A natural Christmas
6th December 2021
We all know that familiar sinking feeling, as the recycling and rubbish bags pile up over Christmas. So why not make this year your turning point? Here are a few simple tips that will help.
Having a less wasteful Christmas is mainly about being a bit more thoughtful. Buy fewer gifts but consider them more carefully. If you’re giving physical presents, look for shops and websites with a zero- or reduced-waste policy. There are loads of lovely gifts out there that come in minimal packaging.
Alternatively, why not give a voucher, sponsor something useful or make a dedication in someone’s name? The great thing is you don’t have to do much to make a difference. Imagine if everyone who reads this changed five things this year?
Of course, food is a huge part of Christmas, unfortunately, most of us waste a lot of it. The secret is planning. Buy only what you need and use up your leftovers. And remember, the shops are closed for a couple of days, not three weeks.
Top gift wrapping tips
- Don’t buy wrapping paper with glitter or foils, which aren’t recyclable.
- For a more personal touch, try potato-printing your own paper.
- Discover the Japanese art of Furoshiki, which uses squares of cloth to wrap gifts. It isn’t difficult and the results can be beautiful.
- Use plain paper and jazz it up with recyclable accessories, such as ribbons and baubles.
- Do the scrunch test on used wrapping paper. If it stays scrunched, it’s probably okay to recycle; if it springs back into shape, put it in your refuse bin. (It will contaminate the recycling.)
- Buy eco-friendly sticky tape. A range of plastic free sticky tapes are now available and some are even compostable at home!
Christmas tree ideas
Christmas trees are gorgeous but can have a carbon footprint. The best options are:
- Reuse your current one.
- buy a pre-loved fake tree.
- Look after a real tree and reuse it each year.
- Use a Christmas Tree rental service
Top decorating tips
- Avoid buying plastic decorations this Christmas. Bunting, origami or pinecone decorations are much better than tinsel.
- Switch Christmas decorations with family, friends or work colleagues for a fresh look, rather than buying new ones.
- Make a natural Christmas wreath. You can even have one that will feed the birds as well as looking great!
- Make your own natural table decorations – holly leaves look fantastically festive.
- Avoid buying Christmas crackers which often contain plastic toys. Instead make your own using toilet roll tubes!
- Look out for gifts that come with as little packaging as possible -or that you can recycle.
- If you are stuck for some gift ideas, why not try a zero waste kit. Try including a metal or bamboo straw, cutlery, a reusable coffee cup, reusable wraps, water bottle and an eco-lunch box.
- Sellotape is made of plastic, but don’t panic! You can wrap gifts with brown paper tape, ribbon or string. Better yet, go for a reusable option like a box, bag, or cloth.