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It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we’re sure lots of you are getting ready for some festive family fun!
As this is such an exciting time, we can sometimes overlook the importance of making an effort to be eco-friendly. We’re likely to over-buy, over-cook and over-indulge. We’ve collated some tips and tricks for you and your family to explore have more eco-friendly Christmas.
If you’re still on the hunt for your Christmas tree this year why not try an eco-tree? These are more modern trees, typically made out of recycled materials with little to no plastic being used in the process.
If you do decide to get a real Christmas tree, try and shop around and see if you can find a locally grown and sold tree for your home. This reduces the carbon footprint as it hasn’t been transported over to you. Once the Christmas season is over take your tree to your local recycling centre where it can be shredded and reused locally and turned into bedding for pets or made into bark chippings.
Did you know some Christmas wrapping paper contains plastic and therefore cannot be fully recycled? Try and look out for recycled wrapping paper which is becoming more and more popular and widely available. You can even try out Kraft paper to wrap your presents which comes in a range of colours and textures and is 100% recyclable.
Making your own gift tags for your presents is another way to try and reduce waste when doing the Christmas present wrapping. Just use some old Christmas cards you might have tucked away from previous festive seasons, cut out the cards into smaller shapes and attach to your gifts with some craft string. If you don’t have any old Christmas cards to use, see if you have any extra left over after sending your cards out and ask around your family and friends to help save on their paper waste too.
Christmas crackers are a staple item around the Christmas dinner table. Why not try and make your own this year? As well as being eco-friendly, you’ll also get to fill them with things you actually like! There are more and more Christmas cracker kits on the market now which are typically made from paper or cardboard materials, rather than being filled with plastic like pre-made ones tend to be.
Need some inspiration for the jokes? Take a look at the kids sharing their favourites on our Facebook page.
The food… our favourite part of Christmas day for many of us! We stock up on food and can over buy to make sure our worst nightmare doesn’t happen and we run out! Christmas time is when our food waste can increase our carbon footprint from the extra waste being transported to landfill sites. There are lots of yummy recipes using Christmas leftovers so you can avoid this.
Some other simple things to keep in mind when doing the Christmas food shop; what can you freeze after Christmas and keep for a later date? Can you donate any leftover food to a neighbour or local food bank? Can your waste be used as compost?
Here's a great app that lets you find local people who you can give food that might be going off soon or you know you won’t use before it’s ‘use by’ date.
Making your own Christmas decorations is not only a great way to have a more eco-friendly Christmas, but a great activity to do with your children and keep them entertained during the school holidays. Take a look at this previous blog with video guides showing you some great Christmas tree decoration ideas...