It’s the most wonderful time of year!
The lights, festivities, gifts and food make for a much needed indulgence after what has been a very challenging time for all. However this over indulgence is not much fun for our planet. Did you know that at Christmas we eat 80% more food than we do during the rest of the year? And globally at Christmas our waste levels increase by 25-30% with much of the excess waste being made up from packaging, wrapping paper, cards and food waste. Not good. But don’t worry, there are things we can do to limit this waste and make for a more environmentally friendly Christmas this year! Check out our five tips below.
1. Make your own tree!
Why not get creative and make one from objects you have around the house. Maybe you have an A frame ladder in the shed that you could decorate with lights or how about you create a tree from all the books you’ve never got round to reading? There are plenty of things you can find around the house that you could transform into your very own tree. Stuck for ideas? Check out pinterest.
If you do decide to go with a real tree look out for ones with an FSC certification as only this will confirm that your tree has been sourced sustainably. If you prefer the artificial type then check out Gumtree and Facebook marketplace for second hand options. Good for your wallet, good for the planet.
Secret Santa is a great way of sharing gifts amongst family and friends and avoids over buying! Spend your money on something really special for one close friend or family member and give them something they will cherish always. If gifting is one of your favourite Christmas activities then you could always try making gifts. A christmas marmalade or some delicious sloe gin perhaps!
If you’re desperate to get into the shops then shop local and pick out eco friendly gifts. Some great options in Bath are:
Stuck for gift ideas? Why not ask for donations to a charity. Environmental Justice Foundation is doing some amazing work to fight climate change and protect our oceans and biodiversity. Why not donate to them here and spread some Christmas spirit.
Reuse. Reuse. Reuse. Collecting tissue paper and bags throughout the year is a great way to cut down on waste and you can use them for your gifts this Christmas. If you haven’t done that this year, give it a go in 2022. Brown paper, string and raffia are much friendlier on the planet and you can decorate these with sprigs of holly from your garden. If you do buy gift wrap, try to avoid foil and glitter as these can’t be recycled.
4. Ditch the Crackers!
We know people see these as a Christmas staple, but do we really need them? They only make for extra mess at the dining table and are you really going to use that tiny key ring? Instead, why don’t you make your own hats out of your recycled wrapping paper and come to the table with some of your own jokes and stories you’ve heard throughout the year. This will save on so much waste and be much more personal, plus a fun morning activity while the veg is roasting in the oven!
5. Veg out!
This can be somewhat controversial to the meat lovers but it is time to consider reducing your meat intake, not just on Christmas day but over the whole Christmas period. The impact of what we eat has a huge effect on our planet and we need to be more conscious of this now more than ever. There are delicious vegetarian and vegan options out there which are far kinder on the plant and your waistline. This year ditch the turkey and opt for a yummy nut roast or a veggie wellington. Here is a link to a vegan wellington we do every year (and yes the meat eaters always have some and then more!)
We hope we’ve given you a few ideas to try this December and you have fun challenging the Christmas norms this year! Come December 31st, why don’t you and your family make a new years resolution to have a greener 2022 and start the new year with love and respect for our wonderful planet.
We wish you a Merry Christmas from all of us here at Kilter!