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Published: 29 October 2020

How to make Christmas more eco-friendly

Christmas is a time of joy, festivities and giving… but also a time of great waste. As we’re becoming more aware of the effects such waste can have on our planet, we need to look at simple ways we can all help reduce it. Luckily, there are lots of small changes we can make that are so easy – here are 10 suggestions that will lead to a more eco-friendly Christmas!  

1.Choose the right wrapping paper

Many gift wrapping rolls contain non-recyclable elements like foil, glitter or plastic, which makes them non-recyclable. Opt instead for recycled wrapping paper, brown parcel paper (which looks very pretty with string and holly!) or tissue paper. If you are really creative, you could even use fabric squares and knot-tie them for a very attractive effect.

2. Save wrapping paper

Alternatively, if you can carefully remove your present without too many rips, then you could simply reuse the wrapping paper you were gifted. This is also a great way to save money!

3. Store gift bags

Keep any gift bags handed to you on birthdays or other events, to reuse later. You can simply cut the tag off the new recipient would never know!

4. Send forest-friendly or plantable Christmas cards

We know Christmas cards are becoming less fashionable (now that we can send e-cards or text messages!) but this year we have a sneaky suspicion they may be popular again. Opt for forest-friendly or even plantable (yes, that’s right!) Christmas cards. Plantable cards contain a seed packet that the recipient can sow in the spring – a gift that keeps on giving!

5. Buy your food from local, ethical suppliers

If you can buy your Christmas meat and vegetables from local suppliers, you will be doing your bit to help lower your carbon footprint. You’ll also be using fewer food miles, less packaging and hopefully avoid supporting intensive farming practices.

6. Try reducing food waste

Planning just how much to buy for a Christmas meal can be tricky we know, but you probably will need less than you realise. If you really can’t avoid any food waste, be sure to use your composter and green waste bin.

7. Choose plastic-free gifts

The production of plastic requires an enormous amount of energy and resources, causes carbon emissions, and contributes greatly to global warming. Did you know only 9% of plastic has ever been recycled?

Most plastic ends up in landfill, which we need to avoid. Help this by opting for plastic-free gifts! There are some great options out there. Just be sure to read the materials that go into everything you buy.

The Plastic Free Shop
Ethical Superstore
Etsy

8. Switch to LED Christmas lights

LEDs are much more environmentally friendly than lights because they use up to 80% less energy. If you like to have Christmas lights outside, try getting solar-powered lights. Apparently, these simple swaps could save the UK more than £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2, just over the 12 days of Christmas. Incredible!

9. Invest in a reusable advent calendar

Investing in a reusable calendar not only helps to reduce plastic but means you can spurge on more exciting gifts for yourself! Try adding a selection of your favourite chocolates, little beauty gifts or tea bags with biscuits!

Great sites for reusable advent calenders:
Lisa Angel
Not On The Highstreet
The Range
Etsy

10. Buy reusable crackers

Christmas crackers are great fun, but the novelty soon wears off. Most of the time, their contents end up in the bin and never get used.  Therefore, it is worth replacing single-use crackers with reusable ones, like those made with natural linen. These also allow you to add your own gifts (and jokes…) which leads to gifts or chocolate that will actually be enjoyed!

Great sites that sell reusable crackers:
Etsy
Not On The Highstreet 
Keep This Cracker

Published: 29 October 2020