You’re probably sick of hearing it already, but this Christmas is going to be very different. Why not mix things up even more and aim for a greener Christmas this year? Who knows, you might even decide to make some new, sustainable festive traditions.
This isn’t just better for the environment, you will also be massively helping out your local community by shopping locally this Christmas - whether you’re buying presents for family and friends, or your stocking up your cupboards with sweet treats and food for the Christmas break.
Presents for everyone
Present-buying can be one of the most stressful parts about Christmas. Not knowing what to buy or worrying whether you’re spending too much, but there are a few ways you can make this easier and sustainable. Why not shop second hand or buy refurbished gifts? Or you could ditch the present altogether and give a donation to charity on behalf of your friends and family instead? If this isn’t for you, then we recommend trying to buy one good present that will, most importantly, last. Oh, and don’t forget the recycled and recyclable wrapping paper! Or you could go one better and wrap in fabric that can be reused.
Businesses have been sending e-cards for many years now, but why not do the same for your family and friends? Plus, with the ongoing coronavirus situation, some people might feel a bit apprehensive about sending and receiving physical cards this year - if so, e-cards are the safest solution! But if you do like sending a card (and we’ve all got those family members who consider is treason not to send one!) then try to buy cards that can be recycled which means avoiding some of the festive glitter-laden options. Many places also sell plantable cards
Have a sustainable Christmas dinner
There are a number of ways you can make your Christmas meal more sustainable this year, whether you choose to keep or ditch the meat. This Christmas, switch out your turkey for a nut roast. Supermarkets have become far more vegan-friendly and there’s plenty of meat-free options available wherever you do your shopping. You might want to make the whole meal vegan, or you could just choose to switch out a few sides or your dessert for a dairy-free option.
But, if skipping the meat isn’t for you, make sure you’re buying from an ethical farmer using smaller-scale methods that promote animal welfare. Animals that are raised in a way which is kind is more likely to be sustained over generations, supporting free range and organic certified meat.
Waste not want not
Christmas meal leftovers can make the best meals come Boxing Day. It might be turkey curry a la Bridget Jones’ or it could be a nut roast and stuffing sandwiches. Using up your leftovers is environmentally friendly and it means less to worry about after cooking all day on Christmas Day.
And when it comes to waste, don’t forget about packaging. Try to choose to buy items loose or, if not, those with little or recyclable packaging.
Lower the impact of holiday lighting
With Christmas Trees and decorations up early this year, electricity bills and the impact on the environment will rise. LED holiday lights use up to 95% less energy than larger, traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors. They will still have the same effect, and your home will still be just as lit up.