Christmas is coming and with it all the joys and indulgences of the season.
But with climate change, pollution and resource depletion high on the political agenda, how can you make the most of the festivities without the unavoidable waste generated at this time of year?
In the UK alone, we create 30% more waste than usual during the festive period. This includes two million turkeys and six million trees!
Here’s 10 ways you can have a waste-free Christmas (without ruining all the fun!)
- Cut the wrap
Gift wrap is made to be thrown away and most of it won’t even get recycled. Make a difference this year and join the Cut the Wrap campaign. Give presents as usual but without the wrapping! You could even wrap a fashionable friend’s gift using an old copy of Vogue or re-use old comics for kids’ presents.
Cut down on paper waste by sending e-cards – we love Paperless Post – or cards made from recycled paper.
- Shop smart
Plan ahead before you go food shopping for the main event and entertaining. Writing a list makes sure you don’t overbuy, saves you money and prevents food waste. Support smaller-scale ethical producers by buying produce direct – we love Kingfisher Farm Shop in Shere, Secretts in Milford and Ripley Farmers’ Market – or from delivery services like The Artisan General Store or Abel & Cole.
- Solar power
Choose solar power outdoor lights for a greener alternative. For indoor lights, go for more environmentally-friendly LEDs and remember to turn them off when you’re out or in bed.
- Get crafty
Deck the halls with homemade decorations like garlands made with cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices, foraged red berries, holly and mistletoe, or add to your existing collection with designs made from brass, glass and wood.
- Buy pre-loved
Shop for unique, thoughtful and vintage gifts in charity and antique shops or on sites like eBay.
- Experiences rather than materials
Give the gift of a memorable experience! Gig or theatre tickets, a meal out, a spa day or even a hot air balloon trip. Memberships or courses, such as pottery or bike maintenance are a chance to develop a skill – as well as indulging in a hobby or passion.
- Secret Santa
Have fun AND save money by choosing to do a Secret Santa present giving with family and friends. Put names in a hat along with a hint of what you would like.
- Reusable crackers
Replace single-use crackers with reusable ones made from natural linen with the option to add your own personalised gifts.
- Pay it forward
If you receive a gift you don’t need but don’t want to ask for the receipt, return it for an exchange, re-gift, sell it online or feel great and donate it to charity.
Happy Christmas from the team at Fetcham Park!