I think we can all agree that we’re due a little cheering up this year. It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities, but the holiday season doesn’t have to be wasteful. Here are a few tips and ideas to help you have a sustainable Christmas.
Shop local where you can and help keep your community’s economy turning. Smaller shops oftentimes take more care when sourcing materials and producing goods. Find gifts that will last the test of time – such as a potted plant or a handmade scarf. Better yet, find a gift that’s already been recycled – upcycled clothes or second hand books are both great options.
Now that you’ve bought the sustainable gifts, don’t ruin all your hard work by wrapping them in single use, shiny paper (not all wrapping paper is recyclable). Why not make some drawstring gift bags to put your presents in? Invest in some patterned material or better still, find an old shirt or item of clothing you no longer wear and upcycle that into a bag – double points for the eco-warrior! If sewing isn’t your thing, make sure you buy 100% recyclable wrapping paper and dispose of it properly.
Now I know it’s Christmas, but why not consider some vegetarian dishes to cut down on the meat consumption this year? I’m not suggesting you forgo your Christmas day Turkey but you’d be surprised how tasty the alternatives are. Check out this mushroom wellington recipe we had last year. When you do buy meat, try to buy from your High Street’s butcher – they’re far more likely to have a local source, and could do with the support. If you buy your meat from the supermarket pay attention to the source (it will say on the packet and you can ask the servers at the meat counter).
OLD SCHOOL ENTERTAINMENT
You’d be surprised at how good some of those moth-eaten board games are at the back of your parents cupboard. Get them out or teach the family a game of cards before you buy something new – or better still, improvise (after eights anyone?).
I’m sure a lot of us have already tried our hand at something creative over lockdown – and what could be more satisfying than hand-making Christmas decorations? Dried oranges, pine cones, upcycled ribbons – the possibilities are endless. Get yourself on Pinterest and get the glitter out (if nothing else, at least it’ll keep the kids quiet whilst you do some last minute prep!).
GOOD HABITS AREN’T JUST FOR CHRISTMAS
Don’t stop there! Use the momentum gained from your sustainable Christmas to make some lasting changes to your lifestyle. According to a study by the University of Oxford, an average person can cut their annual carbon footprint by a huge 35%, simply by halving their daily meat consumption. It’s small changes like this that add up to make a huge difference. What will you do?
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