Christmas is a wonderful time for most people but it’s also a time of excess, over-consumption and waste. More and more of us are trying make changes to our lifestyle to become more sustainable and this can also be carried over to the Christmas period.
Instead of adding to your collection of plastic decorations you can go foraging. You should carry on using what you’ve got though as throwing them away would be wasteful and achieving nothing, except adding to landfill. Take the family and go on a foraging expedition. Look out for holly, ivy, pine cones, sticks and chestnuts etc. Get some glitter, glue and string and use some creativity to come up with some beautiful rustic decorations. You can also make wreaths and table decorations. You can do this together and have lots of fun at the same time.
Edible decorations are great. Gingerbread men or gingerbread snowmen look really good. Just make little holes in the top before baking and then thread with some lovely ribbon. You can also make some sugar charms for your tree.
Choose Your Wrapping Paper Carefully
Lots of wrapping paper contains plastic so try and avoid it if you can. Make your own wrapping paper using brown parcel paper and adding your own decoration if you want. More and more people are using fabric as reusable wrapping. You can use pretty scarves or buy some festive fabric and tie with ribbon. To see if wrapping paper can be recycled or not you need to use the scrunch test. Scrunch it up and let it go. If it stays scrunched up then it can usually be recycled but if it uncurls by itself it will most likely contain some plastic and have to go into landfill.
If you are buying new lights make sure they are LED. They are much better for the environment and use around 80% less energy. Solar powered lights are good for the outdoors and set them on a timer to go off at bedtime. You will save on energy and cut your bills.
Candles can look lovely at Christmas. If you can, try and pick a soy or beeswax candle rather than paraffin. Paraffin wax is generally cheaper but it emits particulate pollution when burned and adds to air pollution.
Reconsider Sending Christmas Cards
Instead of sending Christmas cards why not consider sending e-cards or contributing to a charity instead. For £28.87 you can reserve a place for a homeless person at a Crisis Christmas Centre. Over 1.5 billion Christmas cards are thrown away in the UK each year. Save trees and save money too.