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…
Source Your Tree Locally and Dispose of It Responsibly
Did you know you have to keep and use your artificial Christmas tree for up to five years before it can be considered a greener option? And that doesn’t even include the plastic footprint. However, even by opting for a locally-sourced real Christmas tree, millions of trees are still dumped come January rather than recycled. If you do decide to commit to a real tree, and all those needles, 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.
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? Recycled fabric is also a bold way of wrapping gifts.There's many styles, patterns and colors available to choose from too, so you can pick something you know they’ll love and hopefully reuse.
The age-old trick of reusing of last years’ Christmas cards as tags is a good alternative to buying new ones too. Fresh sprigs of pine also make stylish finishing touches instead of non-recyclable bows.
Buy decorations that you know you’ll pull out year in year out by choosing styles that complement any scheme. You could go one step further by buying eco-friendly decorations or ones made from recycled materials.
Creating your own decorations is a great eco way to decorate too. How about making 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 pinecones and berries for a rustic woodland look.
Whilst most of us are pretty good at using up leftovers year-round and not just at Christmas, with Boxing Day turkey curry and leftover cheese board fondue, there’s still lots of unnecessary wastage. 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 at your local
- 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, as mentioned curries and fondue, you could also make kimchi by pickling leftover veg or hearty soups from the bird
Scent the Season
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 yours eyes peeled for environmentally-friendly waxes, locally sourced essential oils and vessels you know you’ll reuse.