With Christmas just around the corner (it’s definitely time for Christmas songs, sorry) it’s about time we all had a quick think about how we can do our bit to make this Christmas more sustainable than any before. Statistics show in the UK we create 30% more waste than usual during the festive period, it’s time to make some simple changes in order to have a big impact.
How sustainable is your Christmas tree? It might not be something you’ve ever given a second thought but with eight million trees bought each year it has the potential for a LOT of waste. While synthetic trees arguably can last for a long time, their manufacture takes a lot of energy and it is just something else that will need to be disposed of in the future. There are a variety of options that can help your beloved tree be better for the environment. Believe it or not renting a Christmas tree is now an option, garden centres will deliver and then pick the tree back up allowing it to carry on growing after its been returned! Many councils also offer the option of recycling your Christmas tree from set locations or recycling centres so a little bit of research could go a long way.
We can all agree on how easy it is to panic buy the classic t shirt or pair of socks. But now is the time we give this a second thought and avoid buying things that will be thrown away or go unused.
Secret Santa is a great way to buy less and make sure everyone still gets a present they will love, whether it’s at work, university or between the family its great way to buy less.
Buying second hand is another way to reduce our demand for new products. Charity shops are full of gems and having a look on eBay can be a great idea for stocking fillers as well as branded clothing. Who doesn’t love saving money and the planet at the same time!
Supporting small and local business is another way a small change can have a big difference. It helps small business owners and ensures more of your money helps the local economy, a win win!
Paying for experiences rather than ‘things’ is a way to reduce consumption and ensure you can give something their bound to love. A meal out, experience day or even a cinema ticket can be a great idea for someone you’d otherwise be stuck trying to get a worthwhile gift for.
Taking a moment to think about decorations is another way we can reduce the impact of Christmas on our planet. Only buying decorations that will last for years is the first step, styles that you’ll love year on year and things made of recyclable materials such as wood.
Buy a reusable advent calendar, not only are they a beautiful decoration they are more sustainable AND can be filled with whatever sweet treat you want!
Not all gift wrapping is just paper, a lot is plastic based or contains glitter and foil which means it cannot be recycled. Reusing old wrapping paper and gift bags is a good place to start with making gifting more sustainable. Alternatively, sourcing more sustainable paper such as brown paper or even saving up old newspapers to wrap your presents in is not only more sustainable but looks great.
None of these idea’s will break the bank and if everyone does their bit this Christmas it is bound to not only save you money but help make a sustainable difference.