Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time for spending time with our families, relaxing before the start of a new year, and of course - giving! However, with all of these festive activities, we end up with plenty of rubbish, leftover food and inevitably old items from our homes and wardrobes, get replaced with new ones. Christmas doesn’t have to be unsustainable, especially if you’re conscious of how much waste you produce as a household! So here are our top tips to have a more sustainable Christmas.
The most simple (and perhaps obvious) tip to having a more sustainable Christmas is reusing the same decorations year on year. Providing that you already have a collection of decorations (however big or small), you probably don’t NEED any new ones! If you do decide to purchase decorations be thoughtful with your purchases and pick classic decorations will never go out of style or that have sentimental value!
If you would like to purchase some more new items, there are lots of sustainable options when it comes to eco-friendly decorations. Instead of choosing plastic, look for baubles made from recycled glass - such as this collection.
If you’re feeling creative you can always try and make your own decorations!
Just because wrapping paper is ‘paper’ doesn’t mean it is recyclable. Often wrapping paper has a plastic coating, has glitter on it or has a texture to it, meaning you can’t recycle it. The easiest, most sustainable and coincidentally the cheapest option is probably brown paper, which you can jazz up by using a festive stamp or including some festive greenery. This would be a great time to get the kids involved with festively decorating wrapping paper, which adds a super personal touch (and will keep the children entertained during the holidays!)
Don’t fancy throwing all that paper out? You can use old scraps of fabric to wrap your presents in, then tie them up with string or ribbon!
There’s nothing quite like the tradition of pulling a cracker around the table at Christmas. However how often can you say that you have kept the little plastic toys that come in them? Waitrose has recognised this issue and has agreed to remove plastic toys from their crackers by 2020. But this year you can reduce your waste by buying reusable Christmas crackers! Keep This Cracker sell crackers which come flat-packed; simply pop them into shape and fill with jokes, paper hats or little toys - then use again next year!
With food often comes plastic packaging. Shopping at Zero-waste stores, your local butchers and greengrocers this Christmas can really reduce the amount of packaging you use. We’d recommend taking your own Tupperware or produce bags with you so that you don’t get tempted to opt for an unnecessary plastic bag.
The most sustainable way to source a Christmas tree would be growing one in your garden. However, it may not be an option for all of us (and it’s also a little too late this year!). Make sure that you look out for sustainably grown trees, look out for the FSC certification logo. Ideally, buy your tree from a local farmer rather than a supermarket to support your local community!
Once the Christmas tree comes down, you could chop it up and use it for firewood!