6 tips to having an eco-friendly Christmas
A certain time of year is approaching, dreaded by some, adored by others but whatever your opinion its hard to ignore. Christmas - Andy Williams sang “its the most wonderful time of the year”, it also happens to be the most wasteful!.
Whilst it’s easy to get caught up in the excess of the festive season with all the drinking, eating, receiving and giving of presents its important for this cheery season to not be overshadowed by the masses of waste that are produced every single year.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide for you, giving you 6 actionable tips you can use this festive period to reduce your waste and the negative environmental impact of your Christmas celebrations:
Tip #1 recycle your wrapping
Wrapping paper really only serves one use, to be ripped apart in a flurry of excitement and then binned - this is pretty wasteful. Not only that but the mix of materials often used in wrapping paper can make it a nightmare to recycle!
Instead, opt for reusing wrapping paper you might already have, maybe you have paper left over from birthdays or other celebrations, or a recycling box full of newspaper
A quick bonus tip to tell if your wrapping is recyclable is to give it the scrunch test - if it stays scrunched up it is recyclable, if it springs back to its original shape it isn't.
Tip #2 ditch disposables if you’re hosting a party
Socialising is one of the best parts of the festive season, catching up with friends, letting off steam with coworkers and sharing special moments with your family. Don’t let wasteful single-use plastics put a damper on your celebrations
Use reusable crockery, glasses and cutlery just make sure your party goers take care if they have a few too many!
Tip #3 real tree or not real tree?
If you already have a perfectly good plastic tree, don’t ditch it for a real tree in an attempt to rid your life of plastic. Instead, get the most out of your plastic tree remember the 3 Rs (Reduce, REUSE, Recycle)
If you are opting for a real tree, these can be recycled when the festivities are over, 7 million natural trees are bought annually in the UK - a good portion of which will be thrown away. Don’t ditch your tree, recycle it instead!
Tip #4 Don’t flunk with food
Even the most calorie conscious of eaters find themselves indulging over Christmas, all part of the fun. But lots of food will also go to waste this Christmas, see the 3 quick tips for reducing food waste over christmas below:
- Donate unopened food to food banks or the homeless, don’t let that pack of christmas biscuits go stale, instead give any unused unopened food way to good causes
- Compost any left over vegetable matter you might have
- Get creative with leftovers, think beyond the turkey or nut roast sarnie, there's tonnes of recipes for great leftover curries, stews and more!
Tip #5 Great, more socks?
Unwanted gifts are as much a part of the festive season as tinsel or mince pie, but they needn’t be neglected and unused. That unloved ugly sweater or pair of socks can be put to good use, see below for a few ideas of what to do with unwanted gifts-
- Regifting is a great way to pass off unwanted gifts to family members and friends, just make sure you don’t fall into the trap of giving your unwanted gift back to the gift giver.
- Donate to charity, charity shops will gladly accept any unwanted christmas gifts and many charities have gift drives over the festive season to spread joy to those that may not receive any presents.
- Sell it on - eBay is a great place to stick any unwanted gifts and make some money to boot, the flipside to this is it also makes a great place to pick up some preloved gifts yourself!
Tip #6 Gift sustainably
For a brand that sells physical products this might sound like a weird tip but we encourage you to gift experiences instead of things this christmas, check out a few suggestions below:
- Trips away
- Eating out
- Subscriptions eg. netflix, spotify
However, we still understand that special warm fuzzy feeling of opening up something in a box or watching someone do the same. If you’re going to buy something tangible for someone try shopping sustainably. Do some research about the company you’re buying from, the materials they use, how they pay their workers, how they package their goods and so on to make sure your gifts spread maximum cheer at minimum impact.
There we have it, the Soseas top #6 tips for staying green this festive season. We hope you found some of these tips useful, please share with family and friends who might need some gentle encouragement to reduce their waste this Christmas.
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