I LOVE Christmas, but all the waste does get to me, so here are 7 ways to celebrate Christmas sustainably while still having fun… ie I am not suggesting that you don’t do presents or games or eat 🙂
1 & 2 : Wrapping Paper & Sticky Tape
According to GWP Group, the UK uses 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year, eeek! I have two methods I use for wrapping depending on the person and the time of year (ie birthday or Christmas). I often use teatowels as wrapping paper, usually, I get them in the sales after Christmas and use them the following year, fold it around the present and hold it in place with a ribbon. The tea towel becomes a bonus present!! For children I tend to use bits of fabric, again wrap it around and secure with a ribbon, and then either collect them up at the end of the day and put the fabric and ribbons in the cupboard to be reused at a later date or the child keeps it as a hair scarf/tie, cloak, dolls outfit or whatever, so again a potential bonus present!
3 : Christmas Tree
If you haven’t got your tree yet, why not get a live one in a pot. That way you can keep it all year saving money and the planet. 8 million Christmas trees are bought in the UK every Christmas, that is a lot to only be used for a few days. If you have already got your tree, then you can recycle it in your garden waste bin, it just needs to be chopped up first – good exercise to burn off a few Christmas calories!
4 : Paper Napkins
All the Christmas events have napkins galore, and if you are celebrating at home this year how about making some lovely fabric napkins that you can bring out year after year? They don’t have to be complicated, and if sewing is not your thing, maybe buy some fabric ones that you can reuse over and over.
5 : Food
There is a scary amount of food that goes to waste over Christmas, particularly when you consider how many people struggle to afford food. We all like to overconsume a bit, which is ok, after all, it is just one day, but just remember when planning how many you are actually cooking for! Apparently, 1 in 7 households buy more food than they need. The other bonus with buying the right amount of food is saving money, or being able to afford better quality food 🙂
As many as 4.2 million Christmas dinners are wasted in the UK. Consumers discard 263,000 turkeys, 7.5 million mince pies, 740,000 portions of Christmas pudding, 17.2 million Brussels sprouts, 11.9 million carrots and 11.3 million roast potatoes!
6 : Batteries
If you have children you are probably going to need batteries for various toys. Instead of buying disposable ones, you can save money and the planet by buying rechargable ones. They are super easy to use and will also mean that you don’t run out!
7 : Give Good Gifts
This might seem obvious, but taking the time to find out what someone wants, or would need is part of the gift giving process. Otherwise, it will end up not being used and eventually going into the bin! Only 1% of Christmas gifts are still being used 6 months later – SHOCKING! For me if there is nothing that the person wants, then I go with useful, eg my brother loves trying new gin, so that is his present this year a bottle of gin that I know he hasn’t tried before.
Finally, to help you celebrate Christmas sustainably and still have the family talking to you…. I will leave you with this stat ‘One in ten people have rows with their family because of the amount of waste they produce‘ so another good reason to be more sustainable this Christmas!