The festive season is the perfect occasion to relax, eat good food and enjoy quality time with people you wish you saw more of, but unfortunately, statistics tell us that this time of the year contributes to a whole lot of unnecessary waste and pollution. The good news is that it doesn’t have to: here are our 6 tips to a more eco-friendly Christmas... Enjoy!
Wrap your gifts sustainably
Did you know that in the UK we throw away on average 108 million rolls of wrapping paper every Christmas? Reusable fabric gift wraps are the ideal zero-waste alternative for a waste-free Christmas. The Japanese have been using furoshiki, the art of wrapping with fabric, for centuries. This tasteful and eco-friendly solution promotes caring for the environment as the fabric cloth can be used over and over again and can even be thrown in the washing machine if needed.
We personally love Agnes LDN creations, all handmade in the UK using natural and organic materials. Check them out on Acala online!
Buying presents locally minimises your carbon footprint, while supporting small suppliers and the local community. Find something sustainably sourced that your friends need - it will bring value both to them - and to our planet.
For a little inspiration, check out Wearth London’s website! It is an online marketplace which partners with independent UK brands that make contemporary and well designed products in an eco-friendly and ethical way.
Don’t buy things
Recently many people have been trying to adopt a more ethical, less material way of living and Christmas shouldn’t come in the way of their worthy goals.... Because it is the perfect time to focus on what matters, why not avoid the materialistic frenzy and give away an experience instead of a physical thing? Not only are they likely to be more unique and less expected than a tangible object, they also have a much lower environmental impact in terms of production waste and carbon emissions.
We got really inspired by this article from The Minimalist Wardrobe, with creative ideas of gifts that aren’t things.
Do It Yourself
Make this Christmas one where you go plastic-free by doing things yourself! There are many options for sustainable decorations made with recycled materials, but you can also make your own ornaments, out of foraged recycled or repurposed materials. Enjoy an arts and crafts afternoon and create unique homemade Christmas cards, decorations and wrapping paper!
Check out this article from Pebble Magazine for 5 stunning Christmas DIY ideas.
Recycle your tree after Christmas
Around 6 million trees lit up homes and offices across the UK last year, but only 10% were recycled. If you bought a tree this year, don’t forget to bring it to your local council's Christmas tree recycling scheme (you can check drop-off points on your council’s website). These trees are usually chipped and used as compost in parks or woodland areas.
Country Living provides all the guidelines to recycle your Christmas tree in this article, whether it has intact roots or not.
Eat to your heart’s content - and give away everything surplus
Everyone knows that Christmas time is eating time! This usually means massive amounts of food thrown away and wasted when it could have fed many of those in need. A study shows that UK households throw away 7 million tonnes of food each year. And the festive season is more likely to generate food waste because people don’t necessarily know how to prepare and cook it.
So if you feel like you might not have time to finish it, or don’t know how to cook it; freeze it or give it away!
Olio is a great platform that connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. Their website and app are very user-friendly and have enabled to save and share more than 1 million food portions so far!