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How to Have a Green Christmas!

How to Have a Green Christmas!

Christmas is a time for parties, gift-giving, and overindulgence as we immerse ourselves in the busiest season of the year. However, mother nature is struggling. The growth in waste due to the rise in consumption is astronomical. Christmas has recently become less about the religious significance and more commercialised, enticing people to make increasingly large purchases.

When the new year approaches, we sweep away all the leftovers, unwanted presents, and decorations to create room for a new beginning. As we do, the boxing day deals encourage us to buy more for lower prices to get rid of unsold inventory and drag us back out of our homes. There are ways to lessen your carbon footprint and practise sustainability this holiday season, despite the materialistic culture that Christmas has created. You can gradually include the following suggestions in your traditions and celebrations to enjoy a green Christmas:

1. Make a Shopping List

Making a list of all the items you want to buy for Christmas in advance is one of the simplest ways to cut spending and buy fewer unnecessary gifts. Unwanted presents totalling £42 million in landfill can be avoided by carefully planning your purchases. Instead of waiting until the last minute to do your Christmas shopping, planning might help you stay organised.

When uncertain of someone’s preferred gifts, it might be difficult to avoid picking up additional ones at the shops – just a few extras, to be safe. As a result, you find yourself on a slippery slope to over-purchasing useless items that will likely be forgotten in six months (despite all your well-meaning intentions). Plan in advance, find something genuinely thoughtful and avoid the strain on your wallet and mother nature.

2. Look at what you’re buying

When purchasing items for others, keep the environment in mind. Every year, around 1 in 10 undesired Christmas items globally wind up in landfills, and only 1% of consumer goods are still in use after six months. In light of this, it’s critical to comprehend the long-term environmental impact of your items. For example, plastic toys cannot be recycled and may merely contribute to waste, especially when purchased for children who may outgrow them in six months. Likewise, tacky Christmas sweaters bought solely for December can end up straight in the bin by January. Avoid the newest must-have gifts and trendy products; choose durable items that friends and family can recycle later.

3. Shop for Second-Hand Gifts

It can be tempting to purchase brand-new products from fast fashion retailers since they seem better when given as gifts. However, the world of second-hand shopping is a goldmine. You can find products in second-hand consignment stores or charity shops that will make the ideal Christmas gift. Furthermore, when looking for a personalised present for someone, one-of-a-kind things frequently have a higher level of sentimental value and are more distinctive. So your bank account can have some much-needed protection – you’ll be drastically cutting back on Christmas spending while simultaneously extending a product’s life and giving unique, personalised gifts.

4. Ditch the Wrapping Paper

Even though most wrapping paper is recyclable, 300,000 tonnes of card packaging are reportedly utilised yearly over the holiday season, and 227,000 miles of wrapping paper are destined for landfill. If your wrapping paper cannot maintain its shape when rolled up into a ball, it is most likely not recyclable. In that case, make your holiday wrapping paper this year out of recycled newspapers or magazines. Recycling these materials is straightforward and gives them another use besides being thrown away after reading them. You can also use cloth, fabric, or old pillowcases to wrap your presents. They can be used year after year and don’t add to waste. While the packaging may not be the most attractive, the wrapping paper in no way determines the value of the gift. We should cut down on waste wherever we can.

5. Reuse your old Christmas Decorations

Instead of buying new Christmas decorations every year, choose to store and reuse the ones you currently have. Themes and colour palettes can be easily changed each year to make your home festive, but this can be unnecessary and add to your consumption. For your friends and family, decorations can have special meaning and be emotionally meaningful. If you take care of your decorations and don’t destroy or damage them, it might contribute to your annual Christmas traditions.

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6. Reuse or Recycle your Tree

Wherever possible, you should reuse your tree every year along with your ornaments. Artificial trees are often not recyclable, although they can survive a long time if you can put them away to use each year. If you have a genuine pine tree for Christmas, recycle and dispose of it correctly – it can be composted. Recycling them after use can stop the annual waste of 250,000 tonnes of trees.

7. Save your Food Leftovers

Everyone anticipates the hearty Christmas supper served on your tables during the day. Often, it is far too easy to overspend and buy mountains of food, especially if you make Christmas dinner for a large group of people. This overindulgence leaves you with weeks’ worth of leftovers. Christmas food waste in the UK alone is reportedly 270,000 tonnes. To avoid this, try arranging for just one food delivery or shop while restraining yourself from making further purchases. By cutting back on trips, you reduce CO2 emissions and food consumption. If you have leftovers after Christmas, consider preserving them and incorporating them into your meals for the rest of the week. You can extend your Christmas dinner enjoyment by using one of the many recipes with leftovers available online.

Olio’s food waste app links you to nearby needy households and charitable organisations. If you have too many leftovers to eat on your own, please consider listing them on the app – you never know, this small act of kindness could be the highlight of someone else’s Christmas.

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