We’re all being made increasingly aware of the pressures on the environment, and the festive season usually heightens the impact, but Christmas doesn’t have to be harmful to the earth, and we’ve got some top tips to help make your festive celebrations a little greener!
Wrapping Paper: Make Sure its Fully Recyclable, Find Alternatives & Reuse
Wrapping paper that is either glossy or metallic is often very difficult to recycle, with most ending up in a landfill rather than being turned into something else. Without realising, many of us are using single-life paper, and much like single-life plastics, there are plenty of other alternatives which have a much lower impact on the planet.
Either select a wrapping paper which is fully recyclable or made from organic fibres, or, reuse some of the unused paper in your home. Brown paper used in deliveries, leftover wallpaper, old newspapers or wrapping paper used the previous year can all be brought to life with thoughtful and personalised touches such as ribbons and bows, drawings or fresh greenery, and can be great planet-conscious alternatives. Try also, to avoid using cello tape, or plastic ribbons, instead, choose a yarn or string.
Choose a Living Tree Rather than a Plastic One
A plastic tree, covered in plastic baubles and laced with plastic lights, this is the focal point for so many of our festive celebrations, but, when it is put like that, it doesn’t sound so appealing, right? The decision of whether to have a real tree or a fake tree is one made by many every year, but often the impact on the environment isn’t considered when we make our final decision. Although you can keep re-using a fake Christmas tree, it’s likely to have been made from a petroleum-based product, shipped from China and unfortunately, due to the material, is probably not recyclable. Meaning when you get bored of the shape, colour or design and switch it for a new one, it’s heading straight to landfill where it will remain, unable to decompose into organic material, for thousands of years.
On the other hand, many real trees are grown in the UK, which means they haven’t been flown halfway around the globe to then end up in a living room. A lot of them are also sold with their roots, healthy and ready to continue to keep growing should you wish to plant them in your garden or pop them in a pot ready to be bought back into the house next year. And finally, but perhaps most importantly, a real tree absorbs C02, so not only will it look fantastic year after year, but it’ll be helping out the planet too, in more ways than one!
When it comes to decorating your tree in a more environmentally-friendly way, baubles made from wood or pottery, dried fruits, recycled paper, scrap ribbon, salt dough or twig arrangements can be fantastic alternatives!
Lighting: Reduce Usage & Impact
By reducing how many lights decorate your house over the Christmas period, you’ll not only help to save the planet but a good number of your pennies too! Saving on electricity ultimately conserves resources, and these saving can be made not only by reducing the number of lights but also by switching off or using a timer and changing to more efficient bulbs, such as LED.
With so many of the items we purchase coming from various corners of the planet, finding a unique present, which has been lovingly crafted locally to you, is a fantastic to way to support independent businesses, give your loved ones something truly special, and reduce some of the negative effects of the festive season on the planet.
Many artisans are beginning to incorporate recycled materials in their craft, helping to reduce waste and reuse it to create something beautiful or useful. Talk to the sellers about their product, how it’s made and where the materials come from, it’s likely they will be more than willing to have a chat! Upcycling at its best.
Buy Less and Buy Life-Long Products
Many of us buy for the sake of buying during the Christmas period. Whether it’s to fill a stocking or countdown calendar, so that they have something to open on Christmas Eve or any other reason, ask yourself, do they really need this? Will they use it more than once or will it end up in the bin in a couple of months? Choosing to only buy things that will last the person’s lifetime or will frequently be reused are great rules to follow to help you buy less, and only buy long-life items.
The Gift of Environmental Protection or An Experience
Pledging to gift to the environment on behalf of your nearest and dearest will not go unmissed, and many of your family and friends will be glad to see the donation going to a great cause. Many charities offer welcome packs or a receipt of the donation, which you can wrap up and pop under the tree ready for Christmas day.
Another gift to the environment may be some bee-friendly plants, bird seeds or boxes, bug hotels or a reusable item.
Alternatively, why not gift an experience rather than a thing? You could be sending them glamping with a hot tub, to a local garden, the cinema or their favourite restaurant.
Have we missed any green Christmas tips? Get in touch via our social media channels, as we’d love to hear your suggestions!