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’s a few tips for making things green this festive season:
Though most wrapping paper can be recycled, Sellotape and some coated papers can’t. This can make it a Christmas Day nightmare to sift through what can and can’t be put in the recycle bin.
Get rid of the plastic altogether by choosing recyclable paper and using festively coloured string to tie it together. This can also easily be reused next year. Consider using fabric or brown paper to gift-wrap presents and avoid non-recyclable materials like glitter and foil.
As for ribbons, gift tags and bags, look for those made of natural materials or make your own with sprigs of holly.
Terrible jokes and paper hats are a cornerstone of Christmas Day, but do you really need another fake moustache and fortune fish? The plastic toys that pop out of crackers often – understandably – end up 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.
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.
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.
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.
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