Green Article - December 22/January 23
Have Yourself A Very Eco-Christmas
It may be the ultimate consumer holiday, but Christmas doesn’t have to cost the earth – in either sense of the phrase.
The festive season is expensive and wasteful, and most of us will reference calming things down in the following year.
Yet that may not be totally necessary – not least if all the joy of Christmas can be experienced in a way that is good for the soul, the wallet, and the environment.
Here are five ways to go about achieving that:
Re-deck the halls
One of the best things about Christmas decorations is that they are reusable, though there are still ways to make them even more sustainable.
Choose wooden over plastic ones, purchase them from local craft fairs rather than supermarkets, and invest in baubles and ornaments that are of a decent quality so they can be reused for years afterwards. In time you will have a sizeable collection of unique trinkets that tell your family’s own Christmas tale.
If you’re planning on buying a new tree for this Christmas, perhaps consider either a pre-loved fake one, or a potted real tree that’s designed to last beyond the festive season. Even better, you can now rent trees that can be replanted in January, helping cut back on the seven million that are dumped each year.
Invent an advent
What if you provided your loved ones with advent calendars that were not only personalised, but also more environmentally friendly?
Online marketplace Etsy sells wooden calendars that are personalised and can be refilled every year. Or you can make your own out of old fabric, leftover cardboard boxes or even just envelopes with craft activities in.
In a world that is becoming wiser and more sustainable, it is easier than ever to buy wrapping paper that is either recycled, or easier to recycle – which means no glossy finish or glitter, I’m afraid.
Another option is using old newspapers, magazines or comics; or investing in cotton wrapping cloths, which are fast becoming a trend and will look stunning under the tree.
It’s easy to go overboard when it comes to Christmas dinner, but why not save yourself the hassle and stick to the basics.
Firstly, only make enough food for the number of people you have coming (though Christmas leftovers can be sublime!). Secondly, buy produce as locally as possible to save on food air miles. And finally, avoid purchasing products that feel festive but are actually not very popular, such as dates, marzipan, candy canes, nuts, etc.