For those who celebrate Christmas, it’s all starting to feel quite festive; the decorations are up and your favourite playlist is on. Who couldn’t love the festive season, a time centred on good food, good company and goodwill?
However, amongst all of the mince pie gorging and last-minute present buying stress, it’s worth considering how much we consume and waste over the Christmas season. Here are a few ideas to bear in mind for making your festive season more sustainable and environmentally friendly…
- Christmas e-cards
One of the first things on the to-do list during the festive season is to organise and send your Christmas Cards. Although cards are wonderful to spread Christmas joy to friends and family, paper can be very wasteful, especially if you throw the cards away after Christmas. As an alternative, why not try an e-card? They are simple to create, can be sent for free via email and more importantly, will save you all that paper usage! Moreover, they are often interactive and can include videos, music and games! See below for some e-card creator suggestions:
- Walk off those mince pies
As the days are cold and the nights dark, it’s only natural that we will take the car out as much as possible when we are out and about buying our Christmas shopping. When you can, try and take public transport, such as a bus or train, or even walk! This will help reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible and therefore make your travelling around from A to B more sustainable. It’s also very easy to slouch on the sofa in front of the telly to take full advantage of the fantastic Christmas films out there this month. However, too much sedentary activity can often make us feel sluggish, so getting out and doing some physical activity will bring many health benefits and keep you feeling fit and healthy over Christmas.
- Recycle your wrapping paper
We all have different styles of wrapping your presents: some accidentally cut pieces too small and have to patch up the parcel, others cut pieces too large and trim the paper to fit, leaving small scraps behind. Whatever your style is, it’s important to remember to dispose of any unwanted paper responsibly. Post-present time, you could check that any pieces of paper that are able to be reused are put aside for next year. If they cannot be used, scoop them up into a bag and make sure that all the paper is recycled and not thrown away into landfill.
- “Turkey sandwiches… again?!”
Without a doubt, the best part of Christmas is the food. Christmas turkey dinner, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake… the list goes on! However, what might not be quite so good is the amount of food that gets leftover and often, thrown away. To avoid wasting food that is still perfectly edible, plan some Christmas leftover recipes to keep you sustained. For example, leftover Turkey can be made into turkey sandwiches, turkey fajitas or wraps or even a nutritious turkey noodle broth. Alternatively, Brussels sprouts can be mashed together with leftover potatoes to make a delicious fritter (perfect for a Boxing Day breakfast). These leftover recipes all help you prevent excessive food waste as well as allowing you to save ingredients for dinner time for the following days after the 25th December. On Christmas Day itself, be sure to put any food waste, such as potato peelings, into a food recycling receptacle or a compost bin.
- Christmas lights out
Twinkly lights certainly spread the magic of Christmas, and there is no moment quite like switching on the Christmas tree lights for the first time of the year. Whilst Christmas lights look pretty be sure to switch them off if people leave the room and there is no one appreciating them. By switching off lights when they are not needed, we can save on light pollution as well as keep our electricity bills down, so when the lights are out, there are pennies being saved in your purse (everyone’s a winner here!)