5 tips for a Greener Christmas.

by Cat Woods

So, whilst we wait out the next few weeks, until Santa climbs down our chimneys, let’s explore what we can we do to give our planet a gift this year and make it a greener Christmas. 
Why not follow these five easy tips for Christmas this year, after all, it’s the little things that can make a big difference…

1. Don't Fake It

It actually takes around 15 years for a plastic tree to be as environmentally friendly as a real tree. The reason behind this is, fake trees are made from non-renewable materials, which use up a lot of valuable resources during the manufacturing and shipping stages.

Another thing to think about is that many people choose to change their tree every few years too, meaning that most fake trees end up on landfill. Sad huh? 

Here is what you can do instead..

  • Rent a tree! Yes, it’s a real thing!! As soon as Christmas is over, you can send the little dude back to the forest, ready to welcome him back with open arms in a years time! 

  • Buy from a business that plants more trees for every one sold! That way it is sustainable.

  • Buy a potted tree and once Christmas is over, give it some space to grow and flourish in your garden until 2022!

Don’t even worry about the disposal of a real tree. There are lots of charities that will collect your tree for a small fee, we have used Willowbrook tree recycling scheme in St.Helens. Alternatively, contact your local council to ask about pick-ups for your old trees, some areas will even have a drop-off point.

2. Don't Wrap With Crap!

Glittery, shiny wrapping paper can not be recycled and neither can sticky tape, so why not choose your wrapping materials carefully this year?

A great alternative to sticky tape is Kraft Tape, made from paper. It is a sturdy way to wrap those awkwardly shaped gifts.

I use brown packaging paper with string. Some other quirky alternatives to wrapping-paper include;

  • “Wrapping your gifts in scarves, two presents in one!” I just LOVE this idea from Elebubble.

  • Use the colourful pages of a newspaper or magazine.

  • Another alternative is to use gift bags or boxes which can be recycled again for treats in the future.

  • If you’re buying a gift box, check that it’s FSC regulated!

3. Limit the Plastic

The UK’s toy industry is massive! Last year, consumers spent £370m on them, but environmentalists say this is contributing to the amount of plastic ending up in landfill and oceans.
A poll by the British Heart Foundation found that more than a quarter of parents admit to throwing away toys that are in perfect working order. A good idea is to check out your local women’s refuge or charities in your local community, and donate old toys to them before stocking up on new ones. 
Choosing quality over quantity can make a huge difference this Christmas, why not opt for wooden toys or books over plastic items. Sound like a good idea?

4. Chuck the Chicken - Enjoy a Plant-Based Christmas Dinner!

OK so, I understand that Tofurkey isn’t for everyone but by switching your meat intake this Christmas for a plant-based option, you’ll not only introduce a new tasty treat into your dinner, you’ll also help give Mother Nature a nice Christmas too! A recent report found that a plant-based Christmas dinner has half the emissions compared to a turkey Christmas dinner!
Veganism might sound a bit extreme to some, and I totally get that, but if you’re just able to have one vegan plate on your table a week, you’ll be making a huge step towards a healthier and happier planet.

5. Shop Local

One of the most important ways buying locally helps the environment is by reducing your food miles. By shopping locally, you are purchasing goods produced in your local community. Conversely, when you shop at the grocery store, many of the food items you buy travel over 1500 miles to reach your plate. By cutting down on these miles, you are reducing the environmental impact of your food. 

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