Have Yourself a Merry (Sustainable) Christmas
5 top tips to have a slightly more sustainable Christmas
- Buy a Christmas Tree that can be replanted
- Reuse decorations and buy metal/wood/glass ones which can be recycled more easily
- Buy your food from ethical sources and support the local businesses
- Present wrapping – does the paper stay scrunched up? Then you can recycle it
- LED lights use up to 80% less energy
We all want to be as environmentally friendly as possible, especially at Christmas time. This is sometimes difficult as you still want to enjoy the festivities without having to compromise too much. Here are some things you can do to make your Christmas just as enjoyable while feeling a little bit better about your impact on the Earth and its environment.
Which option do you think it best for the environment and which option do you think had the most negative impacts on the environment?
- A plastic tree
- A real Fir tree without roots
- A real Fir tree with roots
The best option is obviously a real Fir tree with roots, but I did not expect the worst option to be a real Fir tree without roots. As plastic trees will last a life time, they are considered to be more environmentally friendly than a real tree that cannot be replanted and has to be thrown away… If you do not know where to buy a Fir tree with roots, look at the business Love A Christmas Tree, as they let you rent a Christmas tree over the festive period, then in January will replant it ready for next year. A 2m Christmas tree withoutroots disposed in land fill uses 16 kilos of CO2. A tree with roots that can be replanted only uses 3.5 kilos of CO2. A plastic Christmas tree is around 40 kilos of CO2, so if you reuse it for 10 years, it almost just as good as buying a tree that can be replanted.1
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. I have some decorations my Grandparents apparently used to use. But I still go to the shops every year to find some more pieces (as you can never have too many Christmas decorations). Try to invest in pieces made from glass and wood instead of plastic, and fix old decorations that can be kept for a few more years.
Treat yourself this Christmas by supporting some local and ethical producers. Or, buy some of the trimmings from Abel and Cole or Riverford, who also give you some recipe ideas to use up all of your leftovers. If you have more food waste than your house hold can handle, sign up to food waste apps like Olio to give your leftovers to someone who will use them.
It has been proved that under half of us keep wrapping paper and reuse it the following year. Most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable due to it having plastic elements in it. A way to tell if you can recycle it or not is the “scrunch test” which just means, if you scrunch it up and it stays put, you can recycle it. You can also buy recycled wrapping paper from stores like ReWrapped, which sells items made from recycled paper. Brown paper can also be decorated and personalised, and can be recycled.
Buy items which you know will be used and think about if they really need it or not. Invest in some toiletries that can be recycled, or that can be refilled from many places like Boobalou, the Zero Waste Shop. Shop in vintage/second hand/charity stores. Even though many people will think this isn’t the kind of thing they want to give others as presents, it has many multiple benefits (as well as the fact you are giving it a new home). Sustainable clothes are another great gift, but these are normally a lot more expensive (as they will last longer too) so pool a group of friends together and gift something great!
Swap your Christmas lights to LED ones and attach timers on to the plug sockets. LED’s cause households to save £11 million and 29,000 tonnes of CO2over the 12 days of Christmas alone as they can use up to 80% less energy. Timers on your lights will enable you to save energy by only having them on when you want instead of having them on at 4am when no one will be walking past to admire your lights (apart from on NYE).
Hopefully these hints will be put into practice so you can feel more at ease over Christmas knowing you have done your bit in helping the environment.
Dopplle are not preachers, we are just trying to create a platform where information is readily available to those who want to read about fashion, sustainability and more.