Christmas is coming up, and along with loads of presents, decorations and excessive food, it’s the perfect time to celebrate sustainably. It is not difficult to enjoy Christmas in a more eco-friendly way, from choosing a sustainable tree, to ethical christmas gifts; here is a list to guide you through your journey to a more ethical holiday season.
For years the debate of real Christmas trees vs. artificial Christmas trees has created a divide. Despite your preference, there is always a way to make your choice more sustainable.
If you prefer a real tree, solely purchase those with an FSC Certification, proving it was produced sustainably. To take the next step, keep an eye out for Soil Association stamp to ensure it’s organic. Regarding disposal, after the holidays, take your tree to a local tip. Many communities offer free Christmas tree recycling to make mulch, compost, and woodchips from the trees.
If you choose to purchase an artificial tree, look to buy second hand. If you have searched on eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace but have not found anything, look to buy a new artificial tree that will last a lifetime, rather than one which needs replacement after every few years.
Choosing sustainable decorations that last a lifetime will not only help the environment, but over time, your wallet too. Without the eco-friendly options, the extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week! If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet (FAQ Holiday Waste Prevention). An extra 30% of rubbish is produced and discarded throughout the festive period when compared with the rest of the year, the additional waste amounting to about 3 million tons. The UK will also throw away approximately 500 tons of Christmas lights each year (An Often Overlooked Part of Christmas).
Decorations made from recycled glass, fabric and wood are better alternatives when compared to more common, non recyclable materials, such as PVC options. Additionally, investing in more expensive, yet sustainable decorations will last a much longer time. Purchasing timeless, classical designs and decor is highly recommended.
After picking out your gifts, it’s time for the gift wrapping. Keep an eye out for environmentally friendly gift wrap, be creative!
- Reuse gift bags, boxes and tissues from previous years and events. If you don’t have any saved, start saving this year!
- Use recycled brown paper for wrapping and spice it up with a ribbon or artsy finish using string, pine tree sprigs or raffia.
- Wrap your presents in a fabric scarf. A two in one gift idea, and the recipient will love it!
- If buying new wrapping paper, choose reusable/recyclable materials, try to avoid foil and glitter bearing paper. (16 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Christmas)
Create new sustainable traditions and adopt them for a new, happier life (which comes with a smaller footprint)!