How To Be More Environmentally Friendly This Christmas

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Christmas is a time beloved by all. However, it is also a time when the environment greatly suffers. Here are some tips to help reduce this while still having a great time. This Christmas, think Green Christmas!

Reusable advent calendars

Reusable calendars are great because they prevent you from buying a new advent calendar every year. A one-use advent calendar will only be thrown away after Christmas. However reusable calendars can be used time and time again. You simply need to supply your own treats. Store one in each of the 24 days and there is very little difference between this and the usual advent calendar. This way you are not only saving money in the long run but also helping the environment by taking one small step towards a greener Christmas.

Etsy have some really cute reuseable advent calendars.

That’s a wrap

Take care how you wrap your presents. Make sure to use sustainable materials when wrapping gifts. For instance, tissue paper, brown paper and a ribbon are great alternatives. All are recyclable and biodegradable. Avoid traditional wrapping paper. It is hard to recycle as it is often dyed or has a foil element. Added glitter can also present a problem when it comes to recycling. If you find you do not have any tissue paper or brown paper at home and do not want to buy wrapping paper, you can simply use old newspapers or maps. Chances are you will want to throw these out anyway so why not give them a second life?  Add a sprig of holly or a wooden Christmas decoration to give it that proper Christmas vibe.

Crackers

No, really, look out for biodegradable Christmas crackers.  It’s hard to imagine Christmas without a cracker, even if they fail to bang. However it is inevitable that the table will be covered in the remnants of pulled Christmas crackers which needs to be sorted for correct recycling. Conventional Christmas crackers for the most part cannot be recycled and leftovers will have to be discarded. To avoid this, you don’t need to get rid of this tradition, simply use biodegradable Christmas crackers instead or try a new tradition of making your own. This way you can have all the fun you would with traditional Christmas crackers but don’t need to worry about impacting the environment.

Send forest friendly Christmas cards

Thousands of cards are thrown away each year. So why not send an electronic card this year? Not only will you not have to worry about the postage being late but the receiver will be able keep the card forever. As it is electronic, you won’t have to worry about your carbon footprint and people will thank you for not adding to theirs. However if you feel you are a more traditional person, don’t worry there is still a path for you. You may still want to send out physical Christmas cards. Then why not switch to biodegradable Christmas cards. So many green options available to choose from.  This way you can send out as many cards as you want and (almost) be sure that it will end up in the recycling bin.

L.E.D lights

The amount of incandescent lights used every year throughout the country at Christmas time has a lethal impact on the environment. Thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide are released every year as a result. However switching to L.E.D lights is a fantastic way to reduce energy consumption. They are a far more environmentally friendly and use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent lights which is a big step towards creating a cleaner environment.

Plastic free gifts

When buying gifts always try to go for environmentally friendly products. If you are unsure whether a product is considered ‘green’ look for recognised eco-friendly logo such as the Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). If you don’t feel very confident in purchasing eco-friendly brands, why not try gifting an ‘experience’ such as a cookery or pottery class. With this you will create memories that the receiver will never forget. Homemade gifts are also a good route to follow in order to avoid waste. 

Homemade gifts not only add a personal element but also make it easier to monitor what goes in to a present.

There are so many ways to have a wonderful Christmas and do your bit for the planet at the same time.  

Happy Green Christmas!

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