10 impactful changes you can make this Christmas
The holiday season can be chaotic and overwhelming enough without having to think about whether you’re making sustainable choices. That’s why we want to make it a little bit easier for you with 10 ways to make impactful changes.
1. Use what you already have
With an already busy schedule, making a shopping list and running to the shops for wrapping paper and gifts bags is an unnecessary hassle. Instead, use what you already have to make life easier and be more sustainable.
Use old newspapers or other paper products as wrapping paper and stuffing. When Christmas morning comes and gifts are unwrapped, save what wrapping, bags, and ribbons you can to be used later for another celebration.
The most recent statistics show that over 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is used in the UK during Christmas! Even worse, most wrapping paper (anything shiny and sparkly) isn’t recyclable.
2. Or use recyclable wrapping paper
If you don’t have anything in your home that can be repurposed to wrap presents, try and buy recyclable wrapping paper.
Want to go the extra mile? See if you can find any that is plantable like this one.
3. Shop local
Shopping locally is one of the top suggestions when people are trying to be more sustainable and shop consciously. There’s no better time to get started than the holiday season!
Reduce your carbon footprint this year by buying your Christmas dinner from local suppliers and cut down how far your Christmas turkey has to travel.
The same goes for your gifts this year; you can find unique and often sustainably created gifts just outside your front door, not to mention you will be supporting a local business and putting money back into your community (plus reduce shipping waste).
4. Buy less food (especially meat)
As much as we all love eating Christmas dinner leftovers, there is usually some that get tossed in the bin. The Big Issue estimate that the UK throws away 270,000 tonnes of food each year. This Christmas you can reduce your waste by buying less food, including meat. You could even get a head start on Veganuary with some vegan dishes instead.
5. Collect or create your own Christmas décor
Decorating for Christmas has always been fun but making your own can create memories to last a lifetime and make the holiday a little greener.
Take old materials you have and cut out shapes and designs to make a diy garland.
Go for a stroll and pick up pinecones and bits and pieces that you can create a wreath with. You can even try talking with your local Christmas tree provider and see if they have any tree trimmings you can use.
If you’re looking for some new décor that you can’t make on your own, look at second-hand shops to see what gems you might find.
6. Choose your tree wisely
Whether you’re buying a real or fake Christmas tree there are a few things you should think about in order to make a sustainable decision.
If you’re buying a fake tree, be sure that you will use it for at least 10 years otherwise you’ll be doing more harm than good.
If you’re buying real, look into where that tree is coming from. Is it from a sustainable forest? Is it FSC-certified?
It’s also important to know where it’s going. How are trees processed in your area? Would it be better to buy a potted tree that you can plant after the holiday season?
7. Quality over quantity
When we think of Christmas morning and presents under the tree we imagine a pile of brightly wrapped gifts, but do we really need 36 presents?
Instead of buying a surplus of gifts for your loved ones, take the time to think about what they really want or need and buy a few thoughtful gifts instead. This way you can be sure that each gift won’t be tucked away and forgotten about after Christmas morning.
8. Buy give back gifts
Buying products that give back to your community or charities doubles the amount of Christmas cheer you can spread. Not only will you be giving a loved one a gift they will cherish, but you can also support a cause they are passionate about with your purchase. Remember there is power in where you spend your money, and you can help make brands giving back the norm.
9. Shop ethically
Even if you don’t find a gift from a brand that gives back, you can do your part to support ethical businesses. Before you buy the gift, you know they’re just going to love, make sure the brand has a strong set of ethics like supporting their workers and not using sweatshops to produce that lovely gift.
10. Gift an experience
Gift shopping can be hard, and no one wants their present to be one of the approximately £42 million of unwanted Christmas presents are thrown out in landfill each year. Instead of trying to find the perfect object to give, gift an experience like tickets to a show or concert, and avoid having to figure out how to wrap a gift.