How to have a more sustainable Christmas
Christmas is always our favourite time of the year: we eat lots of delicious food, give and receive amazing presents and spend time with our loved ones. Unfortunately, the planet doesn’t enjoy it quite as much as we do.
The festive period tends to have a damaging environmental impact as it produces a vast amount of waste: wrapping paper, cards, food waste and unwanted presents. According to Biffa, a UK waste management company, more than 100 million bags of rubbish are sent to landfill over Christmas every year.
Here’s our guide on how to make this Christmas a little more planet-friendly:
1. Learn to love leftovers
Food waste is always a big problem in the UK, but around Christmas it’s an even bigger issue. On average, we waste around 7-million tonnes of food during the festive period, throwing away about 5 million Christmas puddings and 2 million turkeys. All this decomposing food (yum) rots in landfills and releases methane, a greenhouse gas.
So what can you do to reduce your own food waste? One word: leftovers. Whatever your Christmas meal of choice is, you should love it so much that you can eat all of it. Whether it’s nut roast done a hundred different ways, turkey curries and sandwiches, it’s time to get creative with what you already have in the fridge.
2. Find an alternative to wrapping paper
Each year in the UK, we use around 277,000 miles of wrapping paper and most ends up in landfill too. Wrapping paper often isn’t recyclable and it’s a major contributor to Christmas waste. This year, wrap your presents with reusable, recyclable or biodegradable wrapping paper. You can also get arty with old newspapers or magazines. It’s the gift that counts, the wrapping paper gets ripped and discarded within 10 seconds if you’re anything like us.
3. Buy a real Christmas tree
Finding a locally grown tree and then having it mulched afterwards is a far more sustainable choice than buying a fake Christmas tree made from non-recyclable plastic and throwing it away after one use.
4. Avoid single-use plastic like it's the plague
We speak a lot about how single-use plastic is the devil, and we mean it. At Christmas it’s more important than ever to be aware of how much plastic you are throwing away.Try to choose sustainable brands who use environmentally-friendly packaging (like H!P - our Advent Calendar is 100% plastic free!).
5. Give gifts you know they really want
We all love surprises, but only if they’re successful surprises. Make sure you know you’re giving gifts that people will want to keep rather than throw away, and if you receive a gift you don’t want, re-gift it! Too many gifts are thrown away every year - so make gift-giving your love language over Christmas and take care to find out what your loved ones need.