Enjoy Christmas in a more sustainable way this year!
Christmas is the season of giving, it can also be a time of overindulgence and excess waste… From food, to wrapping paper or the tree (and even unwanted gifts!) items are thrown out by the tonne once the festivities are over. Here are our top tips to help make this year less wasteful:
Tip 1 – Food waste (leftovers)
When food shopping over the festive period, keep an eye out for items with less packaging – or even none – to reduce waste. Buying loose items not only avoids excess packaging it also means you only need to buy what you need, for example 2 potatoes rather than a kilo. Checking the fridge or cupboard before going shopping can help avoid duplicating ingredients (especially spices in my house!).
Leftover meat can go into pies, whilst bubble and squeak or soup are tried and tested classics with any extra vegetables.
Freezing leftovers is also an option if you don’t know what to do with them – or are simply too full to get to them! Milk, cheese, cream, even biscuits and crackers can all be frozen.
Tip 2 – Recycling (cards)
When it comes to decorations, many get thrown out after being displayed for a couple of weeks.
Christmas cards are a big culprit (1.5 billion Christmas cards are thrown away every year in the UK). The paper waste over Christmas is the equivalent of 8 – 10 million litres of biofuel! Recycling paper and cardboard over Christmas prevents it ending up in landfill.
DIY decorations and wreaths are more popular than ever, creating something unique which can even be fun to make….
Tip 3 – Carbon footprint (travelling)
At this time of year, many of us are travelling the length and breadth of the country to see friends and relatives. Car sharing is better than multiple vehicles travelling at the same time – plus it’s cheaper and easier to park!
Shopping locally helps too, especially if there are shops nearby sourcing from local producers; farm shops can be a great choice, for meat, veg and dairy.
Tip 4 – Saving energy (gifts and lighting)
Consider switching to LED Christmas lights – they’ll last much longer and use about 80% less energy than conventional lights, making the initial expense worthwhile.
Unconventional wrapping like newspapers, brown paper, or even fabric can be used for gifts and will make your present stand out under the tree.
By making some small changes to activities, the environmental impact will be lessened greatly, reducing Christmas waste without reducing the fun.