Towards a Sustainable Christmas

Towards a Sustainable Christmas

There are many ways to celebrate Christmas in a more sustainable way. The majority of the gifts we buy are over packaged and many of them will probably be disposed to landfill before the year is out. Rather than continuing to buy our usual gifts, perhaps we could all consider celebrating Christmas differently.

Making changes on a large scale is not easy, but you can change a few things each year and build on more Eco-friendly choices each year.

Thinking ahead and using sustainable materials reduces waste at Christmas

Plastic Christmas Trees should be avoided if you don’t already have one. Use a real potted tree you can keep during the year and eventually plant outside, or get a tree made of wood or other natural materials. You could actually avoid having a tree at all!  If you already have a plastic Christmas Tree, make sure you look after it so it lasts for many many years and stays out of landfill!  Use natural materials to decorate your tree.

Make your own ornaments and decorations

Get the kids involved in making your own ornaments. Look out for ideas on you tube or pinterest.  Buy good quality wooden or glass ornaments and hand them down to other family members over time.  Avoid tinsel or other plastic or polystyrene ornaments.

Use LED lights in your decorations to reduce your energy use for the season

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Use natural and reusable materials for both wrapping presents and decorations

Reusable wrapping materials keeps a lot of waste out of landfill

Recycled wrapping paper or reusing wrapping paper from last season is a great Eco-friendly choice! Natural fabric is also great to use. Choose cotton or hessian to reduce plastic waste. Tee towels or scarves also make great wrapping materials for kitchen, food gifts or personal gifts.

A Quick tutorial on how to wrap gifts in fabric

Instead of sending cards, why not call or Skype friends and family to wish them a Happy Christmas? Ecards are also a great alternative

 Re-gift or donate unwanted Christmas gifts rather than throwing them away

Think about making your own gifts

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Home made gifts often mean more because of the effort you put in to make them!

Buy Eco-friendly gifts or make your own gifts such as pickles and preserves, jars of nuts or biscuits. Donate to charity on behalf of your friends or family instead of buying physical gifts. Check out charity or second-hand stores for good quality repurposed gifts!

Try to buy your Christmas food from ethical sources and buy what is in season from fresh food markets locally where possible to reduce food miles.

Reuse leftovers or compost food waste. Perhaps buy and set up a worm farm as a family Christmas event!

 When entertaining, avoid using plastic and other disposable plates, glasses and cutlery. If you don’t have enough dinnerware, ask guests to bring their own.  Make washing up a group effort which can be fun with good company with a glass of wine!

Have a recycling bin handy for guests to make sure they don’t throw recyclables into the main bin.

Check out a previous blog on recycling

Don’t worry if you don’t manage to make all these changes. You can build on these each year and plan to have less and less waste each Christmas.

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