Are you trying to live more of an eco-friendly life? Maybe you’re trying to recycle more or steer clear of products that come wrapped in plastic or the biggest of cardboard boxes for the tiniest of items?
If there’s one time of the year when there’s piles of packaging – gift cards, bags and boxes and wrapping paper galore, it’s Christmas time.
It’s the norm, we know, and something a lot of us have done for as long as we can remember. Plus, ripping open those presents is one of the things that makes Christmas so great.
But it’s not necessarily great for the planet….
According to sustainable business magazine, Edie:
• 250 tonnes of Christmas trees are thrown out every January
• 1 million Christmas cards are binned every year
• 5 million Christmas puds go to waste
• 68% of Brits pour Christmas dinner fat, oil and grease down the drain.
It’s stats like these that shine a light on the impact annual festivities can have on the environment. With that in mind, are you planning to break the mould this year and have more of an eco-friendly Christmas?
Here are four practical pointers for how to have a more eco-conscious Crimbo:
Eco Christmas tip 1: Switch to eco Christmas crackers
Take a minute to think about how much goes it crackers for the sake of a second or two of delight and surprise. As soon as you’ve pulled them and located your treat, job done. But if you take the time to look around, you’ll find there are crackers out there that are plastic-free, not to mention, reusable. And if you have the time and love getting crafty, then you could always make your own from recyclable materials too.
Eco Christmas tip 2: Have an eco-friendly Christmas tree
It’s possible for your Christmas tree to be green for more reasons than its colour. For instance, you can choose a living tree that can be replanted in your garden once Christmas is over or you could even rent a real tree. Or if you’re not fussed about having a real tree, you could stick to using an artificial one, that you can dust off and re-use every year. Or, you could choose to have no tree at all and just decs. Another idea could be to decorate a tree that you have outside (there’s no need to worry about it taking up space, your pets diving into it or having pine needles all over the floor…)
Eco Christmas tip 3: Use eco-friendly wrapping
I.e. recycled wrapping paper that doesn’t contain any non-recyclable materials, such as foil, glitter, and plastic. Other than checking the label to see if your paper of choice is sustainable, another way to test if wrapping paper’s recyclable or not is to do the scrunch test.
How to do the scrunch test: Scrunch the paper up into a ball in your hand and then let it go. If the ball stays scrunched up, it can be recycled. If not, it contains materials that can’t be recycled.
If you’re planning on using gift bags, don’t be shy to keep any gift bags that may have been given to you. The same applies to ribbons, tissue paper, bows and any other second-hand wrapping materials that still have plenty of life left in them.
Eco Christmas tip 4: Give eco-friendly Christmas gifts
Reusable coffee cups, bamboo fibre lunch boxes and cutlery sets plant-based candles, bees wax wraps, refillable glass bottles, natural shampoo bars and zero waste beauty products all fit the eco-friendly Christmas gift bill.
For normal skin and hair types (£10.99)
Use instead of wipes, synthetic sponges, make-up removal pads and face cloths (£7.00)
Feeling all fired up to have more of an eco-friendly Christmas now? Even if you start with some eco Christmas crackers this year, have an eco-Christmas tree or choose a few eco Christmas gifts here and there, you’ll be helping make sure your festivities are fairer on the environment.
Like the idea of using more eco-friendly wrapping? Check out this article, it’s full of sustainable Christmas wrapping ideas.