Christmas is a wonderful time for family and celebration. But the festive period also generates a huge amount of household waste. In the UK alone, each year we discard the equivalent of 108 million rolls of wrapping paper, 54 million platefuls of food, 189 million batteries and nearly 100 million bin bags full of packaging from toys and gifts. This waste has a significant impact on our environment and carbon footprint. So, what can we do to tackle this? Here are our top 10 tips on how to have a sustainable Christmas.
1. Reduce your food waste
Food waste is an issue with a significant environmental impact, rotting in landfills and releasing harmful methane into the atmosphere. To reduce your food waste, you should carefully consider how much food you will need for the number of guests you’ll be feeding. Create a shopping list and stick to it, as this will prevent you from overbuying. If you do end up with food waste, there are apps like Olio which allow you to connect with people in your surrounding area and list what food you have available. And don’t forget about composting your fruit and veg scraps.
2. Switch to LED Christmas lights
LED Christmas lights are much more energy efficient than traditional incandescent lights, using up to 80% less energy! This is better for the environment, and better for your energy bill. You should also always switch off your lights before you go to bed or when you are out. If you use outdoor lights, you can also consider switching to solar-powered light which use the sun to power themselves.
3. Buy eco-friendly crackers
Why not swap out single-use crackers for reusable ones? These Set of 4 Reusable/Recyclable Tin Crackers are a great sustainable option. They are made from glossy, high-quality tin and can be reused year after year. You just need to add your own gifts!
4. Wrap gifts sustainably
When purchasing wrapping paper, try to opt for recyclable options. If you want to know whether your wrapping paper can be recycled or not, you can do a scrunch test. Scrunch the paper up in your hands and then let it go. If the paper remains scrunched up then it can be recycled, but if it unfolds itself then it most likely contains elements are not recyclable. Consider that you can also reuse wrapping paper, especially if you unwrap your gifts carefully.
5. Send e-cards
Instead of sending the traditional paper Christmas cards, why not send e-cards instead? This reduces paper waste, as cards usually end up in the bin anyway once Christmas is over. It also saves you money as you won’t be paying for cards or postage stamps. There are websites that you can send festive e-cards for free, all you need are the recipients email addresses.
6. Choose gifts carefully
When buying gifts for friends and family, carefully consider the gifts that you choose. It can be easy to get caught up in panic-buying and ending up with gifts that the recipient has little use for. It is better to buy someone one gift that you know they will get a lot of use out of, rather than lots of little ones that will end up in the bin. Check out our online marketplace where you can shop a wide-range of gifts from high-quality suppliers.
7. Get crafty
You can also consider making some handmade gifts which will reduce your environmental impact as well as saving you money. If you aren’t particularly crafty, why not make some festive cookies? And if you’re artistic, you could make someone a lovely festive painting. People appreciate when you have put some time and thought into a gift and it’s a great way to have a more sustainable Christmas. You can also try your hand at making some DIY decorations while you’re at it.
8. Recycle your Christmas tree
If you opted for a real tree this year, don’t discard it to landfill once the festive season is over. Many councils will collect your tree for recycling. If your council doesn’t offer this, check if your tree supplier has their own recycling service. You can also take your tree to your local recycling centre if they have a green waste bin.
9. Turn down the heating
We all know that energy bills are through the roof at the moment, so you may be considering this anyway. But at Christmas it is likely that you will have more guests in your home than usual, as well as the oven being on for hours. This will create warmth in your home meaning you may be able to turn your heating down lower than usual. Also, remember that you can leave the oven door open once you have finished using it to make use of the heat.
10. Get a reusable advent calendar
You might have already got your advent calendar for this year, but this is a great idea to consider for next year. Single-use advent calendars generate waste, so why not get a reusable one which you can fill with sweets of your choice? You can get a fabric one like this Disney Fabric Minnie Advent Calendar or this Traditional Wooden Reusable Christmas Advent Calendar which are perfect for a sustainable Chrismtas.
We hope that you have enjoyed this blog post and that you have a very merry (and sustainable) Christmas! Make sure you are following us on our social medias to stay up to date with the latest news and product updates. Find us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.Tags: christmas, christmascrackers, christmasdecor, christmasfood, christmasgifts, ecofriendly, environment, sustainability