Here Comes Sustainable Santa Claus and our top five tips to an easy more sustainable Christmas this year.
With the days are ticking down to “the most wonderful time of the year” many people worldwide can find this can be a stressful time and for all of us and the planet.
The mass consumerism at Christmas is far from environmentally friendly but it doesn’t need to be. All you need is a little Christmas plan and what is traditionally a period of expense and mass consumption can result in festive magic and happiness for the waste line and the bank balance come January.
You may ask yourself why does this matter and what difference does Christmas really make?
Well, in just three Christmas days the average Brit will create the same level of carbon emissions as they would on a flight from the UK to the West coast of America. This doesn’t include the environmental cost of consumerism with nearly 80% of Christmas and Black Friday purchases are never used and heading straight to landfill or incineration.
With the advertising campaigns ramping up on TV and the letters to Santa being written it’s easy to forget that everything from the Turkey to the Christmas tree and everything in between have a cost to you and the planet.
So what steps can we all take to make a difference and still have a magical festive period?
No.1 DO NOT PANIC BUY
Have a plan of what to buy each person something they will value and stick to it. It can be tempting to panic buy presents or just grab one more little thing but the reality of this mass consumption stacks up to huge avoidable waste.
Our Top Tip…
If you don’t know what to buy go green! Why not opt for something such as a potted house plant. Not only is it kind to the planet, brings joy but will be around long after the decorations have come down.
No.2 CHOOSE ONE BIG PRESENT
Another great way to cut down on waste and unnecessary gifts is to choose one big present instead. Secret Santa is not just fun but a stress saver meaning you can put time and thought into one larger present.
A previous study found that nearly 10% of Brits return and exchange gifts because they received something they didn't need or want. This means huge amount of items are just wasted. Choosing to gift less presents will also ensure people don't end up with lots of little ones they don't need.
No.3 CHOOSE THE RIGHT TREE
Did you know you can rent a Christmas tree?
Renting a locally sourced tree is one of the kindest things you can do for the planet, as each tree gets replanted at the end of the festive season.
If you’re not sure about renting, then look for a sustainably sourced tree one with an FSC Certification.
Our Top Tip…
Be kind to mother nature and opt for a potted tree than you can use year after year.
No. 4. REDUCE FOOD WASTE
Just like present buying, having a food plan saves money and wastage. This year we have all learnt just how much a carbon footprint the food we eat carries. If you can shop local and when you're food shopping, try and choose things that are light on packaging, or buy loose items, and if you end up over-catering, don't just bin what's left. Transforming leftovers can be a great way to create new meals, save money and cut waste. Google is just waiting to help you find some exciting leftover recipes.
Our top tip..
If you have too many leftovers, see what you can freeze or why not donate some to an elderly neighbour, local food bank or soup kitchen.
No. 5 RE-WEAR YOUR CHRISTMAS JUMPER
Fight the urge to buy new Christmas jumpers. It only comes out once a year and if you’re like us we love a terrible Christmas jumper. It’s a perfect opportunity to put a smile on someone else’s face. Up to 95% of Christmas jumpers are novelty and are made using plastic. The most common plastic fibre used is acrylic, which was found in three quarters of the jumpers tested across 11 different high street and online retailers this year.
Our Top Tip..
Swap your Christmas jumper with a friend, buy second-hand or re-wear, and remember a jumper is for life, not just for Christmas!
This Christmas be good to each other. The more people that can make small sustainable changes this Christmas the better the start we will all have to 2022.