We love the festive season, but we are also aware that it can be an incredibly wasteful time of year. Wrapping paper, sellotape and plastic bows are often used only once and we spend hundreds of pounds on plastic toys and gadgets that are often shoved to the back of a drawer, never to be seen again. So what can we do this Christmas to spread joy but avoid a huge trail of waste? We've come up with some ideas for a sustainable Christmas season:
1. Gift experiences, not objects. What to your friends and family enjoy most? Probably some quality time with their favourite person (aka, you!). Why not book an event for you loved ones instead of contributing to wasteful objects and gadgets.
2. Make your own gifts. Make some jam with locally sources ingredients. Pick some sloe-berries for free from your local nature area and brew some festive sloe-gin. Knit scarfs and hats, or crochet something beautiful. Take some beautiful photographs and have them printed and framed. There are so many things you can do to make your loved ones Christmas special.
3. Use reusable and recyclable wrapping paper. Brown craft paper is super cheap and easy to spruce up! Decorate brown paper with stamps or drawings. Use biodegradable string, dried oranges and cinnamon sticks to decorate. You could even pick some fresh holly leaves and attach them to your gifts to give them an extra festive feel!
4. Shop second hand. There are some truly amazing finds in charity and thrift shops such as puzzles, books, cosmetics, shoes, jewelry and of course, clothing. We always advocate for buying clothes second hand. A great place to find high quality clothing and accessories is Vinted and Gumtree is amazing for secondhand goods. Also, you can feel really good about shopping in charity shops as your money will go to a good cause!
5. Rent a Christmas tree. You can now rent a Christmas tree in a pot, decorate it to your taste, then once the festive season is over, you can send it back so that it can live for another year! No trees are harmed in the process of Christmas festivities!
6. Grow your own veg! How amazing will it feel to know that all of your Christmas veg was grown by you in your own backyard or allotment? We bet it tastes better too! And no plastic waste!
7. Send electronic Christmas cards. Nearly everyone has an email address these days so why not save a tree or two by sending a festive e-card to all of your loved one.
8. Make treats from scratch. Processed foods are full of chemicals and create a huge amount of pollution and waste. Get your rolling pin and self-raising flour out and give baking a go! There are thousands of recipes online for mince pies, Christmas cake and yule logs.
9. Feed the homeless. A great gift idea is buying a Christmas dinner and a bed to sleep in for a homeless person this Christmas. This is a true act of kindness.
10. Skip the turkey. It's now common knowledge that meat production is taking a huge toll on the health of our environment. Avoid contributing to the carbon footprint that poultry farming creates and have a yummy nut roast this year.
So there you are, 10 Christmas tips for a more sustainable Christmas. We hope you found these tips useful and inspiring. Everyone at Conservation Chat UK wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and the happiest New Year!