Sustainable Christmas ideas: 13 ways to make this yuletide greener

” OK elves,” screams Santa, pushing his glasses down upon his nose, “lets see whos been good this year.” A cheer goes up around him as he runs his finger down a list, heartily ho-ho-hoing as he passes the names of the well behaved.

Nevertheless its sculpted, Christmass influence on the environment is as much a headache as anything Ebenezer Scrooge experienced.

The workshop falls silent. Santa asks, furrowing his brow, “and they bin 74m mince pies?”

Tis the season to be jolly cautious about your ecological effect. Heres how to go green this Christmas

” Im afraid so, sir,” says the elf to his. “Theyre on the naughty list.”

Heres how to make your festivities cleaner than a cracker joke:

1. Rent, recycle or recycle your tree

If you cant lease, purchase a potted spruce and grow it in your garden for reuse each year. Or buy a FSC-certified tree to guarantee its from a well-managed forest and recycle it effectively– a lot of councils recycle trees by turning them into chippings, lowering their carbon footprint by as much as 80 per cent compared to sending them to garbage dump.

The most ecologically friendly way to have a tree is to lease one. “Customers enjoy the idea of having the ability to contribute in some small method towards sustainability and a healthy planet,” says Craig Tennock from Cotswold Fir Forestry, which hires trees in Gloucestershire. “Then theres the element of having the ability to have your really own personal tree year after year.”

A growing variety of business enable people to lease Christmas trees. Image: Bernard Hermant

Plastic trees, which can just go to garbage dump, have double the carbon footprint of a genuine tree. If you already have one, keep using it.

2. Make your own Christmas decors

It takes the shine off Christmas decorations when you find that neither tinsel nor baubles are recyclable. Make your own instead with salt-dough hanging decorations, dried orange slice accessories and sticks of cinnamon for the tree. Each is totally compostable, while wreaths made using foraged materials like pine cones, ivy and holly can be recycled at the kerbside.

3. Ditch the outside Christmas lights, go solar inside

Outside Christmas lights develop a lot light pollution that Nasa can see them from area, so it can be advantageous keeping festive illuminations inside. Decorative lights cost the UK ₤ 3.75 m a day to run over the joyful duration, so choose solar-powered LED tree lights. Turn them off at night.

4. Utilize an ethical online search engine to try to find gifts

Use non-for-profit Ecosia if looking into gifts online. 80 per cent of their advertising revenue funds reforestation efforts in nations like Brazil and Indonesia. Plus, they do not save your searches, track the sites you check out, or offer your data.

5. Choose cards carefully– and recycle any you get

The UK sends out an estimated 1.05 bn Christmas cards each year, but 1bn of them do not get recycled– the equivalent of cutting down nearly 350,000 trees. 1 Tree Cards sell 100 per cent recycled cards, printed with vegan inks and utilizing sustainable energy.

Purchasing cards constructed of recycled paper can help prevent trees being felled. Image: Annie Spratt

6. Purchase less and buy fairly

A YouGov survey discovered that 57 per cent of people in the UK get at least one unwanted gift, so ask people what they desire for Christmas– or provide a couple of choices to select from. Our own ethical present guide has great deals of excellent concepts, however concentrate on buying less and purchasing much better.

7. Regifting and previously owned presents

Foraged products like pine cones can be utilized to make sustainable designs. Image: Annie Spratt

According to a study, the quantity of manmade product created every week weighs the same as Earths total population. Do not add to it: regift undesirable presents, search for pre-owned gems in charity stores, hand make your own sustainable safekeeps and prevent anything that needs batteries.

” The pre-loved motion has completely changed the way we think of gifting. Many individuals dont wish to receive a stack of brand name brand-new presents that they understand have had a negative influence on the environment,” states Helen Elfer, creator of Stork, a pre-loved market for households.

8. Wrap gifts utilizing Furoshiki or recyclable brown paper

The UK throws away obscene amounts of wrapping paper and the plastic, foil, glitter and sticky tape on numerous sheets makes them unrecyclable. Furoshiki, a conventional, multiple-use Japanese wrapping fabric is a fab alternative– or else use recyclable brown paper.

9. Buy sustainable Christmas crackers

According to, 99 per cent of Brits throw away the plastic presents inside Christmas crackers. Either purchase plastic-free crackers through charities like the RSPB or attempt making your own utilizing bathroom rolls holders, brown paper and a little bit of tongue-out craftsmanship.

10. Buy food made through resistant farming systems

” By going shopping locally, we can talk with people about where our food comes from, to make educated choices about the type of food we desire to consume, and the farming practices we wish to support,” discusses Lucia Monje-Jelfs from the Sustainable Food Trust.

The Olio app allows individuals to share Christmas leftovers with people who require them. Image: Monika Grabkowska

Do your research for Christmas dinner. The Farms to Feed Us database highlights small manufacturers growing food using resistant farming systems, whilst Big Barn pulls together more than 600 artisan and professional producers who support regional sustainable agriculture.

11. Go meat-free (if not, go free-range and natural).

Having a plant-only diet plan is the very best thing we can do to lower carbon emissions and with many great vegan and vegetarian cookbooks around (try Anna Jones or Vanilla Black), nows the time to go the full (meat-free) hog. If flesh is your joyful fancy, purchase local, organic and free-range. Heres a guide to shopping organic on a small.

12. Plan much better, eat less and contribute your leftovers.

The UK discards a reported 2m turkeys at Christmas, crowning 270,000 tonnes of uneaten joyful grub. To lower waste, clear the fridge before Christmas, and plan and part your meals smartly. Share any leftovers on Olio, an app that pairs you with neighbours who might require them– and supplies recipes to make best use of leftovers.

13. Consume sustainably.

It takes the shine off Christmas decorations when you discover that neither tinsel nor baubles are recyclable. Outside Christmas lights develop so much light contamination that Nasa can see them from area, so it can be advantageous keeping joyful illuminations inside. The UK sends an estimated 1.05 bn Christmas cards each year, but 1bn of them do not get recycled– the equivalent of cutting down nearly 350,000 trees. The UK tosses away a reported 2m turkeys at Christmas, crowning 270,000 tonnes of uneaten joyful grub. Dont consume enthusiasm fruit daiquiris at Christmas,” he says.

Aim to buy locally, from beverages manufacturers who are attempting to make a difference like Cooper King Distillery gin, Nc nean Distillery whisky, Sapling Spirits vodka, and fizz from the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain.

Main image: Markus Spiske.

” Drink all that things thats been in the back of the cabinet forever,” encourages Tim Etherington-Judge, co-founder of Avallen, a Calvados brand name intending to be the worlds most sustainable spirit. Consuming seasonally is essential too. “Avoid citrus, prevent summer fruits. Do not consume enthusiasm fruit daiquiris at Christmas,” he states.

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