As much as we LOVE Christmas, its toll on the planet takes away some of the sparkle. So with the three R’s in mind (no, not reindeer, ribbon and roasting chestnuts – the other ones we share our top tips for a sustainable Crimbo.
Deck the halls with green decorations (literally boughs of holly, as well as pine cones, twigs and other foraged bits). Feeling crafty? Have a go at fashioning a natural door wreath too.
If nothing says festive cheer like the glow of tiny lights, opt for LED bulbs to cut your energy consumption. And use timers on all electrical decs to take the effort out of remembering to switch off (as well as to spare your neighbour’s night-time sanity).
The greenest tree?
Real trees are the more eco sound option, although not so much if you buy a brand new cut tree every year. But if you do, make sure it has the FSC certified stamp and that you compost it when you’re done to up your sustainable credentials.
This year, consider renting a real tree (yup, it’s a thing), or buy a potted tree that will last you for years (even if you do have to decorate it outside once it grows into a whopper). Already have an artificial tree? Use it – and keep using it for as long as possible.
Get a good steer from loved ones on their Christmas wishes to cut out unwanted gifts. Experiences (like sky diving or alpaca petting) and homemade goodies (are great eco options, and shop local whenever you can to reduce the dreaded carbon footprint.
For the love of eggnog, don’t forget to grab your reusable cup before you head out to join the Christmas shopping massive – you’re gonna need it!
As for gift-wrapping, if you’re keen to avoid an over-spilling recycling bin then learn the art of furoshiki. Come again? In Japan they’ve been wrapping pressies in cloth for yonks, so ditch the paper and tape, grab some off-cuts and get wrapping.
Real crockery, cutlery and glassware will save on waste – and you can save on washing up by using handy pans that go from oven to table. Bonus.
Less festive food waste
With the fridge and cupboards groaning with treats, there’s always the risk it won’t all get eaten. Don’t feed the compost heap – have some cracking Christmas leftover recipes up your sleeve.
‘Course, meal plans and shopping lists are also great ways to avoid a post-Christmas food mountain, so pour yourself an organic, fair trade mulled wine and get scribbling.