Christmas always ends up being a hectic whirlwind, but this year I think we’re all looking forward to a bit of festive cheer. However, the festive season can get wasteful and very expensive, so I’ve put together a list of tips for making this Christmas a green one.
While I try to limit my online shopping, it’s inevitable that I’ll order something now and then. Luckily, the cardboard packaging is perfect for trimming down and transforming into homemade cards – ready to be decorated with photos and messages. If you keep your cards dinky, you can make several from one piece of packaging. For even more crafty points, save the Christmas cards you receive this year and cut them out to decorate your homemade cards next year. You can make your own gift tags this way too!
There’s an ongoing debate about whether it’s better to have a real or artificial tree. While there are pros and cons of each, for fresh trees it’s best to find a locally grown one that supports local businesses and reduces the pollution associated with delivery. To find out where the local retailers are near you, check out the British Tree Growers Association. To prevent your tree from going to landfill after Christmas, look out for tree recycling schemes which are offered by a lot of local councils. It’s also possible to rent a tree! After enjoying your tree over the Christmas period, you return it to the grower who replants it ready for next year.
Once you have your tree, you’re going to want to decorate it. We’ve all seen the countless decorations on display at garden centres but beware: lots of these ornaments are covered in glitter – a harmful microplastic which should be avoided. For more sustainable decorations, why not make paper chains using brightly coloured cardboard from cereal boxes and other packaging? You could also gather some natural materials such as holly, ivy, pinecones or small pine branches to make your home both festive and wild.
While swapping gifts can be loads of fun, I’m sure we’ve all received some we’d sooner exchange for something else… To avoid any awkwardness on Christmas morning, get your loved ones gifts that are fun and practical – reusable metal straws or plastic-free shampoo bars perhaps. Check out Not On The High Street for original and often personalised gifts that support small businesses.
We’re all guilty of a little overindulgence at Christmas but that’s perfectly acceptable – it’s Christmas after all! Although, we should be aware of how much food we end up throwing away. To minimise waste, it’s a good idea to eat all your freezer food during December to make room for leftovers. Everyone knows about turkey sandwiches, but there are lots of other good leftover recipes around including vegetable tray bakes, turkey curry and countless soup flavours.
Has anyone ever been pleased by what they’ve won in a cracker? Let’s be honest – it’s all tacky plastic tat! A very refreshing trend that’s growing more popular is homemade crackers – this handy guide is easy to follow and doesn’t require many materials, but you can experiment any way you like. Making your own crackers not only cuts down on single-use plastic but also gives you the freedom to choose the gifts. And maybe find some better jokes too.