How to have your best eco-friendly Christmas
There are many traditions that bring us joy at Christmas, from the carefully decorated tree in our homes to the excited exchange and unwrapping of gifts before a long, indulgent feast.
But one Christmas tradition is less welcome. The festive season sees our accumulation of rubbish increase dramatically, with a reported 50% more waste over December than throughout the rest of the year. Most of the 150,000km of wrapping paper we use every Christmas, for example, ends up in landfill, while over 1 million tonnes of food in December and January alone.
But it doesn't have to be like this. We've put together an eco friendly guide that will help you get the most out of the Christmas holidays while saving energy and avoiding waste.
When it comes to decorations think natural, look outside for materials and avoid plastic. You can create some amazing eco friendly decorations that not only look great but don’t break the bank. If your material is compostable this is a great way to use new decorations each year – things like dried orange garlands, leaves, and organic materials are all great choices.
Buy gifts you know the recipient will use…
Being mindful about the gifts you choose for people is key during this period. Make sure the gifts you buy are sustainable, eco-friendly and something useful which won't cost the planet. Giving a gift you know they'll use adds a meaningful touch that your recipient will be thankful for.
Recycling gift wrap
Did you know that one of the biggest sources of waste each Christmas is from the wrapping paper? This year, why not reduce your wrapping waste by choosing reusable boxes that add a quality feel to the gift? Better yet, make the wrapping part of the gift itself by using a tea towel or hair scarf.
Instead of disposable plates and cups, ask friends or family members to loan you some plates, cups or cutlery that can be washed and returned to them. Or, charity shops often have plates and cups you could buy cheaply — simply use them, wash them afterwards, and donate them back to the shop. This way, not only are you reducing your party waste, but you’re also supporting a valuable part of your local community.
Save your leftovers (and compost what you can’t)…
Few things bring more joy than a well-stocked Christmas table! And, by being a little clever with your leftovers, you could still be enjoying that festive meal in the days and weeks that follow.
If any leftovers won’t get eaten, freeze them. At this time of year so much love and effort go into the meals we make, it’s a shame to see this go to waste. Freezing your delicious food means you can enjoy it all over again in a few weeks time.