family and friends, make a special effort to buy something they'll genuinely love. This means they'll keep it for longer. And try to find things made using sustainable materials - especially important for children's presents whose life-spans tend to be very short!
There's nothing more festive than coming home to twinkling lights and a wreath on the door, but lots of decorations contain copious amounts of unnecessary plastic and end up in landfill after just one use!
LED Christmas lights use up to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last much longer (saving your pennies as well as the planet).
If you love a Christmas wreath, try to go for one that made entirely of natural and seasonal foliage, free from any plastic. Even better if you make it yourself! You can use natural foliage to decorate your Christmas table and your mantle piece, too, just be careful if you're using candles.
Invest in reusable Christmas crackers and fill them with genuinely useful and/or biodegradable things - no plastic!
Don't be fooled; most Christmas wrapping paper is NOT recyclable. It's often coated in a layer of plastic, or covered in foil or glitter. Plastic tape and bows can't be recycled either.
It's such fun opening a gift to discover a surprise inside, so choose plastic-free or reusable wrapping options instead.
Simple paper wrap looks lovely tied up with string and some foliage, and you can seal using our plastic-free paper parcel tape. All the fun, none of the plastic.
Alternatively, go for reusable furoshiki wraps, gift bags or bottle bags, which can be reused year after year!
"If the UK's Christmas food waste was recycled into energy, it could power an average UK home for around 57 years."
Blimey. That's a lot of waste.
When it comes to your Christmas food, consider the following:
- Buy less. Try to be a bit more frugal and you'll probably find you have plenty plus a few pennies leftover, too.
- Where has it come from? Is it organic? Buying local, seasonal produce reduces the environmental impact of your food.
- How is it packaged? Avoid food wrapped in plastic packaging wherever possible.
- Keep waste to a minimum. Use up leftovers and freeze food if necessary. You could also consider downloading a food sharing app such as Olio so that others can benefit from your leftover food. Here are 10 ways to reduce your food waste.
Opting for a real tree is by far the more eco-friendly option when it comes to Christmas Trees. Having said that, millions of them still end up in landfill each year which, despite them being a natural material, is still harmful to the environment.
Be sure to dispose of your tree correctly either by chopping it up and adding to your own compost or garden waste, taking it to your nearest garden waste recycling centre or finding a local recycling scheme.
Better still, consider renting a tree! Lots of local farms and businesses offer rental services where you can take a tree home for the festive season and they'll collect and replant it afterwards! Take a look at Love a Christmas Tree, Christmas on the Hill or find your own local rental service.
And if you really can't bear the needles and a false tree is the only way to go, consider buying a second hand one instead!
Taking some time to think about how your Christmas can be more sustainable might just make it all that more meaningful, too. Focussing in on the things that really matter - spending time with loved ones, being grateful for family, friends and food and reflecting on the year ahead - might just make this one the best Christmas yet!
For more tips on sustainability at Christmas, click here.