I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas…
Christmas is a time of excess, whether that be over-ordering from the Argos catalogue or Great Uncle Henry on the mulled wine, but with great excess comes great wastage. That’s why we thought it was time to put together our top tips to keep Christmas as eco-friendly as possible.
With over 8 million real Christmas trees bought in the UK every winter, that’s a lot of plant life we’re cutting down. Artificial trees are an option but they do take quite a bit of environmental impact to manufacture.
To really cut down on the impact of your Christmas tree, we like the increasingly popular practice of renting a tree from a local garden centre.
Whatever you decide, make sure that any real trees you buy or rent are FSC-certified.
Did you know that a lot of wrapping paper is not recyclable? If it contains glitter or foil then it’s going straight to landfill. A decent test of whether your paper is recyclable is to scrunch it up – if it scrunches easily and holds the shape, then it’s probably recyclable.
We like to go old school – rustic brown paper and twine never goes out of style.
An estimated 1.5 billion Christmas cards are thrown out every year in the UK. Consider updating your approach to well-wishing and take a look at some e-cards. There are thousands available online for free, or you could stretch your creativity and design something yourself.
Repeat after me, thou shalt not buy more tinsel. Made from plastics and PVC, tinsel is not recyclable nor is it particularly made to last, making it a pretty serious culprit for Christmas waste.
Why not try crafting a garland from winter leaves, or baubles from painted pine cones?
Christmas lights come down to two things – make sure they’re LED and make sure they’re not on longer than needed. Reduce your energy consumption by setting your lights to a timer – you can pick up timer plugs for as little as £5.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire is what we all truly want, but for those times when we choose the central heating instead then it’s important to making the most of it in order to cut bills and reduce energy consumption. Read our guide to the most efficient way to use your central heating here.
The best part of Christmas, if you ask me, is the Christmas dinner. Cutting down on the amount of meat you use in the feast will earn you serious brownie points for environmentalism though, as meat continues to outstrip the environmental impact of vegetarian food by an absolute mile.
Vegetarian and vegan options need not be boring – gone are the days of sad nut roasts and a soggy bit of salad. One only needs to look online to find hundreds of thousands of meat-free options to complement your Christmas dinner table.