From reels of wrapping paper to single use plastics and wasted food, Christmas time can get messy. Much of the gifts we buy our friends and family end up in landfill not long after, making this holiday one of the more destructive occasions for our planet. Luckily there is something you can do – here are 5 ways to reduce your carbon footprint this Christmas.
Get your Chrissie prezzies and decorations secondhand
Looking to deck the halls this festive season without costing the earth? It is possible, and it starts with your shopping choices. Instead of buying new decorations and Christmas trees, go for secondhand options – even better if you reuse your decos and tree in the years to come. When it comes to getting Christmas gifts, you don’t have to buy the newest gear, a secondhand item can be just as charming and well-received and it’ll reduce the waste destined for landfill. Op shops, charity stores and online sites are all good places to look for preloved gifts. You might even find designer brands for a fraction of the price!
Gift your friends and family experiences over material items
Material gifts often go to waste after just a short amount of time, and the plastic packaging definitely ends up in landfill. So why not ditch the concept altogether? Opting for experiences instead of material items is a great way to ensure no one’s disappointed without adding to the overflowing waste in our environment. Here are a few ideas that your friends and family might enjoy more than anotherbottle of perfume:
- Tickets to a movie or concert
- A class at a community centre
- A massage or spa treatment
- Tickets to a poetry reading
- Camping trip
- A donation on their behalf
Make some wrapping paper swaps
One of the biggest waste items at Chrissie is the wrapping paper! And it’s an issue the world over – in the United States, for instance, a whopping 4.6 million pounds of paper is produced every year with a shocking 2.3 pounds sent to landfill. That’s a lot of waste for something that’s enjoyed for mere seconds – so why not ditch the paper? Get create with other wrapping methods like using reusable materials and fabrics. You could even put gifts in tins, reusable boxes or tote bags. Another fun activity could be getting the kids involved in making Japanese furoshiki cloth bags to wrap gifts in; it’s fun, stylish and sustainable.
Lose the plasticware
We know how arduous washing up after countless party guests can be, but using reusable cutlery and plates instead of single-use plastics is one of the easiest ways to prevent wastage. It’s also worth using cloth napkins instead of tissues and paper napkins to ensure you’re not throwing out excessive amounts of waste. When you’re doing the shopping, make sure to avoid the plastic fruit and veggie bags; instead of using these bags to place your produce in, just pop them into your basket or bring your own reusable bags.
Plan your recipes with sustainability in mind
To ensure your food is as sustainable as possible, buy locally-sourced, organic produce; the less travel and processing your food undergoes before landing at your supermarket, the lower the environmental strain. Markets are great places to find local produce, so you don’t have to rely on the supermarket. It also helps to make your recipes from scratch where possible, and this is because ready-made foods like sauces, frozen meals and stocks use up a lot of energy with over 80% of greenhouse gas emissions from our food stemming from the production process. That’s why the least amount of processing your food has undergone, the better it is for the environment.
Keen for some more inspiration? If you’re looking for delicious recipes that won’t cost the earth – or your savings – check out our new Holiday Entertaining Guide eBook HERE. It’s loaded with 51 fun recipes that transport you back to those childhood family feasts – minus the sugar crash, of course! We've got mains, sides, desserts and festive drinks to mark the occasion.
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