There are so many things to love about Christmas. The gifts, the food, the decoration…but when boxing day comes we find ourselves drowning in boxes and mounds of plastic. So this year, let’s try to make our Christmas as eco-friendly as we can.
The Christmas Tree
The Christmas tree is a highlight of Christmas for many people and although the smell of those pine needles is about as festive as it gets. But instead of chopping down a real Christmas tree every year and just throwing it out on the front steps on January 1st, why not buy a fake tree. A lot of people think that a fake tree can look tacky, but there are so many Christmas tree’s that you can buy, that look just as wonderful. You can also buy “Christmas tree” scents to hang on your tree.
We all have visions of Boxing day, where we desperately try and stuff all the wrapping paper into the bins. But there are so many eco-friendly alternatives to non-recyclable wrapping paper that you can buy- and to be honest, I’ve always found recyclable wrapping paper much easier to cut and fold.
Aside from recyclable wrapping paper, you could try using fabric to wrap the presents, which could be reused year after year. Gifts bags are another great way to wrap presents and can be used again.
If you’re looking to get creative, you can use pages from books you no longer want or newspaper. Wrap a bit of twine around it, with a decorative sprig and you have a beautifully presented gift.
Reduce Food Waste
We are all in the habit of over buying food at Christmas. And how could you not? It all looks so tasty. But every year, we are left with mounds of uneaten food that gets thrown away. So as tempting as it may be, try to avoid buying more food than you can eat. Plan your food shop ahead to cater for everyone without wasting food.
Gifts That Last
During the festive period, shops stock their shelves with endless items that you never knew you needed, and a lot of it is plastic. We all get sucked in by the bright colours and sparkly packaging. Now, buying plastic gifts is fine and often unavoidable. But make sure it’s not going to be thrown out in a couple of months once the magic of Christmas has faded.
Instead, invest in gifts that will last for many years and can be used and enjoy again and again. Let’s try to battle this ‘throw-away’ culture one gift at a time.
Similar to the gifts, when the shops roll out their Christmas decorations, it’s hard to not want to buy them all. But, especially in larger shops, decorations are mass produced and often cheaply made. Meaning they break easily and often get one years use.
This year, take the time to choose some gorgeous decorations that you can take out year after year. The best place to get well-made, beautiful decorations are smaller, independent shops that pride themselves on making good quality decorations that will last.
Eco-Friendly Christmas Crackers
We all love Christmas crackers at the dinner table but this year ditch the non-recyclable crackers with the flimsy paper crowns (that never seem to fit right), cheesy jokes and disappointing plastic gift (we really don’t need anymore tiny screwdrivers) and go for something a little more green.
Making your own Christmas crackers can be so much fun and you’ll never be disappointed by what’s inside. They’re also surprisingly easy to make.
It’s even better if you can make reusable crackers!
It is nearly impossible to have a 100% green, waste free Christmas. But even by making a couple of these small changes, makes a big difference and might encourage other people to do the same.