Tips for a greener Christmas
Avoid climate guilt this Christmas with a few small changes to keep festive waste in check.
1. Ditch the wrapping
Traditional wrapping paper is a headache for the environment, from its cellophane wrapping to unrecyclable foil-printed patterns. But there are many more inventive ways to get your presents looking festive under the tree: try reusing the pages of glossy magazines for collage-chic gifting, or practise the Japanese art of Furoshiki, where gifts are wrapped in fabric.
2. Get a ‘green’ tree
Rent your tree for a more sustainable source of festive cheer. Instead of heading to landfill or being mulched along with millions of other trees come January, it will be replanted in the new year – which means it will also keep removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere until next December rolls around. If you do buy your own tree, look for an FSC certified supplier to ensure it has been sourced in line with responsible forestry practices.
3. Gifts for the planet
For lower-impact pressies, consider gift donations to environmental charities, or an eco-experience present like a foraging course or hand-made soap-making. Wildlife-loving friends and family will love gifts such as a bee revival kit or insect hotel for any outdoor space.
4. Combat festive food waste
With various different get-togethers to cater for, getting the Christmas food quantities right can be a challenge. Making full use of leftovers is a good way to cut down waste, as is having some freezer space earmarked to store what you don’t eat. Where you can, shop with local producers to reduce your Christmas feast’s food miles. Or think about going meat-free with a spread of delicious veggie treats.
5. Deck the (plastic-free) halls
Avoid plastic-based decorations like tinsel; instead, get crafty with recyclable paper chains and paper chains, or try making your own festive candles instead of reeling out a new string of plastic fairy lights.
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