Christmas is the most wonderful time of year but can also be the most wasteful. But don’t fret you can still have a holly jolly sustainable Christmas and here’s how!
Studies have stated that you would have to reuse a Christmas tree for 20 years for it to be a green option but even having a real tree isn’t very eco-friendly if you just dump it after Christmas (like 7 million people do). So first up, is my new favourite sustainable Christmas swap of renting your Christmas tree from a farm. If you’re based in the UK ‘Love a Christmas Tree’ will deliver your Christmas tree before Christmas and pick it up after Christmas and replant it, the perfect zero-waste swap! Some people even rent the same tree every year so they get to see it grow (approximately a foot a year).
If you can’t find a tree to rent and want a real Christmas tree make sure it has been grown locally to reduce your carbon footprint. Also, make sure it has the FSC seal of approval to make sure it has been grown to set environmental standards. After Christmas you should recycle your tree and it will be made into wood chippings.
Our next sustainable swap is to tackle the wrapping paper problem! A lot of wrapping paper contains elements that can’t be recycled like glitter, foil and plastic. A good way to tell if you can recycle your wrapping paper is to scrunch it up, if it stays scrunched up on it’s own it can be recycled, if it unfolds, sadly it contains non-recyclable materials. Remember you can always save your wrapping paper and reuse it the year after!
Let’s talk seasons greetings! If you plan to send a card this Christmas, again make sure it has the FSC mark to make sure it is as sustainable as possible. Another one of my favourite sustainable swaps are plantable cards, embedded with seeds. After the festive period has finished you can plant your card and watch your wild flowers grow (10/10 gift).
Think very carefully when creating your wreaths, where are you going to hang them and what they will be made from. I recommend going for a nice walk through a wooded area and collecting natural materials yourself. If you are hanging your wreath outside, please don’t use any form of plastic as these can harm animals such as birds who might try to forage from them.
A great way to help people in need and tackle food waste this Christmas is to use Apps such as Olio, which allows you to share food with your local community. There is also Too Good to Go, on which you pay significantly less for food that would otherwise be thrown away at the end of the day.
Lastly and a big one, presents! There are a lot of sustainable options for gifting, some of my favourite top picks this year are Beevive Bee Revival Kit, Dame Reusable Pads Set, sustainable clothing from Lucy and Yak and to make sure you have a safe clean Christmas Ocean Saver Ultimate Refill Collection.