It’s Christmas season!🎄 Christmas is all about spending time with your loved ones to celebrate the holiday season. Unfortunately, with Christmas, comes environmental damage. Waste creation is one of the biggest and most noticeable damages that this season brings, but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t enjoy Christmas, or that we should feel guilty about wrapping presents for our friends and family.
Every year, food and materials are wasted because of Christmas dinners and decorations. Being eco-friendly doesn’t mean you have to cancel Christmas. There are plenty of ways you can help the environment while celebrating the holiday. But… How much damage is really created in the UK during this season?
🗑️ 3 million tonnes of general waste is created every year during the holiday season, making that 115kg per household
🥘 About £40 worth of food is wasted during Christmas per household, imagine how much food you could potentially buy with this?
🏠 An average household can accumulate 5kg of plastic packaging rubbish by the end of December
🍷 Each year we munch and guzzle our way through 370 million mince pies, 250 million pints of lager and beer, 35 million bottles of wine and ten million turkeys!
🇬🇧 During the Christmas season, we eat as a nation, 80% more food than during the rest of the year.
👣 The University of Manchester recently calculated that our combined Christmas dinners produce the same carbon footprint as a single car travelling 6,000 times around the world.
Want to help reduce the environmental impact of Christmas? Keep reading this blog to find out some eco-friendly tips and ideas for you to give a try during the holidays to make your Christmas as planet-friendly as possible! 🎁
How can you make this Christmas more sustainable?
Been given a present you don’t like?
Been given a present before that you don’t like? You’re not alone, 21 million British adults receive gifts they don’t want. Instead of throwing it away or keeping it in a cupboard and never using it again, why not re-gift it to someone else? There’s NO shame! (Just don’t give it back to the same person!) Or donate it to your local charity. 🎁
Help support the British Heart Foundation by donating your unwanted Christmas gifts. They always need your unwanted items to help fund life saving research. Or be the Secret Santa for a vulnerable child with Action for Children, who can help you donate your unwanted presents to the less fortunate and make their Christmas a bit better. 💓
Reduce food waste!
Most of us are pretty good at getting creative with our leftovers throughout the year, but when Christmas comes we can be a little more wasteful. 270,000 tonnes of food is wasted in the UK during Christmas. Let’s make this Christmas a bit more eco-friendly by cutting down on food waste. Here are some ways in which you can reduce your food waste this season:
✅ Try not to overcook
✅ Make a shopping list
✅ Make note of the use by dates
✅ Or try some amazing left over recipes online
Choose sustainable Christmas crackers
Christmas crackers can be recycled along with any other cardboard products as long as they’re not foil-coated or glittery. Unfortunately, the majority of Christmas crackers sold are not recyclable. 40 million Christmas crackers are thrown away every year. That’s 1,220 Mount Everests stacked on top of each other. Most are filled with toys we never want and end up straight in landfill. Why not:
🎉 Buy Charity crackers
🎉 Make your own reusable ones (then you get things you actually want!)
🎉 Get plastic free options
Rent a Christmas Tree
Real Christmas trees are much more sustainable than artificial alternatives. In fact, one study concluded you’d have to use your fake fir for 20 years for it to be greener. That said, 7 million real trees will be dumped in January rather than recycled. 🌲
Rent a Christmas tree instead of buying one. Instead of throwing your tree away, when you rent one, your tree will be replanted for use again next year. How amazing is that! You can even ask for your exact same tree back. Check out your local suppliers! ♻️
Use recyclable wrapping paper
Although paper is widely recyclable, a lot of gift wrap is made with shiny foil and glitter, which can’t be recycled. ✨
To check if your wrapping paper can be recycled, you can use the Scrunch up test! Scrunch up the paper in your hards and then let it go. If the paper stays scrunched up then it can be recycled but, if it unfolds by its own accord, then it likely contains non-recyclable elements.
Try wrapping your presents with old newspapers or re-usable fabric. 📰
Make zero-waste cocktails!
Make zero waste cocktails and get the most out of the ingredients you have. Give these tips a try to make your cocktails more planet-friendly this year:
🍋 Use left over lime shells and infuse with vodka. Give it a few weeks and you will have lime flavoured vodka.
🍸 Use the left over lime to also make lime sugar syrup.
🍓 Or why not Dry fruit skins that you would otherwise throw away for garnishes!
💪 Make sure you have your reusable straws ready!
Why not switch to LED lights?
If every UK household swapped a string of incandescent lights for its LED equivalent, we could save more than £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2, just over the 12 days of Christmas! 🎄
When it comes to eco-friendly Christmas decorations, LEDs are far better than traditional twinkling incandescent lights, because they use up to 80% less energy, making them more environmentally-friendly.
Switch to solar-powered lights outdoors, and put both sets on a timer. You’ll not only make environmental savings but your energy bills will be reduced too. 💰
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