“I’m dreaming of a green Christmas.”
That’s how the song goes, right? Sustainability is a massive part of modern culture and, although most of us absolutely love Christmas, even the festive period is not exempt from a more eco-conscious effort. The reality is Christmas is a time of excess, and that excess is probably as far away from sustainable as you could imagine.
With that in mind, if you’re interested in making your Christmas a little greener this year, we’ve come up with a few simple ideas that will make an awful lot of difference to your festive footprint.
Experiences over material gifts
There once was a time where businesses like Red Letter Days were absolutely huge — providers of experience days vouchers for things like hot air balloon rides and indoor skydiving. That sort of thing has been in the background for a while but is now making a comeback as a unique, memorable and sustainable gift idea that trumps the usual material efforts.
Buying an experience over a physical gift has a number of benefits. While sustainability is our primary driver here, experiences also tend to be a sure fire hit present, not to mention something that shows some serious thought and care.
Reduce your food waste
Christmas usually means moving a notch or two up on the belt buckle, or just not wearing one altogether. Fancy food is everywhere you turn from around Christmas Eve through to New Year, which is no doubt enjoyable but also rather wasteful.
Say you’re preparing for a party, do you really need to buy five tins of Cheeselets? And when it comes to Christmas dinner, scale down instead of up when you’re working out portion sizes. Think about it, after the mince pies, chocs and cheese, have you ever been hungry after Christmas dinner? Unnecessary food tends to bring unnecessary packaging waste with it too.
A tree is for life, not just for Christmas
It’s not unreasonable to think that buying an artificial tree is the most sustainable way to go about your decoration planning. After all, you can reuse it and it saves us chopping down real ones, right? Thing is, a lot of people are only using their plastic trees for a few years before throwing it out for being too tatty, which sort of defeats the purpose of getting one.
If you go a buy a real one from a local farm, chances are they’re growing the trees in a sustainable manner. Plus, your real tree doesn’t have to be disposed of after Christmas. With a little effort, you can replant your tree and keep it going for the next few years, which all in all seems a lot eco-friendlier.
Buy less of everything
A pretty simple but solid mantra to head into the festive period with. Less gifts with a focus on better thought out presents and less food waste through better portioning will really make a difference. Even if you’re not too bothered about the environment, think about your pocket. Christmas costs an awful lot of money, with people often having to seek out ways to afford all the fun.
If you think about what you’re buying carefully, you’ll likely find you have no less of a Christmas but a much greener, and cheaper, time.
* Collaborative Post