Christmas is a time for family, rest, food, fun and giving. But it’s also a time of extreme consumerism and waste. The average UK household spends 29% more at Christmas. And this creates 3 million extra tons of rubbish. Let’s help our planet this year, by putting it at the top of our Christmas list. Read on to discover how to have a more sustainable Christmas.
Go sustainable with your Christmas tree
Brits buy eight million trees every year. You might think buying a fake tree is the answer to a more sustainable Christmas, but there is still some debate around this. If you do decide to fake it, use your fake tree for as long as possible. Or look out for a pre-loved one.
But if you simply must have a real tree, make sure it’s locally sourced and sustainably grown. Research your local growers and determine their sustainability status. And make sure you recycle it in the new year.
Buying a small, live tree in a big pot means not buying another one for years. Even better, renting a tree means you can keep the same one for many years to come. Alternatively, let your imagination run wild with some creative tree ideas.
Opt for sustainable wrapping paper
Brits throw away around 108 million rolls of wrapping paper every Christmas. That’s a lot of waste, so why not choose recycled paper this year? Even better, get inventive. Try using colourful fabric squares that can be used again and again. Or wrap your gifts in newspaper.
It’s not all about the paper. Most tape is made of plastic and it takes hundreds of years to degrade. Look out for paper tape, compostable tape or biodegradable tape instead.
Go more sustainable with your food
Up to a third of greenhouse gases come from the food and farming system. How you shop can significantly impact this. Plan carefully. When it comes to buying meat, go for quality, not quantity. Or consider having meat-free days.
Friends of the Earth have some great vegetarian recipes. And Vegan Food & Living have some tasty vegan options too. If you can, buy fresh, seasonal products from local markets. And if you end up with food gifts you don’t want, why not use a food sharing scheme such as OLIO?
Go sustainable with your gifts
Being sustainable doesn’t have to mean cutting back on gift-giving. Thinking outside the box can significantly impact the environment. Go sustainable with your gifts by:
- Buying locally sourced gifts
- Gifting an experience
- Donating to a charity
- Adopting an animal
- Asking your recipient what they would like rather than trying to guess
Choose eco friendly Christmas decorations
The most sustainable decorations are the ones you already own. Keep using those baubles from when you were a kid! After all, Christmas is all about tradition and nostalgia.
If you have to have new items, why not make your own plastic-free, zero-waste decorations? And if you have to buy new lights, consider buying solar-powered or LED lights instead? Protect the Planet has a great collection of environmentally friendly baubles, lanterns and sustainable decorations.
When it comes to creating a more sustainable Christmas, it’s all about choosing products that use minimal resources. Items that will last or those that can be reused are not only kind to the planet, but to the people on it too.