Sustainability. The word on everyone’s lips. Whether it’s the food you’re eating, the clothes you’re wearing or the homeware you’re buying, becoming more sustainable is something we should all aim towards. And with the festive season on our doorsteps, arguably the least sustainable time of the year, how can you make an effort to give a little back? Making some changes, no matter how big or small, can make all the difference when it comes to becoming more sustainable.
We’ve rounded up some top tips on how to enjoy a guilt-free celebration and have yourself an eco-friendly Christmas…
Think Before You Wrap
Remember glitter can’t be recycled, so opt for more eco-friendly styles to wrap your gifts. Want to know whether your wrap can be recycled? Scrunch up the paper and then let go, if the paper stays scrunched then it can be recycled, if it bounces back into shape, it likely contains non-recyclable elements.
Want to use something a little different this year? Recycled fabric is a great way to wrap gifts. With many styles, patterns, and colours to choose from, you can pick something you know they’ll love and hopefully reuse. The age-old trick of reusing last year’s Christmas cards as tags is a good alternative to buying new ones too. For a stylish finishing touch, use fresh springs of pine instead of non-recyclable bows.
Reuse or Recycle
Whether you choose real or artificial, there’s ways you can make your tree a little eco-friendlier this Christmas. Keep and reuse your artificial tree for up to five years to make it a greener option. Prefer the real thing? Make sure you look into Christmas tree recycling in your local area, this way you’ll ensure it’ll be sustainably disposed of or even replanted for next year.
Gifts That Give Back
The season of giving shouldn’t cost the Earth, so thinking sustainably whilst you’re ticking off your list is important. Consider going for brands that use recycled materials or make a donation to charity with every purchase. Think about gifts you know they’ll not only love but use time and time again, handy swaps such as sustainable household items are perfect for the eco-warrior in your life.
Buy decorations that you know you’ll use year after year by choosing styles that complement any scheme. You could go one step further by opting for eco-friendly decorations, ones made from recycled materials, or even by creating your own.
Why not make your own DIY wreath to adorn your door instead? You can breathe new life into old ornaments you don’t use on the tree anymore or go foraging for pine cones and berries for a rustic woodland look. Swap out disposable crackers for reusable alternatives you can make year after year or choose ones made from completely recyclable materials.
Reduce Food Waste
Every year in the UK, approximately 7 million tonnes of food is wasted over the festive season, with 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings and 74 million mince pies all disposed of whilst still edible.
Here’s a few tips on reducing food waste at Christmas...
- Plan ahead and resist the urge to impulse buy. Work out how much food you need, especially if you’re hosting and keep wastage in mind whilst you’re doing the big shop
- Try to clear your freezer leading up to Christmas to make space for freezing leftovers
- Make friends with your food waste caddy for when you simply can’t do any more with the leftovers. It makes perfect compost for the garden
- Get creative with your leftovers, like curries and fondue, you could also make kimchi by pickling leftover veg or hearty soups from the bird
It wouldn’t be Christmas without festive scents. And with the days short and nights long, enjoying the gentle glow of a candle or two has never been more important. Keep your eyes peeled for environmentally-friendly waxes, locally sourced essential oils and vessels you know you’ll reuse.