Eight tips for a sustainable Christmas - how to help the environment and your bank balance
Christmas can be the most expensive and wasteful time of the year, billions of garments and toys end up in landfill. Follow these tips to help the environment and your bank balance.
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Christmas is a time of family, friends, and food, but it often comes with a hefty environmental impact, not to mention the price tag!
The UK is expected to spend around £26 billion on Christmas gifts this year, a 6% increase from last year. On top of this the nation will throw away around £42 million of unwanted Christmas presents that end up in landfill every year.
The UK will chuck away approximately 500 tonnes of Christmas lights each year. We will also bin what equates to around 108 million rolls of wrapping paper.
With that being said, a lot of these statistics could be cut by a huge percentage by following small easy steps and taking easy actions to reduce the amount we purchase and discard.
We put together a handful of tips that will help you have a more sustainable Christmas, as well as reducing the amount of money you spend.
Read on to find out more...
Rethink your fashion
We all know the stress of trying to find an outfit for Christmas Day and the festive season. Why not get creative and repurpose your favourite Christmas outfits - or rent!
Renting gives you access to gorgeous pieces from previous seasons that you wouldn’t find in the shop today. That perfect New Years Eve dress is just waiting for you.
Rent A Christmas tree
If you like the smell of a real tree in your house at Christmas, renting could be the perfect choice for you.
You can rent your tree each year and send it back to the farm to grow and be looked after, before it is retired and left to grow on the farm.
Wrap gifts with recycled paper or fabric
Recycled bags, and paper can become a fun joke between you and your friend, not to mention it takes away the stress of finding wrapping and bags for future presents.
Fabric wrapping is also a great alternative as they could use the pieces to make masks, or pass it on to other presents!
A fun way to add extra to your gift wrapping is to grab parts of the trees, autumn leaves and other plants to use as accessories.
Anything you think you could reuse, do it! You don’t need a new table runner, or napkins every year. You could make a table runner from your fabric napkins throughout the years! The possibilities are endless.
Getting creative and crafty can save you time, money and will give you festive activities for the kids.
Reduce your food waste
We know your freezer will be full of food on the run up to Christmas, however, we suggest eating it before!
There is always leftovers from Christmas dinner so make sure you have plenty of space in there before the big day.
The hardest tip we have is, don’t over buy. We promise you don’t need three types of meat, and you absolutely have enough in.
Turn away from that yellow label or special offer! Portion planners have gotten popular over the last few years to help with this.
Additionally, take another glance at your council website to check what can and can’t be recycled.
Switch to LED Christmas lights
If every household swapped a string of lights to their LED equivalent we could save more than £11 million, as well as 29,000 tonnes of CO2 throughout the 12 days of Christmas lights.
LED lights use up to 80% less energy than the incandescent lights traditionally used.
Also switching to solar-powered lights for your outdoor decorations would make a huge difference. Sticking your lights on a timer will help you save the environment as well as money.
Make your own Advent Calendar
You could invest in one for life, but there are so many creative ways to do your own Advent calendar, get crafty and make your own to hang on a wall - using unused fabrics in your house like last year’s Christmas bedding that’s been stuffed in under your bed.
You could also try something different - like digital options or a small scavenger hunt with clues written on discarded paper!
Whether it’s on clothes, gift wrapping or anything. Glitter can’t be recycled, and is a major ecological hazard if not correctly disposed of.
Last year saw major retailers Morrison and Waitrose announce that they would not use glitter in their in-house brand, single-use Christmas products.
Let us know how to help the environment at Christmas. What eco-friendly tips do you follow?