Christmas is simply around the corner and preparations are in full swing for the special day, however whilst it’s the most tremendous time of the year, it’s no longer the most environmentally-friendly.
The festive season is historically the period of peak consumption, when we go all out on items and meals to galvanize our guests.
But with a little specialist know-how, you can truly host an eco-friendly Christmas except skimping on the festive magic.
From the tree you purchase to the meals you eat, the whole lot – no matter how big or small – can make a huge difference.
In fact, in simply over three days of festivities, the common Brit will create the same level of carbon emissions as they would on a flight from London to Los Angeles.
We round up the best approaches to have a greener, greater sustainable, eco-friendly Christmas…
Think about your wreath
Wreaths are no doubt a lovely Christmas decoration however some that are more eco-friendly than others. Avoid wreaths decorated with plastic add-ons and glittery decorations. These can add a more sustainable dimension to eco-friendly Christmas.
Not solely are these made the use of non-sustainable materials; however, they can be hazardous for birds and the natural world if hung up outside.
Go for a real, fresh wreath made using seasonal, herbal foliage and adornments. Even better, make your very own out of cloth that will remain year after year. Here are some beneficial guides…
Give a handmade gift
Another top-notch way to help the environment — and to store some money in the process — is to make your presents. Whether you love baking, stitching or painting, why no longer get innovative this season. Best of all, it will allow you to put your very own stamp on a gift.
Cut your food waste
Food production is the biggest cause of tropical deforestation. Try to cut any waste by planning – be realistic about how much food you need and use up leftovers.
Leftover food may be unavoidable, but you can save it and enjoy it the next day by covering it with eco-friendly cling film alternatives such as Tupperware, foil or wax cloth covers!
Don’t forget the tree!
If buying a plastic Christmas tree, make sure that you’re going to reuse it for at least 10 years, otherwise it would have been better to buy a living tree from a sustainable forest. If buying a real tree, make sure it’s FSC-certified (responsibly sourced).
Be clear on how to dispose of your tree once the season is over – can you turn it into a log pile in your garden? Purchasing a potted tree is also a good solution as you can reuse it each year! Why not got a step further and rent a Christmas tree?
Various places let you care for the tree over the festive period and return it to be replanted for use again the next year.
Sending eco-friendly Christmas cards
If you opt to purchase card for your loved ones, the eco-friendliest way to deliver festive cheer is to hand-deliver your Christmas greetings or send an e-card.
Always opt for Christmas cards made from sustainably sourced or recycled paper and avoid choosing glittery Christmas cards.
Glitter is notoriously hard to recycle is such a concerning environmental hazard that high-street stores such as Marks & Spencer have announced they will be no longer be offering shoppers the option of sparkly Christmas cards or gift-wrap.
Whilst purchasing cards can be a great time-saver, making your own will cut down on packaging and is a fun festive activity for the entire family.
Use 100 percent recyclable wrapping paper
While a lot of wrapping paper is used over the holidays, now not all of it can be recycled. By opting for a 100% recyclable paper, you will be saving a lot of Christmas wrapping from ending up as landfill. Do this by way of selecting simple paper – brown paper is fantastic – and decorate presents using colourful pens and twine as a substitute than shiny bows and ribbon.
Avoid foil, glittery or shiny patterns and laminated paper, as these include non-biodegradable elements.