Wondering how you can keep things green without missing out on all the festive fun? Let's unwrap a few eco-friendly tips...
- How do you know if wrapping paper is 100% recyclable?
- How can we make sure we support local businesses?
- How do we keep Christmas plastic-free?
Christmas might be a time of excess, but there’s no need for the planet to take a hit. With a few small changes, it’s easy to make things a little eco-friendlier without compromising. Here are a few tips on how to keep things green this festive season...
Can wrapping paper be recycled?
Though most wrapping paper can be recycled, sellotape and some coated papers can’t... and let's face it, nobody is going to spend their Christmas Day sifting through what can and can’t be put in the recycle bin.
So, get rid of the plastic altogether by choosing recyclable paper and use festively coloured string to tie it together. As for ribbons, gift tags and bags, look for those made of natural materials or make your own with sprigs of holly. Consider using fabric or brown paper to gift-wrap presents and avoid non-recyclable materials like glitter and foil. Plus, brown paper and string aren't Christmas specific, so they can be used for birthdays and other occasions, so any leftover paper can still be used. Not that we'd be judging you if you wrapped up a present in Christmas paper for an August birthday...
How can Christmas be plastic free?
Terrible jokes and paper hats are a must on Christmas Day, there's always that one family member who keeps their cracker hat on for way too long, and another one who laughs way too much at the awful cracker jokes, but do you really need another fake moustache and fortune fish? The plastic toys that pop out of crackers often – understandably – end up lost or in the bin.
If you’re looking to reduce your plastic waste but still want a little surprise in your festive crackers, you could make your own crackers. Fill them with chocolate, sweets or handmade gifts. For the less creative, you can now buy cardboard crackers that don’t contain plastic toys, or fabric reusable crackers which you can fill with your own treats every year.
Should you shop locally at Christmas?
A tower of selection boxes a few feet high and more mince pies than you know what to do with – when it comes to food, the holidays are a time of over indulgence. You can cut down on food waste without losing any of the festive fun by shopping locally for your delicious festive additions. Use up your leftovers and plan your portion sizes based on how many people will be at the dinner table to reduce food waste. Turkey, vegetables, mincemeat and more can all be sourced at your local butchers and greengrocers. Not only are you putting money back into the local community, you can often put your purchases straight into a tote bag so there’s no plastic packaging either.
Dreaming of a local Christmas?
Go the whole hog (or pig in blanket) and make your Christmas an entirely local affair this year. With a little research you can usually find some wonderfully talented local business owners that would just love some of their arts, crafts and produce to find their way into your stocking this year. Ditch the gift tokens and next-day delivery orders and grab the opportunity to discover your local community.
If you’re a dab hand at handicrafts yourself, perhaps you can make your own treats and trinkets to put under the tree.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Glass jars, bottles, boxes, gift bags, decorations – the list of items you can reuse is almost as long as your wish list. Consider following the three R’s this festive period – reduce, reuse and recycle. Find new life for old jars in the kitchen, keep hold of decorations for next year and recycle any old boxes and cards – just remember to remove any Sellotape and ribbons.
What does an eco Christmas look like?
In a nutshell...
- Make the most of a reusable advent calendar
- Use recyclable wrapping paper
- Take reusable bags with you when gift shopping
- Choose sustainable decorations and crackers
- Use LED lights in your decorations
- Minimise food waste
- Avoid single use or throwaway gifts
- Stay away from plastic
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