It’s official, Christmas is upon us. While most of us are filled with that warm festive feeling as we seek out the perfect presents and indulge in tasty treats, the environment isn’t so happy. With all the joy that Christmas brings, there’s also a huge amount of waste. And as the world becomes more aware of climate change and the overwhelming amount of plastic filling the oceans, there’s no better time than the present to do your bit for the environment. Here are some top tips if you’re seeking a more eco-friendly Christmas this year.
Ditch non-recyclable wrap
According to the Guardian, if we laid the wrapping paper thrown away every year just from the UK alone, it would stretch nine times around the equator, and most of it can’t be recycled as it’s made using tonnes of glitter and plastic. That’s a huge amount of waste we’re dumping on the environment every year. So if you want to do your bit for the environment this festive season, consider ditching that glittery wrap. Instead, opt for recyclable or reusable alternatives that are both eco-friendly and pretty to look at. You could use traditional brown paper, reusable canvas bags or specially made recycled Christmas wrap.
Choose a sustainable tree
If you’re getting excited to head out and pick the perfect Christmas tree this year, then check if it’s been sourced sustainably. The best way to do this is to see if it has an FSC certification (Forest Stewardship Council). The FSC certifies forests across the globe to make sure they meet the highest environmental standards – so if your tree has the stamp of approval, you can be confident the supplier hasn’t harmed the environment. When it’s time to take the tree down (sob) dispose of it in the right way. You can take advantage of a council recycling scheme or take it to a tip where it can be recycled.
Reduce food waste
Its well-known that Christmas is a time of indulgence. Eating, drinking and the merriment that comes with the two is a big part of a fun-filled festive season for most. But the excitement of treating our loved ones (and ourselves) to lots of tasty treats can mean be buy far too much food in the run up to Christmas. Not having enough food is the things of nightmares for many, so to get the balance right make sure you create a plan. Write a list of everything you’ll need, from the main Christmas dinner to the boxing day buffet. Then when you go to the supermarket, stick to the list. Don’t be tempted to panic buy more than you need!
Carefully choose gifts
A lot of the time, we panic buy presents just so we have something to give. Sadly, this can mean people are left with unwanted gifts that either sit in houses never to be used or end up chucked in the bin, making their way to a landfill site. This is obviously hugely wasteful and damaging to the environment. Instead of buying lots of little things for loved ones, why not buy one thoughtful gift that you know they’ll get a lot of use out of? There’s no harm in actually asking people what they’d like for Christmas, after all most of us would rather that than have the awkward “wow, thank you so much for the present I’ll never use!” exchange on the big day. It’s also important to consider how you send your presents – if possible, package multiple presents together and use a reputable parcel delivery company that seeks to minimise carbon footprint.
Why not adopt these top tips this year to have a joyful and eco-friendly festive season?
Nb. Collaborative post.