How to make the most of Christmas, whilst also being kinder to our community and environment.
A real Christmas tree seems an obvious choice. However, almost 8 million trees are purchased in December in the UK alone, resulting in intensive production and potentially a lot of waste. When purchasing a real tree, to ensure the tree has been grown sustainably, look out for the FSC- certification logo. After Christmas, see if you can get your tree recycled. If you have an artificial tree, keep using it, make it last for as long as possible. Sites such as freecycle can help you source a pre-loved one.
This is where you can be really creative. Homemade crafts and foods make for great gifts. If you are looking to save money, why not offer to do something nice for someone instead by issuing free “Christmas Gift Cheques”? You can find these online, where you can download and print as many as you need. When shopping for presents, consider buying from local shops and market traders.
You can make a considerable difference to a more sustainable Christmas by considering your food habits over the festive period. Going vegetarian for part of the holidays can reduce your environmental impact. When it comes to meat, try to source organic meat and consider ways to make your festive roasts last longer. Reducing food waste is also very important – be creative with leftovers, think about what you can freeze, or maybe plate up some leftovers for an elderly neighbour, food bank or soup kitchen?
Most of us love festive decorations, elaborate wrapping paper and receiving Christmas cards. However, it is estimated that paper waste over Christmas produces the equivalent of several million litres of biofuel. Recycling and making your own decorations is a great way to be more sustainable and getting the kids involved can be lots of fun. When it comes to cards, e-cards are far kinder on the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, saving trees and saving money! If you prefer to send real cards, consider buying them locally and choosing cards that support a good cause.
5. CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES
Could you live without the TV, tablet or games console at all over Christmas? Switching off these devices is kinder to the environment. Why not dig out an old board game or two, they are great ways of keeping friends and families entertained and it is just possible that this could be a brand-new experience for youngsters. If looking to venture outdoors, consider going for a walk around our beautiful city, or maybe a cycle ride?