This year you might be feeling a bit wary of Christmas, or rather the waste that is associated with it. On Boxing Day we see the piles of wrapping paper, leftover food and, unfortunately, a lot of unwanted gifts and it can leave you feeling guilty or sad. As conscious consumers, we really don’t want the environment to suffer because of our habits.
If you want a Christmas that is more in line with your ethics, you may want to shake things up this year and try a more eco-friendly approach to the holiday season.
Here are 5 tips to help you on your way to a green Christmas…
1. Turn off for Christmas
During the Christmas week, the average person in the UK watches 30 hours of television, which equates to over 4 hours each day! Why not pick out a few classics to watch and try to use the rest of your free time playing games, visiting family and friends or catching up on your reading.
It can be tempting to leave the Christmas tree lights on all day and into the evening, but try to only turn them on when you’re actually in the room or when there are people over to see it. You can also opt for battery-operated lights; just remember to use rechargeable batteries so you can keep using them each year!
2. Get out in nature
Getting out in the fresh air on Christmas Day is a great way to reconnect with nature and ensure you don’t turn into a couch potato for too long! Woodland walks are a beautiful treat in the UK, especially in winter. Try the Westonbirt Arboretum and their treetop walkway for a new experience and don’t forget to walk the dogs too!
Parkrun hold special Christmas Day runs across the country. Check out the list of events here and get your running shoes on! It will make that second helping of pudding even more well-earned…
3. Gift green
If you’ve got any presents left to buy then try to buy sustainable alternatives to what your friends and family have asked for. Your brother has asked for a new razor; choose a safety razor so that it will last a long time and he won’t need to replace any plastic parts. Your mum wants a new jumper; opt for a sustainable material like bamboo or hemp that has less impact on the environment or try and find one from a charity shop.
This way you can give people eco-friendly gifts, without sacrificing any festive indulgence – and you’ll probably get them more interested in sustainable products!
4. Get creative
The average household in the UK will get through four rolls of wrapping paper and most of this cannot be recycled if it has a plastic coating or any glitter on it. This year, why not get creative with your wrapping ideas, here is a great list of eco-friendly ways to wrap gifts for your loved ones this Christmas.
We also love the Furoshiki wrapping (Japanese fabric wrapping), a beautiful way to wrap presents and it will encourage the receiver to reuse the fabric next year!
5. Reduce, reuse, recycle
This is probably something that we are all aware of – but when we look at our habits at Christmas, are we really doing this? If you apply this method to all aspects of Christmas, you are guaranteed to have a greener celebration than last year. Take food, for example, only buy what you need and allow yourself a few treats, without going overboard! We often end up with way too much food and the big shopping bills can leave you out of pocket at the end of the year, so reducing the amount you buy can save on waste and money.
Get crafty and reuse old Christmas cards by cutting them up and using them as tags for presents, and why not turn old wrapping paper into party hats to wear around the table for Christmas dinner.
Try and buy things in recyclable materials and remember to check when the collection days are – especially for your tree! Check out these ideas for recycling old Christmas decorations.