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How To Be More Eco-Friendly This Christmas

How To Be More Eco-Friendly This Christmas

Posted on: Sunday, 28 November 2021

multi-coloured christmas fairy lights, mostly blurred in the background, one in focus in the foreground



I know it's not exactly the most exciting thing to be thinking about at this time of year (unless you're me and you see it as a sort of challenge to improve year on year), but there is a LOT of unnecessary waste at Christmas; unwanted gifts, food, packaging and probably a lot that you don't even think about. If you're not particularly bothered about the environmental impact your waste at Christmas may be having, being more eco-friendly can also save you a lot of money, which is definitely something to be welcomed come January.


The following are a pretty basic start to cutting down at Christmas, both saving you money and saving the planet so you can go into 2022 with your halo intact. Being more eco-friendly can be daunting and time consuming so at an already hectic time of year you can definitely give yourself a pat on the back for even just making one small change.


G I F T S // There are a lot of ways that gifts can be more eco-friendly, but the basis of it is making sure you buy things people actually want or need so that they won't get thrown away or wasted. 


Buying experiences such as afternoon tea or a spa day over physical gifts is a great way to still treat someone without buying something unnecessary. If you are buying a physical gift then buying small and local is a great way to shop more sustainably, get something more unique and put money into your local economy (I wrote a post full of small business recommendations last week). As lovely as surprises are, actually asking someone what they want or need is a fail safe way of making sure your gift won't go to waste. 


Making your own gifts is not only eco-friendly, but could also save you a lot of money. Anything from knitting someone a scarf to baking someone a cake; it won't cost you as much money, but the recipient will probably appreciate it even more for the time, thought and effort you've put in.


You could also choose to give something other than a gift or experience; maybe you give your time and offer some babysitting hours to a friend or a service if there's something you're good at that you could help someone with, such as gardening.


Lastly, you could decide to not gift at all. It may seem a bit scrooge-like and definitely isn't everyone's cup of tea, but Christmas is about spending time together after all so maybe you put the money you would have spent on gifts towards a nice family meal or something similar. And if you decide not to gift at all it definitely saves you money!


F O O D // I definitely get more excited about the food than the presents at Christmas, but this is also an area that sees a lot of waste! It's easy to panic and over buy, but only buying what you need is obviously the best way to make sure everything gets used up! 


If you like to err on the side of caution (which I do) and you cook or buy more than you need make sure you use up your leftovers! Is there anything better than a leftover Christmas dinner buffet on Boxing Day? Once Christmas Day is done and dusted assess what you have left and do a little bit of meal planning for the coming week to use everything up; this is something that will also save you money and most probably time seeing as it's already cooked!


As with gifts it's always good to buy your food local and from somewhere reputable; I'm a vegetarian so don't need to worry about where to get meat from, but we've recently started buying all our veg from our local farm shop, which comes plastic packaging free and with low carbon emissions due to them not being transported huge distances. It also works out cheaper than buying from the supermarket!


If you're a meat eater you could make a huge change and try having a vegetarian Christmas dinner (they're still amazing trust me!).  


D E C O R A T I O N S // Most people have a box of decorations they get down every year and re-use, which is exactly the eco-friendly way to do it! 


In terms of trees I've read conflicting advice over whether a real or fake tree is better, but what I've gathered from my patchy research is that if you're planning on keeping your fake tree for over ten years (the longer the better) then that is the better option, but if you're going to chop and change then buy real. If you are buying real make sure you buy locally grown and dispose of it correctly. Eventually I'd love to have a real tree that we replant in the garden each year, but we'll see how realistic that dream is if it ever comes to fruition!


E X T R A S // A great small change you can make is switching your wrapping paper. Brown recyclable wrapping paper is luckily very 'in' at the moment as a lot of other wrapping paper isn't recyclable. If you're not into the brown look then opting for a non-glittery wrapping paper is more likely to be able to be recycled and make sure to use a recyclable tape, string or ribbon rather than sellotape (flashback to my mum painstakingly removing all the sellotape from my presents when I was little so she could recycle the paper). 


What people actually do with the wrapping paper from the presents you give them is unfortunately out of your hands, but using brown paper could spark a conversation as to why and hopefully ensures that it does get recycled!


How do you stay eco-friendly at Christmas? Do you find it just another chore?

Amy x



Comments

  1. These are great ways to be more eco-friendly this Christmas! People do tend to waste an awful lot of food at Christmas and it's important to not splurge on just anything just because it's Christmas! In terms of gifting, I always use brown/red paper to wrap presents as it's recyclable x

    Lucy Mary

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    1. Ah that's fab! And yes definitely! I've opted to get people more experiences than physical gifts this year :) x

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  2. Wow, can you replant a tree? That's amazing. We have a fake tree and will probably have it for a long time!

    Corinne x

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  3. There's so many easy ways to make the change. I'm definitely going to be meal planning as much as possible this year to reduce food waste

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    1. Meal planning with christmas leftovers is the best too!

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  4. these are great ways to be more eco-friendly during the Christmas holidays. thanks for sharing.

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  5. Ah wow so many great and easy ways to be more sustainable!
    Rosie

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  6. Oh I sit there and remove all the sellotape from paper too! I'm also a massive fan of leftovers on Boxing day. These are great ideas that are so easy to do.
    Georgia

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    1. Haha glad to hear it! Yesss boxing day leftovers are the best! x

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  7. I've made sure my wrapping paper is 100% recyclable this year!

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  8. Last year I painted my own brown wrapping paper, but this year I've seen some paper in Asda that's recyclable (and it has astronaut kittens on it, so obvs!) so I'm going to grab some of that next time I go shopping! I also got recyclable Sellotape that's brown like the wrapping paper I was really impressed with that!
    Milli x - https://millidavison.co.uk/

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    1. Yes it's so good to get recyclable sellotape too! x

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  9. Loved this post! I made the swap a few years ago to only using recyclable wrapping paper and tape, there are more options every year which is great to see. I would love to have a tree I can replant xx

    Violethollow.com

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    1. That's great to hear! And yes it's nice to see more options appearing! x

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