I can’t believe I’m writing my first Christmas post of the year, I’m literally bursting with excitement!
Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays in the UK calendar, one in which seems to start earlier and earlier every year. Sainsbury’s were stocking Christmas treats all the way back in August; I don’t know about you but that might be slightly too early, and thats coming from someone who loves the festive season.
Christmas is traditionally the period of peak consumption..and waste. The majority will go all out on gifts and food to impress out guests, which leaves us all with a tonne of waste and materials that will inevitably end up in landfill. But it isn’t all doom and gloom, it is possible to have an environmentally friendly Christmas, without losing the festive spark!
There seems to be an ongoing debate as to whether its fake or real Christmas trees we should all be reaching for. I’ve always grown up with a fake tree, although plastic, in all the 20 years I’ve been alive we’ve never had to buy a new one.
Although real trees grow all year round and absorb carbon, if they are just chucked into landfill after use then thats obviously no good for the environment. However, making sure you compost your real tree instead of dumping it will be much more eco-friendly.
Say No To Plastic Decorations
I always think plastic decorations look fairly tacky anyway, so shopping for slightly more upper market sustainable decorations doesn’t bother me. However, far too many of us pick up the plastic ones. Granted not all of us have the money to buy sustainable ones, but head down to your local charity shop, they’re bound to stock some second hand decorations!
I’m a sucker for fairly lights regardless of the time of year, but Christmas even more so! If you’re one to go mad with the fairy lights, make sure they are energy efficient.
Ditch The Nice Shop Bought Wrapping Paper
Ya know, the pretty metallic stuff that costs a small fortune from M&S? Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful, but it can’t be recycled!
The past couple of years I’ve got creative and ditched the metallic stuff. Opting for brown parcel paper and a nice ribbon to tie around the gift. I personally prefer the simplicity of parcel paper and it can be recycled!
Gift experiences are great, not only are they very minimal waste, instead of having something which will just get used, or sit around until it gets chucked out, with an experience you can make a memory! Which I think is much more special.
By this I mean shop from independent retailers, they’re often much more sustainable than corporate brands. This year I’ve bought most my presents from Etsy, which is great to find sustainable independent businesses.
I also think shopping with independent traders makes the gift more thoughtful. Much more thoughtful than going for something which is easy to get hold of!
If you’ve got a creative flare, utilise it! I know that this year alongside some of my gifts I’ll be baking little treats! Another thoughtful idea which definitely isn’t going to get wasted, you can’t go wrong with food presents right?!
Indulging in festive food is a necessity of the season. I mean, if you don’t look like a roast potato by the end of the festive season, did you even Christmas?
However much we all love Christmas food, the festive season sees us consume up to 80% more food than usual.
Use Your Leftovers
Turn your Christmas Day leftovers into an entirely new meal! I will do a whole blog post on this as I have loads of ideas, but some of my family favourites are bubble and squeak, a great way to use up all the left over potatoes and veg. Turkey curry always goes down a treat too!
Plant Based Food
Although I’m not fully vegetarian myself (yet, I hope to be soon), there are a couple of veggies in my family. I don’t need to tell you how harmful meat production is to the environment. Where possible try to swap out meaty foods for their non-meat alternatives!
What are your tips for a more sustainable Christmas?