10 Tips for a More Sustainable Christmas
Christmas is a time for joy, spreading love, gifting and bringing people together. As much as this time of the year can be special, it is also one of the most wasteful with, on average, the volume of waste materials produced and disposed of during this busy season up by 30% in the UK alone. Much of this, unfortunately, is sent to landfill where it damages the environment.
Although this year is undoubtedly going to be a bit different, with some friends and family not able to gather like they usually do, there's still plenty of ways to enjoy the holidays whilst being sustainable.
Here are 10 tips on how to make this year’s festive season the most sustainable yet.
1. Rent a Christmas tree or buy and dispose of your tree sustainably
Christmas wouldn't feel right without the traditional ornamental pine tree taking up most of the space in your living room. There are many kinds of trees to chose from, artificial and not, but real Christmas trees are much more sustainable than artificial alternatives. This year you could go one further by renting a real tree from a British farm. Companies like Love A Christmas Tree help you buy and rent trees grown from their farm in Leicester.
Once all the festivities are over, disposing of your tree is just as important as choosing the most eco-friendly option. Every year, approximately seven million real trees are dumped come January rather than recycled with the cost of landfilling eight million trees being around £22 million. Recycle Now is a great source to find out how to dispose of your tree in your local area.
2. Buy sustainable decorations and re-use decorations
We all love that festive feeling that decorations can create. However much of the decorations available on the high street are made from plastic materials and difficult to recycle.
Making your own hand-made decorations is a great way to create unique and eco friendly alternatives, like a wreath made from old Christmas cards.
Many Christmas decorations, such as plastic and glass baubles and tinsel can’t be recycled. Reusing or donating them to charity shops when you no longer want them is the best way forward.
3. LED lights
If every UK household swapped a string of incandescent lights for its LED equivalent, we could save more than £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2, just over the 12 days of Christmas.
LEDs are much more environmentally-friendly than traditional twinkling incandescent lights, because they use up to 80% less energy.
4. Buy a reusable advent calendar
Everyone loves waking up every morning and counting down the days to Christmas with a little surprise gift from their advent calendar. With so many options it's easy to just pic the typical disposable one.
Why not opt for a re-usable advent calendar, made from fabric or wood which matches your style and you can fill every year with new surprises!
5. Send plantable Christmas cards
Over on billion Christmas cards are sold every year, most of which are discarded. Why not send a card that also grows plants! These plantable cards are the perfect eco-card.
At Amala Curations, all of our gift boxes come with a personalised, hand-written note on seed paper, which will bloom into beautiful red poppies when planted.
6. Buy reusable crackers
Every year, 40 million Christmas crackers are thrown away, a major source of unnecessary waste.
Our elegant crackers are eco-friendly, contain a choice of four different organic beauty gifts, and can be re-filled and re-used over and over again for a zero waste Christmas!
7. Support local, sustainable brands
Big high-street brands and chains unfortunately don't do enough to make a positive impact for the environment. Shopping locally and from independent brands like us not only allows you to support the local economy, smaller businesses and owners but also helps you have the confidence to know exactly where your products are coming from and that you are making the best sustainable choices.
You can take a look at our full festive collection here.
8. Choose eco-friendly wrapping paper
There are so many creative and sustainable ways to wrap gifts. Using items around the house like old scarves or newspaper or even dried fruits, pine tree or herb sprigs is a great way to keep it low cost. Otherwise sustainable and recycled printed paper from ethical brands if you want to stay traditional in paper wrapping.
Our Christmas Aromatherapy Candle comes wrapped in a gorgeous cotton wrap, with a handmade, dried orange, clove and cinnamon decoration (to match the scent of the candle) which can be removed and hung on the Christmas tree for that little touch of luxury in nature.
9. Get your festive ingredients from local and organic growers
Getting your ingredients for Christmas dinner from your local, organic shop offers a number of sustainable benefits.
For example, choosing UK grown veggies means they’re not only locally grown, but they’re seasonal too. Local and seasonal veg means fewer food miles and artificial ripening methods. And luckily, potatoes, parsnips, carrots and sprouts all happily grow in the UK in December.
Companies like Able & Cole or Riverford Farms are great options if you want your produce delivered from organic sources. They deliver in cardboard boxes which guarantee reduced packaging and plastic compared to larger supermarkets.
10. Opt for higher welfare organic meat
If you're going to enjoy some meat this Christmas, select your choice of animal from a sustainable, organic and grass fed source. Not only does this kind of farming mean higher quality but also guarantees lower CO2 emissions than large scale farming.
Selecting your mean from companies like Primal Meats guarantees both quality and sustainability for this very special occasion.
We hope this has given you some ideas for how to have a more sustainable Christmas! If you have any more tips, please do drop them in the comments below, we'd love to hear from you.