How to be more eco-friendly at Christmas
Christmas is a time for giving, sharing and celebrating. A huge part of Christmas is buying lots of brand new gifts. A lot of which will come in single use plastic wrapping and ultimately end up in the bin!
But, there are some simple ways we can reduce the amount of waste this Christmas, without losing all the Christmas joy, and we’re going to run you through 10 tips on how to be more eco-friendly this Christmas
1) Wrap presents in reusable cloth or sustainable packaging.
Here in the UK we throw away approximately 108 million rolls of wrapping paper just over the Christmas period. Think of how much is used on top of that throughout the year for birthdays and celebrations also!
This one small change will go a long way, even better still, you can reuse your gift wrapping for birthdays and other celebrations throughout the year too.
Look at how beautifully presents can be wrapped and presented! There are so many different ways to display gifts this way. Other sustainable ways to wrap your gifts are to use wrapping paper from previous years! The creases and folds in the paper will remind you of all Christmases past.
Or, have you thought of using kraft paper? Simply tie a ribbon or thread around the gift instead of using tape, or opt for kraft tape instead
2) Gifts that last
It’s so easy to get caught up in buying lots of gifts for people that often they become unwanted items shortly after Christmas!
A great way to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill is to purchase gifts that the recipient can keep, and reuse over and over – think long life items.
3) Sustainable Christmas decorations
There’s debate as to when Christmas decorations should be put up, is it the 1st of December? Is late November too early? The jury’s out on that one, but one thing is for sure. We bin so many plastic decorations after Christmas.
Why not make a day of going out and searching for pine cones and holly, and hand making Christmas decorations instead?
You can also create beautiful dried orange garlands like the one above so simply at home, a great way to bring the family together at Christmas.
4) The Advent Calendar
Advent calendars hit the shelves early and the temptation of chocolate is hard to overcome, but how about ditching the plastic packaging and opting for a wooden advent calendar that comes out every year and gets stocked to the brim with all your favourite goodies?
And you can even sneak an extra chocolate out and restock before anyone notices! We won’t tell if you don’t!
5) Christmas Cards
They fill the house with colour and it’s a great way to send some Christmas joy but they create a whole heap of waste when they get chucked in the bin.
Can you opt for recyclable cards? How about getting the kids involved and making Christmas cards from last year’s haul?
Maybe send one card for the whole family instead of each individual person? Or how about sending an e-card?
5) The Christmas Tree
There’s tonnes of debate over whether having a plastic Christmas tree for many years is more beneficial for the environment than having a brand new real tree every year.
Many artificial trees are made from plastic, specifically PVC which is renowned for being hard to dispose of.
If you do love artificial trees, keep your artificial tree for as long as possible and opt for a second hand tree over a brand new one.
As the popularity for real trees increases more real trees are planted every year for the Christmas season than the amount cut down – trees that would not be growing if it wasn’t for the Christmas season.
Another alternative option could be having a potted Christmas tree, you simply bring the potted tree indoors during the festive season.
7) Lets talk LED Lighting
How beautiful do homes look when they’re glistening at night draped in lighting! But, did you know that LED lighting is up to 80% more efficient than other lighting such as fluorescent and incandescent lighting.
They are also longer lasting and don’t get hot to the touch! Switch to the safer more sustainable LED lighting this Christmas.
8) Remember the reusable bags when out shopping!
We can all cut down on the amount of single use plastic bags by grabbing a reusable before leaving the house. Stay prepared and pop your reusable tote bags into your everyday bag so you never forget it again.
And for those who prefer to shop online and have their gifts delivered, have you considered having the gift sent directly to the receiver? Or, reusing the packing materials to send out other post?
However you are shopping this year, you can keep it eco!
9) Ditch the disposable crockery
With lot’s of visitors expected over the Christmas period it can be tempting to bring out the disposable tableware. Single use plastic knives and forks add to the mountain of waste seen after the Christmas period every year.
Why not ditch the disposables this year and ask for a helping hand with the clearing up afterwards! And don’t forget to grab your reusable steel straws when dining with friends and family (and share your ideas on how to be more eco-friendly at Christmas!)
10) Food for thought
It’s thought that over 4 million Christmas dinners are thrown away every year, that’s a whole lot of food right! Roughly it’s equivalent to 263 thousand turkeys, 7.5 million mince pies, 740 thousand servings of Christmas pudding, and a whopping 11.3 million roast potatoes.
A simple way to reduce food waste at Christmas is to turn your leftovers into new meals! There are so many online recipes and food blogs especially made for Christmas you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Spare fruit and veggies? Don’t let that food go to waste, check out our smoothie recipes for interesting tasty ways to indulge.
And there we have 10 ways we’ll be reducing our waste this Christmas.
We hope they’ve been helpful and will give you some ideas on how to be more eco-friendly at Christmas.
If you’ve got some tips and ideas to add, we’d love to hear about them!
Leave them in the comments section below and we’ll give them a try.
From the SoleCup Team we wish you a very Merry Christmas!