Yes, it’s that time of year again. 2020 has been challenging (as we are all well aware), hopefully Christmas will offer a chance to reflect and appreciate time spent with loved ones, get cosy and revel in all the heartwarming things that bring us joy. These simple tips can help you to be more sustainable, without sacrificing full-on enjoyment this Christmas.
For many, Christmas is all about indulging in copious amounts of food and drink, gift-giving and the occasional afternoon siesta. These conventions can be a welcome break from the routine of real life but can sadly be wasteful and environmentally damaging. So, while you are planning your celebrations and gathering your Christmas supplies in the coming month, why not consider how you can enjoy the holidays more sustainably?
Simple Ways To Be More Sustainable This Christmas
Avoid Food Waste
The average household spends around £169 on Christmas food shopping. Chances are that a significant proportion of that food will be wasted and thrown away, which is a great shame. Whether you fall susceptible to supermarket promotions or get carried away trying to ensure everyone is satisfied, throwing away food is literally a waste of your money and is detrimental to the environment. So, what can you do?
Plan Your Christmas Meal
By planning your Christmas meal, considering how many mouths need to be fed and how hungry those mouths are, you can more accurately estimate the amount of food you need to buy and cook. Inevitably, there will always been some leftovers on Boxing Day. Instead of throwing them away, why not try some new recipes or consider spreading some warmth and cheer by giving a hot meal to someone less fortunate than yourself.
Eco-friendly Gifts and Wrapping
Gifts encapsulate the whole essence of the festive period and rightly so! Exchanging presents with loved ones can be the most magical part of Christmas, but it is another source of mass waste. Wrapping paper is designed to be disposable and ripped apart in a matter of seconds, but is it worth the effect of dumping thousands of tonnes of rubbish into landfill? You could be creative with your wrapping choices this year by reusing and recycling. At the very least, you could use recyclable wrapping paper that won’t end up in landfill in January.
You could also be sustainable by buying more gifts that are sourced locally, as opposed to imported from overseas. These can often be better quality and will help support your local economy. If you want to help your friends and family live more sustainably, why not gift items that will contribute to the cause – for instance, items from charities like Oxfam who offer a whole range of beautifully handmade gift items.
Recycled Christmas Decorations
Decorations bring joy and festivity into your home. This year why not try to make your own tree decorations or invest in beautiful recycled baubles. Avoid buying plastic baubles wrapped in more plastic packaging. Making your own decorations could be a fun activity for the whole family and will be much more environmentally friendly.
After the year everyone has had, Christmas will be a special period of solidarity and appreciation. While (fingers-crossed) spending time with your loved ones, why not keep in mind how you can be more sustainable too?
Photography by Olivia J Lennon