Tips for an eco-friendly Christmas
From eco-friendly wrapping to reusable crackers, here are some easy tips for reducing your impact on the environment this Christmas.
Rent a Christmas Tree
Real Christmas trees are much more sustainable than artificial alternatives. In fact, one study concluded you'd have to use your fake fir for 20 years for it to be greener. How about renting a real tree from a British farm? You decorate and care for the tree during the festive period, then they'll pick it up and replant in January. Win, win!
Buying a tree? Try to buy local and look out for the ‘Grown in Britain’ label or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ‘seal of approval’. After Christmas, recycle your old tree at your local recycling centre or chop it up and stack it in your garden to create a habitat for birds and bugs.
Choosing the right wrapping paper
Many rolls contain non-recyclable elements like foil or plastic - use recycled wrapping paper, brown paper or tissue instead. If you’re not sure whether your wrapping paper can be recycled, use the scrunch test. If you receive gift bags, they can usually be reused more than once with a new tag.
Send forest friendly or plantable cards
Look for cards with the FSC mark, this guarantees the paper has been produced sustainably and ethically. Illustrated cards embedded with seeds are as charming as they are eco-friendly. Recycle or compost your cards in January or turn them into decorations for next year.
Buy your food from the right place – and less of it!
Support local ethical small-scale producers - use fewer food miles, less packaging and you can feel confident that you haven’t supported any intensive farming practices.
Eat food from your freezer before Christmas, leaving plenty of room for leftovers, reducing waste. Turkey, ham and cheese can be sliced, wrapped in parchment and frozen. Use your composter or green waste bin for scraps too.
Switch to LED Christmas lights
LEDs use up to 80% less energy. If every UK household swapped a string of incandescent lights for LEDs, we could save more than £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2, over the 12 days of Christmas.
Rethink your decorations
The most sustainable decorations are those that emerge each year. If you’d like to add to your collection, look for designs made from brass, glass and wood. Feeling creative? You could make your own wreath using paper, twine, berries and leaves.
Think about your outfit
Resist the temptation to splash out on sequins (they’re made from PVC) and opt for sustainable materials, or try clothes swapping or buying second-hand.
Invest in reusable advent calendars and crackers
Invest in reusable advent calendars and replace single-use crackers with reusable ones, giving you the chance to add your own personalised gifts.
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