10 tips and tricks for a green Christmas!
Christmas can be hectic, costly and draining on our planet's resources. With only 10 days to go, we’ve created a list of our top 10 tips to make this your most sustainable Christmas yet.
Happy you. Happy wallet. Happy planet.
1. Ditch the wrapping
It may sound like we’re trying to suck the surprise out of Christmas day, but hear us out. The UK uses 100 million rolls of wrapping paper each Christmas. To make matters worse, most of it can’t be recycled - usually when it’s foil based or shiny. To keep the Christmas magic alive, how about having a go at wrapping with fabric scraps and ribbon. You may inspire the recipient to re-use the gift wrap and in turn inspire someone else. If we haven’t convinced you yet, google Furoshiki to see how beautiful a gift wrapped like this really is!
2. Don’t be bitter about avoiding the glitter!
Most of the glitter used on wrapping paper and gift cards can’t be recycled. Sadly, this means that even the best Waste Warriors will end up with rubbish bags destined for landfill by boxing day. Avoid this unnecessary waste by swapping the glittery paper and cards for more natural looking colours (that’s if you haven’t mastered the art of Furoshiki yet). If you do end up with glittery cards from loved ones, our top tip is to cut them up and repurpose into handmade cards for next year.
3. Swap things for memories
The temptation to buy at Christmas is impossible to ignore, but often memories are worth more than objects. Instead of buying loads of merch for a Potter fan, why not get them a ticket to the studios so they can live the magic for themselves? There are so many exciting experiences out there if you look, that will live on much longer than the novelty gift that gets lost in the back of a cupboard.
4. Love your leftovers for lunch
If you don’t have leftovers after Christmas you deserve a medal for your portion control! For those of us who haven't quite nailed this, most of the food we have leftover around Christmas is perfect for sandwiches or soup to be enjoyed the day after. Think outside the box - instead of a plain ol’ turkey sandwich, mix in some mayo and curry powder to enjoy coronation turkey. Even more exciting, combine those pesky leftover sprouts with the cheeseboard leftovers to make a wintery warm soup! The possibilities are endless…
5. Don’t be afraid of the big freeze(r)!
Most of our Christmas leftovers can be frozen and repurposed throughout the start of 2019. Have a look online for recipes using leftovers to get some inspo (there’s only so many turkey sandwiches a Waste Warrior can eat). If you’re super organised you could even plan your meals for January based on December’s leftovers.
6. Decorate without damaging
Most of the decorations we buy for Christmas contain plastic in some way or another. How about going outside and decorating with what mother nature has to offer this year? Using acorns, pinecones and twigs (all from the ground not pulled from branches) will give your home a winter wonderland feeling for a fraction of the cost to you and the planet. You can even reduce your food waste while decorating! Citrus fruits that have become a little too squishy are perfect to cut into slices and dry in a low heat oven to create delicious smelling decorations for your home.
7. Be energy aware
A slightly less tangible resource we waste at Christmas is energy. Think of all those houses covered in twinkling lights down your road, now think about how much energy it takes to keep them twinking all day, in the daylight, when no one can even see them. We wouldn’t leave our lights on inside the house, so why leave them on outside? Think about using a timer for your Christmas lights outside as well as inside the house and you’ll save a few pounds as well as the planet. Another energy saving tip is to use rechargeable products rather than battery operated, as well as making sure that any Christmas lights you buy use LED bulbs.
8. Nurture your tree
6 million Christmas trees are thrown away every year in the UK. Shocked? So were we! Fight this needless waste of beautiful trees by purchasing a potted Christmas tree which you can move outside to your garden after the festive period and continue growing. If you can’t do this, how about decorating another plant you have in your home, removing the need for a new tree at all! If a Christmas tree is a must-have in your house, make sure to get the most out of it by watering it regularly and ensuring that it’s used as compost when 2019 arrives.
9. Shop sustainably
We know that shopping is an aspect of Christmas we can’t ignore, but there are lots of ways to do it more sustainably. Most important is to shop local. Purchasing from local shops, and when possible handmade products, means you’re supporting local businesses as well as reducing the carbon footprint of your shopping. The same goes for food - try and purchase local grown, organic food to keep the environmental impact down!
10. Creativity is key
A lot of the time, being more sustainable relies on being creative with how you use (and reuse) things. If you aren’t the most creative elf out there, don’t worry! There are so many ways to access exciting ideas to reduce your waste at Christmas, just take a look on Pintrest and you’ll be hit with inspiration from wine cork reindeers to mason jar candles. Even better - take a look through our blog and discover even more sustainability tips and tricks for Christmas and the year ahead.